Your experiences with this developer would be appreciated. I am looking to use it for both Efke 100 and Classic Pan 400. Would be interested in 1:1 dilution results as well as any info you might have on 1:50 semi stand if you've tried it.
Ilford Microphen is an equivalent so if you've used that I would be interested. Results with this developer and FP4 would be interesting.
I use DK-50 (undiluted) as my standard sheet film developer. I also use it when pull-developing roll and 35mm. Never had any problems with it; but I'm no fanatic. HC110 (1:31) would probably work just as well.
DK50 is very different to Microphen in many ways, far lower Sulphite, MQ not PQ it's more ;ike Wellington's Borax MQ dev ( that D76 is derived from) in fact its half way between the two.
I never really liked the gritty grain of Microphen/ID-68 I used to use it with FP4 and mainly HP5 for push processing
I used to mix my own DK50. Micheal Maunder recommended it in an AG+ magazine article as a 'squeaky clean' developer, free of the base fog you always get with D76 / ID-11 and any fine grain developers with a lot of sulphite.
I used it for Fortepan films - especially Fortepan 400 - and I reckon he had a point, I always got very clear film where it was unexposed compared to ID-11 or Microphen. I nearly always used it one shot, 1+1 or 1+3. I've got some times back home (I'm away today). I've never tried 1+50 or stand.
Diluted it was reasonably high Acutance and gave full film speed, maybe a bit extra, but wasn't particularly fine grain. It was a good choice for old out of date films, giving the least fog (out of the ones I usually had to hand: Rodinol, ID-11, Microphen, Percepol, Ilfosol S, Acusol)
I've used Microphen a lot, too, but I reckon the two are quite different. DK50 always had a tendancy to be a bit 'hard' IMHO. Microphen can 'push' well without building up unprintable contrast but I don't think you get the clean, low base fog type effect that you get with DK50. Both can be quite grainy.
i have only used dk 50 in a deep tank
it was full strength and "cut" with a half or quarter full
tank of "seasoned" developer. it was replenished like mad ..
maybe we'd put 700 sheets of film through it ..
and made beautiful negatives.
a lot of folks tend to have trouble with dk50 because they don't mix it with seasoned developer
and they film they aren't accustomed to.
i never push or pulled film in it, just normally shot
( maybe 100S @ f16.5 + 5 light studio portrait lighting ) old emulsion tri x and tri x ortho 5x7 sheets
and some 4x5 as well. it was / is a great developer!
beautiful full tone film ..
i guess squeaky clean is a good word for it .. maybe in the old days they would say "crisp"
but you get my drift
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DK-50 was my primary sheet film developer in the 60's. I agree it's not an especially fine grain developer and it does make some beautiful full tone negs. I've used it in recent years 1:1 with Foma or Bergger 200 35mm shot behind vintage lenses for a more classic looking image. I still keep a jug for occasional use.
Originally Posted by jnanian
Thanks guys. I will have to give it a whirl. I have a bunch of Microphen to use up first though. The Efke 100 tends to have a lot of base fog so I was looking for something that would eliminate it as much as possible.
If your not looking for 'super-sharp', DK-50 is almost the perfect developer. It tends to be self-masking. on most films.
David, can you explain what you mean by "Self-Masking" ?
Originally Posted by dr5chrome
I guess you probably mean compensating. Geoffrey Crawley suggested that some people were using DK-50 at 1+4 which gives improved sharpness, gives development times for FP4 of 8 - 9 minutes @ 20°C
..could likely mean the same interpretation.