Leitz 2-bath developer
Some years ago I was 'accosted' in a local camera shop while buying ID11 by an'old'boy' who said 'you don't want to use that rubbish - I used to develop all mine in 'Leitz 2-bath'. Having no idea what it was I never investigated further until I recently aquired a box of raw chemicals, and an old Ilford manual with a recipe for the stuff. So, a few questions for anyone out there who has used this wonder juice:
1) What films does it work best with?
2) Dev. times, dilutions etc. for Pan F and HP5
3) How does it compare to modern, off-the-shelf soups, and,
4) is it worth to bother of mixing it up?
Bath A: Metol 5 gr , sodium sulphite 100 g, water to make one liter
Bath B: sodium carbonate 15 g, sodium sulphite 6 g, water to make one liter.
Never used this two bath dev.myself.
Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.
This is the same as Stoekler's two-bath.
In theory, a two-bath dev works well with most films. While in the A bath, the emulsion soaks up the developing agent with little or no developing going on. In this case, there is 5 grams of metol and 100 grams of sodium sulfite in bath A (very close, if not dead on, to D-23.); enough to do some developing. The B bath contains the alkaline to make the dev agent work faster..
The advantages to a two-bath are some compensation in the highlights as the developing agent gets used up quickly, and you are able to process two different kinds of film together.
In practice, this can be different. I've gone thru all of the two-bath formulas in Anchell's "The Darkroom Cookbook" and the only one I've stayed with is D2D. All of the others, including this one, did not develope the film enough. One reason could be that modern emulsions are not thick enough to soak up enough of bath A. I was advised to increase the metol by up to 50% and to lengthen the times.
Original times were 2-5 min. in A, (not very helpful) and 3 min. in B.
If you want to try some test rolls, I'd go to 7.5 grams of metol. I might also go to 4 min in A and up to 8 min in B. Those are the times that work for me with D2D.
State of the Art !
( 1952 )
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
Actually, the formula goes back earlier than 1939. According to Aaron Sussman, author of "The Amateur Photographers Handbook, Stockler revised his formula in 1939. He substituted a 1 gram of borax for the sod. carb and sulfite. This revision apparently cost the photographer some film speed, but gave a finer grain. The "Handbook" does not say when the original formula was invented.
Times are given for films like: Pergrano and Perpantic. Now there's state of the art!
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You wouldn't happen to have some times for Peromnia as well? I have a dozen Perutz Peromnia 13x18cm plates in the freezer...
Originally Posted by jim appleyard
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I came across a web page some time ago, with an articly by Barry Thornton on two bath developers. He also shows the Stoekler formula (although it's a bit different), and notes that, as Jim said, modern thin emulsion film might not soak enough of the stuff up to develop completely. Barry Thornton modified the formula, which might work better with modern film (I haven't tested any of these two bath formula's -- still looking for a good source for raw chemicals here in Belgium). Anyway, here's the web page I'm talking about. You might also want to check out the late Barry Thornton's web site. Maybe this can help you somewhat.
Sorry Ole, that one is not listed in the book
Originally Posted by Ole
Used it for years with plus X .3 min A 3 min B . EI 64 best.
Went back to it for a retry 5/10 years ago and got rather flat neg. I think the emulsions are thinner and don`t soak up as much A bath.
The cure is to increase metol to 7.5 to 10 in the A bath.
I quit again because I found all 2 baths work by limiting the tone separation in the highlights.
Low speed films get 2 min in A, medium 3 min in A, faster films get 4. All get 3 in B
The D2d formula works pretty well according my currently held higher standards.
You must remember that higher standards are in the eyes of the beholder, and may even vary by conditions or the subject being photographed. For example, compensating development with dilute developers has its own effect. As Thornton wrote: "The effect is not the same as the well known technique of compensating development by diluting developers, which does work in holding back dense highlights, but can give muddy mid tones and does not have the same automatic contrast equalisation as the two bath." If you want to avoid compression of midtones while still retaining detail in the highlights, a two bath might be superior for your purposes.