D-76 dilution: Only to save money, or for other reasons?

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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pentaxpete
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Location: BRENTWOOD,Essex,(UK)

Post by pentaxpete » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:00 am

The 19th century process is'Bromoil' where the print (on a rough surface paper) is bleached out and special ink 'stippled' onto print to build up the image.It takes on parts where the print surface accepts it and 'skids off' where it doesn't accept it .
Years ago in 'Practical Photography Magazine' there was a technique called the 'FFDD' (Fast Film Dilute Developer) technique for 'pushing' films. You uprated the film x4 (say HP5 to 1600) then diluted D76 1+4 then gave it about 45 minutes agitating only every 2 minutes or so while you had a cup of tea and a sandwich. I tried and it seemed to work but only on low SBR (subject-brightness-range) subjects, NOT pics in the height of summer with strong sunshine and shadows ! (OK for football on a dull winter day )
Got COMPUTERISED and 'slightly Digitised Pentax K10D' but FILM STILL RULES !


kcf
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Post by kcf » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:25 am

Yes, pentaxpete, I had heard of dilute developer fast film. The version I heard was for five hours in a bath to keep it at 68 degrees farenheit. I read about it in a book by Les MacLean called "Creative Darkroom Photography." I think the dilution for D-76 had been misprinted because it said 1:40 (!). I tried that dilution and naturally got basically clear plastic for my troubles. So I will have to try it at 1:4 and see what happens.

Ornello
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Post by Ornello » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:51 pm

kcf wrote:1) Side note: Didn't nineteenth-century photographers put glass plates in the sun for long periods? Was that to develop them without chemicals? Breakdown of silver bromide using only light?

2) Side note 2: Isn't there a nineteenth-century process called bromine or bromide? Has a lithographic look to it.

3) The only thing I have ever heard dilution associated with is pushing, or, at least, shooting fast and then wanting to reduce highlight development. The problem is graininess. But you are telling me longer development times produce more consistent results. So, dilution might be better if pulling causes you to have a very short development time. Might be better to use T-Max in more diluted form and go, say eight minutes instead of five in stronger form.
1) Perhaps, but developers were used as early as the 1850's.

2) Not of which I am aware.

3) Dilution is closely associated with compensating development, used primarily in situations where the lighting is uncontrolled (such as outdoor work). In the studio, lighting can be controlled, so that was not where the historical development of that technique took place. It took place primarily in Europe with early 35mm users, who found the excessive contrast which resulted from scenery that included the clouds in the sky could not be tamed by merely reducing development, because the whole image lacked conrast then.

Various techniques can be used to produce compensation. One is the two-bath approach, in which the developing agent is dissolved without any alkali in the first bath, which is followed by a second bath with alkali but no developing agent. Dilution works better, though.

Keith Tapscott.
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Post by Keith Tapscott. » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:20 pm

D-76 and ID-11 share the same "published" formula which is referred to by Geoffrey Crawley, the former technical editor of "The British Journal Of Photography" as SMQB (Standard Metol, Quinol and Borax) developer.
The commercial formulas by Kodak and Ilford may have been "breathed on" for greater consistency, but otherwise behave very similarly in performance. These are the industry trade standard developers and the ones that other developers are judged by. D-76/ID-11/SMQB developers tend to yield negatives with shadows that are a little weak and understated with most slow and medium speed films along with a slight initial fog when the fresh unused developer is used to process a film. This can be overcome by diluting one part developer with one equal volume of water, the developer now at half strength, exhaust more quickly in the densest parts of the negative (the highlights), but continues to work in the thinner parts of the negative (the shadows). The result is a negative with better shadows, easier to print highlights and the slight fog is greatly reduced, it is for this reason that these developers are usually diluted 1+1. At this dilution, the developer can be considered as `compensating` or at least `semi-compensating`.
Another benefit is slightly better sharpness and definition, but with slightly increased grain and perhaps some moderate mid-tone compression, although this is negligible.
Crawley set about improving on SMQB with his FX series of so called solvent developers which yield about one-third to two-thirds of a stop (about half an f/stop) more speed than D-76/ID-11/SMQB with out the need for dilution and with lower base fog.
A formula to try is FX-15 which can be found on this site, the guide development times are from Geoffrey Crawley himself.
Times in Minutes:Seconds at 20C/68F, 4 inversions in a small-tank at one minute intervals.

