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  1. #1

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    Kodak DK-50. (Homemade.)

    I have recently ordered some chemicals along with a set of electronic scales from Rayco Photographic Ltd, so that I can make Kodak D-72 print developer from scratch, I also ordered 100 grams of Sodium Metaborate, as I wish to make Kodak DK-50 for reasons of personal curiosity.
    I would like to try this developer diluted 1+1 with Ilford FP4 Plus and HP5 Plus films, but I cant find any times for these on the Digital Truth Website.
    I was wondering if anyone has tried these films with DK-50 and would suggest a starting point time for them?

  2. #2

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    You may find DK-50 excessively contrasty and grainy for 35mm. Since you want to make your own developers, I would highly recommend pyrocat.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Tapscott.
    I have recently ordered some chemicals along with a set of electronic scales from Rayco Photographic Ltd, so that I can make Kodak D-72 print developer from scratch, I also ordered 100 grams of Sodium Metaborate, as I wish to make Kodak DK-50 for reasons of personal curiosity.
    I would like to try this developer diluted 1+1 with Ilford FP4 Plus and HP5 Plus films, but I cant find any times for these on the Digital Truth Website.
    I was wondering if anyone has tried these films with DK-50 and would suggest a starting point time for them?
    Yes, take a look at this APUG thread on DK-50 for some general starting points. Pulverel gives 12 minutes at 20C for Tri-X and that should work as a starting point for HP5.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/article.php?a=78

    Since you are mixing your own, I would also recommend Pyrocat-HD for these two films.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mills
    You may find DK-50 excessively contrasty and grainy for 35mm. Since you want to make your own developers, I would highly recommend pyrocat.
    If the negatives yield prints that are too contrasty, then the developing time is too long.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
    Yes, take a look at this APUG thread on DK-50 for some general starting points. Pulverel gives 12 minutes at 20C for Tri-X and that should work as a starting point for HP5.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/article.php?a=78
    Thanks Tom,
    I downloaded some info from the Kodak website, the technical data for their Tri-X films are: Tri-X 400 film (400TX) is 6 minutes in DK-50 diluted 1+1 at 20C/68F for small tank and Tri-X 320 Professional (320TXP) is 8 minutes for the roll film in a rotary discard processor. I couldn`t find times for other Kodak films for use with DK-50.
    Maybe I should start with around 7 or 8 minutes for the Ilford films and tweak them from there.
    The chemicals should (hopefully) arrive next week.

  6. #6
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    7 or 8 minutes is a good starting point with DK-50. As you're mixing yourself, you can also try DK-60a which is very similar, and it's recommended times are 7 minutes for most films (according to the PLI). DK-50 or DK-60a is a good developer, often overlooked because it tends to have larger (but sharper) grain than D-76.

    -Mike

  7. #7
    MikeS's Avatar
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    I should add that I think I have a lifetime supply of DK-50, between my homemade brew, and prepackaged Kodak packages I have something like 200 gallons worth of it! (so I better like it!)

    -Mike

  8. #8

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    In High School we had a lifetime supply of DK-50, in cans, donated from our local industry. It was beautiful used at 1:1 with HP5, especially if the HP5 was shot on an overcast day. Grainy for 35mm, but a nice, tight, grain with excellent acutance. I found a negative recently where you can still see the weave of denim and the impressed lettering on a full-length portrait.

    Unfortunately, I don't remember developing times, except that they were pretty short. (forgive me, but I just had my 20th HS reunion, so my DK50 experience is even older)

  9. #9
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    D-61c

    I fooled around for a while with a developer I called D-61c. Basically it was D-61a with Ascorbic acid (vitamin c powder from the health food store) in place of hydroquinone. I increased the sodium carbonate (Arm and Hammer washing soda) slightly to counteract the acidity.

    It worked fine. Contrast was fine with the right dilution (1:4 - 1:10) and time. Grain was bigger and sharper than D-76. Worked fine with Efke 25. Foma 400 was...grainy. Tri-X and Foma 200 were better.

    In the end it was a fun experiment, but not for everyday 35mm use.

    Mike D

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS
    7 or 8 minutes is a good starting point with DK-50. As you're mixing yourself, you can also try DK-60a which is very similar, and it's recommended times are 7 minutes for most films (according to the PLI). DK-50 or DK-60a is a good developer, often overlooked because it tends to have larger (but sharper) grain than D-76.

    -Mike
    Thanks Mike,
    The idea of making my own chemicals is something I have been considering for a while now. The main reason was because I have had some of the liquid print developers go off fairly quickly after the containers had been opened, my own fault really, because I should have decanted the remainder into glass bottles. I therefore decided to make my own MQ print developers and contacted Rayco Photographic Ltd who are now selling raw chemicals again after being bought by a new proprietor.
    When ordering a set of electronic scales, Calgon, Metol, Sulphite, Hydroquinone, Carbonate and Pot Brom, I decided to get some Borax and Metaborate for the sake of an extra £4.00, so that I could experiment with maybe DK-50 or Adox MQ Borax.
    My regular film developer is D-76 which I buy in 1 US Gallon size packs for £3.93, so therefore not really worth the bother of making from scratch.
    I can then make print developers fresh, as and when I need them.

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