is anyone out there using the sivergrain products available on digital truth website.i am very interested in them due to the eco-friendly claim. a couple of questions.are they excellent products.and what are your experiences.i dont have a favorite paper yet so i am open to what papers work best with this stuff.i know that alot is open to personal preference but a good starting point would be nice.so any help would be great.
nobody has tried this product yet?? anyone??
The group of items developed by Ryuji Suzuki are said to be off-shoots of the published formulas that are available on the net. I have tried most of the things he has worked on (but not the commercial Silvergrain versions yet). They (the homebrewed) do exactly as he states and I believe most people would be very pleased with the performance. Perhaps Ryuji can jump in on this thread and expand on the enhancements that he made on these commercial offerings? I recall mention of him synthesizing custom components that went beyond what the general tinkerer had equipment or understanding for.
I can see no reasons at all to try Silvergrain chemicals.
There are already plenty of reputable chemical manufactures with tried and tested products on the market. I've also from about 1986 spent 21 years in precious metal recovery and effluent disposal from the photographic industry.
If everyone switched to Silvergrain products no one would notice.
So, follow up question, as I am interested as well:
Does anybody have any practical experience with the Silvergrain chemicals? Stop, fix, and wash aid are all pretty basic things, they all accomplish the same thing and (in general) all produce the exact same effect. The developer is the big question mark for me. I want to know what its characteristics are, which should be the real test of any chemicals. How environmentally friendly something is should be secondary to how well it performs its designed task.
But, I will admit that eco-friendly products are a nice option, for the more envornmentally concerned of us. I use whatever I can afford and make it work for me, but now that I've got a better job about to start, I'm glad to have more options, and some that I won't feel bad about washing down the drain.
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First of all, I licensed those products to Digitaltruth but I am not engaged in sales or marketing, so what I write here should be taken as my personal opinion. You may think I'm still biased, but at the same time, I'm the user of these formulae for the longest time, so what do you expect... :-)
Those who are thinking about Tektol Developers can also benefit by looking up what people say about DS-14 print developer.
Tektol Standard Developer is photographically very similar to DS-14. Improvements include higher concentration, convenience, shelf life, and some fine tuning. DS-14 and Tektol Standard Developer (TSD) pulls out the paper's natural hue and gradation, and it's also optimized for maximum effect when the print is toned. I personally prefer to use TSD and switch paper when different results are desired. If you have all the ingredients and don't mind the work to dissolve them, DS-14 is still a good option and I don't mind hearing people mixing their own at all.
Tektol Neutral Developer (TND) is considerably more cold toned than its Standard version, and it is for people who prefer neutral to blue black hue. It also tends to boost highlight contrast slightly, so when you want crisp highlight, this works better. If your favorite developer is cold or neutral toned developer, this may be a better replacement product.
Both TSD and TND are concentrated 10x and used in the same way as most other concentrated print developers on market. One thing about TSD/TND is that you can mix them at any ratio to fine tune the results. Say TSD is too warm but TND is too cold, you can mix 1 part TSD and 1 part TND and then dilute with 18 parts water, etc.
Some people found TSD 1+14 (or DS-14 2+1) is a good replacement for Ansco 130 and 135. TSD or TND 1+14 is also good for chloride papers (contact printing papers).
I personally use TSD at 1+9 dilution as my "stand-by" print developer with a range of papers. I used to mix DS-14 from raw stock but switched when Tektol came on market. I haven't found a paper that doesn't work well in it, although some paper develops slower than others. (Nor have I heard anyone saying some papers not working well in TSD 1+9.) I like the very rich black and clean white I get from AGFA MCP, Kentmere VC Select, Ilford MG4, Oriental fiber based paper, etc. I also get rich black with very nice gradation with Fortezo, Brovira and AGFA MCC. Unfortunately many of these papers are out of production.
Current users include: fine printing pro labs, art schools, individual artists and government agencies. Based on what I hear from user feedback, users prefer these developers because of good image quality, convenience, degree of creative control and low toxicity. I always wonder how an average user can notice low toxicity (unless they believe what I say 100%) but I occasionally hear about customers (a fine art oriented pro lab) who have lab employees who get sick working in the darkroom using other products but not with mine. I think these customers are a relatively small part of all users but these are the feedback that makes me feel it was totally worth pursuing, since those people would never have mixed DS-14 from raw chemicals. A lot of improvements I put in DS-14 were not utilized in commercial and educational darkrooms until the products were offered for sale, although the formula has been up on the web for years... Now I realized that, if you have a technology that you want to see used, it has to be just as easy to access as buying a book on Amazon.com. Anything more complicated won't get used.
