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  1. #1

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    Dignan NCF-41 Divided Color Negative Developer

    In the NOV/DEC 1995 issure of Darkroom and Creative Camera Techniques
    Patrick Dignan wrote an article on a divided color negative developer. Everything in this article comes from that source.

    Patrick Dignan, sadly now deceased, was a pioneer in the formulation of color chemistry for the home darkroom worker in the United States. As such he had earned the respect of an extensive following of home darkroom workers in compounding their own color chemistry. This article is the result of work that he did...thank him not me.

    Of course as a divided developer there is al lteast two baths: Developing agent etc in bath A and the alkali etc in bath B. The reason for having two baths is that when the baths are combined oxidation starts with the predictable effect one must expect on shelf life. This type of developing practice of two...or more..baths has been long practiced in b&w for the same reasons. In the case present it is to provide a divided alternative to C-41 (Flexicolor) developer.

    A BATH:
    Water (distilled) 300milliliters
    Sodium Bisulphite .5 (1/2) gram I added (1/2) to prevent reading as 5 grams.
    CD-4 (Kodak developing agent) 5.5 grams
    Sodium Sulphite (anhy.) 4.5 grams
    Water (distilled) to make 500 milliliters
    ph at up to 75ºF: up to 6.5
    Time in A bath (including drain time): 3 min.


    B BATH
    Water (distilled): 500 milliliters
    Potassium Carbonate 53 grams
    Potassium Bromide .5 (1/2) gram
    Water (distilled) to make 1 liter.
    optional: Benzoitriazole (Kodak anti fog #2) 2 milligrams
    Ph at 75ºF: 11.8

    Time in B bath 6 minutes

    As you can see not a difficult formula to put together. There is no need to be able to measure any closer than 1/10th gram

    Shelf life has exceeded 1 year. Use an acetic acid stop bath. I, in lieu of anything else, I would recommend 20% vinegar to water
    Coventional bleach and fix or blix as otherwise used. 75ºF can be used with extended time.

    Since there is some carry over every time film is developed you will eventually find your self with insufficient stock to cover your film. That is when you will need to make more. The amount of time elasped from compounding should not matter. NEVER GET ANY B BATH INTO A BATH OR YOU WILL CAUSE THE A BATH TO START OXIDIZING.

    THIS DEVELOPER IS DESIGNED TO WORK WITHOUT A PREWET BATH
    Since the time in A bath is used only to absorb developing agent and because the agent will be fully utilized in B bath you can not over develop your color film.

    This is designed for tank processing. I do not see a method for use with a JOBO unless you reclaim your ingredients.

    Try this as it is aseasy and as economical as you will ever find.

  2. #2
    Sean's Avatar
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    Comments from the previous system:

    By titrisol - 05:10 PM, 07-13-2005 Rating: None
    Is this for C41 films???

    Shouldn;t this be in the recipes section?
    By Tom Hoskinson - 08:40 PM, 07-17-2005 Rating: None
    Yes, this is for developing C41 films.

    Yes, this should be posted in the Apug Chemical Recipes.

    I have used an earlier incarnation of Dignan's Divided Color Negative Developer and it worked fine. As I recall, it was the same recipe as the one Claire posted and I used it at 75 deg. F. I got the recipe and the CD-4 directly from Pat Dignan.

  3. #3

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    FWIW, I've used this formula with variable results. It sometimes works quite well, yielding good density and color. Sometimes, though, it produces poor results -- most often taking the form of thin (low-density) negatives. I haven't figured out exactly what the problem is, although I think it's at least partly a matter of the brand and type of film. (The two worst rolls I ever pulled from the tank when using this developer were both Ilford XP2 Super. Fuji and Ferrania films usually seem to do well.) This is a pity, really, since the (claimed) long shelf life and 75F operation are both great features. Elsewhere on APUG, Photo Engineer has posted reasons why divided developers may not work optimally when emulsions change, so perhaps it's not surprising that a developer designed for the films of over a decade ago isn't working well with today's films.

