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Thread: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

  1. #11

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Since you're considering HP5+ in D-23 1:1, you might find this discussion helpful: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...=1#post1368910 and subsequent posts.

    I shared the development/contrast curves I discovered while doing a BTZS test with this combination. I'd be surprised if your results were considerably different. I shoot it at 200 since the difference between 200 and 250 is a mere fraction of an f/stop, beyond our ability to accurately meter a scene.

  2. #12

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Thanks, Ken. Your exceptional work/site contributed significantly to my choice of D-23 when I started looking around early this year. I appreciate the charts and precision for what they are; I'll follow my empirical testing without that degree. I contact on Multigrade RC and print on Ilford Warmtone semi-matte (with Strand's stand-oil varnish finishing the print). Already a number of variables are thus introduced, even from contact to straight print on the two different papers, but it's something I know and will find my way back to. It has just been a good while (or, not so good...). So, for instance, when I looked at a new test neg, I though I had a good Zone II, but it was I in the print -- on the RC, albeit is different from my fiber choice. A scientific approach is, I think, essential to avoid wild variables. The portraiture I'll be doing will have lots of its own. If I know I can handle them reasonably well in exposure and development, I'm happy; the art of printing is at least half the fun.
    Philip U.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est.

  3. #13

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulophot View Post
    I contact on Multigrade RC and print on Ilford Warmtone semi-matte (with Strand's stand-oil varnish finishing the print)
    Could you explain this method of varnishing ?

  4. #14

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    My experience also. What is the developer you use but don't name?
    Hi Michael,

    I had used D-23 and D-25 many years ago, but wanted something sharper cutting... (But D-23 was good for taking the edge off T grained films that I don't use...) D-76 tended to be a bit contrasty and hard out here in the Cali sun (but good for flat overcast & foggy conditions), so I hit the books for a formula that had about equal amounts of metol & hydroquinone, and after much searching, I found in the BJP a diluted Crowley variation of the old DK-50 formula, where a standard stock solution of DK-50 is mixed (A), and another B solution of 80 grams of Kodalk per liter into water, where to make a working solution you take 2 parts of DK-50 stock (A), 1 part of Kodalk (B), and seven parts water... (So a liter of working solution is 200ml A, 100ml B, and 700ml water) Development times are just like D-76, but holds highlights much better, fine sharp grain, cleaner working, a restrainer that controls fog, and with slight overexposure/underdevelopment, the grain pattern just follows shadow lines but does not cover image at normal EI... Use one shot... Easy to mix, and stock lasts for a good time... Maybe not for denser alt process negs, but the good but non-dense Dmax is perfect for enlarging + scanning, and great for all formats...

    FYI, I'm going to be off-line for awhile (for a walkabout, shooting, and finding a new studio, home, life, etc) I'll check in, but I hope no one burns down the house while I'm gone, so in the meantime, get out there and darken some silver!!!

    All good things to y'all!!!

    Steve K

  5. #15

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    Could you explain this method of varnishing ?
    The varnishing, for those unfamiliar, is a means of regaining tonal range with semi-matte fiber papers, whose surface, when dry, otherwise diffuses the light so as to make the middle and, especially, lower tones appear far less dense than the wet print, diminishing the overall as well as local contrast. Strand, who liked neither glossy nor matte surfaces and preferred semi-matte papers (some will remember the days when we had silver papers with a wide range of "lustre" and semi-matte surfaces and textures), experimented with a wide range of waxes and varnishes, finally settling on this one of artists' stand oil and good quality artists' turpentine, such as Windsor Newton. When his close friend Walter Rosenblum demonstrated this for me on one of my Portriga 118 prints, bringing it back to life, he said that prints of his had shown no ill-effects or yellowing after decades. My experience is the same.

    It has been long enough that I don't remember the dilution I was given as a suggested starting point. I think it was about 1:4, stand oil to turpentine, but I recall making thinner mixes, perhaps because the stand oil had been around for a number of years. In any case, the dilution is not critical. The turpentine carries the oil into the print and evaporates.

    The varnish solution can be mixed in a small glass, small-mouthed bottle. Once prints are toned and drymounted (N.B.: the varnish will curl unmounted prints), one uses a cotton ball wetted with very-well-shaken varnish solution and applies it to the print surface using overlapping small circles. If the print is trimmed to its image area on a large matte, a piece of thick (e.g., 28-lb or more) normal white paper can be used placed edge-to-edge with the print to avoid varnish getting onto the matte; care is, of course, needed. After application completion, a few minutes are given, then fresh cotton balls are used to distribute the oil remaining on the surface and remove excess. The print surface should then appear evenly finished, with no areas or streaks of other excess oil. The print is then stood somewhere to finish drying for a day or two. If streaks appear, the varnish can be used again to even them out with the same procedure, or, Walter told me, the turpentine alone can be used to draw the oil out of the print.

    One may wish to practice on a few extra prints first, to gauge dilution and technique.

    For Strand fans, I just discovered that the Smithsonian has a 5-hour-plus recorded interview of Strand conducted by Rosenblum and another friend, art historian Milton Brown, from 1971. It is available for auditing by appointment in Washington DC and New York.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est.

  6. #16

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Thank you for taking the time to explain the process.

    Do you have any idea whether it could be used on an inkjet print ? I can try if of course, but wonder if the solvents would immediately affect the pigments, the binder etc.

    Does this work for Pt/Pd prints ?

    I ask because I make matte carbon pigment prints (Piezography K7 Carbon).

  7. #17

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Hi, Ken. No clue regarding anything but B&W silver prints; that's all I have used it for and all I engage in (for serious work) now. Maybe one of the chemists or manufacturer's reps will know.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est.

  8. #18

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Decades ago, I took a class from Harrison Branch at Oregon State University, and he recommended applying Treewax using cheese cloth to mounted, glossy paper prints. It gave the prints a nicer look with more depth to the shadows.

    I've not continued this practice with the printing I do currently. However, I still have some of those prints, and I've not seen any particular ill effects, either.

  9. #19

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    Hi Michael,

    I had used D-23 and D-25 many years ago, but wanted something sharper cutting... . . . .
    Steve K
    Thanks for that! It sounds exactly like the developer I have been looking for!

  10. #20

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    Re: Developer capacity, D-23, and dilution

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post

    Do you have any idea whether it could be used on an inkjet print ? I can try if of course, but wonder if the solvents would immediately affect the pigments, the binder etc.
    I use a Canon Pro-100 for my black and white prints on Hahnemuhle photo rag pearl paper. I noticed that this paper, which I love, was very vulnerable to fingerprint damage, and one day in frustration I tried wiping the mess off with odorless paint thinner, which is a turpentine substitute. I was very surprised to find that the marks were in overspray dust, not the print itself, and the paint thinner did an perfect job of cleaning the prints, after which the surface turned out to be quite tough, so now I do this to all of my prints. So there's an answer for that combination.

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