Why dilute developer???

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ezwriter, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    For Tmax 100 it says use at Tmax at 1:4 dilution. So i did that. BOTH rolls were so light gray i probably won't get a decent print.
    (Been using Tmax and D76 stock for months)
    Thought maybe i didn't expose right.
    Tonight developed 3 rolls tmax 1:4 , ALL very light gray negs. No blacks at all.
    Developed roll of Kentmere 100 in Tmax stock, VERY nice negs.

    Why would they recommend diluting developers anyway?
     
  2. PanTomasz

    PanTomasz Member

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    Did You extend the bath time too?
     
  3. dmb

    dmb Member

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    By 'stock' do you mean TMax developer diluted 1:4 from original concentrate? Looking at the Tmax 100 data sheet the reference to 1:4 would appear to apply to the 'stock' NOT a diluted stock. Looking at the pdfs of the TMax Dev and Tmax 100 datasheets they are not great examples of precise end user instructions.
     
  4. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    i've never heard of anyone using tmax developer as a stock solution.i've used it 1+4(2 oz developer and 8oz water) and never got bad negatives.i've even used it 1+9 with tmax 100 and love it.
     
  5. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member

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    If the numbers along the edge of the film are light grey, then it's underdeveloped, not underexposed. When you dilute developer, you need to extend the time in it. You might check out the Massive Dev. Chart on the Digital Truth website, it's a great guide for development times.
     
  6. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    As others have said, you have to increase the development time the more you dilute the developer.

    But developer is diluted for practical reasons, particularly to give you realistic development times. Stock solutions may only take two or three minutes to develop a film, which means everything has to be timed to perfection and agitated to perfection, small discrepancies in temperature, and time making big differences to the negs. So diluted the developer is more gentle, allowing small differences in agitation, temperature and time, and making more predictable processing possible. Developer is also diluted to control contrast, by which the developer becomes exhausted in the highlights before it does in the shadows, so giving better shadow detail and less chance of blown highlight detail.
     
  7. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    Tmax developer, on the shelf, is a concentrated developer (syrup). One syrup plus four water is the standard dilution for a stock developer solution.

    If you initially diluted the Tmax 1+4 out of the bottle to make a stock solution and then diluted that stock solution 1+4 again and used standard dev times you will get thin negs; this will work but you must extend the dev time by about 2X.

    If you diluted the raw syrup from the bottle 1+4 (proper dilution), developed for listed time and you got thin negs you may have exhausted developer. How old is the raw syrup? If, as Suzanne said, you see the numbers on the edges are not solid black you either underdeveloped (time/agitation wise), have exhausted developer or over diluted when you mixed the stock solution.

    If you diluted all the syrup 1+4 when you purchased the bottle initially, your stock solution won't last very long on the shelf and will oxidize quickly. Dilute 1+4 from the raw syrup as needed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2013
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I can't speak to your Tmax failure, but dilution is generally done to make the development time tractable (as mentioned above), or to change the behaviour of the developer in some important way.

    For example, D76 contains a silver solvent which becomes rapidly less effective with higher dilutions. So D76 stock gives very smooth negatives at the cost of some resolution because the grain has been heavily dissolved; D76 1+1 is a nice general-purpose intermediate and D76 1+3 gives very sharp negatives with practically no solvent effect.

    Rodinal also changes with dilution: at around 1+25 to 1+50 it acts as a normal developer with no solvent. At 1+100 or more and longer times with no agitation, you get local exhaustion of developer in the highlights, so it becomes both compensating and sharpening.

    I don't use Tmax dev so I can't tell you what it will do with varying dilution.
     
  10. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    OMG i'm an idiot! i think what i did was, mixed a gallon of Tmax a week ago, then diluted it 1:4 yesterday so yeah, it was diluted twice.
    Now with this 1/2 gallon left are you saying its gone bad? going bad? How long does it realistically last in photo brown jug after mixing?
    i will mix as needed from now . thanks!
     
  11. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Subscriber

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    For that TMAX bottle i just simple dilute it from the concentrate or stock solution, i don't dilute the entire bottle, i just dilute part of it with water for 1:4 ratio, never had an issue with films i used with that dev diluted.
     
  12. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    What the op says makes sense, re the twice diluting.
    About the longevity question on the gallon (itself a 1:4 dilution) - I don't know if anyone has done this before, maybe PE can help with this.
     
  13. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Developers mixed to working dilution tend to die after a day or two due to the oxygen dissolved in the water that you dilute them with. How dead it is will depend a lot on the details of your water (oxygenation, pH, presence of iron and/or other oxidising agents) and the developer (again, I don't know about Tmax). For example, D76 mixed 1+1 I wouldn't be much worried about at all, but Rodinal at 1+100 I would discard after a few hours at most.
     
  14. lhalcong

    lhalcong Member

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    If we borrow from RA-4 chemicals (idea) to use Distilled water to mix and then fill up the empty portion of the bottle with Butane gas, will that help keeping the T-Max Developer longer ?
     
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    To slow down development if you cannot get the developer cool enough during the summer.
     
  16. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    that may help but as mentioned above, don't dilute it until you want to use it and only dilute how much you want. Say your tank holds 500ml (I work in metric!) and the the dilution is 1+4, then pour 100ml of developer into mixing container and add 400ml of water (ideally tempered to suit temperture required). Use once and dispose of.
     
  17. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    Sorry ezwriter, and even if you did the 1-4 once and let it set for a week, things likely wouldn't have went well. That developer doesn't keep well.... live and learn.

    You might have some luck with selenium intensification of frames you must have.
    I just selenium intensified a thin negative at least a full stop in density last year.