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Thread: Divided D-23 Question

  1. #11

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    Re: Divided D-23 Question

    Good suggestions from everyone!!!

    OK Alan, looking at the formula, it is straight D-23, and develops to exhaustion in the B bath, and it seems your problem is the neg Dmax ends up being too high???

    One simple solution (literally) might be to change the B bath to a water bath, and let it sit with little/no agitation, or alternate A bath dev intervals with water bath intervals during a tested development, but that might be a PIA, but I have a suggestion;

    Since you have been trying two bath developers, and you seem to have tried your own chem mixing from scratch, I once made up a formula that might be the ticket... I had a 35mm project a couple of years ago that I thought a Diafine type two bath developer would be good for, so I priced off-the-shelf developer, and found it silly expensive, so I went on the net to see if there was a "clone" formula I could mix up, and saw there were some variations I could mix...

    The alkali in the stock formula seems to be TSP, strong and would probably account for the speed increase it gives, but the variants used Kodalk or borax, but they didn't seem to boost the film speed as much, so I tried the Kodalk (as I had some) at shot about box speed... I had a correct full range development, but the Dmax was lower, but really good shadow detail... The "clone" was a fairly standard PQ developer without an accelerator, but the B bath was TSP, Kodalk, or borax (higher activity and larger grain in that order), but I'm thinking it might be very good for films that produce great highlight densities that need to be pulled down a bit... If you have some hydroquinone, phenidone, borax, and you have the other stuff, that a PQ (or variant) formula might be the answer as they build less density...

    The only downside I noticed about this formula was even filtered after use, if the bottle sat for a week or two, there might be a tiny bit of sludge that would collect on the bottom, but I just filtered it off with a coffee filter before use... And I think I used a water bath before processing to remove the AH backing dye, but that didn't cause unevenness to density, so I think OK to use...

    Sorry I don't have the formula on hand to post (my lab notes are still in moving limbo), but not hard to find online... I used D-23 a lot of years ago, but I now prefer lower solvent developers used one shot, where I get better edge effects, and don't mind a very fine, but very slightly harder edged grain they give, but even in 35mm, it looks more like "real" film to me (esp in the "digital" age)...

    Good luck, and report back what you come up with!!!

    Steve K

  2. #12

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    Re: Divided D-23 Question

    Hi Steve,

    Yes, the issue I'm having is that my highlight density is coming in at about 1.98 - 2.10; I'd like to hit about 1.8 for pt/pd printing and/or printing on a paper like Lodima. I think one of the problems I've had with my recent testing is that the ambient temp in my darkroom is so high (live in the desert southwest) that my development times are just too short to control properly. Now that it's cooling down some in the early morning, I'm putting containers of solution outside, and developing early, so that I have a fighting chance of working at or very near 68F. Tomorrow morning I'm trying 5.5 mins in A followed by 3 mins in B with little to no agitation. As you can see, if this time turns out to be correct then any appreciable increase in developer temp would demand a shorter developing time; I always try to stay above 5 mins with any kind of manual development process.

    The dance with x-ray film is finding a shorter enough developing time that will hit your target highlight density while still maintaining decent shadow detail. Generally, if I decrease developing time by >20% I'll start to nudge EI downward to ensure that shadow detail. Right now I'm at EI50 which for my outdoor work is about as slow as I care to go for 8x10.

    Anyway, x-ray film is cheap (vs regular sheet film) so I don't mind burning up many sheets as I experiment to lock all this down.

    Thanks for all your input above.

  3. #13

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    Re: Divided D-23 Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    Hi Steve,

    Yes, the issue I'm having is that my highlight density is coming in at about 1.98 - 2.10; I'd like to hit about 1.8 for pt/pd printing and/or printing on a paper like Lodima. I think one of the problems I've had with my recent testing is that the ambient temp in my darkroom is so high (live in the desert southwest) that my development times are just too short to control properly. Now that it's cooling down some in the early morning, I'm putting containers of solution outside, and developing early, so that I have a fighting chance of working at or very near 68F. Tomorrow morning I'm trying 5.5 mins in A followed by 3 mins in B with little to no agitation. As you can see, if this time turns out to be correct then any appreciable increase in developer temp would demand a shorter developing time; I always try to stay above 5 mins with any kind of manual development process.

    The dance with x-ray film is finding a shorter enough developing time that will hit your target highlight density while still maintaining decent shadow detail. Generally, if I decrease developing time by >20% I'll start to nudge EI downward to ensure that shadow detail. Right now I'm at EI50 which for my outdoor work is about as slow as I care to go for 8x10.

    Anyway, x-ray film is cheap (vs regular sheet film) so I don't mind burning up many sheets as I experiment to lock all this down.

    Thanks for all your input above.
    There's little change in shadow detail throughout development (until too much, and fog increases), as development affects the highlights more... (Exposure affects the shadow detail...) Using a formula that allows higher dilutions should allow you to expand your dev time to a comfortable time at higher temps... What other developers have you tried??? (D-23 flattens out way too much diluted, in fact, very diluted it becomes a variation of a Tech Pan developer for taming massive line film contrast... But there's the possibility of the D-25 variation that causes a slight loss of film speed, but finer grain by the addition of the acid salt of sodium bisulfite that might slow processing down if you insist on using this developer...)

    The nice thing about the Diafine "clone" above is it is not temp dependent, so you should be fine below 79 (deg)... ;-)

    Steve K

  4. #14

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    Re: Divided D-23 Question

    Hi Steve,

    I haven't tried any other divided type developers, but I have tried F76+, Rodinal, and Pyrocat-HD. Most of the aforementioned developers I used on my Jobo in Expert Drums, but I could never really get the style negative I was looking for; perhaps continuous agitation is too much for an inherent high contrast film like x-ray? Dunno. Oh, almost forgot, I also tried 510 Pyro in trays. Though I developed 8x10 film for many years in trays long ago, again, I couldn't get the kind of negative I wanted with that combo.

    I you ever come across that Diafine "clone" you keep referencing, I sure would like to get the formula for it. Sure would be nice having something not so temp dependent given that I live in the desert southwest. Heck, during the summer my indoor temps reach >79F!

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Divided D-23 Question

    Depends on the film, I suppose. I haven't done divided D23 with anything other than thick emulsion films, which are extinct.

  6. #16
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Divided D-23 Question

    Try dividing the Sodium Sulfite from the A bath into the two baths 50/50. That should reduce development in the first bath.

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