Two bath print developers

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Gary Holliday, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I'm doing a lot of experimentation at present to achieve a particular high- key style. I've got the look using VC paper, but trying to replicate it with graded papers.

    I have several boxes of Grade 2 Kentmere Art Document & Deluxe and Bergger Fine art portrait Silver Supreme.

    I need a two-bath print developer for good highlight detail which will produce a cold look in the highlights and the shadows. Which print developers will help me achieve this?

    Thanks
     
  2. karavelov

    karavelov Member

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    You could try Ansco 130 or other Glycine based developer.
     
  3. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Cold highlights and shadows. How about those middle grays?
    Do the cold grays derive only from some two bath developers?
    I'm little informed of high-key technique. Dan
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You could try one of Wolfgang Moersch' developers (http://www.moersch-photochemie.de/ ). His Amidol Plus is a very flexible two-bath (split) developer with controllable tones. And if it isn't cold-tone enough, try Tetenal Goldtoner. :smile:
     
  5. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Two bath with Ansco/PF130 in 1st & plain water in 2nd. Develop print in 1st until shadows are to the level you want (eg, 30-45 secs). Remove without draining & place in water bath, & do not agitate. You can repeat the process. This process should yield about a grade 1 1/2 on grade #2 paper.
     
  6. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I am with Ole on the Amidol - it is likely the greatest printing chemical for highlight control when used with a water bath. It takes a bit of experimenting - increase the exposure a little, pull the print as the very first image artifact emerges and then lay it gently in a water bath and watch as the developer works to exhaustion. It will likely not give you a cold image though. I myself do not prefer the cold image (usually) - I find that warm tone papers have add something to the image that pleases me.
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Just to make things perfectly clear: I did not recommend Amidol and water bath, I recommended Wolfgang Moersch' Amidol/ Cathechol two-bath developer. While Amidol can undoubtedly make very fine developers, I believe that the original question is best answered by the SE20 Amidol Plus.

    I had a couple of very difficult negatives - some too hard, some too soft. In the end I printed them all on Bergger Silver Supreme, using Amidol Plus...
     
  8. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I try to avoid mid tones as it's supposed to have a a high contrast look. The cold tones are needed to replicate a pencil drawing as such. Ilford Cooltone on a warmish Foma Chamois Nature has the perfect look.

    I thought it might come down to SE20 Amidol Plus in the end. It's very expensive, but if it's going to give me my highlight detail, depth of tone for eyes and a controllable neutral-cool tone it's more or less perfect.

    If I'm going to mess around with two different devs. I'll end up with split tone effects.
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I see a high-key print as one lacking in any true
    blacks; charcoal gray being a darkest gray. Mid and
    lighter grays, and white dominate.

    Apart from some favored tone, contrast control is your only
    concern; all that single grade paper. Pre-exposure and water
    baths are standard methods of local contrast control, high-key
    or otherwise. I'd suggest fully exploring those two techniques.
    Any one of a few neutral or cold tone developers may do.
    One or another of them may be what is sought.

    If compounding at home is possible work with fractional
    batches while seeking that perfect mix. Dan
     
  10. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    Technically yes, perhaps I should use the words high key in inverted comas. The only dark tones are the pupils and any dark hair. As I said they are pencil type drawings, so barely visible skin tones and prominent eyes. I should really upload some images, but I don't have a scanner available at present.

    I have yet to experiment with water baths, so I'll do a search.
     
  11. jonw

    jonw Member

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    Ole, the Amidol Plus developer, Amidol and Catechol 2 bath developer mixture, you recommend looks very interesting. Do you or anyone else know if it is readily available in the US in a kit? Of if not in a kit, best way to acquire the chemicals for putting a mixture kit together? Thanks. Jon
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Once again I know little about availability in the US. I bought mine from Germany, but that's much easier for me living in Norway!
     
  13. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    Pre-exposure? Do you mean pre-flashing the paper?
     
  14. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Yes. I think it Howard Bond's article in Darkroom Techniques
    which detailed the water bath and pre-exposure methods
    for local contrast control. Start with one grade higher
    paper and/or a higher contrast developer. Both
    methods lower local contrast. Dan