Patterson only states how much liquid (Liquid nitrogen for all they care) it takes to cover one of their 35mm reels and 120 reels. They aren't the developer/fixer manufacturers and therefore don't address this issue. If you ever look with the top off how much 295ml is, with the reel in there, it barely covers it, and i personally would at least just go to 350ml to be safe (one of the reasons i went to 400ml)
As to the reason behind stating minimum amount of developer
KODAK states this is the minimum amount of developer per roll that you will ever need. So if you develop say 36 scenes that are pure white (maybe a small black dot somewhere, idk) and you use less than minimum amount of developer needed, you are still within safety margins. Me using less than stated half of minimum, would probably get gray negatives. And so, this minimum, is Kodaks insurance, so that no one can come back and say, hey, your d76 sucks, and doesn't develop fully. With the minimum amount of d76, this would be user error.
The film is expensive.
D-76 is cheap.
It is not worth taking a chance of getting results like the OP complains about.
Originally Posted by mopar_guy
hey, thanks for reading the thread... and thanks for your oh so relevant opinion.
I agree there could be an issue with a 1:3 dilution, but for my own development I use 150ml of neat D76 with 150ml of water and have not found this a problem, even on high-key images.
I think you're right to let experience speak, and let's not try to fix what isn't broken.
But the OP asked about an improvement, which is what we should try to accomplish to help with.
It may or may not be that the amount of developer used by OP is enough according to Kodak's instructions.
Irrespective of that, OP has stated that the use of Grade 5 filtration has helped in printing, which to me suggests underdeveloped negatives - for what the OP is trying to achieve.
To gain an improvement, and to change as little as possible in their work flow, to develop the film longer makes sense, because it would enable similar print quality with less printing gymnastics.
I always say that the paper and developer combination used by the printer, is first target in how film should be exposed and developed, in order to get the results that we want. To see the potential of US photographers controlling the whole chain of events is tremendously empowering. When you learn this, printing becomes a lot less frustrating, and with much less darkroom waste as a result.
But it does take some hard work and an objective view of our own results, in order to get there.
Thomas, I agree and apologise to OP for going off topic.