Last edited by Ryuji; 04-25-2007 at 02:31 PM. Click to view previous post history.
In my hands, this developer works as advertized when freshly mixed, but I must caution you that compared to Dektol 1:3, it has roughly 1/2 the open tray life or about 1/2 the capacity for equivalent volumes of solution and at equivalent activity. I used this dilution of Dektol to split the difference between Dektol dilutions and used the Tektol at suggested dilution and comparable development times to match sensitometric curves. Fresh, both developers were matched for curve shape and speed. I used Ilford MGIV paper at grade 2. Of course, if you used Dektol 1:2, the increased concentration would make the differences even larger.
I should also add that as Dektol loses activity, you can boost it back by increasing development time, but you cannot with Tektol. Once it goes, it has gone.
These test are simple to conduct. Just place a liter of Dektol working solution in an open tray and Tektol working solution in an open tray. Run a print through each, matching results, and continue under identical conditions to do so every day until you see a change in each. The test simulates either use or keeping as either perform the same chemical action, exhaustion, on the developers.
I have run my tests to 240 hours (10 days) with a wide variety of developers. My standard is Dektol.
I have not te6sted the Silvergrain fix. To date, fixes I have compounded for myself with TEA as buffer slow down the fix reaction proportional to TEA concentration, all other things being constant, but TEA does not seem to affect wash rate. I have only tested hypo content and silver content of film, I have not tested Silvergrain fix in any way, nor have I tested TEA extensively with FB support.
Our customers are all delighted that we have made the effort to bring these products to the market.
Unfortunately, this forum is being used to disparage our products by people who have their own agenda. I suggest that anyone who is interested in Silvergrain chemistry read the detailed and verifiable documentation which is available on the our web site: http://www.digitaltruth.com/silvergrain/
The negative opinions which are being expressed by one or two people in this thread are in no way supported by the facts. There are hundreds of people who use Silvergrain products on a regular basis, including high volume professional and educational customers working to very exacting standards. ALL of the feedback we have had is tremendously positive.
We have never claimed that Silvergrain products outperform all other photo products in every aspect. Any such claim would be nonsense. Photography is a highly individual subject, and every practitioner finds materials which suit his or her purposes. Silvergrain products have certain benefits, and a large number of attributes which most darkroom workers will find extremely attractive.
Judge the products for yourself and don't believe biased "tests" carried out with the sole intention of finding "faults". If you conduct your own tests you will find that Silvergrain products: exhibit extremely low toxicity, provide superb control through the use of two different print developers which can be mixed together or used in different dilutions to alter image tone, have excellent shelf and tray life, have very high capacity, produce the greatest possible effect in combination with sulfiding toners, offer the fastest possible wash times, are suitable for use with staining-type developers, offer a unique alkaline system which is fully compatible with acid stop bath, etc... etc...
There is nothing wrong with sticking to tried and trusted formulas, but as a company we have teamed up with Ryuji Suzuki to provide innovative products which offer unrivalled levels of ECO-friendliness. Silvergrain chemicals easily equal or outperform many leading brands, but contain no Metol, hydroquinone, borates, EDTA, DTPA, or NTA. Silvergrain products are the safest commercially produced photo chemicals available anywhere.
Dektol contains Metol and hydroquinone. Tektol contains neither, and of the many users who have switched from Dektol to Tektol, we have not had one single person tell us that the tray life or capacity is less. On the contrary, all of the reports we have had suggest that every person who has made this switch prefers the overall qualities of Tektol. We are currently putting together a list of testimonials and will publish this soon. I'll post a message in the Sponsor's Forum as soon as its ready so that everyone can read this genuinely independent feedback themselves.
It really is a shame that in an era when the big companies are looking to reduce their ranges of traditional photo products, or are going out of business altogether, that some people want to knock the small businesses which are trying to keep the industry alive. On top of this, unlike many of the other photo retailers who simply rebrand old formulas, we have started manufacturing something genuinely brilliant, unique and good for people. Why would anyone want to knock that?
There may be allergy or ecological reasons to use Silvergrain chemistry, but tests don't lie, and if tray life is important, it looks like PE has proven that Dektol wins. No need to get defensive about it.
I suspect Clayton, Ilford, Champion, A&O, and whoever owns EK's chemistry unit would disagree.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
In an era when product choices are diminishing the announcement of any new product line is most welcome.
Folks like Ryuji, PhotoEngineer, and Gainer have been very willing to pass along their knowledge to the rest of us. At the end of the day, we'd all like to think we're doing valuable work in keeping the analog photographic tradition alive - but these guys really are doing something to lend us hope that we can scratch the analog itch if our worst fears about the industry become a reality.