Two bath developers

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by neville, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. neville

    neville Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK and New Z
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I usually use Rodinal with Agfa 100 and 400 films (Medium format and 35mm), but I am thinking of trying a two bath developer, such as one of the D-23 types discussed in The Film Developing Cookbook, but I am not sure which formulation to use. I am inclined to try the Dalzell formulation in view of the fact that it is reputed to increase sharpness, and I am wondering about adding Sodium Chloride to help prevent swelling of the emulsion as they suggest. Has anyone tried this formulation, and if so what were the results like. I am wanting to take some scenes with high contrast, and that is one (but only one) of the reasons for my wanting to try this approach.
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I have used the "simplest" one - D23 with borax afterbath - and it did what it was supposed to do: Contract a 17 stop brightness range into something the film (FP4+) could handle. "Normally" developed film was unprintable, even POP showed burned-out highlights.
     
  3. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

    Messages:
    2,131
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've tried a few of the divided devs from the books with limited success and my negs usually turned out underdeveloped. A post over on Photo.net suggested to increase the amount of metol in the formuals by 50-100% to compensate for todays thin emulsions. Apparently, the thicker emulsions of yesteryear were able to soak up more of solution A.

    One divided dev that I really like is D2D, the 2nd formula in "The Darkroom Cookbook". My guess is that D2D has enough carbonate and hydroquinone to make sure that the image is developed completely.

    No matter which dev you try to use, run test rolls before you process anything important.
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I forgot to mention my quick attempt with Pextral's - described in the Recipes section here, under Film developers - Staining.
     
  5. titrisol

    titrisol Member

    Messages:
    1,671
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    Rotterdam
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  6. skander

    skander Member

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Location:
    Nantes, Fran
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi,
    I exclusively use DD-23, since a few years now, for simple reasons : the negs it gives me perfectly suit me, and I've never used such an easy and economical developer. You can develop every negs of every sensibility together, with always the same times. After having tried Rodinal, ID11, pyro... I found it is no worse than any of the previous ones (actually sometimes better) and that it avoids me headaches and losing some time.
    I use as a basis one of the formulas given in the darkroom cookbook :
    A bath : 7.5g metol + 100g sodium sulfite per liter
    B bath : 10g borax per liter

    I've tried reducing the sulfite amount in bath A as suggested, but I find it makes the grain grow too much without improving the acutance enough. I prefer adding 4g of ascorbic acid, as suggested elsewhere in this forum I think. I've not done a lot films with this combination, but it seems the grain is crisper and finer. I've also tried adding salt in bath B to reduce the grain, but I've noticed no change. Maybe because I've used table salt, and not laboratory grade salt?
    As for the times, I proceed as in the darkroom cookbook : pre-soak, 5 minutes in bath A with 30 sec of agitation, then 15 sec of agitation every minute, the film is then placed directly in bath B for 5 minutes, with 5 seconds of agitation every minute, then stop, fix, wash.
    I keep the A bath for 20 films apprixomately, and mix a fresh B bath every time.
    To be honest, I've never had underdeveloped or flat negs, but I'm always on the "slightly overexposed" side when I shoot, never hesitating to add one stop. But when a neg is really too overexposed, it comes out black all the same, but I feel the latitude is far greater than with other developers. However, I've tried pushing underexposed films by increasing the times in A&B baths, but it was catastrophic, the neg being way too soft to be printed.

    I hope this helps,

    Skander
     
  7. Ornello

    Ornello Inactive

    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    As a matter of fact, I have experimented quite a bit with two-bath developers and found that they are not better than well-diluted single-bath developers. The results were less consistent.
     
  8. KenR

    KenR Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Divided we stand

    I've used Vestal's divided D-76 as detailed in the Film Developing Cookbook with great success. I rated Tmax400 at 320 and got great negs on the street in Manhattan. The problems that I often had handling the problems of sunny side of the street vs. shady side of the street seemed to be tamed with the divided developer.
     
  9. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,247
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Port Hueneme
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I have used the divided d-23 described by skander quite a bit - especially with old cameras that I had to guess the exposure for. The results were ALWAYS good. I do, however, prefer the higher accutance and snappier contrast from p'cat or pc-tea. The nice thing about the dd-23 is that the sky always has good color - part of the compensating effect. The grain will be smoother and a little mushy - not unlike d-76 straight. Although the grain is a little bigger due to the stand finish.
     
  10. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

    Messages:
    809
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Cary, North
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    ditto on the DD-23 formula that skander uses. Over on www.unblinkingeye.com Ed Buffaloe and I have a technical article on the variations of the D-23 formula. Postively gripping. A ripping good yarn. Go over and enjoy.
     
  11. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Downers Grov
    The only trouble I ever had was the highlights lacked separation. I used an old Leica formula similar to d23 with plus x and tri x.

    Emulsion batches since 1985 or so seem not to hold enough part a so increase the developer concentration.

    They work well for normal contrast subjects too.
     
  12. skahde

    skahde Member

    Messages:
    427
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No. You need some swelling of the gelatine-matrix to "open" it and let the chemicals in.
     
  13. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

    Messages:
    2,131
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    And for this you'd need an alkaline solution???
     
  14. skahde

    skahde Member

    Messages:
    427
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Water in the first place. As Alcohol attracts water stronger than gelatine does, putting gelatine into alcohol means to remove water from it.

    Putting chemicals dissolved in alcohol on an emulsion is like throwing a handfull of rice on a dry sheet of glass.
     
  15. skahde

    skahde Member

    Messages:
    427
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format