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Ben Calwell
18-Jan-2014, 14:23
I plan to start using D23 developer again for Tri-X sheet film. I used it years ago with a second bath of Kodalk, and if I remember correctly, I used that two-bath scheme for long-exposure scenes that required a lot of contraction to keep the high values from blowing out.
My question is, can D23 be used alone as a basic film developer or should it always be used in conjunction with a bath "B" of Kodalk (or borax)? My sense is that it would do a good job as a sole developer, but wanted to get some input from the experts here. Thanks in advance.

brouwerkent
18-Jan-2014, 15:01
Ben

I have to wonder why you are choosing D23. I believe there are many better choices. There will be lots of opinions...but I suggest you take a look at Pyrocat. D23, while soft working, has poor film speed...and you will not get optimum image sharpness.

In Pyrocat or some of the other pyro developers, they provide better film speed and much better compensation...while retaining superior acutance.

Cheers

Phil


I plan to start using D23 developer again for Tri-X sheet film. I used it years ago with a second bath of Kodalk, and if I remember correctly, I used that two-bath scheme for long-exposure scenes that required a lot of contraction to keep the high values from blowing out.
My question is, can D23 be used alone as a basic film developer or should it always be used in conjunction with a bath "B" of Kodalk (or borax)? My sense is that it would do a good job as a sole developer, but wanted to get some input from the experts here. Thanks in advance.

Ken Lee
18-Jan-2014, 15:12
According to my tests, D-23 1:1 gives a film speed of 250 with both TMY and HP5+ for scenes of normal contrast and development. In that respect (and in several others) it is quite similar to "old standards" like D-76, HC-110, etc.

You might find this article (http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/D-23.php) interesting.

mdarnton
18-Jan-2014, 15:23
I have used one-solution D-23 on and off for years. Periodically I get drawn into the ease and cheapness of it, then I remember that the sharpness isn't all that great (attributed to the solvent effect of the sodium sulfite) and the highlights, for me, always lack the kind of local contrast that I like to see, and so I always wander back to D-76 with slightly shortened times and an EI of 250 or so.

imagedowser
18-Jan-2014, 15:46
D23 is fine... you can't get more basic (your word) and flexible a developer AND it's what you are use to using.

Ben Calwell
18-Jan-2014, 18:45
Thanks for the comments. Based on my experiences with D23 some 20 years ago (when I used it solely in conjunction with a "B" bath of borax) to tame high contrast scenes, I really liked the results I got with it. I've read about the "solvent" effect, but I never really noticed a lack of sharpness with my sheet film negs, although I'm sure that effect is well documented. In the past, I had always used D23 in conjunction with a second bath of borax, but never used it by itself without the B bath. I'm guess I'm wondering if the borax bath is vital to get the most out of D23.

BetterSense
18-Jan-2014, 18:58
I used D23 replenished with DK25R for quite a while. I lived in Texas and shot small formats and speed was never a problem. I loved it. Eventually I switched to Xtol when I realized it gave more speed at similar grain levels.

Here is an ancient web page with zoomed-in example pictures

Chazmiller.com/projects/devtest.html

Ben Calwell
18-Jan-2014, 19:01
Ken -- thanks for the link to that article. If looks like D23 is fine when used alone without a second bath of borax.

Ken Lee
18-Jan-2014, 20:01
http://www.kennethleegallery.com/images/forum/d23TMYHP5.png

When you purchase the BTZS Plotter program (http://www.btzs.org/Software/Plotter.htm), you get a wonderful collection of test data for a large number of film/developer combinations.

Above is the "family" report for Ilford HP5+ developed in D-76 1:1. Below is a report for the same film developed in D-23 1:1. I developed the film and Fred Newman of the View Camera Store (http://www.viewcamerastore.com/) did the sensitometry.

Perhaps I have overlooked something, but the results seem quite similar - almost indistinguishable. Both developers give results that are fairly linear.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but looking over the BTZS data files which accompany the Plotter program, I found it remarkable just how similar the various film/developer combinations are. Given the same film and choosing a different developer, it seems we can get the same tonality with simple adjustments of time and temperature. The few differences we see in film speed (from using one developer/dilution over another) are rarely more than a fraction of an f/stop.

Sandy King expressed this very well the other day in the thread entitled Pushing and Pulling effect on tone curve (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?110134-Pushing-and-Pulling-effect-on-tone-curve&p=1098265&viewfull=1#post1098265)

"Getting the look you are after is more a matter of process than of specific materials. TRI-X and PMK might work for some, others would get what they want with Puke-a-Pan and D-FartyOne"

Taija71A
19-Jan-2014, 18:14
____

Hi Ben,
Just in case... You have not come across this article on D-23 (*And its many variants...):


http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/DD-23/dd-23.html

BTW... Metol is a great 'Reducing Agent'!
--
Cheers,

-Tim.

“You know you’ve achieved perfection in design... Not when you have nothing more to add -- But when you have nothing more to take away.” :) ~~ Anotine de Saint-Exupery ~~
________

StoneNYC
19-Jan-2014, 18:51
Please note the "Tri-X" sheet film is 320TXP, NOT 400TX so it will differ in many ways. Just thought I would mention that since you sound like you are coming back to it all. Also, I BELIEVE the 320TXP was re-formulated from old TXP 320, and I KNOW that the 400TX was re-formulated from old Tri-X 400 the change was identified by the speed (320, 400) being placed in front of the film designation type (TX, TXP) instead of behind it like it used to be.

So all this means the affect of D-23 may be different as the film is slightly different.

