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  1. #1
    micwag2's Avatar
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    Developing my own B&W...finally. Full strength or 1:1?

    About a year ago i posted a thread about choosing materials to have a go at developing my own B&W. Here's the thread http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1...eveloping.html if interested in reading it. I'm starting out with Legacy Pro L-76 since it so close to the Kodak D-76. Should i use it full strength or 1:1? I'm assuming that using it 1:1 means: the powder is mixed as per the package in a 1 gallon container (I bought the package of L-76 that is supposed to make 1 gallon) and then is mixed again with water to make the 1:1 ratio of developer to water.

    Next question......reusing developer. How many times can i reuse it? I understand it can be replenished but how often? If i use it full strength, should i dump what is used in my developing tank back in with the remainder of the unused gallon i mixed or should it be stored seperately? (I realize if i dilute it 1:1 it should not be dumped back in with the unused portion.)
    Thanks folks.

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    The simplest thing to do and most consistent is using as ONE SHOT. That is, use it and dump it. As to full strength or 1:1, it actually doesn't make that much difference unless you know exactly what you want and rest of your processes are consistent enough to guarantee uniform result.

    One thing to be careful with when using D76 is the minimum amount of developer required. This is kind of buried in the documentation somewhere. For a roll of film, be it 35mm or 120, it requires 8 oz of D-76. That means for 35mm, full strength and 120, 1:1 is required. That's exactly what I do. You can extend the development time and use half of this but I'm kind of impatient so I choose not to.

    One suggestion. Rather than using a one gallon container, use a bunch of smaller ones. Exposure to air (actually oxygen) reduces its life. So if you have a big jug and open it every time, AND have so much air in the jug as you use it more and more, it will degrade. Kodak says it lasts 6 months if full and 2 months if half full. The way I do it as follows:

    1 gallon goes into one half gallon, one quarter gallon, and four 250cc (8 oz) bottles. Use the 8 oz ones first. When they are all empty, decant 1/4 gallon into them. When they are all empty, decant half gallon into smaller ones. Then quarter gallon gets poured into 8 oz bottles. This way, the bottles are always full and exposure to air is minimized. In my own darkroom, D-76 lasts at least 8 months. (I usually use them all up by then) It costs a little more initially but it's also convenient. One serving per bottle.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
    jp498's Avatar
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    The dilution is as you described.

    A very practical benefit of using it 1:1 is that you can average your developer and water temperatures to reach the final temp. If you developer is 60f and your want 70f, you can use some 80f water to dilute it to 1:1.

    It's best to use it one-shot. You can get away with a second run if you give it an extra minute or so in the developer, but it's a last resort and reduces consistency. And consistency is something very important.

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    micwag2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    One suggestion. Rather than using a one gallon container, use a bunch of smaller ones.
    I was thinking about that too. While i did get some brown plastic jugs from Freestyle I also have some smaller collapsible containers but they are white plastic. I was wondering if i could get away the white plastic ones with those if i store them in total darkness. They are smaller in size.

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    My large tanks came from various photo stores - they are all brown DATA bottle type.
    My smaller bottles came from Amazon - they are white creamy plastic.

    Since I have a dedicated darkroom and the room is always dark, the bottle color doesn't matter.

    There are passionate debate on plastic vs glass on APUG. My experience is, if you choose the RIGHT PLASTIC, it's perfectly fine. Mine has a plastic code 2 on bottom.

    I don't use collapsible type and they really don't have a good reputation.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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    1+1 will give you more sharpness, due to less solvent action from the developer, but at the expense of more visible grain, although this doesn't really matter too much unless you are printing really large. I would go for 1+1 for best sharpness, and stock if you want it slightly unsharp but 'fine grained' i.e no visible grain or barely any.

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    Rick A's Avatar
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    Mix the one gallon as specified in the instructions. Then decant into one quart bottles topped off and lids applied tightly. I keep mine in 250ml bottles for one shot use. I can get two 35mm or one 120 film per 250ml bottle using 1+1. You can get more than one film per mix by adding 10% to time per each successive roll. As an experiment, I ran four seperate rolls of 24 exposure 35mm film with no noticable degradation, from the same developer mix. I don't recommend this for practical reasons though.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  8. #8
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    The simplest thing to do and most consistent is using as ONE SHOT. That is, use it and dump it.

    ...

    One thing to be careful with when using D76 is the minimum amount of developer required. This is kind of buried in the documentation somewhere. For a roll of film, be it 35mm or 120, it requires 8 oz of D-76. That means for 35mm, full strength and 120, 1:1 is required. That's exactly what I do. You can extend the development time and use half of this but I'm kind of impatient so I choose not to...


    tkamiya's advice to use stock for roll film is wise. The recommended 8 ounces stock solution covers 1 roll of 35mm film in a tank. Sticking to the guidelines, for you to use 1:1 you'd have to use a 16 ounce (2-reel) tank with an empty reel. I doubt anyone does that.

    Not using the "specified" amount of stock solution per roll or sheet does have mild penalties that you may have to compensate for or accept.

    The mild penalties you might face: You might not get rated film speed. Required development time may be longer. Not just longer times because you take them from the 1:1 column of the chart, but even longer to compensate for having used less-than-recommended amount of stock solution. jm94 mentions grain.

    In practice I use D-76 1:1 and have adapted my times and speeds to the results I get.

    Reusing carries a serious penalty. One day I developed three batches of film in one tray of D-76 1:1. I measured contrast index drop 15% each successive run.

    I tolerate 5% variation in contrast index, and get concerned at 10% variation.

    15%, and then 15% on top of that is just plain out-of-control, how are you really going to work with that kind of variation? Better to use one-shot and dump after each run.

  9. #9
    micwag2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    tkamiya's advice to use stock for roll film is wise. The recommended 8 ounces stock solution covers 1 roll of 35mm film in a tank. Sticking to the guidelines, for you to use 1:1 you'd have to use a 16 ounce (2-reel) tank with an empty reel. I doubt anyone does that.

    Not using the "specified" amount of stock solution per roll or sheet does have mild penalties that you may have to compensate for or accept.

    The mild penalties you might face: You might not get rated film speed. Required development time may be longer. Not just longer times because you take them from the 1:1 column of the chart, but even longer to compensate for having used less-than-recommended amount of stock solution. jm94 mentions grain.

    In practice I use D-76 1:1 and have adapted my times and speeds to the results I get.

    Reusing carries a serious penalty. One day I developed three batches of film in one tray of D-76 1:1. I measured contrast index drop 15% each successive run.

    I tolerate 5% variation in contrast index, and get concerned at 10% variation.

    15%, and then 15% on top of that is just plain out-of-control, how are you really going to work with that kind of variation? Better to use one-shot and dump after each run.
    I'm glad you pointed this stuff out. I remember reading about it but it had been awhile ago. Also didn't fully get what tkamiya was saying til i read it a few times about the minimum developer required. 1:1 mix just isn't practical for a single 35mm roll, there wouldn't be enough developer to do the job correctly.
    I'm going to look into getting a few smaller bottles for storage. Shouldn't be an issue this time around as i don't think the develpoer will be around too long. I have several rolls of 120 i already exposed that i want to develope and have quite a few more to shoot. I picked up some medium format equipment that i want to test out.



 

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