View Full Version : Stand development and D-76?

Greg Nelson
12-Aug-2005, 21:10
I read with great interest the article in View Camera mag 2 months ago about the theory and results from using so-called stand development in certain lighting situations, and have studied John Sexton's similar use of Tmax developer and Tmax film in very high-contrast situations. I assume other developer/film combinations may also be used in this way with success. Is there a chance that any of you out there have had success using good ole (but more dilute than 1:1) D-76 with HP5 or Bergger films? I'm just looking for some data (dilutions, dev. times, agitation patterns) to use as a starting point so I can do some personal testing. And it would be nice to stick with my favorite films and keep the chemicals in the DR as simple as possible.

Daniel Grenier
13-Aug-2005, 07:01
Go here, Greg, http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=18200 and see a thread started by Steve Sherman (who wrote the VC piece). He goes into some more benefits etc... Also go to the AZO Forum (www.michaaelandpaula.com) for a lot more on stand and semi stand etc.

Also look at a recent thread started on APUG by Sandy King on how to tube-process with this method.

D76 and HP5 would not be the prefered combination for this. Pyrocat and FP4 would be far more ïn tune¨with this development methos as results are far more impressive using those materials. Anyway, check it out and good luck.

John Cook
13-Aug-2005, 07:26
Having never used D76 for stand development, I can't comment on that part of your question.

But I was introduced to Tri-X and D76 1:3 back in the early 70's by a colleague. Have used this dilution ever since (with standard agitation) for slightly increased apparent acutance with slightly more distinct grain. Obviously there is also a slight increase in development time involved.

Kodak does not recognize the 1:3 dilution. In fact their poop sheet indicates it may exceed its useful capacity. But it has worked just fine, lo these last thirty years, for us.


Richard Littlewood
13-Aug-2005, 09:14
This is something I have also been wondering about, using the same HP5 / D-76 combination as you. I mentioned this to a friend of mine a while ago and he said during his time at college he knew a technician that had real results using an un-known dilution, normal agitation for the first few mins (vague I know, sorry) then standing for about 30 mins with the odd inversion during that time. I do think the combination will work without a doubt although I reckon there may be a big increase in film speed. I'm going to give it a go with Hp5 rated at 400, in ID-11 diluted 1+10, 68f, normal agitation for the first 5 mins then stand for 30 mins with an inversion or two each 10 mins - I have to say this is pure speculation!

Before I give it a go - any thoughts any body?

Jay DeFehr
13-Aug-2005, 12:25
Use enough stock solution to develop your film, and develop for longer than you estimate necessary. These very dilute developers wil die before they overdevelop, in most cases, but generally need all the time they can get to develop to a printable density. Good luck.


13-Aug-2005, 13:23
If I may take a side-track, the question is WHY D-76? Like Mr. Cook, I use D-76 strictly at 1:3 and it's just perfect. For stand development, Rodinal is hard to beat. A 1:150 dilution works to completion in 40 minutes, but you can leave it in for an hour. At 1:200 it virtually exhausts - unbeatable. You vary contrast with agitation (making it something other than stand development). No agitation after first immersion is N-1 on APX 100 roll film. Three inversions every 10 minues will increase contrast to N.

But I will not use D-76 for stand development as long as Rodinal exists.

John Cook
13-Aug-2005, 14:34
Jay's point is CRITICAL!

As you exceed the capacity of the developer, you get into compensating la-la-land where futher time in the developer actually flattens the contrast. You can go around in circles in there.

With any developer, I first determine the capacity of films (8x10 = 1 roll) for the full-strength developer. I use no less than that amount per sheet and then add water to fill the tank. I then extend the time to match the rate of dilution. Then test to find perfection.

This method is particularly useful with Tetenal Neofin Blau whose mixing directions are nearly impossible to understand. I believe they were written by geriatric German gentlemen who can still make change for a dollar (mark) in their head without a computer, as their little joke on the youngsters.

In the case of diluting ID-11, the instruction pdf (see below, page 8 of 10) states that the capacity of undiluted full-strength developer is 10 films per liter. So be sure you have at least 100ml of stock solution per film (more might be better), then add water to fill your tank.


Steve Sherman
13-Aug-2005, 16:18

Limited Agitation and exhausted developer are the keys to the Semi-Stand and Extreme Minimal Agitation methods of film development being succesful.

D-76, Kodak's old standby is a very good universal film developer. However, it has a fair amount of Sodium Sulfite in the formula. Sodium Sulfite is a perservative and actually acts to prevent the developer from exhasuting, not what you want in the case of S-S or EMA process.

I used D 76 for a number of years with good results. However, all things considered there is so much up side to a pyro based developer it is hard to argue against one as long as you can get by the toxicity, which by the way only occurs while pryo is still in powder form.

Good luck

Greg Nelson
14-Aug-2005, 12:20
Thanks everyone. Steve, I appreciate your explanation about why D76 is ill-suited. I knew there had to be a reason. I have some experience with standard development using PMK, but know that you prefer Pyrocat-HD for semi-stand development. What is the reason for this, and why is it not recommended I use tray development (I have a "Slosher")?

