Alternative developers for stand development

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

Moderator: Keith Tapscott.

pirateoversixty
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:21 pm
Location: Peoria, Illinois

Post by pirateoversixty » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:58 am

Ornello:

I have been browsing thru some old copies of Darkroom Photography, and I came across an article by Steve Anchell, where he "discovered" the merits of vigorous agitation for, in this case, 4x5 film. I think this is about the time he started working on the BTZ tubes. Anyway, he said that he was impressed with the negs that resulted from this type of agitation. I don't recall that any type of developer was mentioned.
I was only interested in finding out if there were alternatives to the most commonly reffered - to developers for this process. I may try developer-water bath method next, tho i understand this takes another eternity. Oh, well, when your retired, you have the rest of y our life to play, right??
Jim


Ornello
Posts: 875
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Post by Ornello » Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:18 am

pirateoversixty wrote:Ornello:

I have been browsing thru some old copies of Darkroom Photography, and I came across an article by Steve Anchell, where he "discovered" the merits of vigorous agitation for, in this case, 4x5 film. I think this is about the time he started working on the BTZ tubes. Anyway, he said that he was impressed with the negs that resulted from this type of agitation. I don't recall that any type of developer was mentioned.
I was only interested in finding out if there were alternatives to the most commonly reffered - to developers for this process. I may try developer-water bath method next, tho i understand this takes another eternity. Oh, well, when your retired, you have the rest of y our life to play, right??
Jim
The best, most reliable method of agitation for most films is intermittent, using 30-second or 1-minute intervals. Agiation should be gentle, and calls for hardly more than an inversion or two each cycle.

When I say gentle, I mean gentle.

Jay DeFehr
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:40 pm

agitation

Post by Jay DeFehr » Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:55 pm

Reducing the ph of any developer will reduce its rate of development, and consequently reduce the rate of agitation needed somewhat, but agitation of some sort is definitely needed with roll film in tanks. There is no getting around the need for agitation, period. You cannot dispense with agitation entirely.
Mike, pay attention: One minute intial agitation. After that, play checkers, have snack, or read a good book on photo chemistry, but agitation is not required with GSD-1. Your insistence to the contrary is meaningless to me, because I've processed too many rolls of film in exactly the way I describe, without defects of any kind. Are you suggesting I'm achieving the impossible, or is it more likely that you're relying for your opinion on sources that deal in generalities?

Jim,

Agitation can affect contrast, both macro and micro, over a range between stand development and continuous agitation. There is a frequency of agitation beyond which increased agitation has no affect on contrast, and that threshold is very low. In other words, there will be no difference in the contrast of a neg developed with very gentle continuous agitation, and one developed with vigorous continuous agitation, unless the developer in use is prone to aerial oxidation, in which case vigorous agitation could reduce contrast. Stand development is an extreme form of reduced agitation, and is not compatible with standard MQ/PQ developers, which are superadditive and produce developer byproducts that lead to bromide streaking, and mottling. GSD-1 is formulated specifically for stand development, and due to the working properties of glycin, doesn't share the same agitation requirements that MQ/PQ developers do. Between stand development and continuous agitation, there is a useful range of agitation that can be exploited for effect.

The greatest benefit of reduced agitation over standard intermittent agitation is the enhancement of local contrast, especially in the midtones, while retaining normal overall contrast for easy printing. If your goal is to acheive a compensating effect, as in water bath development, there are other techniques that might be more useful, and practical, such as two-bath development. Modern emulsions are much thinner than those traditionally used with intermittent water bath development (don't let the advertising hype confuse you; all modern emulsions are thin), and the amount of developer that can be saturated by them is far less, making water bath development impractical. I've tried it with a special metol developer, and couldn't identify any measurable effect, but if you decide to give it a try, and find something useful, I hope you'll let us know.