  4. #4
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    This formula was never really suitable for C41 films. It was probably tested with one film over 10 years ago and gave usable results, but it cannot hope to compare with the 'real' developer from Fuji or Kodak.

    It lacks one ingredient I can see, right off the bat, and has an ingredient that can harm proper imaging.

    I doubt if anyone should use this for valuable pictures.

    PE

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    Kodak Flexicolor developer is $26.95 for a 5 gallon kit: I mix 2.5 gallons at a time, use what I need, and freeze the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Discpad View Post
    Kodak Flexicolor developer is $26.95 for a 5 gallon kit: I mix 2.5 gallons at a time, use what I need, and freeze the rest.
    Interesting - I too mix up partial batches of flexicolor - I wasn't aware you could freeze it - do you mean you freeze the remaining working solution, or the stock solutions remaining in the bottles? How long will it last like this and how many freeze/thaw cycles can it go through? Are there any caveats to doing this?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  7. #7

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    I keep about a gallon to a gallon & half of working tank soultion at room temperature; and defrost 1 liter soda bottles of replenisher of C-41 developer.

    I also do the same for E6 color developer and; depending on my forecast volume for the month, E6 first dev.

    Quote Originally Posted by dslater View Post
    Interesting - I too mix up partial batches of flexicolor - I wasn't aware you could freeze it - do you mean you freeze the remaining working solution, or the stock solutions remaining in the bottles? How long will it last like this and how many freeze/thaw cycles can it go through? Are there any caveats to doing this?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  8. #8
    Murray Kelly's Avatar
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    Resurecting a 'very' old thread I am intrigued by PE's comment that something important is missing from Dignan's formula. Is it Hydroxylamine Sulphate?

    What function does this have in C-41 developer and if one should be so bold as to add it to the Dignan formula, would it go into the 1st or 2nd bath or maybe both?

    I am not in the professional business and therefore can accept 'acceptible' results and the idea of a home brew appeals greatly. Amazing what color correction in PS can do to slightly 'off' CN negatives! :-) From the local lab, that is. Haven't done any myself, yet.

    Could Ron explain further?

    Murray
    Brisbane, Oz

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    This formula was never really suitable for C41 films. It was probably tested with one film over 10 years ago and gave usable results, but it cannot hope to compare with the 'real' developer from Fuji or Kodak.

    It lacks one ingredient I can see, right off the bat, and has an ingredient that can harm proper imaging.

    I doubt if anyone should use this for valuable pictures.

    PE

  9. #9
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    There are actually two ingredients missing. I missed one. In any event, the method and temperatures are not usable for all films due to thickness variations among the various films and the diffusion problems that creates.

    Hydroxyl Amine Sulfate is a powerful developer preservative. Leaving it out will have some effect, but I can't tell as I have not tested this developer.

    I have tested other 2 part developers and processing at low temperatures and I argued this point with Pat Dignan many years ago. He and I exchanged quite a few notes many years ago.

    PE

  10. #10
    Murray Kelly's Avatar
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    OK. Accepted. What is the other ingredient omitted? Apart from the Hydroxylamine Sulphate? The film thickness can be a problem w B&W 2 baths. Agreed.

    Some seem quite happy with the 2 bath. I am using a bunch of Fuji 200 here.

    The question still applies - would I be better advised to add it to bath 1 or not? (or bath 2?) From your comment it sounds a bit of a non-issue in a 2 bath. (going by other's experience) I want to get out of the 1-hour lab loop as it it takes 1 1/2 hours to get there with 110 film. The only game in town!

    Any pointers to your online exchanges?

    I really DO appreciate your input. :-)

    Murray

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    There are actually two ingredients missing. I missed one. In any event, the method and temperatures are not usable for all films due to thickness variations among the various films and the diffusion problems that creates.

    Hydroxyl Amine Sulfate is a powerful developer preservative. Leaving it out will have some effect, but I can't tell as I have not tested this developer.

    I have tested other 2 part developers and processing at low temperatures and I argued this point with Pat Dignan many years ago. He and I exchanged quite a few notes many years ago.

    PE

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