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  1. #1

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    OK to Use Film Developer on Prints?

    In the interest of reducing time spent mixing chemicals, I was pondering the advisability of using film developer (specifically D-76) for tray development of prints. Is this forbidden?

    jk

  2. #2

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    i use print developer for my film, it is worth a try ... you never know what can happen unless you experiment a little bit

  3. #3
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon koss
    In the interest of reducing time spent mixing chemicals, I was pondering the advisability of using film developer (specifically D-76) for tray development of prints. Is this forbidden?

    jk
    Nothing is forbidden. If you really want to save time, next time you make a pot of coffee, take what you don't drink and pour into your film tank to develop your film with...

    Or if you are a tea drinker, just finish your cup of tea, wait for the call of nature, and pee into your film tank...

    Seriously, I'm constantly amazed at how far beyond "the rules" you can go to get great results. People use highly dilute developers, people develop without agitation, people develop without stop baths, the list goes on and on, and magic just keeps happening.

    You might look at using the all alkaline print process, where you use PF TF-4 fixer (which can also be used for film). With that process, you don't need a stop bath, and you can goof around with what developers would work. But basically, just mix up some TF-4, some developer, and away you go.

    -chuck

  4. #4
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    When I said "you don't need a stop bath" what I should have said is you don't need an ACID stop bath, you just use a water bath to stop development. Simplifies your mixing step.

  5. #5

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    Dear Jon,

    Another way to reduce mixing time is to move to products that come in liquid concentrates.

    Neal Wydra

  6. #6

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    My developer was depleting the other day and I realised I didn't have any spare, so I threw in 10ml of neat Rodinal into the 1 ltr of developer I was using and it worked a treat.

  7. #7
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    I've done a bunch of printing using Rodinal at 1:10 as my paper developer. It works wonderfully. It's a bit expensive compared to my usual developers, but in the interest of experimentation I had to try it.

    It even works well on Azo. Not as well as Amidol, certainly, but it does work. I really like it with Ilford Warmtone fiber paper.
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  8. #8
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, anything that will develop one silver-based B&W material will develop another. The bad news is, in terms of cost and capacity, most film developers don't measure up for prints; their fine grain properties are effectively wasted (since print grain doesn't later get magnified), meaning that in many cases large amounts of sulfite are included that aren't needed; they're relatively slow compared to print developers; they're relative expensive in terms of their capacity (even economical film developers like HC-110 and Rodinal must be used in very high concentration to provide reasonable print development times, and still have low capacity relative to old standbys like Dektol or Ansco 130).

    If you want to save time mixing, get the largest size of Dektol, mix it all and decant into bottles sized to fill a single tray after dilution (if your trays hold 2 liters, you'll want about 650 ml bottles for 1:2). You'll get about eight bottles from a five gallon Dektol package, which takes no longer to mix than the one gallon size, and you do the measuring of stock solution all at once, at the same time as mixing. If you get bottles that have very little airspace, the stock solution will keep very well, and you can mix without further measuring by simply filling the bottle twice with water after pouring the stock solution into the tray.

    Premixing fixer can also save time, and the fixer working solution will keep for several months in a reasonably airtight bottle.

    With this kind of premeasured setup, and all chemicals and mixing water stored at room temperature (say, in the darkroom), you could be printing within ten minutes of going into the darkroom. If you have a cold light, don't forget to flip on the enlarger lamp before you start filling trays, so the tube can warm up; that'll save you another ten or fifteen minutes.

    You can save still more time by using a slot processor, in which the chemicals can be left until exhausted (and using a long-life developer like Ansco 130 helps on this); with a hot light in the enlarger, you could walk into the darkroom, flip from white light to safelight, open the paper safe and start a print, and be able to use time segments as short as fifteen minutes to good end (as long as you can come back a bit later and pull the prints out of the washer, that is).
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  9. #9
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    Did it once, dont remember what developer I used, contrast was a bit flat but it worked. The only "RULE" you cant break are the laws of physics. Tell us what happens.
    DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

  10. #10

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    In a major pinch, I used Acufine as a print developer. I actually like the results.. It's very similar to Dektol, just takes a bit longer for the image to come up.

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