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  1. #1

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    Good Homebrews for High Speed Film

    I shoot Pan F+ for the most part but do have a few ready
    to develop rolls of HP5, Tri-X, and Delta 3200. I don't think
    the FX-1 - Beutler type used with the Pan F+ will do for
    those high speed films.

    I'm not after a push developer but rather one for fine grain
    and EIs of 300 +/- for the Tri X and HP5 and 800 +/- for
    the Delta 3200.

    I compound fractional batches and use one-shot.
    I'm considering classic D-76; 2gr metol, 100gr sulfite, 5gr
    hydroquinone, and 2gr borax. Can I do any better? Dan

  2. #2

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    I have tried all sorts of thing over the years and recently tried undiluted D76, your formula, and find it the best. Just put it in small one time use bottles just after mixing so air can`t get to it. You get unpredictable activity level changes if it does. NO HALF FULL BOTTLES even for a week.

    Fractional batches are a waste as it will last 6 months in the dark with no air and you start getting into measurement problenms. And D76 should sit 24 hr before use.

    Tri x is five minutes at 68 with agitation 5/30.

  3. #3
    skahde's Avatar
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    I found DS10 to be especially good for high-speed films.

  4. #4

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    I make fractional batches that I use right after mixing. I have good consistency, but it's a bit of drag to weigh the ascorbic acid every time.

    For 35 mm I use, in order of mixing:

    1L water
    50g sulfite (two tablespoons)
    2 g ascorbic acid
    5 ml phenidone 1% in 91% rubbing alcohol

    It needs maybe 20% more development time than D-76 1:1. The grain is very fine and speed is good. Dissolving the sulfite raises the water temperature by 2 deg F.

    Add a pinch of sulfite to the alcohol, and it will keep for months and months.

  5. #5
    Canuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psvensson
    I make fractional batches that I use right after mixing. I have good consistency, but it's a bit of drag to weigh the ascorbic acid every time.

    For 35 mm I use, in order of mixing:

    1L water
    50g sulfite (two tablespoons)
    2 g ascorbic acid
    5 ml phenidone 1% in 91% rubbing alcohol
    I use some generic vitamin-c tablets from Costco. At 500 mg, I would just pop 4 into solution. No weighing. It includes some inert material but hasn't affected anything yet.

  6. #6

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    Somebody is bound to come by and say the sulfite is not necessary, and that there are better accelerators. Let me reply in advance: I get finer grain with sulfite than with any other method I've tried. There are good sulfite-free developers too, and they may meet your needs. But if you like the look of D-76, I think you will more likely prefer a sulfite-based developer. For low-speed films, this would be less of a consideration.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canuck
    I use some generic vitamin-c tablets from Costco. At 500 mg, I would just pop 4 into solution. No weighing. It includes some inert material but hasn't affected anything yet.
    Cool! I think I'll try that. Do they dissolve fast?

  8. #8
    Canuck's Avatar
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    For me, at 70F, it would take 2-3 minutes to completely dissolve with all the little floaties coming to the top. Works great!

  9. #9

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    Dan, it looks like you have the ingredients for D-23. I haven't used it, but it seems like it would be good for making up on the spot, and you dispense with the borax, which is slow to dissolve. I hear it doesn't keep as well as D-76.

  10. #10

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    The problem with the activity of D-76 changing upon storage and becoming more active is caused by a complex reaction of the hydroquinone. Grant Haist suggested a viariant of D-76 which eliminated the problem by eliminating the hydroquinone from D-76. The modified formula is called D-76H and it works very well and keeps in partially filled containers.

    Metol ......................... 2.0 g
    Sodium sulfite (anhy)..... 100 g
    Borax ......................... 2.0 g
    Water to make ............. 1.0 l

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