90% of my film development is done with 510-Pyro, which can be used with agitation ranging from semi-stand in tubes, to continuous rotary in automated processors. I play with developrs like GSD-1 to see if I can make them work, contrary to the opinions of those who haven't tried. I've formulated a developer for films and papers (DeFehr Rapid Universal) that develops most films to normal contrast in around 60 seconds, which many people told me was either impossible, due to the saturation time requirement of the film, and induction period of the developer, or impractical due to uneven development with such short times, and/or the large grain that would inevitably result. Those critics were wrong on all counts, but continue to quote conventional wisdom to support their claims, despite my actual results to the contrary. I've formulated a very simple catechol/ascorbate developer (Hypercat) that some "experts" claim suffers from infectious development, reduced film speed and irratic contrast behavior, none of which is true. You can find the formula here at Digital Truth, and try it for yourself. My point is there is often a disconnect between theory and practice, and when there is, reproducible results trump theory, because the theory is usually given as a generality, with exceptions.

Enjoy your retirement, and never hesitate to indulge your curiosity, even in the face of theoretical criticism.

Jay

Ornello
Posts: 875
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: agitation

Post by Ornello » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:06 am

Jay DeFehr wrote:
Reducing the ph of any developer will reduce its rate of development, and consequently reduce the rate of agitation needed somewhat, but agitation of some sort is definitely needed with roll film in tanks. There is no getting around the need for agitation, period. You cannot dispense with agitation entirely.
Mike, pay attention: One minute intial agitation. After that, play checkers, have snack, or read a good book on photo chemistry, but agitation is not required with GSD-1. Your insistence to the contrary is meaningless to me, because I've processed too many rolls of film in exactly the way I describe, without defects of any kind. Are you suggesting I'm achieving the impossible, or is it more likely that you're relying for your opinion on sources that deal in generalities?

Jim,

Agitation can affect contrast, both macro and micro, over a range between stand development and continuous agitation. There is a frequency of agitation beyond which increased agitation has no affect on contrast, and that threshold is very low. In other words, there will be no difference in the contrast of a neg developed with very gentle continuous agitation, and one developed with vigorous continuous agitation, unless the developer in use is prone to aerial oxidation, in which case vigorous agitation could reduce contrast. Stand development is an extreme form of reduced agitation, and is not compatible with standard MQ/PQ developers, which are superadditive and produce developer byproducts that lead to bromide streaking, and mottling. GSD-1 is formulated specifically for stand development, and due to the working properties of glycin, doesn't share the same agitation requirements that MQ/PQ developers do. Between stand development and continuous agitation, there is a useful range of agitation that can be exploited for effect.

The greatest benefit of reduced agitation over standard intermittent agitation is the enhancement of local contrast, especially in the midtones, while retaining normal overall contrast for easy printing. If your goal is to acheive a compensating effect, as in water bath development, there are other techniques that might be more useful, and practical, such as two-bath development. Modern emulsions are much thinner than those traditionally used with intermittent water bath development (don't let the advertising hype confuse you; all modern emulsions are thin), and the amount of developer that can be saturated by them is far less, making water bath development impractical. I've tried it with a special metol developer, and couldn't identify any measurable effect, but if you decide to give it a try, and find something useful, I hope you'll let us know.

90% of my film development is done with 510-Pyro, which can be used with agitation ranging from semi-stand in tubes, to continuous rotary in automated processors. I play with developrs like GSD-1 to see if I can make them work, contrary to the opinions of those who haven't tried. I've formulated a developer for films and papers (DeFehr Rapid Universal) that develops most films to normal contrast in around 60 seconds, which many people told me was either impossible, due to the saturation time requirement of the film, and induction period of the developer, or impractical due to uneven development with such short times, and/or the large grain that would inevitably result. Those critics were wrong on all counts, but continue to quote conventional wisdom to support their claims, despite my actual results to the contrary. I've formulated a very simple catechol/ascorbate developer (Hypercat) that some "experts" claim suffers from infectious development, reduced film speed and irratic contrast behavior, none of which is true. You can find the formula here at Digital Truth, and try it for yourself. My point is there is often a disconnect between theory and practice, and when there is, reproducible results trump theory, because the theory is usually given as a generality, with exceptions.

