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Thread: D-76 question

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    McFortner's Avatar
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    D-76 question

    I see where you can use D-76 either straight or 1:1, but I am wondering if there are any other ratios that I can use to stretch out the stock solution? And if so, how would it affect the developing time?

    Michael

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    1:3 is also a "standard" dilution ratio. It increases the developing time (of course). By how much varies with the film. Try: digitaltruth.com for the massive developer chart. Pick your film (or similar technology and speed) for estimated starting points.

    At 1:3 the grain will be more obvious, and sharpness will increase.

    If you really want to get all you can from your developer, try a 2-bath version of D-76. You'll have to mix it yourself from scratch, since I don't know of any pre-packaged 2-bath D-76 (though Photographer's Formulary sells a kit--it's cheaper to mix your own, though).

    Charlie Strack

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    I have seen references to "two bath" development. What does it accomplish and how is it done?
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

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    As above a standard 1:3 dilution of D-76 should yield a somewhat sharper and more defined grain structure than the stock solution. Development is longer. "Two bath" or also called divided developers are an interesting item. The normal developer consisting of both developer and accelerator is divided into two baths "A" the actual developer constituents and "B" the actual accelerator. In practice the film is immersed in the developer wherein the gelatin absorbs the chemistry but essentially no actual image is formed. Next when the film is placed in the "B" bath the action of the developer in the gelatin is accelerated and development of silver takes place at a rate and end point determined by the volume of developer that had been absorbed in the emulsion. To generalize a bit, the resulting density vs expose plot (sensitometric curve) and slope (gamma) is reduced. The shadow and highlight ends of the curve are linearized which provides for more shadow and highlight definition. This type of divided development finds usefulness in subjects with a high Subject Brightness Range (SBR). I'll sometimes use this technique for SBR greater than 6 stops or so. Some workers consider it to be a simpler implementation of the zone system N- contraction technique but the results are not exactly equivalent insofar as the LogE vs D curve is concerned. Mostly I'll use Diafine which can be purchased as a two part chemistry from Accufine.

    Nate Potter, Austin TX.

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    I've been using D-76 mixed 1+3 on my 35mm movie stock Plus-X [Eastman Kodak EK5231] and it's great. Not as fine-grained as Delta 100 in Rodinal 1+50 or 1+100. However, the tonality [and economy] of 5231 is flawless. Lots of rich mid-tones. I'm tempted to try D76 diluted further, or use Beutler. There's been much discussion of Beutler on RangefinderForum.com. It is extremely economical [mixing at home] and, from what I've read, great on fine-grained films.

    The advice I followed was to double the developing time for 1+3 D76 compared to 1+1 D76, and that seems a good starting point. My EK5231 [EI 80] develops nicely in 10 minutes.

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    In the "good old days" (say around 1955-60), D-76 was generally used undiluted. When modern "thin emulsion" films were introduced in the late 50s and early 60s, D-76 diluted 1+1 was recommended to control contrast in these films. That has continued to be the standard, with 1+3 dilution used by some practitioners. But recently I have noticed that manufacturers are again recommending undiluted D-76 for the highest quality (whatever that means) when developing their films. Films change and styles change. Both may have influenced this recommendation. But I wonder if there was any specific change in the films that caused the recommendation to use undiluted D-76. One advantage on the undiluted developer is that it can be reused and even replenished; diluted D-76 must be used as a one-shot.

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    You could use other, much weirder, dilutions -- 2+3, 2+5, 7+13, etc. Past a certain point, though, there won't be enough developer to develop a roll of film, particularly not in reasonable time. You'll also need to figure out the times yourself. Overall, there's no much point to doing this; stick to the standard dilutions and life will be easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg
    I have seen references to "two bath" development. What does it accomplish and how is it done?
    There are a number of techniques that qualify as "two-bath" development. One of the most common is a divided developer, in which the ingredients in a regular developer are split into two solutions. The first solution includes the developing agents (metol, hydroquinone, etc.), but the pH is such that little or no development occurs. The second solution includes the alkali activating agent(s). The idea is that the film absorbs enough developing agent in the first (or "A") bath so that, when the film contacts the second ("B") bath, the agents are activated and development proceeds. Divided development is claimed to produce less variability in development times from film to film, and from one temperature to another. Divided developers can also be inexpensive, since the "A" bath is typically re-used until it's gone (although this isn't always true). OTOH, many divided developers were designed with old emulsions in mind, and they may not work correctly with modern films.

    I've also heard of people using two different developers in series -- for instance, developing for part of the recommended time in XTOL and then for part of the recommended time in Rodinal. The idea here is to get the best characteristics of both developers. I've never tried this myself. I think most people would rather mix the two developers together or try another developer to achieve this effect.

    There are also more exotic variants of this, such as using both B&W and color developers with color films. (There were some recent posts on this technique in another thread here in the last few days, but I don't have a URL handy.)

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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The best way to use D76/ID-11 is undiluted on a replenishment basis, this is how it's always used commercially. This is how the developer was designed to be used originally and once the developer has seasoned/ripened gives optimal results, with better sharpness, tonality and finer grain. Xtol works well used the same way.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 05-20-2009 at 08:01 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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    That may be true, but not practical unless you're running a lot of film in a relatively short period of time. For me, and I suspect for a large number in the home processing camp, the optimum balance of image quality, economy, and consistency happens when the developer is used one shot at the 1+1 dilution.
    Last edited by fschifano; 05-20-2009 at 08:33 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Frank Schifano

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    McFortner's Avatar
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    Well, I developed two rolls of film last night in it at 1:3. My son had finished a roll of Arista Pro 400, and I had a roll of Seattle Film Works 200 color. The color was old (~1999 exp) and I was using it to test the light seals I replaced on a Canonet 28, so I figured why pay more to develop it as color.

    My picture of my daughter on her DS, moving that stylus to beat the band:



    And my son's picture of our dog Jake playing fetch, taken with a Kodak Star 935 I had repaired:



    Over all I think it did OK. I knew the color film was iffy being as old as it was, but some of the pictures turned out good enough for me for just playing around. The entire roll of the black and white turned out. Now if I could get my son to not push down so hard when he takes a picture to eliminate the blur in some of his shots.....

    Thanks for the help. Now I need to find some D-76 replenisher and the money to buy it!

    Michael

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