Divided D76 is basically D76, but the developer and accelerator are kept separate in an A and B bath. Basically a 2-bath developer.
Originally Posted by Bruce Osgood
The developer is in bath A. You soak the film in it for a few minutes and it is absorbed in to the emulsion. No development takes place at this point.
Then you pour out bath A (which you can reuse) and add bath B.
Bath B is the accelerator, which kickstarts the development process.
The developer is first exhausted in the highlights and development ceases in these areas.
Development will continue in the shadows, until the absorbed developer in these areas is also exhausted.
What you end up with is a very nicely balanced negative, with plenty of shadow and highlight detail.
Divided developers work best with old style, thick emulsion films. Newer films like Tmax are physically much thinner and may not absorb enough developer. Barry Thornton's 2-Bath developer takes this into consideration and works very well with modern emulsions.
"Ripening" of developers
I am not sure what "ripening " means. I'll assume it is the changes that take place with use. Seasoning is another common name.
The primary differences between fresh developer and seasoned is the accumulation of by-products. Typically bromide, oxidized developing agents, soluble sensitizing dyes and other materials from the film/developer interaction. The largest influence is the build up of bromide that is a development restrainer causing a loss in speed and contrast. This is easily compensated for in exposure and development time.
Properly replenished developers can give excellent performance if the developer is used frequently. However, for infrequent use (less than once a week) and when seeking the most consistent results I have found one-time use is a better practice.
In all cases, when no being used it is critical to store the solution in clean GLASS bottles, tightly stoppered with no air in the bottle. Oxidation is the enemy.
It is hard to beat D76 1:1. Tonal quality is excellent, the sulfite acts as a silver solvent to give fine grain. Today's films were designed for use in D76 and modern developers i.e. T-MAX etc.
Originally Posted by Harry Lime
Thank you Harry, I should have recognized DD as Divided Developer.
Yes you can exchange the word ripening for seasoning they mean the same thing.
Originally Posted by laser
I would disagree about the frequency of use of replenished developer, yes in deep tanks then weekly use really is the minimum because aerial oxidation occurs, but I have never had a problem with my replenished solutions stored in bottles even with just occasional use.
Your point about glass bottles isn't strictly correct, but not all plastic bottles are suitable for longer term storage. I've always kept and re-used my Ilford developer bottles, some must be over 25 years old now and still fine. For larger quantities I have some much stronger plastic bottles which are again fine, chemicals keep well.
However I have some small new plastic bottles, I guess approx 150ml and have found that Pyrocat HD (part A) does not keep well in them, slowly oxidising, the same batch of Pyrocat kept in an Ilford bottle is still perfect.
Yup, it was all I used for years. Now I'm mostly using a few different pyro developers, mainly because I like the highlights, and I'm not as worried about grain, since I rarely shoot 35mm B&W anymore, but D-76 is the standard among standards.
Ryuji Suzuki has posted a veritable dissertation on D-76 and many of its variations at--
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I first used D-76 around 1965. I was not a very good printer then so I made the mistake of reading everything I could about photography. That set me on this course of seeking silver bullets. Film, film developer, paper, paper developer yada, yada, yada. Every few years I came back to D-76.
I hate to burst any bubbles but the Lone Ranger has long been dead. His source of silver bullets, lost to history.
When I retired five years ago I promised myself I would stop fooling around. I standardized on D-76 1+1 and Tri-X. 43 years later my printing is much better using what I started with.
Plus-x in d-76 1+1. Classic stuff.
i agree that d76 is good stuff ...
i kind of use its first cousin once removed
(sprint film developer) ...
and i am pretty happy with the results!
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