BetterSense
19-Jan-2014, 19:08
Also note that replenished, 2-bath, full-strength, diluted, etc are bound to make a substantial difference, probably as much as the difference between 2 different devs.

BradS
20-Jan-2014, 08:55
There is no need to follow D23 with an alkaline after bath. D23 was originally designed to be used like D76. Somebody came up with the after bath idea later. In fact, it has been shown many times that an alkaline bath after D23 has little or no effect. That is, you can achieve essentially the same effect with D23 alone. It is cheap and easy to do the experiments yourself - I did and stopped using an after bath years ago.

Ben Calwell
20-Jan-2014, 11:00
Thanks everyone for the input. I will be playing around with it to see what works and what doesn't.

Drew Wiley
20-Jan-2014, 11:08
It can be used either by itself or two-bath for a highly compensating effect. It doesn't yield particularly good acutance compared to most other developers.

StoneNYC
20-Jan-2014, 11:14
:devil: Rodinal (Adox Adonal) :devil: and GO!

smithdoor
25-Jan-2014, 12:53
Try this site
http://stores.photoformulary.com/film/

Dave

Kevin J. Kolosky
25-Jan-2014, 15:25
It would be nice if those who say "it won't do this", or "it won't do that" compared to "this" or "that" would show comparative examples along with their opinions.

BradS
25-Jan-2014, 15:47
It would be nice if those who say "it won't do this", or "it won't do that" compared to "this" or "that" would show comparative examples along with their opinions.

Ken Lee posted some very informative graphs on the previous page. Is there something in particular that you are concerned with?

Taija71A
25-Jan-2014, 15:59
It would be nice if those who say "it won't do this", or "it won't do that" compared to "this" or "that" would show comparative examples along with their opinions.

____

'Go for it'... Kevin!
D-23 ain't exactly 'Rocket Science' here... ;)
--

-Tim.
_________


"There is nothing new under the sun... It has all been done before."
~~ Sherlock Holmes. ~~

Ken Lee
25-Jan-2014, 16:21
Correct me if I'm wrong, but comparisons of film/developer combinations fall into 2 categories of discussion that I would loosely call "sensitometry" and "sharpness".

By "sensitometry" I mean issues of tonality, contrast, linearity of curves, suitability of contraction/expansion, effective film speed etc.

By "sharpness" I mean issues of grain, acutance, micro-contrast etc.

The first category can be described with fairly unambiguous language and testing procedures, such as we find with Zone System and BTZS testing. The second category can be harder to evaluate, because even though grain size and film MTF can be measured, the impression of sharpness is subjective and there are many "down-stream" factors in the workflow: degree of enlargement, taking lenses, enlarger lenses, scanners, printers, image editing software, sharpening algorithms, paper texture, viewing distance, etc.

One of the many advantages of Large Format image capture is that it minimizes our worries over the second category and let's us concentrate more on the first.

Flauvius
25-Jan-2014, 18:34
Apart from loss of film speed, the biggest problem I have encountered with D-23 is that it results in white sodium sulfite stains on everything it come in contact with.

Pryocat is a much "cleaner" developer to use. So, if you develope in the same area in which you print, be careful that you don't - as I did - end up with soduium sulfite dust from D-23 on your negatives and/or prints. As such, I would strongly recommond against using D-23.

Pyrocat HD or MC does everything that D-23 can do, only much better all around.

Flauvius

jerrybro
28-Jan-2014, 20:21
A thousand years ago, when I was starting to calibrate everything about anything, I ran tests on TMY45 with D23, Xtol, and TMaxRS. I found that i could get the same usable curves from each on the densitometer. Once calibrated, I could not tell which neg came from which developer at normal enlargements. I never looked at high enlargements, I only played with dilutions to keep the developing time in a manageable range, and everything was done on a Jobo. I'm of the opinion that you should choose the film and developer combination you like, learn (or calibrate) the combination, and go take pictures.

I like D23. I can mix it up as needed and the results are predictable and fine at my standard enlargements (4x5 or 120 to 16x20 or less).

Drew Wiley
30-Jan-2014, 11:15
Well on TMax films themselves, I get a dramatically different curve using TMRS compared to D23 or 76, or even HC-110. For one thing, it's a lot straighter. It also
makes a significant difference in how the shadow detail turns out. But I only use TMRS or HC110 for lab work (color separations and masks etc), not for general shooting. For regular work, I routinely prefer staining pyro formulas. My D23 era passed away long ago, along with thick-emulsion films like Super-XX. Back then I
found out I could get similar two-bath results with Perceptol, yet achieve slightly better acutance.

Taija71A
30-Jan-2014, 14:38
...Back then I found out I could get similar two-bath results with Perceptol, yet achieve slightly better acutance.

____

I can see that Drew has done his 'homework'! :)
Yes... Perceptol should give slightly better 'Acutance' than D-23... Due to the Sodium Chloride present (*IIRC).

-Tim.
_________

Jim Noel
30-Jan-2014, 14:55
Apart from loss of film speed, the biggest problem I have encountered with D-23 is that it results in white sodium sulfite stains on everything it come in contact with.

Pryocat is a much "cleaner" developer to use. So, if you develope in the same area in which you print, be careful that you don't - as I did - end up with soduium sulfite dust from D-23 on your negatives and/or prints. As such, I would strongly recommond against using D-23.

Pyrocat HD or MC does everything that D-23 can do, only much better all around.

Flauvius

Proper clean up and washing of film eliminates these problems.
There is no need to put down a developer because of lack of correct working procedures.