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# Thread: HP5 in D-76 = Thin Negs?? What am I doing wrong?

1. ## Not enough developer

Kodak's tech publication on D-76 says it can process 2 sheets of 8x10 in 1 liter of D-76 at 1:1.

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...4.14&lc=en#004

You have 1-1/2 sheets if you have 6 4x5's.

You'd need 750 ml for 6 4x5's minimum (at 1:1), and at that amount, it would be fully expended when the processing was done. That's cutting it too close for me.

2. Originally Posted by voceumana
Kodak's tech publication on D-76 says it can process 2 sheets of 8x10 in 1 liter of D-76 at 1:1.

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...4.14&lc=en#004

You have 1-1/2 sheets if you have 6 4x5's.

You'd need 750 ml for 6 4x5's minimum (at 1:1), and at that amount, it would be fully expended when the processing was done. That's cutting it too close for me.
Given that (2) sheets of 8x10 is, as you pointed out, equivalent to (8) sheets of 4x5, Kodak's recommendation of 1 L - D76 1:1 per (2) sheets of 8x10, should in theory be enough to develop 8 sheets of 4x5. This solution contains only 500ml of D76 stock. It would follow that 500ml / 8 sheets = 250 ml / 4 sheets.

I used a total of 270 ml of D76 1:1 developer solution, containing no more then 140ml D76 stock. It appears the mystery is solved.

I've read quite a bit on the forums about D76 1:1 and even 1:3 for greater accutance. The maximum amount of solution which can be used in-Jobo is, to my knowledge, 1 liter. At 1:1, that's 500ml of D76 stock, more then enough for 6 sheets of film. But at 1:3, we'd be looking at 250ml of solution - the bare minimum quantity for a mere 4 sheets of film!

Is it fair to conclude that D76, at 1:3 - 6 sheets, cannot be processed in the Jobo? Or is there a workaround?

3. Originally Posted by outofoptions
I don't own a jobo, but the first work around that comes to mind is changing solution mid process.
But how consistent would that be?

4. Originally Posted by iserious
I've read quite a bit on the forums about D76 1:1 and even 1:3 for greater accutance. The maximum amount of solution which can be used in-Jobo is, to my knowledge, 1 liter. At 1:1, that's 500ml of D76 stock, more then enough for 6 sheets of film. But at 1:3, we'd be looking at 250ml of solution - the bare minimum quantity for a mere 4 sheets of film!

Is it fair to conclude that D76, at 1:3 - 6 sheets, cannot be processed in the Jobo? Or is there a workaround?
In short, I think the answer is "yes" you canot do this. But I don't use a Jobo processor, just their tanks. I agitate by hand inversion.

If the process provides continuous agitation, then you probably won't get any increased acutance. Increase accutance comes from edge effects, that are inhibited by agitation. Somebody who uses this processor might provide be able to provide more details.

The first time I used by Jobo tank, I loaded the lower reel with 6 4x5's and the upper reel with 6 4x5's. I used only as much solution as the tank said I needed for 12 sheets. It was only after I processed, that I realized that much solution didn't cover both reels.

Interestlingly, there was not a trace of uneven development. Apparently covering the film during the inversion allowed the emulsion to absorb enough liquid to develop evenly.

Now, I just load the lower reel, and the upper reel serves to keep the lower reel in place. I use enough liquid to cover the lower reel (because I haven't taken the time to make a spacer).

I use more than enough developer concentrate to fully develop the number of sheets, and dilute it with enough water to cover the lower reel. I extend my developing time to allow for the increased dilution. I don't use more liquid or load the upper reel because it gives enough space for the developer to fully mix during agitation. This evenly distributes the development byproducts, avoiding streaking, blotching, and other development problems.

You seem to be very interested in these processes. I recommend (HIGHLY) the book Film Developing Cookbook by Steve Anchell and Bill Troop. It is more than worth it's price for anyone who wants to understand film developing.

Charlie

5. Originally Posted by voceumana
You seem to be very interested in these processes. I recommend (HIGHLY) the book Film Developing Cookbook by Steve Anchell and Bill Troop. It is more than worth it's price for anyone who wants to understand film developing.

Charlie
Hi Charlie,

First off, thanks for the elaborate response. I'm aware of the Darkroom Cookbook and will certainly consider buying a copy, finances permitting.

As for the "meat & potatoes" :

I find, and sadly so, that most photography books (and I have collected about a dozen so far) I've encoutered are much too focused on excentric and specific processes, pointless theories and elaborate essays - so elaborate, that their practical value is lost amidst their lenghty overtures. All this when a surprising number of traditional photographers - supposedly the target consumers for such books, are missing the fundamentals!

