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axs810
7-Mar-2016, 00:50
What is your favorite paper developer and why?


So far I have only used Dektol, Neutol, and LPD. If anything I kind of like LPD more because of the dilution options and what that does to the paper, but I would love to hear what other peoples favorite paper developer is and why.

IanG
7-Mar-2016, 02:27
Ilford ID-78 which I mix from scratch it was once commercially available,it's very similar to Ilford warmtone developer. I mix it to a commercial strength (concentration) higher than the published formula replacing the Sodium Carbonate with Potassium Carbonate and Sodium Hydroxide this keeps well at least 2-3 years.

ID-78 is a very nice warmtone developer similar to Neutol WA, be aware that the formula was published incorrectly in the US in various publications due to a mistake in the Photo Lab index. There should be 4.5g/l KBr not the 0.4g listed in the Lab Index.

Ian

Alan9940
7-Mar-2016, 07:33
Hi Ian,

Would it be possible for you to publish your version of ID-78 here?

Thank you.

Alan

IanG
7-Mar-2016, 07:59
Hi Ian,

Would it be possible for you to publish your version of ID-78 here?

Thank you.

Alan

No problem:


ID-78 Ilford Warm Tone Developer
Phenidone 0.5 g
Sodium Sulphite (anh) 50 g
Hydroquinone 12 g
Sodium Carbonate (anh) 62 g
Potassium Bromide 4.5 g
Water to 1 litre

To use: Dilute 1+ 3 for warmest tones. Can be used at 1+1 for higher contrast.

This formula is invariably published incorrectly in US sources and many websites with only 0.4g Potassium Bromide. This is the correct formula taken from the "Ilford Manual of Photography" it's also in other Ilford publications.

ID-78 can be made up as a more concentrated stock solution and keeps well with an excellent shelf life. This is what I've been doing for over a decade

The Sodium Carbonate is best replaced by Potassium Carbonate and Sodium Hyrdoxide in the Concentrate which increases solubility.

Concentrated Stock Solution ID-78
Phenidone 1.25 g
Sodium Sulphite (anh) 125 g
Hydroquinone 30 g
Potassium Carbonate (anhyd) 96.25 g
Sodium Hydroxide 5.3 g
Potassium Bromide 11.25 g
Water to 1 litre

To use: Dilute 1+9, use 1+4 for higher contrast

ID-78 gives excellent Warm Tones with a wide variety of modern warm tone paper, including Polywarmtone, Agfa/Adox MCC, Fomabrom 111 and of course Ilford Warmtone FB. It was once commercially available in as aPowdered developer to make 1 gallon and 10 litres (2 Gallon) of Stock solution. It's a direct replacement for Neutol WA and Ilford Warmtone developers and was once available commercially as an Ilford pre-packed powder developer.

There's more here. (http://lostlabours.co.uk/photography/formulae/developers/devID78.htm) Any PQ developer can be made up as a concentrate I've used the typical Ilford substitution of Potassium Carbonate and Hydroxide for Sodium CArbonate, Agfa use(d) less Carbonate and more Hydroxide, Kodak for Liquid Dektol is similar. You could make up a concentrated PQ version of D72 Dektol quite easily.

Ian

Sal Santamaura
7-Mar-2016, 08:37
What is your favorite paper developer and why?...I've had a few over many decades, but am now extremely pleased with the recently released Adox MCC developer:


http://www.freestylephoto.biz/55630-Adox-MCC-Paper-Developer-1000ml

I haven't yet had a chance to do the full FB temporary darkroom setup routine and try this developer with MCC 110 paper. However, it has provided very pleasing prints on Multigrade Warmtone RC (MGWTRC).

In my opinion, a paper/developer evaluation isn't useful until the toning step is complete. So, after processing MGWTRC in MCC developer, then fixing and washing, it spends three minutes in Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner (KRST) dulited 1+19 at 75 degrees F. I do not notice a difference in shadow and highlight color at the end.

My goal is usually a neutral print, thus Moersch SE6 developer followed by the same toning regime is how I typically process this paper. The MGWTRC / MCC developer / KRST "team" is the first modern combination I've found that gives a slightly warm/eggplant color which is pleasing to me.

Bill_1856
7-Mar-2016, 09:52
Ansco 130. Beautful tones, as good as Amidol, and lasts forever. Available at the Formulary, easy to mix.

Roger Cole
7-Mar-2016, 10:03
LPD. Very long life, versatile dilution, clean working.

Drew Wiley
7-Mar-2016, 10:06
I vary my developers depending on the specific paper and final toning strategy. I have my own amidol tweak I use for coolish papers. For warmtone or neutral
images, I'm use customized tweaks of 130 glycin formulas. MGWT is a favorite paper for the latter.

