Hmm...I have some semi-old D-76 in my darkroom. Diluted 1-1 and maybe a tad more developing time, what kind of results might I expect?
I never really liked HC-110. I hated the grain I was getting even with finer grain films (such as Delta) and thought maybe it was due to something I was doing wrong in developing. Does anyone here use "aged" HC-110? I might try that as well, just for comparison.
I was told about this idea when I bought extra darkroom stuff.
Basically the same as a pre flash for paper.
Used primarly to bring out the highlights a bit better.
of course this is definatly a bit over simplifyed but good enough for me.
Just a few observations...
Using Xtol, I found that freshly mixed (2-8 hours) produced very contrasty negs as compared with same film/exposures developed 24-48 hours later.
Using Rollo Pyro I did not notice any difference between freshly mixed or month(s) old stock solutions, but when I added used solutions to fresh I just noticed increased staining so only used it one shot.
PyrocatHD also no difference between freshly mixed or month(s) old stock solutions.
Given my observations with Xtol, I tend to always allow all freshly mixed stock solutions to "rest" 24 hours before using them. As far as adding used solutions back to fresh, particularly with pyro developers, I do not see any benefit to doing this as it just seems to increase general stain.
I've been using Ansco 130 for about a year now. Mixed up a two litre bottle that I use over and over again. As the volume goes down, I just top up with fresh dev. mixed 1:1. It gives a nice warn tone to my prints now, when it was fresh the tone was a little bit cooler. Only once after heavy use did I toss any. The paper began fogging. So one litre was saved and the rest made up with 1:1. It's still going strong.
One of the many methods I use to reduce contrast in the print is to use old print developer as a two bath with a fresh print dev. It also warms up the print particularly with a warm tone paper.
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"One of the many methods I use to reduce contrast in the print is to use old print developer as a two bath with a fresh print dev. It also warms up the print particularly with a warm tone paper."
I didn't know it could effect the contrast. I was doing paper tests with a step tablet yesterday with the old dev. Today I'll try some with fresh dev. to see what difference there is.
The gooooooo ol' Hot Rod
As always I'm preaching The Hot Rod!
Rodinal will give you:
- One shot convenience and always fresh developer hitting the film.
- Will work after many years even though it has gone black.
- Gives you nice sharpness and BEAUTIFUL grain structure
The role of bromide in developer systems that are replenished is fairly well documented in the literature and I have frequently seen recommendations to add a little of the old developer to new stock solutions when they are mixed from scratch.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
And the reason why old D-76 and ID-11 is also understood. Fresh D76 has a pH of around 8.5 but in storag the pH will increse to well over 9, activating the hydroquinone in the formula which at lower pH is largely inactive. This gives higher contrast. Many modern versions of these developers are buffered to prevent the increae in pH, however, and some versions even recommend the total elimination of hydroquinone.
However, I am not aware of any mechanism that would explain why PMK benefits from age. Does Gordon Hutchings say what these benefits are? In my own experience in working with fresh solutions of both PMK and Pyrocate-HD I have noticed no benefits to aged solutions. However, I would recommend that if you mix your own stock solutins with these developers best practice would be to wait until the next day to use them since it may take that long for all of the chemicals to go into solution completely.
I'm aware of the bromide issues with other developers, but knowing that this isn't the issue with PMK, I find it a little mystifying, too, which is why I asked. I hunted down the citation from _The Book of Pyro_ (1992, Third printing, p. 71), and he writes under the heading "Adding Stain":
So presumably he believes that aged stock gives stronger stain, but I'm not sure whether he means image or background stain, and if background stain, that's subject to all the usual questions as to why one wants it. Elsewhere (p. 14) he also mentions that the color of the "A" solution reaches an equilibrium point after about two weeks, which may also be relevant.
The last method is to age the "A" stock solution. I mix up two liters of stock solution and pour it into a gallon wine jug. A cork (real cork) stopper is used and the jug is placed in the back of the shelves and allowed to age for a year or two. I replenish the current in-use "A" stock bottle from this aged pyro stock so that the current solution is always somewhat aged. I use this "A" stock for all films.
I have used PMK for several years, and have found that freshly mixed, it produced only a very subtle stain (in HP5+ which is regarded as "staining well"). The colour of the Part_A seems to be correlated with the degree of staining. When part_A stabilizes to bright yellow, it has settled down, and can remain constant for at least a couple of years. I top up my Part_A with some fresh from time to time.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
I know that my experience is different to that of others. Some find stain constant from the start. Maybe pyrogallol quality varies?
Although I do not have a measuring device to ascertain how much background stain I have, I know that it's not much. My image stain, however, i believe is somewhat subtle compared to the descriptions of others who claim bright green etc. Mine are a sort of olive/ sepia. Quite obvious alongside a pyrocat-HD neg, which is browner and appears less coloured.
As a matter of interest, having been confident that PMK would almost never go off, I mixed up some fresh and put a small amount of it in a bottle (Schott lab bottle with good quality plastic screw cap) with a lot of air. I was surprised some months later to see that it had turned almost black. I was alarmed, and threw it out, but I'm going to do it again to see if the black developer works.