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Thread: Paper Developer Question

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Paper Developer Question

    I have just started experimenting with 4x5 paper negatives using Ilford Multigrade RC paper.

    I am mixing Ilford MG developer 1:18 to a volume of 500ml and developing in a small tray.
    Can I reuse the developer or do I have to mix a fresh batch after each session and can I develop up to 4 sheets per session

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    1,170

    Re: Paper Developer Question

    When printing regular prints, I generally mix 250-300ml of adotol (I assume it's similar to dektol, but I don't know the formula) which easily lasts a session of up to 20 8x10's (I never develop more than that per session) and I can even use it for about the same amount the next day. After 2 days, it's generally oxidized too much to be usable. Still, I generally mix fresh developer for each session just to be sure. Mind you, this is in 1+7 dilution. I understand normal dilutions for the ilford developer are roughly similar, so the life of the mixed developer and the capacity will be lower than at normal printing dilution. Still, 4 sheets in 500ml will be within capacity by a long, long shot; you should be able to develop many more prints in that volume. For 4x5 and 5x7 I use a tray that is just a little larger than 5x7 and I use about 150ml of developer. Your volume of 500ml will therefore allow for a massive safety margin.

  3. #3

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    Re: Paper Developer Question

    Thank you

  4. #4

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    Re: Paper Developer Question

    I used Ilford MG developer for the first time about 3 weeks ago at 1:9 dilution. I used the same 1 liter batch yesterday and it was still working fine with about 20 8x10 prints total processed. Ilford's documentation indicates good for a session but others have noted it will last about a month in a bottle. more dilute may not last as long.
    The mountain waters of North Georgia call out to me, I visit and leave only tripod holes behind. The Appalachian Trail is my treadmill and gym.
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  5. #5
    multi format
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    Re: Paper Developer Question

    hi ian

    don't dilute your developer so much and you will get more out of it
    both tone wise and capacity wise. you can adjust your contrast and density
    in the taking stage and develop normally .. some people love using a yellow filter
    i just use old paper the loss of contrast and speed and fog does wonders for paper negatives !

    good luck !
    john

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