Jay DeFehr
14-Aug-2005, 14:39
Hi Greg.
Developers well suited to extended development/reduced agitation (EDRA) techniques diplay some common characteristics, not least of which are a low tendency to fog, and usefulness at high dilutions (highly concentrated developers like Rodinal can be greatly diluted in relatively small volumes of working solution). Rodinal has been a traditional favorite for EDRA techniques for these very reasons. Staining/tanning developers offer additional benefits at the boundaries between high and low microdensities, creating the extreme adjacency effects this technique is known for, but not all staining developers are created equally for this application. PMK tends toward high fog and general stain, which can be annoying for silver printers, but disastrous to alternative/UV processes, extending printing times to unreasonable lenghts. PMK also suffers from uneven development, and mottling in this application. The best EDRA developers are highly concentrated, tanning/staining developers that work at a high pH to encourage stain formation without agitation, but produce very low fog/general stain, and no uneven development defects. I call my own EDRA developer Hypercat:



propylene glycol 75ml

catechol 10g ascorbic acid 2g phenidone .25g BZT .25g

glycol to 100ml


cold distilled water


sodium hydroxide 10g

cold distilled water to 100ml

Just dump the chemicals into room temp glycol and heat until dissolved. Since Hypercat contains no sulfites or bromides, all of the chemicals will dissolve at around 150F, which is only a little warmer than the recommended temp for mixing D-76, and well below the boiling point of water. The resulting stock solution will last indefinitely on the shelf.

To make an EDRA working solution, mix 1 part A with 1 part B and 300 parts distilled water. For normal development, use a 1:1:100 dilution.

Trays are not recommended due to the large surface/air area, which accelerates oxidation, and promotes uneven development. Good luck.


Steve Sherman
14-Aug-2005, 20:32

Very basically, Jay is correct when he says PMK tends to promote higher fog and more general stain. This is caused mostly by the Metol portion of the mix.

I am not familiar with Jay's developer, have found Pyrocat HD to be almost without flaw regardless of what form of development process you choose.

Settle on one film, one developer and one paper for a while, learn the nuances of each. By jumping around to what this photog might say and then you hear another's take and you end up taking much longer to get to the promise land.

A good friend still uses D 76 and prints on a paper I don't care for, however, I must admit his prints are beautiful

Michael Dowdall
15-Aug-2005, 04:20

“why is it not recommended I use tray development (I have a "Slosher")?”

The reason Pyrocat wasn’t recommended for stand and semi-stand development in trays is that Sandy King had problems with streaking. I recently took a workshop of his and showed him the fp4+ negs that I developed in 1+1+200 1.2 L total volume with agitation 1min at the start, 20 sec at 18 to 20 min and pulled it from the developer after 35 min. Sandy saw no problems with my negs. Another participant in the workshop tried this method with Berrger and Efke films in a slosher under Sandy’s guidance with great results. So if you are interested in trying another developer, this might be a good way to go. It works for me.


15-Aug-2005, 16:22
"However, it has a fair amount of Sodium Sulfite in the formula. Sodium Sulfite is a perservative and actually acts to prevent the developer from exhasuting, not what you want in the case of S-S or EMA process."

Well, the sulite helps keep the developer from oxidizing, or becoming exhausted for reasons unrelated to the development process. It doesn't stop the metol and hydroquninone from being exhausted, though, because the process of reducing the silver will oxidize the developer in a way that the sulfite does not effect. In order to get the extreme compensating effects that people typically go for with stand development, it makes sense to want the developer to exhaust from development, but not from other kinds of oxidation. So I wouldn't imagine sulfite would be a problem.

The high concentrations of sulfite do act as a silver solvent, which is why D-76 is considered a fine grain developer. My understanding of this process is that the sulfite slowly disolves silver of the edges of the grains (which have a filimentary structure) reducing their size and the hardness of their edges. The disolved silver might also be redeposited on the image in ways that makes the grain less visually prominent. At weak dilutions (1:2 or 1:3) the solvent effect is minimized, but I don't know how these ultra long stand development times would influence this.

Steve Sherman
15-Aug-2005, 20:25
Paul, you are correct in that D 76 is a fine grain developer. As you say it actually dissolves silver halides at it's edges which tends to diminish the appearance of grain, i.e. fine grain developer. However, at the expensive of sharpness. Sodium sulfite tends to promote silver migration as development times are increased, again not a desired result when using S-S or EMA for increased adjacency effects.

Pyro based developers harden the film's emulsion within the first two minutes of development, thus silver migration is minimized and the exhausted developer is left to produce the adjacency effects which has become the hallmark of S-S and EMA techniques.

Interesting to note, ABC Pyro is not considered a good choice for the S-S or EMA process, most likely because of the high content of Sodium Sulfite in the B part of the solution.

Jay DeFehr
17-Aug-2005, 13:19
it is my understanding that the sulfite effect you describe only occurs when the developer contains 85g/liter of sulfite, or more. In my own experience, I have not seen this effect in developers containing less than 50g/liter of sulfite, which might explain the increased sharpness and graininess of diluted D-76 over the undiluted stock.