Enjoy your retirement, and never hesitate to indulge your curiosity, even in the face of theoretical criticism.

Jay
Agitation is not dependent on the type of developer. All developers produce by-products. These by-products must be dissipated into the developer by means of periodic agitation, because in concentrated form they cause streaking and other irregularities in development when the film is held vertically in the solution. This is because the by-products differ in specific gravity: they are either denser or less dense than the developer solution, and thus affected differently by gravity.

Stand development was used in the days of glass plates, which were held horizontallly in the solution. Since the plate was held horizontally in the solution, the plate prevented gravity from affect the by-products differently.

All of this is well-established scientific fact. Quit making stuff up and telling people what is known to be false.

Jay DeFehr
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:40 pm

Educating Orny

Post by Jay DeFehr » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:29 pm

Agitation is not dependent on the type of developer.
Yes, it is. You said so yourself:
Reducing the ph of any developer will reduce its rate of development, and consequently reduce the rate of agitation needed.......
Some developers, like PMK, require near-constant agitation, while others, like GSD-1, require only initial agitation. Some developers are suitable for rotary development, and others are not, but most developers are compatible with a range of agitation frequencies. When you make blanket statements, you display your ignorance and when you talk about science, you crack me up. Thanks for the laugh.

Jay

Ornello
Posts: 875
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Educating Orny

Post by Ornello » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:38 pm

Jay DeFehr wrote:
Agitation is not dependent on the type of developer.
Yes, it is. You said so yourself:
Reducing the ph of any developer will reduce its rate of development, and consequently reduce the rate of agitation needed.......
Some developers, like PMK, require near-constant agitation, while others, like GSD-1, require only initial agitation. Some developers are suitable for rotary development, and others are not, but most developers are compatible with a range of agitation frequencies. When you make blanket statements, you display your ignorance and when you talk about science, you crack me up. Thanks for the laugh.

Jay
Agitation is not dependent on the type of developer (with minor exceptions for some obsolete types, which may require near-constant agitation). Most developers are PQ or MQ, and these ordinarily are used with intermittent agitation, as are Rodinal and Gylcin types. It is not the developer type that is the crucial factor, but the position of the film. Stand development is unsuited for vertically suspended film, period. It has nothing to do with the developer composition. Stand development is suited only for plates positioned horizontally, so that the by-products stay in place and do not cause streaking..

Jay DeFehr
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:40 pm

still educating Orny

Post by Jay DeFehr » Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:33 pm

Mike,

do you want to talk about MQ/PQ developers, or developers suitable for stand development in tanks and tubes? All developers are not MQ/PQ, and not all developers are compatible with all forms of agiitation. My results are not affected by your flat lying plate mantra. How persuasive do you think you'd have to be to convince me that what I do on a regular basis doesn't work? Maybe it will eventually sink in that we're discussing exceptions, and not generalities. You're going to have to find someone else to play with, because you're boring me. Have fun.

Jay

Ornello
Posts: 875
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: still educating Orny

Post by Ornello » Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:57 am

Jay DeFehr wrote:Mike,

do you want to talk about MQ/PQ developers, or developers suitable for stand development in tanks and tubes? All developers are not MQ/PQ, and not all developers are compatible with all forms of agiitation. My results are not affected by your flat lying plate mantra. How persuasive do you think you'd have to be to convince me that what I do on a regular basis doesn't work? Maybe it will eventually sink in that we're discussing exceptions, and not generalities. You're going to have to find someone else to play with, because you're boring me. Have fun.

