Polycontrast Rapid developer? Zone VI?
I recently got a fair bit of old Polycontrast Rapid fiber paper in quite good condition. As far as I can tell, it is nearly as good as fresh, but also just as bad as it was new. I'm hoping someone might have actual experience getting good image quality with this, and I have a specific developer question below.
I'm not planning to use it as my primary paper, but would like to get a better image tone out of it. The image color is a bit green and the shadows seem a little murky; pretty much how I remember that paper. In addition to Dektol I tried a good warm tone developer thinking that might make it warm enough to be interesting, but no real improvement there.
I remembered getting quite a different image color when I had some similar paper from Mr. Photo a number of years ago. At that time I used Zone VI paper developer. I found one or two good packages still laying around and tried it last night. It really does seem to improve both the image color (less green) and the shadow contrast. I see a lot of contradictory information about what that developer was (from people who should know). Fred Picker generally used published formulas for his chemicals, and it seems like there is a good chance this was D-73 (not D-72). D-73 was a cold tone developer, so that makes sense.
I can mix something if I need too, so any knowledge here about the Zone VI paper developer formula, or particular experience with a developer that improves the tone of Polycontrast Rapid?
Just FYI, I know about toning and am not asking that question right now, just hoping to get something more palatable straight from the fix.
Last edited by Mark Crabtree; 01-04-2013 at 12:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Any thoughts on D73, what the Zone VI paper developer was, or some other developer that might improve the image color of Polycontrast Rapid?
I agree that D-72 did not produce the greatest results with Polycontrast Rapid. D-73 is a contact paper developer, quite similar to my favorite, Defender 54-D. 54-D did produce notably better results on this paper, but maybe not as good as desired. Note, however, that Polycontrast Rapid changed often and considerably over the life of that product name. The last versions were really pretty good.
Kodak D-73 cold tone developer for contact papers
Water (52C) 500 ml
Metol 2.8 g
Sodium sulfite 40 g
Hydroquinone 10.8 g
Sodium carbonate 75 g
Potassium bromide 800 mg
WTM 1 l
Dilute 1:2 for use. Develop 45 seconds at 21 C.
It's funny you mention that. I got a lot of old developers recently and thought I had some 54-D, but only found 53-D and 55-D.
I don't expect miracles with this paper, just hoping to make if a bit more palatable for work print use. I've printed some more with the Zone VI developer I mixed up, and it really does make a noticeable difference. A may try a dash of benzotriazole with that too. I would just be the Zone VI developer if it were available, but it is gone and it is unclear exactly what it was. I'm leaning toward the D-73 idea since the other most likely suggestion (from someone who should know) was that it was really just D72. The stuff I have used is clearly not that.
I think your comment that Polycontrast Rapid changed often explains part some of my issue. This really seems significantly different (by nature, not aging) than the stuff I bought from Mr. Photo. I suspect this current batch is a bit older. I may try to figure that out from the boxes.
Originally Posted by nworth