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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by henry finley View Post
    It would seem to me that the Zone System of development would require a developer that works in a totally linear fashion, which I believe, is why Adams settled on D-23. It is not an Elon-Hydroquinone combo that works in an un-linear fashion. (I use the word linear for lack better word in my personal vocabulary). But I believe my object is understandable. D-76 was the most popular Kodak product, but not necessarily the best at all. Lacking a pound jar of Elon/Metol, and a big canister of sulfite, I'd say the closets thing pre-packaged would be straight Microdol or the Ilford equivalent. I could be wrong, but best of my knowledge, Microdol was an Elon-only product. D-76 did one thing very well--gave a rigorous development with plenty of grain.
    Henry, a few things:

    1) Adams ultimately settled on HC-110

    2) Generalizing about curve shapes based on the developing agents is an incorrect approach. Little can be said about the characteristics of a developer without looking at the concentration of developing agent(s), the concentration of preservative (Sulfite) and the concentration/type of alkali (pH, buffering). As an example, G. Haist (Kodak) created a modified version of D-76 with identical working characteristics (but less capacity) by slightly increasing the amount of Metol (Elon) and omitting the Hydroquinone entirely. D-76 is a fine grain developer very similar to D-23 in practice.

    3) Microdol is said to be D-23 with a little less Metol (5g/l rather than 7.5g/l) and somewhere around 30g/l Sodium Chloride. Microdol-X contained at least one extra ingredient - an anti-silvering agent.

  2. #12

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    It's a concentrated syrup. The exact formula is proprietary but based on the published patents and MSDS the developing agents are Phenidone (or one of the Phenidone derivatives) and Hydroquinone. It is a traditional favourite of Zone System users, mostly because Adams was using it in the 70s/80s, and because it is easily diluted to different working strengths. It also last a long time. The working characteristics are very similar to D-76.

  3. #13
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    I have found that N+1 time is usually 25-45% longer than N time. Most films gives N+1 around +30% time.

    N+2 is hard to reach with my methods. Perhaps it could be something like 150% =)


    I use slosher for sheet film with D-76 1+1 at 20°C. For roll film I use normal tank and inversions.
    If I would really need N+2, I would do test set with some stronger developer for N+ times.

  4. #14

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    The other thing that he asserts is that we should always be able to print on grade 2 if we use the Zone System. I have heard this other places but I have heard if refuted. Even Adams said that some people consider grade as their "normal" grade. Since I switched to the Zone system, I have noticed that I generally used grades from 2-3.5. I have color enlarger in my darkroom so I can go down 1/8 grades. I am happy with the prints I have been producing with this. Also, if your negative is perfect, why would you need to dodge and burn which I use extensively. I like my prints so none of this really matters but I am rather curious on thoughts about all of this. I must keep in mind that my instructor says we should never crop and that the square is more difficult to compose.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

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  5. #15

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    In particular, the notion the Zone System leads to perfect negatives that require no burning, dodging etc. is preposterous. The "perfect" negative is one that contains all the information you need to make the print you envisioned or "visualized" when making the photograph. Straight prints are very uncommon, even with great negatives. Adams put a lot of effort into his prints, and used whatever grade of paper he needed. Many of his more famous images were printed on grades other than 2.

    The Zone System is not an easy way out. It is simply a tool to help you get more predictable results.

    Never crop? Why not? The "never crop" thing is just an attitude or personal mantra. It means nothing.

    The instructor seems like a stubborn, opinionated person with not much actual technique to teach. Unfortunately in an academic setting you've got to do what the guy says for now so you get a good grade.

  6. #16
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    In particular, the notion the Zone System leads to perfect negatives that require no burning, dodging etc. is preposterous. The "perfect" negative is one that contains all the information you need to make the print you envisioned or "visualized" when making the photograph.
    this is exactly rightandshould be taught as the first commandment of the zone system. this would avoid much confusion from the start
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    this is exactly rightandshould be taught as the first commandment of the zone system. this would avoid much confusion from the start
    +1

  8. #18
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    A good place to get a feel for the rate of development of any film/developer combination is from the manufacturer's time/gamma curves.

  9. #19
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    I GOT FAR MORE RELIABLE RESULTS FROMcustmized film tests.probablybecause exposure and development is conductedwith my equipmentand workflow.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Christian View Post
    Extending (or shortening) development times by as much as 150%, 200%, etc., is essentially pushing (or pulling) the film. With Zone System N+ or N- development, the goal is not to push or pull, but to gently tweak the contrast level to fit it into the range the film or paper can hold.
    Yup, in addition to testing to find the actual development needed for your film/developer combo, the film needs to be exposed in the first place with the intention of expansion. Just over cooking film for some arbitrarily stated time doesn't necessarily get you N+ anything but a bullet proof negative.

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