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Thread: DBI Tutorial?

  1. #1

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    I understand the basics of developing film by inspection (DBI) but I don't have a grasp on the whole procedure. As I am quite interested in giving this a try for my 8x10 negs, can anyone suggest a good on-line tutorial of this procedure or care to post yours here?

    Thanks for your suggestions.

  2. #2
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    Well I am by no means an expert but I can tell you what my experience has been thus far (about 15 5x7 negs). I actually use brush development by inspection but the process is pretty much the same. You simply follow your normal development procedure in trays (or I have heard of some using tanks with hangers). Then at about 75% of your normal dev time you pull the negative out of the tray and have a look. You'll need a 7 or 15 watt lamp with a green filter. I use an old Kodak brownie lamp with a green filter. I got it at my local camera shop for about 50 cents used. Now when you look at the negative you'll see your highlights developed against a milky white base. Now I've found that the the highlights should stand out fairly good from the milky white shadows, but not too much. If you can really really tell that it is black then you've probably developed too long, whereas if the transistion from milky white to black is too gradual, then you probably need to go a bit longer. I start looking at about 6 minutes when I'm using Rodinal 1:50...3 minutes when using ABC Pyro. You'll have to develop a few times to get a feel of exactly what the highlights should look like, but it doesn't take long at all. After about the 2nd or 3rd time you'll have a good idea of what you're looking for. You can find another explanation of this at micheal smith's site: http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/index.html . It's under the 'writings' section. Hope this helps.
    RL Foley

  3. #3
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    I should mention that when you turn the green light on to inspect, that it's only for a few seconds or else you'll fog the film. If the film isn't ready then switch the light off and back into the developer is goes for another minute or two. The light can be left on during the stop and fixing bath. I only leave mine on during the fix though because I use a water stop.
    RL Foley

  4. #4

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    Yeah, the best article I have seen is in Michael's web site. Unfortunatelly DBI is one of those techniques where you just have to do it and gain the experience by doing. If I recall correctly there is another good article in unlinkingeye, but I am not sure.

    Some people turn film around and check the back, you can "see" the outline of the highlights, some people lift the film to view against the light and use a finger next to the highlights to judge highlight density, is up to you which way to use. I use both, depending on the negative.



 

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