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  1. #11
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    [if there is an equivalent proprietary developer still being made? I am not even sure what the constituent basics of this developer comprise.

    Kathab, In my opinion, D23 is one of the best kept secrets in b/w and I used it almost exclusively for a number of reasons. Especially for 35mm with mixed contrasts on a roll, one can give full development of the weaker negs on a roll without blocking up the more contrasty scenes. The shadow and midtone separation are outstanding. Because I am very frugal (cheap) and do not like wasting water, I mix up a half gallon (av) of D23, and a quart of DK25R, the replenisher. EK says an equal amount of replenisher may be added before problems. I go with half the amount. When the replenisher is gone, I dump the D23.
    Despite canards about inconsistency with replenished developers, this has never been a problem with me and D23, perhaps because of the two chemicals only. I use filtered conserved AC run off water for both and they seem to last forever.
    I have never bothered with two bath development. I have notes I can post, if you wish, send a PM
    Anscojohn, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    [if there is an equivalent proprietary developer still being made? I am not even sure what the constituent basics of this developer comprise.

    Kathab, In my opinion, D23 is one of the best kept secrets in b/w and I used it almost exclusively for a number of reasons. Especially for 35mm with mixed contrasts on a roll, one can give full development of the weaker negs on a roll without blocking up the more contrasty scenes. The shadow and midtone separation are outstanding. Because I am very frugal (cheap) and do not like wasting water, I mix up a half gallon (av) of D23, and a quart of DK25R, the replenisher. EK says an equal amount of replenisher may be added before problems. I go with half the amount. When the replenisher is gone, I dump the D23.
    Despite canards about inconsistency with replenished developers, this has never been a problem with me and D23, perhaps because of the two chemicals only. I use filtered conserved AC run off water for both and they seem to last forever.
    I have never bothered with two bath development. I have notes I can post, if you wish, send a PM
    Anscojohn, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
    There was an interview in View Camera Magazine (early 80's) with Oliver Gagliani and he used a bath of D23 that he kept topping off forever - the sliver content of that developer in his words was very high and he used it for the physical plating effect on the negative - became somewhat self masking. Never heard of his negatives deteriorating - and I have never tried this variation of D23.

    If I shoot TMX or TMY I usually develop in D23 1:1

    Mike

  3. #13

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    Ferrania R33

    Another variant of D-23 is Ferrania R33 which uses just 5g/litre of Metol.
    This formula is also used as the fore-bath in the Leitz/Stoeckler`s two-bath developer.

  4. #14
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
    There was an interview in View Camera Magazine (early 80's) with Oliver Gagliani and he used a bath of D23 that he kept topping off forever - the sliver content of that developer in his words was very high and he used it for the physical plating effect on the negative - became somewhat self masking. Never heard of his negatives deteriorating - and I have never tried this variation of D23.

    If I shoot TMX or TMY I usually develop in D23 1:1

    Mike
    The photochemists tell us that the metol begins to oxidize as soon as D23 is used one time. I have never had a problem. Last year, I actually found a bottle I had mixed up in 1994 which got "buried" way back under the darkroom sink. It was still clear. Just for kicks, I did acouple of tests and it seemed to be just perfect. As I said, I do not use tap water--rather filtered AC water. I do not know if that helps promote the consistency I have encountered.
    Another aspect--by diluting DK25R, one has a ready made clone for Beutler's as well.

    Anscojohn, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer View Post
    You can mix 2 level teaspoons of Metol and 4 tablespoons of sodium sulfite in a liter of water and will never know the difference. A standard teaspoon is 5 ml and a tablespoon is 15 ml, just in case we're different over here.
    I went back to make a reprint for a charity auction from an old 4X5 neg (FP4+) from the 80's. It's always been one of my favorite negs, and when I dug it out of its sleeve, I read the label that said I had developed it in D-23C. I haven't used that for years, but remembered my half-assed, mostly ignorant experiment adding Ascorbic Acid (Vitmain C) to D-23 to see what it would do.

    The result was really beautiful negs with a faster time than D-23 alone (AA being superadditive with Metol). I may have to dig that out again and try it with some of the modern T-grain films that I use now, or it may revive my interest in FP4+. The grain was very fine, the tonal range and depth was wonderful.

    I can't remember how much C I added to the D-23, but I'm sure it's written down somewhere in my box of formulas. It wasn't much--probably something like 1/2 tsp per liter.

    Ah, the things we did in our misspent youth!

    Larry

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maine-iac View Post
    mostly ignorant experiment adding Ascorbic Acid (Vitmain C) to D-23 to see what it would do.

    Wouldn't that sort of make it D-76 like?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena View Post
    Wouldn't that sort of make it D-76 like?
    Not really, but sorta. D-76 has borax as an accelerator, and the pH is considerably different from a Metol/Sulfite stand-alone mix like D-23.

    By adding the Ascorbic Acid, the solution didn't become more alkaline; the AA interacts with the Metol in a superadditive fashion (Gainer, Ryuji, Dancu, et. al, will no doubt correct my chemical ignorance--I was an English major after all!).

    My first experiment resulted in way overdeveloped negs, because I was still trying them at the same time as plain D-23. After some futzing around with the amount of AA and adjusting the time, I really got great negs.

    Larry

  8. #18
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    I loved using D-23 and used it for a number of years as my only developer. I employed the two bath version which worked quite well for pt/pd printing.

    Ed Buffaloe of unblinkingeye.com and I did some articles on the variations for this developer.

    Here's the link to the article. Explore the site too, it has a lot of information and links to alt process sites.

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/DD-23/dd-23.html
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

    http://blog.joelipkaphoto.com/

  9. #19
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    The sulfite in D-23 keeps the Metol products of oxidation from retarding development, apparently by forming a sulphonate. Ascorbic acid has a similar result by a different reaction. It restores the Metol while forming an acidic product. In D-23, the Metol is eventually used up, and in the ascorbic acid version the pH eventually goes too far down. In both cases, bromide accumulates which for some "seasons" the developer so that a portion of an old batch is kept when a new batch is made.

    It is not easy to tell the difference sometimes between the regeneration of Metol, the modification of its oxidation products and true superadditivity. Regeneration is part of most explanations of superadditivity. If pH is kept constant and below the value where ascorbic acid is a developer, the effects on development by Metol of sulfite or a molar equivalent of ascorbic acid are indistinguishable in the short run. Then the ascorbic acid is acting more as an antioxidant than as a developing agent. It is complicated enough that it can take the fun out of picture making if you dwell on it too much.
    Gadget Gainer

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer View Post
    It is not easy to tell the difference sometimes between the
    regeneration of Metol, the modification of its oxidation
    products and true superadditivity.

    It is complicated enough that it can take the fun out of
    picture making if you dwell on it too much.
    And then there is selectivity. Am I the only one who has
    come across that term with respect to developing agents?
    Has it never been discussed? Hydroquinone is the only agent
    I've encountered characterized as being selective. I suspect
    some other agents are also. Metol is an example where
    it displays lower EIs when used at low ph. Perhaps it's
    selectivity is masked at a more usual working ph. Dan

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