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  1. #1

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    Two bath developers

    Over the past year, I've been trying various combinations of D-23 and Thorton's divided developers. Most seem to cut the film speed in half - shadows go blank - when compared with Xtol 1:3. Is this normal? Should I increase the time, agitation, or amount of metol? Is there a divided/two bath developer that gives full film speed?

  2. #2

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    Why are you switching to a two-bath developer?

  3. #3

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    yes there is crawley's fx4 - omit the borax in bath A and use a bath B of about 7 - 12 g/ltr of borax. i, too, experience loss of film speed so i overexposed by one stop ( halve the box iso ).

  4. #4

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    This is my experience with 2 bath developers, which is all I've used for the past 5-6 years.-

    Most of these developers times are 3 min. in bath A and 3 min in bath B.-----it doesn't work with modern films ,with the exception of the 20 and 25 speed films.


    times in bath A need to be 1/2-3/4 of the total development time per developer.Usually I use borax for bath B, but if the light is flat I"ll use sodium carb for the extra pop.This always gives me box speed.


    The Teaspoonful Two Bath
    As far as I know nobody has mentioned another technique which I have evolved and which works really well to give different tonal characteristics and very similar automatic contrast control, and to avoid having to mix anything but an approximate Bath B - two heaped teaspoons of sodium metaborate in 1 litre of water. It dissolves almost instantly and is cheap enough to use once then throw away, though it would handle 15 roll films if re-used. Simply use your normal standard developer (T-Max, ID11, llfotech, HC110, Econotol, Perceptol etc.) for half to two thirds of the maker's stated time as Bath A, drain it off, and use the teaspoon-measured Bath B for 3 minutes at the same temperature as Bath A. You may have to fine tune Bath A time by experience. For all 2 baths stop and fix afterwards in the usual way after Bath B, but not between the two baths Copyright Barry Thornton.

    -Don

  5. #5

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    Barry Thornton suggested a teaspoon 2 bath years before he passed away.

    I used to use HP5+ at 320 in XTol 1:3. Now I use it at 200 in Thornton's 2 bath. Not much difference. Many photographers find that they need to cut the box speed when using films in real life. 1/2 the box speed is quite common. It is not just a "problem" with 2 baths.

    The statement that 2 baths don't work with modern films is not true for everyone. This technique works quite well for me. Also search on APUG for Sandy King's experiments with 2 bath Pyrocat.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donmck View Post
    This is my experience with 2 bath developers, which is all I've used for the past 5-6 years.-

    Most of these developers times are 3 min. in bath A and 3 min in bath B.-----it doesn't work with modern films ,with the exception of the 20 and 25 speed films.-Don

    I've used Barry Thornton's 2-bath with Tri-X and now also Tmax-2 400 for the past few years. No, problems, works like a charm. I expose the film a little more conservative, at around 320asa. IME there is some loss of speed, but the consistency and tonality are worth the tradeoff. Blown highlights are a thing of the past for me.

    I also use Diafine with both of these films at 1250 / 1600 and again, great results.

  7. #7

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    i've had consistent results with modern emulsions - acros, tmax 100 and 400. actual results with Thorton's two bath should have dispelled the myth that modern emulsions don't work. some people don't like the somewhat thinner neg that is produced. 4 + 4 min. should give you a grade 2.5 - 3 print with a condenser enlarger. if you want a little more density, increase the metol by a little amount ( in a controlled fashion so you learn the characteristics of your workflow ) until you get the desired result.

  8. #8

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    ps if you use the zone system you will find that metol only developers rarely produce box speed... i suspect that street shooters are less concerned with adequate shadow exposure compared with someone shooting landscape etc.

  9. #9
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    G'day,
    I've used EMOFIN for about 3 years now. (I also use Pyro) I have not noticed any thing untoward with my negs and the densitometer has supported this. I like the ease of this form and know that I can place 50 100 & 400 ASA film in the same tank without any problems.
    Pat
    What grain............................................. ...............
    Oh sorry, I forgot you don't shoot Large Format
    Large format Pat.

    http://www.largeformatpat.com

  10. #10

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    Pat, I got a fair amount of grain using Thornton's 2 bath for 135 ILFORD Delta 400, perhaps I was using too high a processing temperature, probably around 24ºC.

    Tom

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