Jay
Jay:

If you think you can defy the laws of physics, go right ahead and believe that. I'll be watching when you crash into the Earth. The developer composition has very little to do with what by-products are formed in development, because these come from the film itself. These by-products interfere with the development process if left undisturbed, because they are heavier than the developer. That means they sink in the solution. They sink right along the film's surface, where they form. They cause disruptions to even development. This is why agitation is necessary

Jay DeFehr
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:40 pm

Re: still educating Orny

Post by Jay DeFehr » Sun Jul 23, 2006 9:46 pm

If you think you can defy the laws of physics, go right ahead and believe that. I'll be watching when you crash into the Earth.
You're saying it's impossible, and I'm saying I do it all the time; what more is there to say?

Jay

Ornello
Posts: 875
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: still educating Orny

Post by Ornello » Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:56 am

Jay DeFehr wrote:
If you think you can defy the laws of physics, go right ahead and believe that. I'll be watching when you crash into the Earth.
You're saying it's impossible, and I'm saying I do it all the time; what more is there to say?

Jay
You can 'do' it, but the results won't be good. Stand development is suitable for flat-lying materials only.

Jay DeFehr
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:40 pm

Wrong

Post by Jay DeFehr » Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:54 pm

I can do it, and my results are excellent, in spite of your theoretical objections.

Jay

juan
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:56 am
Location: Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Post by juan » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:01 am

I just stumbled onto this old thread and had to laugh. I've developed thousands of negatives, 8x10, 4x5, 2x3, 120 roll, 35mm roll, all by a reduced agitation development schemes. I've used a couple of the Pyrocats, Jay's 510-Pyro, Jay's GSD-10, PC-TEA and Rodinal. They all work.

The key is to forget glass plates and laying the film horizontal - put the film vertical, as it is in a roll film tank. Google Steve Sherman if you don't believe me.
juan

Ornello
Posts: 875
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Post by Ornello » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:09 am

juan wrote:I just stumbled onto this old thread and had to laugh. I've developed thousands of negatives, 8x10, 4x5, 2x3, 120 roll, 35mm roll, all by a reduced agitation development schemes. I've used a couple of the Pyrocats, Jay's 510-Pyro, Jay's GSD-10, PC-TEA and Rodinal. They all work.

The key is to forget glass plates and laying the film horizontal - put the film vertical, as it is in a roll film tank. Google Steve Sherman if you don't believe me.
juan
'Stand' development is not the same thing as 'reduced' agitation. It's NO agitation whatsoever, and it is not a good idea. Some agitation is essential for good negatives. If the film is held vertically, as in reels, it will show streaks if at least some agitation is not given. The streaks may not be obvious with some subject matter. I agitate once per minute, two gentle inversions with rotation.

pentaxpete
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:19 am
Location: BRENTWOOD,Essex,(UK)

Post by pentaxpete » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:22 am

Ornello : Yes, I agree with you about rollfim in tanks needing agitation. Years ago when I was a part-time tutor at Barking College Diploma Course in photography I tried to introduce the student to home-made developing and mixed up some Two-Bath. Told them it should be very good for Panatomic X rollfilm: they shot some films and I processed in the Two-Bath, giving NO agitation in the second (alkali) bath - result - ALL DEVELOPMENT STREAKS down from the flanges of the Paterson tank!
Got COMPUTERISED and 'slightly Digitised Pentax K10D' but FILM STILL RULES !

Ornello
Posts: 875
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Post by Ornello » Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:08 pm

pentaxpete wrote:Ornello : Yes, I agree with you about rollfim in tanks needing agitation. Years ago when I was a part-time tutor at Barking College Diploma Course in photography I tried to introduce the student to home-made developing and mixed up some Two-Bath. Told them it should be very good for Panatomic X rollfilm: they shot some films and I processed in the Two-Bath, giving NO agitation in the second (alkali) bath - result - ALL DEVELOPMENT STREAKS down from the flanges of the Paterson tank!
Yes, due to the difference in specific gravity the heavier by-products of development that form at the areas of greatest density will sink toward the bottom of the tank, inhibiting development as they travel along the surface of the film. Stand development was used int the days of glass plates that were placed in a perfectly horizontal position, so that the by-products stayed in place, right where they formed. Roll film needs agitation, moderate to be sure, but agitation is a must.

Post Reply