In the 5 or so years in which i've pursued what could be called "conventional photography methods", I've found most books confuse me far more then they are helpful! Sure theory is great, and it's important to understand the fundamentals, but what is more important, imho, is to actually experience those fundamentals at work, and that could easily be assembled in less then 100 pages.

I don't claim to be the brightest crayon in the box, but I'm certainly no moron. After wasted years of pouring over Ansel's pointless and long-winded theories, written in a language that is obviously meant for the English Lit major, and spending hundreds if not thousands of hours trying to put these to use, densitometic work until i'm blue in the face - I haven't got a single photograph to show for it!

All this, until 3 conversations in the last year, ultimately changed my life.

The first was a conversation with a fellow from Melbourne named Steve, on IRC-Undernet's #Apug. I remember joining the chatroom that day, having completed yet another frustrating session, wasted time, film and chemistry on a round of pointless densitometry; doctrine from the Church of Ansel Adams. Steve chuckled warmly at me and said, "You're shooting portraiture - why don't you forget about all this and get yourself an ambient meter, then do whatever works!". That day a seed was planted in my mind - why not scrap all this nonesense, take the camera out and shoot some real frames!

In the weeks that followed I read a number of articles on various b/w photography related subjects, one such article authored by the famed Michale Smith on the Azo/Amidol combination. I'd seen some Azo work and thought it might be worth trying out. I called Michael that day thinking I'd order a box or two of Azo. What ensued was a very interesting conversation with a remarkable individual - and there I got the 2nd best piece of Photo advise I've heard to date.

I told Michael of my hardships and what he said was both shocking and comforting. "The best way to use a densitometer is to GET RID OF IT!". Michael explained that portraiture was a field in itself, and required qualitative testing for the film and developer combination that would yield the desired results. He was warm, caring and patient - but above all, he was clear, concise, and very practical.

From that day forward, my photography took on a whole new meaning to me as I was back in control. A control that I'd until-that-point lost to the humility that is expected of one, before the "doctorine of the greats". Having understood the fundamentals, today my testing is geared towards finding what works for me, and for my tastes. And I can say that I've had more success with this mind frame in 5 weeks, then in 5 years of aiming to mimic "the greats".

I've no doubt that in the right hands, The Darkroom Cookbook is indeed an invaluable resource. For the time being however, I'm going to focus on testing and understand a handful of commercially available developers. I think that'd keep me busy for quite some time.

On a tangent -

2 books I did find invaluably simple and practical - for the beginer, are:

1. The Zone VI Workshop by Fred Picker
2. A book - I forget the titled, by Henri (or Harry?) Horenstein. Truly remarkable, in simple language, hands-on all the way

Finally - as for my testing with D-76: I originally thought to test HP5 with D-76 stock, 1:1 and 1:3. I appreciate your comments about accutance being closely tied with agitation method - and that Jobo processing would seem to defeat the purpose. You've saved me some time/money! I remember reading a post about the same issue with Rodinal. I firmly believe that one can tailor their process, be it in-Jobo or hand processing, to achieve almost any result with most common developers. I'm happy to say that I think this post will conclude my testing for HP5 in D76 - finding that for my work in portraiture:

HP5 rated EI 250, processed in D76 Stock (65ml/sheet of 4x5) at 20-deg C, in-Jobo, agitation setting P (bi-dir) for 13 minutes gives me exactly what I was after. Excellent key low-values, and highlights are well within printing range - This on Oriental Seagull VC-FB Gloss.

I want to thank all the folks that contributed to this thread, from whom I've learned quite a number of new things and pitfalls to avoid in the future. We've got a strong community to which I'm proud to subscribe.

- I can feel the flames for the AA comments i made earlier

Cheers
Daniel Balfour

6. Hi, Daniel.

I started off getting very serious about understanding more about the technical side of photograph through the Ansel Adams books, but his approach, as he presents it, does require you to read it all and understand it all before you can understand any of it. Not everyone will respond well to his explanation methods. I've presented some classes for my company's products at various times, and any good teacher will tell you that different people respond to different teaching approaches.

There's nothing negative about Ansel Adams if you didn't respond to his approach--it's just that you need a different approach and you're finding it.

Fortunately, Fred Picker did an excellent synopsis in the Zone VI Workbook, and I heartily recommend it for anyone starting to understand this stuff. It's all 100% Ansel Adams compliant, but boiled down to the essentials.

I also picked up one of Henry Hornstein's books, and his books are also excellent book.

