Season B/W developer with C-41 film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Trask, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,377
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Several developers, when initially mixed, are somewhat "hot", and settle down to provide smoother tonality once some film has been run through it. Given that I would hate to use some usable b/w film for this purpose, I'm wondering if the same effect on the developer would be accomplished by seasoning it with C-41 film. I often see outdated color print film for sale here or there, so it seems a cheaper and more intelligent alternative -- assuming it will season the developer, not damage it.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

    Messages:
    907
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's essentially what C41 Dev/Repl starter does.
     
  3. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    2,386
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, O
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    To season B&W developer add P. Iodide and P. Bromide - iodide and bromide ions are released when silver iodide and silver bromide are converted to metallic silver by the developer. Only a small amount of bromide is needed; the amount of iodide needed (if any) is minuscule.

    The bromide is credited with restraining fog and increasing contrast in deeps shadows. Iodide has been claimed to improve 'sharpness' - the claim is somewhat controversial. Iodide also works as a restrainer on development but without any claims for better shadows.

    As expected, the addition will slow development somewhat - the same happens with established replenished systems.

    Try adding .3 to 1.0 g/l of bromide and 2-5 mg/l of iodide. It is easiest to make up the iodide as a .1% solution (1 g/l) and add 2 - 5 ml. A small jar of each chemical will last a lifetime - though P. Bromide is a nice thing to have on hand to add to paper developer when you have trouble with veiled highlights.

    Running enough film through a developer to build up sufficient bromide will exhaust the developer unless you are running a replenished line. And if you are running a replenished line you will have to run quite a few rolls through. Much cheaper to just add only the stuff you need.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2012
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,323
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For a developer containing hydroquinone one of the products which builds up as the developer is used is hydroquinone monosulfonate ion. Kodak used to sell this substance as the potassium salt as Balanced Developer BD-1. It is a soft acting developing agent which may contribute to the overall effect of a replenished MQ or PQ developer.
     
  5. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use HC-110 replenished, and the difference btwn it when fresh and seasoned is enough that I won't run film until it's at least partially seasoned. On that note, the easiest + cheapest thing I've found is to run 8x10 x-ray film exposed to daylight through it. I keep a few hundred sheet boxes around, and if I ever need to dump the tank (very rarely) then I'll run 50 sheets to get it settled down again. The upside to the xray film is that it's very cheap, and there's emulsion on both sides, so as far as I can figure 1 sheet is equivalent to two. Seems to be working here, ymmv.
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,073
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting. Could someone please post some seasoned versus unseasoned results?
     
  7. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's a hard thing to show online, since at the point of discussing replenished vs non we're talking subtleties that won't come across unless you see a print, or a big file. Even then, all things would have to be equal in making comparisons...and they never are.

    With that, this is a Tri-x 35mm neg shot at 400 ran in replenished hc-110, shot handheld, window light, no dodging or burning or any digi judo: http://graememitchell.com/blog/celeste.

    The accutance and micro-contrast is greater but at the same time the overall contrast is softer than what I'd see if I ran that same film in non-replenished developer. Again, not really something that's obvious online, but even in a small 9x6" print I can see it w/ my work.

    The advantages+disadvantages of replenished devs have been discussed here before if you search around.