What about Paper Developers?
Do people have favourites?
I mean, there is so much about Film Developers: The Church of Rodinal, the Taliban of Pyro, PC-TEA fanatics, XTOL advocates and the Holly Martyrs of D-76. But I know nothing really about paper developers.
I have been using Ilford's Multigrade liquid since the beginning of [my darkroom] time because it's readily available around here (and that says a lot). The only others I can find are PQ Universal and Agfa Neutol.
I am aware of the three tone categorisation of developers (neutral,cold,warm) but so far I have only used neutral papers like Ilford Multigrade RC and FB. The only warm developer I know of is Agfa Neutol WA which will be probably a bitch to find so I am not sure if its worth the trouble. I have yet to try papers other than Ilford (and hope I will eventually have the opportunity to do so) so maybe I can't be very specific.
Every company that makes chemicals bring out atleast a couple of developers so I am curious of their characteristics.
(I also tried Lith, but that's another story alltogether)
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
I use Photographer's Formulary 130 (aka Ansco 130). While the differences between paper developers are much less pronounced than the differences in film and film developers, 130 is a standout.
Perhaps the best thing about 130 is it's shelf life. Unlike most paper developers, the working solution is rated for 2-3 months. That being said, I've kept working solution around for 6+ months. It was very dark and funky looking, but it still worked just fine. In fact, it almost seemed to get better , but I may be dreaming. I finally dumped it because......... well, I'm not sure why I dumped it. It just seemed like I should.
Great stuff, and I like to support the Formulary.
"If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition
I have been using Dektol 1:1.5 1:2 for years with all types of paper
Also mix a solarization developer, as well lith developers.
Tried the agfa line of developers , but quite happy with Dektol
M. A. Smith's amidol in two versions--one for Azo and one for enlarging papers. Usually I'll try to do Azo prints at the beginning of the session, then add the requisite amount of KBr and benzotriazole, and finish with enlargements, usually on Maco/Cachet Expo RF graded, which also responds nicely to amidol.
Amidol is expensive, though, and not every paper benefits from it, so I usually have a batch of Dektol around or Agfa Neutol WA.
LPD, ansco 130, Zonal Prowarmtone.
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I used Dektol for years, then I started using Ilford PQ and Agfa Multicontrast.
Lately by ann's suggestion I moved to LPD and I'm loving it...
Mama took my APX away.....
For fiber prints on Bergger VC CB, I've been mixing Defender D55. It's easy to mix and gives nice color. I didn't do a bunch of research. For contact prints, I've been using Agfa Neutol Plus. I love this because it lasts forever in the tray and undiluted in the bottle. When I'm done, I just toss it in the garden so it is good that it doesn't have HQ. I'm going to see if it looks good with the VC CB and if it does, use it or the similar E-72.
Its all down to personal choice, it all depends on the look your after and how long you want the developer to stay in working condition. David Vestal has written a superb book on printing that may interest you, good luck and seasons greetings, Bogey
For Blue/Black tones on enlarging papers, Ilford Universal Concentrated Developer with Benzotriazole instead of Potassium Bromide. For warm tones, Ilford ID-78. See the APUG Chemical Recipes section for the formulas, dilutions, etc for both of these developers.
For Azo contact prints: Michael Smith's Amidol formulation or Francesco's split development procedure with Moersch Catechol and Agfa Neutol WA. Ilford ID-78 would probably be a good alternative to the Afgfa Neutol WA.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
I've been using the PF Amidol kit for enlarging papers. Do you see a benefit to switching to Michael's formula?