I was going to go into a spiel about the qualities of the Film Developing Cookbook, but the books speaks for itself better. Go to www.amazon.com, search on it, and click on "search inside this book". You'll get the first 5 or 6 pages, and even get the chart of developers that tells you what developers are typical of the various classes. If you don't find what you see there useful and interesting, don't buy the book now. Sooner or later, though, I think you'll want it.

By the way, this book would have told you that you didn't have enough developer (where this thread started), so it would have saved you a developing session and a sleepless night!

Definitely take a look at the book on Amazon.

Best regards,
Charlie

7. My students use 800 ml of D-76 undiluted for 10 sheets of 4x5 HP5+, and other films, in an Expert drum with consistently good results.
The last change in speed recommendations from Jobo was to use "4" for all drums. Does this faster speed make a difference? I haven't tested so do not know. I do know that 800ml straight D-76, 10 sheets of film, rotation speed "4" works beautifully.

8. According to Kodak, 800 mL should be OK for 10 sheets of 4x5 film with undiluted D-76. Here's the math:

2 sheets of 8x10 at 1:1 equates to 4 sheets undiluted.

4 sheets of 8x10 = 16 sheets of 4x5

1000 ml per 16 sheets, or 1000/16, or 62.5 ml/1 sheet, x 10 sheets = 625 ml for 10 sheets of 4x5.

9. I got into 4 X 5 a couple months ago and started with a box of HP5. My very first shots were developed in a 5 X 7 tray and D76 straight and were great. Boy was I on a roll - then tried D76 1:1 in a tank. Disaster, but I was shooting at 1/4 to 1/2 life size, etc. and blamed the bad results on that. A friend at work; that was a lab tech in his former job, said D76 1:1 with HP5 is not a good combo. I now use D76 straight and go 10% over Ilford's times and am getting much better range. I'm development in a 5 X 7 tray and also a 12 sheet Doran tank. Also, agree with earlier posts that the ISO is closer to 200 versus 400. Have also tested some very out of date (7 yrs. but frozen) TMax 100 with better results than HP5. Ilford's 100 Delta also looks closer to it's rated ASA and does great in D76 straight. Will be testing Kodak Tri-X 320 Professional next. Let me know if this helps as I'm still learning and get a lot of help from reading these posts.

10. Originally Posted by Larry L
I got into 4 X 5 a couple months ago and started with a box of HP5. My very first shots were developed in a 5 X 7 tray and D76 straight and were great. Boy was I on a roll - then tried D76 1:1 in a tank. Disaster, but I was shooting at 1/4 to 1/2 life size, etc. and blamed the bad results on that. A friend at work; that was a lab tech in his former job, said D76 1:1 with HP5 is not a good combo. I now use D76 straight and go 10% over Ilford's times and am getting much better range. I'm development in a 5 X 7 tray and also a 12 sheet Doran tank. Also, agree with earlier posts that the ISO is closer to 200 versus 400. Have also tested some very out of date (7 yrs. but frozen) TMax 100 with better results than HP5. Ilford's 100 Delta also looks closer to it's rated ASA and does great in D76 straight. Will be testing Kodak Tri-X 320 Professional next. Let me know if this helps as I'm still learning and get a lot of help from reading these posts.
Larry,

In a conversation I once had with Michael Smith, I distinctly recall him saying that film speed was nothing but a "number". Since then, and following extensive testing of 2-3 different films, I couldn't agree more!

The basis for your own personal film speed is very simple. Expose your film what what YOU determine to be your "shadows" (I don't even like that word as I find it confusing - it should be "dark areas of importance") and develop for highlights - meaning, those very-bright-but-still-textured areas of your scene that should still contain detail.

The manufacturer's ISO speed rating is a good "starting point" - but not much more then that. If you expose HP5 at ISO 400 and after processing that film in your developer of choice, feel that your "shadows" contain adequate detail, then ISO 400 it is. If however, like many, you test repeatedly and find that ISO 200-250 yields shadows that are more along the lines of what you're looking for, then THAT is the speed of your film.

In black & white portraiture, I found the eyes to be the focal point of my exposure setting. Too dark, and they lack luster and life. Too light, and they lack punch. I've found that with using my equipment for capture and processing, depending on conditions, HP5 is best rated at ISO 200 for portraiture - again, exposing for the eyes. Your mileage may varry, and more so, you may find other areas to contain your most critical "shadows".

I should also point out that all of this is very relative to the paper being used. My results have been obtained by contact-printing HP5 negatives, at various ISO ratings, on Oriental Seagual FB/VC Glossy. I've found that exposing my film and developing it in this way, yeilds the best straight-print. I'd suggest you try out a few of this combinations and see what works best for you. Most of this isn't really a science.

Happy testing.

Daniel

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