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  1. #1

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    DK-50 developer??

    I have an 88 year old uncle who was a photographer back in the '40's and '50's. A few months ago, he gave me a large box from his old darkroom. In it was a number of canisters marked DK-50, negative developer. Each canister is divided, top and bottom, (two part mix). The canisters are like soup cans. still powder inside, (can shake). Anyone have any knowledge about how to use it? Have plenty of Plus-x pan and Tri-x to try it out with..
    Thanks,
    Bart

  2. #2

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    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

    http://darkroom317.deviantart.com/

  3. #3

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    hi bart

    dk-50 was a staple for portrait photographers back in the day.
    often times people who don't know exactly how it was used, suggest
    that it is VERY contrasty, well ... it is at first
    find / make dk-50r which is the replenisher for it.

    when i used it, it was in DEEP tanks, and i processed armloads of 5x7 sheet film in hangers with it.
    it was never straight, but mixed with a partial tank of mellowed developer ( dk-50 ) to tame the contrast.
    if you don't use it in deep tanks, mix it, and don't dump it after you use it, but mix it back into the batch.
    after a bunch of film you will notice that it works "better" ... and then start to replenish with the dk50r ...

    it was in the 1980s so i don't remember what the times were that i used to processed tri-x .
    if you have a dark green safe light filter, you can develop by inspection ...

    have fun, its great-stuff!
    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    DK50 is the Metaborate version of an earlier formula which itself was Kodak's version of the Wellington & Ward Buffered Borax developer. It was tweaked further and eventually led to D76.

    Ian

  5. #5
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    I'm willing to admit that I've never heard of it. How does it differ from D-76 in use?
    Charles Hohenstein

  6. #6
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartnav View Post
    I have an 88 year old uncle who was a photographer back in the '40's and '50's. A few months ago, he gave me a large box from his old darkroom. In it was a number of canisters marked DK-50, negative developer. Each canister is divided, top and bottom, (two part mix). The canisters are like soup cans. still powder inside, (can shake). Anyone have any knowledge about how to use it? Have plenty of Plus-x pan and Tri-x to try it out with..
    Thanks,
    Bart
    **********
    We used that back when I was in college as a tank developer. It's best used as a sheet film developer.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chazzy View Post
    I'm willing to admit that I've never heard of it. How does it differ from D-76 in use?
    Not as fine grained as D76, but with modern films the difference would be less apparent. It's very similar to D76b but with Kodalk/Sodium Metaborate instead of Borax and only 30% of the Sodium Sulphite.

    It's been recommended by Geoffrey Crawley used as a dilute developer giving quite high definition.

    Just looking at the datasheet in one of 3 pack I have it's stated to be for "Sheet film" and used when shorter dev times than D76 are required. Kodak did not recommend it for 35mm or 120 films.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 05-08-2010 at 11:21 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: add

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    **********
    We used that back when I was in college as a tank developer. It's best used as a sheet film developer.
    you can say that again !


    whatever it was based on, or turned into ... it was some good stuff ...

    tri x 5x7 + split 5x7 and dk 50 hand retouched enlarged to 16x20 / 20x24 ...
    there was nothing like it ...
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  9. #9

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    Great info guys,
    Thanks a lot. I will try some experimenting and repost at a later date.
    Bart

  10. #10
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    DK50 and DK50-R Replenisher

    For those interested; from the Amphoto B&W Processing Databook. . .

    DK50
    Popular tank developer for commercial and portrait photography.

    Water (52C or 125F)
    500.0 cc
    Kodak Elon Dev Agent (Metol)
    2.5 grams
    Sodium Slfite, dessicated
    30.0 grams
    Hydroquinone
    2.5 grams
    Kodalk (Sodium Metaborate)
    10.0 grams
    Potassium Bromide
    0.5 grams
    Add cold water to make 1 litre

    Dissolve chemicals in the order given.
    Do not dilute for tank development. Develop for 5-10 minutes at 20C (68F). (Note: time scale indicates 5'00" at 75F/ 6'15" at 70F/ 7'00" at 68F/ 8'00" at 65F/ 10'00" at 60F) Decrease time by 1/5th for tray development.


    DK50-R Replenisher

    Water (52C or 125F)
    750.0 cc
    Kodak Elon Dev Agent (Metol)
    5.0 grams
    Sodium Sulfite
    30.0 grams
    Hydroquinone
    10.0 grams
    Kodalk (Sodium Metaborate)
    40.0 grams
    Add cold water to make 1.0 litre.

    Dissolve chemicals in the order given.
    The replenisher should be diluted to the same ratio as the developer it replenishes. Add to developer as needed to maintain the level of the developer. If the density of the negative is not maintained, discard some of the developer from the tank at intervals and replace with replenisher.




    I will add this to the recipe section if it is not already there.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

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