AGFA:
APX 100 = 8:00
APX 400 = 9:00

FUJI:
100 Acros = 7:00
Neopan 400 = 7:00
Neopan 1600 = 6:30

ILFORD:
Pan F+ = 5:30
FP4+ = 6:30
HP5+ = 9:00
Delta 100 = 8:00
Delta 400 = 9:00
Delta 3200 = 10:00
SFX = 10:00

KODAK:
Plus-X = 7:30
Tri-X = 8:00
T-Max 100 = 8:00
T-Max 400 = 7:30
T-Max 3200 = 13:00

Ornello
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Post by Ornello » Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:01 pm

Keith Tapscott. wrote:D-76 and ID-11 share the same "published" formula which is referred to by Geoffrey Crawley, the former technical editor of "The British Journal Of Photography" as SMQB (Standard Metol, Quinol and Borax) developer.
The commercial formulas by Kodak and Ilford may have been "breathed on" for greater consistency, but otherwise behave very similarly in performance. These are the industry trade standard developers and the ones that other developers are judged by. D-76/ID-11/SMQB developers tend to yield negatives with shadows that are a little weak and understated with most slow and medium speed films along with a slight initial fog when the fresh unused developer is used to process a film. This can be overcome by diluting one part developer with one equal volume of water, the developer now at half strength, exhaust more quickly in the densest parts of the negative (the highlights), but continues to work in the thinner parts of the negative (the shadows). The result is a negative with better shadows, easier to print highlights and the slight fog is greatly reduced, it is for this reason that these developers are usually diluted 1+1. At this dilution, the developer can be considered as `compensating` or at least `semi-compensating`.
Another benefit is slightly better sharpness and definition, but with slightly increased grain and perhaps some moderate mid-tone compression, although this is negligible.
Crawley set about improving on SMQB with his FX series of so called solvent developers which yield about one-third to two-thirds of a stop (about half an f/stop) more speed than D-76/ID-11/SMQB with out the need for dilution and with lower base fog.
A formula to try is FX-15 which can be found on this site, the guide development times are from Geoffrey Crawley himself.
Times in Minutes:Seconds at 20C/68F, 4 inversions in a small-tank at one minute intervals.

AGFA:
APX 100 = 8:00
APX 400 = 9:00

FUJI:
100 Acros = 7:00
Neopan 400 = 7:00
Neopan 1600 = 6:30

ILFORD:
Pan F+ = 5:30
FP4+ = 6:30
HP5+ = 9:00
Delta 100 = 8:00
Delta 400 = 9:00
Delta 3200 = 10:00
SFX = 10:00

KODAK:
Plus-X = 7:30
Tri-X = 8:00
T-Max 100 = 8:00
T-Max 400 = 7:30
T-Max 3200 = 13:00
These developers do not yield a speed increase greater than 1/2 stop at most. I have tried many of them. They are good developers, though.

kcf
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Post by kcf » Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:39 pm

Is it your contention, Ornello, that the SQMB formula has never really been bettered?

Ornello
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Post by Ornello » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:50 am

kcf wrote:Is it your contention, Ornello, that the SQMB formula has never really been bettered?
For general purposes, it's very hard to beat 'standard' MQ Borax developers. I prefer Acutol, though. If Acutol were to disappear, I would probably use D-76 1:1 or something like the Adox MQ Borax formula (similar to D-76):

Metol 2 gr

Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous) 80 gr

Hydroquinone 4 gr

Borax 4 gr

Potassium Bromide 0.5 gr

Water to make 1.0 liter

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 531
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Post by Keith Tapscott. » Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:16 pm

Ornello wrote:
kcf wrote:Is it your contention, Ornello, that the SQMB formula has never really been bettered?
For general purposes, it's very hard to beat 'standard' MQ Borax developers. I prefer Acutol, though.
Acutol along with the other Paterson products are available again soon, like next week. :D
I will be attending "Focus On Imaging" next Monday.

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

Post by Ornello » Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:09 pm

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
Ornello wrote:
kcf wrote:Is it your contention, Ornello, that the SQMB formula has never really been bettered?
For general purposes, it's very hard to beat 'standard' MQ Borax developers. I prefer Acutol, though.
Acutol along with the other Paterson products are available again soon, like next week. :D
I will be attending "Focus On Imaging" next Monday.
I have not processed any film since early last summer, and most of my supply of Acutol is expired product, so I am eager for new supplies.

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