Alan9940
7-Mar-2016, 13:01
Thank you, Ian. I will definitely give your concentrated formula a try; I love warm tones! :)

Alan

neil poulsen
7-Mar-2016, 13:22
Just to represent the quick and easy, I use Dektol 1:1. :o Clearly, nothing fancy nor exotic.

I will say that Ansel Adams recommended Dektol in his books, and I figured, if it was good enough for him . . .

The 1:1 ratio is nice, because it makes it easy to bring the developer to temperature, which is usually about 70 degrees. I develop for effectively 3 minutes a la 68 degrees. I use a Zone VI developing timer, and real time for that compensating timer occurs at about 68 degrees. The actual developing time will be somewhat less at higher temperatures.

The optimum temperature for Dektol is indeed 68 degrees. The activity of the two active ingredients varies with temperature. 68 degrees yields the best combined result from both. But having lived in Arizona, I chill at that temperature, so I compromise a little.

Corran
7-Mar-2016, 13:59
I sure would like to see a list of paper and developer combinations with resultant scans/digital images matched as close as possible to the print, so as to see the final tones achieved (also including toned / not toned afterward with selenium or whatever). I have been experimenting with different papers and developers over the last year but there are soooo many options, one cannot hope to try them all reasonably.

Bill_1856
7-Mar-2016, 14:38
I sure would like to see a list of paper and developer combinations with resultant scans/digital images matched as close as possible to the print, so as to see the final tones achieved (also including toned / not toned afterward with selenium or whatever). I have been experimenting with different papers and developers over the last year but there are soooo many options, one cannot hope to try them all reasonably.

Bruce Barlow did an exemplary job of this a few years ago. Of course, almost all of the papers are long gone. You might PM him (fine focus workshops).

Duolab123
7-Mar-2016, 17:40
Bromophen 1&3, occasionally add a little Selectol Soft. I played around with some old Edwal and Ansco formulas. I am sure I will again. Good old Dektol. For years.

Boy I miss The old graded papers, Medalist, Ektalure, Portriga, Brovira, Azo, on and on. Ektalure G surface, if I was a billionaire, that's what I would make. That and back printed Azo postcards in cardstock A surface, (dull smooth ) Multigrade paper is so fantastic, but it's almost too perfect.
Best Regards Mike

John Bowen
7-Mar-2016, 18:24
Bruce Barlow did an exemplary job of this a few years ago. Of course, almost all of the papers are long gone. You might PM him (fine focus workshops).

Yes. Bruce's work was published in View Camera magazine back in spring 2004.....

Michael E
7-Mar-2016, 19:04
I sure would like to see a list of paper and developer combinations with resultant scans/digital images matched as close as possible to the print

Too many variables (film, exposure, development, enlarger, paper, exposure, filtration, development, scan, monitor, etc.) to compare the results of different contributors. You'd have to stick doggedly to a scientific pattern to make this comparable. I think I'd rather just read about personal experiences, preferences and "soft facts".

Taija71A
7-Mar-2016, 19:06
Bruce Barlow did an exemplary job of this a few years ago. Of course, almost all of the papers are long gone. You might PM him (fine focus workshops).


Yes. Bruce's work was published in View Camera magazine back in spring 2004.....

https://bwbarlow.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-great-paper-developer-shootout-part-1.pdf
https://bwbarlow.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-great-paper-developer-shootout-part-2.pdf
https://bwbarlow.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-great-paper-developer-shootout-part-3.pdf
https://bwbarlow.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-great-paper-developer-shootout-part-4.pdf

Regards, -Tim.

Randy Moe
7-Mar-2016, 19:49
Ilford PQ by the gallon. I print Ilford papers.

Lasts a long time. I dislike any powder.

When my 'art' becomes so good I need better, which may never happen, I will change.

Also PQ does not bother my skin at all. Seems safe. I don't drink it.

I try to take good advice when I hear it and the best advice I got here was work one set of variables for a long time.

Mark Sampson
7-Mar-2016, 20:00
What I found, when I tried different paper developers in the 1990s, was that modern cold/neutral-tone papers didn't show major changes in different developers. Ansco 130 looked the best by a small margin but those results didn't justify the 3-minute developing times and the added cost. YMMV, of course, and warm-tone papers (which I rarely use) are much more sensitive to developers.

Wayne
7-Mar-2016, 20:51
What I found, when I tried different paper developers in the 1990s, was that modern cold/neutral-tone papers didn't show major changes in different developers. Ansco 130 looked the best by a small margin but those results didn't justify the 3-minute developing times and the added cost. YMMV, of course, and warm-tone papers (which I rarely use) are much more sensitive to developers.

But you didn't tell us what your favorite developer is.

Right now mine is Ilford multigrade and that's not because I like it, its because its the only liquid available locally and I'm not doing anything very special or inspired. When Polywarmtone hits the streets again my favorite will be a home brew version of A130 with Phenidone. .

jnantz
8-Mar-2016, 06:56
ansco 130, dektol and caffenol ...
caffenol because it is cheap as dirt
and it can be used with a130/d72 as a split developer
it costs abot 1 / print. film is developed in the same developer too.
i've had batches last for 4 or 5 months ( 200 films + 200 prints ) ..

YMMV

Willie
8-Mar-2016, 07:59
Amidol. Mix my own using the Michael A. Smith formula. http://www.michaelandpaula.com
Works well for the contact prints and enlarger made as well. Has the capacity for more than 50 prints per litre of working solution - using 8x10 paper.

John Layton
8-Mar-2016, 08:01
Back in the days of amazing fixed-grade papers (the OLD Oriental, the OLD Agfa Portriga, etc.), I had great luck with a first tray of Selectol-Soft followed by a second of Dektol - which I'd use in sequence and in different time ratios depending on a given negative.

As papers have since then both devolved and re-evolved, I followed suit with a few changes - LPD, Amidol, Etc., also doing much of my own mixing.

These days, I've been very happy with two Ilford MG papers (new Classic and Warm Tone) - the Classic souped in Moersch Eco-4812 and the Warmtone in Moersch SE-6. True...the latter is a cool-tone developer, but to my eye its results when used with the Ilford Warmtone paper are wonderful...brilliant and clear (but never "blank") whites, and deep shadows with substance - which I find no real need to tone except to add a bit of permanence. The 4812 has a wonderful range and amazing DMAX. Most important in my case, as I'm doing 20x30's in open trays, is the 4812's keeping qualities, minimal fumes, as well as its tendency to "live long and die fast," meaning that I can get the most out of this otherwise expensive developer's true capacity, with its giving great consistency right up to the end of its life - at which point (literally within a single print) there is no doubt that it needs to be discarded. Amazing stuff!

John Bowen
8-Mar-2016, 17:53
https://bwbarlow.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-great-paper-developer-shootout-part-1.pdf
https://bwbarlow.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-great-paper-developer-shootout-part-2.pdf
https://bwbarlow.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-great-paper-developer-shootout-part-3.pdf
https://bwbarlow.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-great-paper-developer-shootout-part-4.pdf

Regards, -Tim.

Thanks!

Taija71A
8-Mar-2016, 18:06
Thanks!

No problem John... You are 'More than Welcome!'

Bruce Barlow
16-Mar-2016, 07:49
Sorry, it's not worth the effort to try to match scans and post online. The differences of paper developers on a given paper are so subtle, scanning and posting wouldn't allow you to see the differences.

I tested 12 developers with 12 papers and have 4 3" binders of prints. Telling papers apart is relatively easy. Telling developers apart is much harder. Oops. Just saw the prior posts with links to my articles. Sorry to seem redundant.

Come to Maine and I'll be happy to show them to you. Sadly, I did the tests in 2003, so many of the papers are now unavailable. The developers are still around.

The consistently top developers, based on my personal evaluation: Fine Art VersaPrint (available from the Formulary), and good old Dektol. The articles I wrote for View Camera are at BruceBarlow@wordpress.com, and include big charts with my results.

Bruce Barlow
16-Mar-2016, 07:57
You can actually do comparisons and pare down the variables. Mostly. Then you just ignore what might be a variable that you didn't think about and go full speed ahead. One negative, one enlarger, one filtration, set paper development time(s). You end up looking at comparable prints. I don't scan so I can't speak to that.

Did you know that selenium toning time varies by developer? Yup. I found that out the hard way, toning 24 prints from 12 developers and two development times at the same time. Some took twice as long as others. Same paper. Same negative. Matched exposure times. If I'd had a lovely assistant in the dark to be a scribe, I could have recorded the times. Alas, Maria Sharapova hadn't been banned from tennis yet, and so was unavailable. Not to mention that I hadn't thought it would vary.

As the perenniial Sensei, I recommend trying it. You'll learn a lot, and most of it will have nothing to do with making comparison prints.

neil poulsen
16-Mar-2016, 09:38
. . . Also PQ does not bother my skin at all. Seems safe. I don't drink it. . . .

It's actually not that bad.

Randy Moe
16-Mar-2016, 10:44
Lol