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John Kasaian
9-Feb-2019, 08:43
I've settled on D-76 for film(Ilford) and Ansco 130 for printing contacts(Fomabrom) but I'm curious about other developers and thought of ordering something extra to play with this time around.
But there are so many different developers, it's hard to choose!
I've no issues with D-76 or Ansco 130 and I appreciate that they're easy to mix and have a good shelf life.
Any suggestions on what might be fun to experiment with?

koraks
9-Feb-2019, 09:16
Get some phenidone, metol, hydroquinone, vitamin C, borax, some lye (NaOH), some washing soda, some sodium sulfite and a small precision scale. Then you can experiment to your heart's content with many different formulas.

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
9-Feb-2019, 09:19
Any suggestions on what might be fun to experiment with?

With higher dilutions? Rodinal 1+100?

Peter Lewin
9-Feb-2019, 12:56
For something really different, how about one of staining developers such as Pyrocat or PMK?

Doremus Scudder
9-Feb-2019, 13:24
John,

If I were to start playing around with different film developers, I'd be looking at Pyrocat and Xtol. Presently I'm using PMK for most everything and it's doing just fine.

I am currently looking to find a print developer I like better than others. I used up my last Zone VI print developer just last month. I suspect that it was, or was similar to, Bromophen, so I've ordered some of that. I had good luck with that developer for years and liked the way prints toned with it. I've used the Formulary BW-65 before and liked it a lot, but it hindered toning on some papers. I might give it another try. I'm also thinking about trying out the Ansco 130 too, your developer of choice. I'm currently printing with Liquidol and find it good. Lots of control by extending development. I still haven't explored all its possibilities.

Have fun,

Doremus

Drew Wiley
9-Feb-2019, 13:59
Zone VI dev was essentially just Dektol with double the hydroquinone, minus sequestering agents (hence requiring split powder packaging). It's similar to Lecky's cold tone developer or D72. I have my own preferred MQ tweak. But all of these can go a bit HQ greenish in image color, just like Dektol. Therefore I prefer amidol for cold tone papers. You can get good amidol from Artcraft in NYC. The current Bergger Prestige Netural Tone paper as well as Iford MG Cooltone work best in amidol. I don't recommend it for warm tone papers. My own specific blend uses this ingredient circumspectly without undue waste, so is quite economical, but like other amidol formulas needs to be mixed just before use : 350 ml hot water, 20g sodium sulfite, 2 g citric acid, 0.2 g benzotriazole, water to make 500 ml total. This can be pre-mixed and set aside in a tight glass bottle. On the day of use add 4g amidol. Dilute 1:3 for tray usage. Use a plain water stop bath and wear nitrile gloves. But use an alkaline fixer like TF4, since the developer itself is slightly acidic (citric acid acts as an antioxidant; otherwise, the solution will unnecessarily exhaust very quickly).

Vaughn
9-Feb-2019, 14:43
You could always try Ilford PQ Universal Developer for both your film and your prints, if for no other reason than to keep things simple.

Drew Wiley
9-Feb-2019, 15:27
Who wants simple? If I wanted to do something simple, I'd simply contact National Enquirer and publish an expose of who Bigfoot really is, and then the whole chase would be over. But so would the fun. So I'll keep it secret.

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
10-Feb-2019, 06:43
I've settled on D-76 for film(Ilford) and Ansco 130 for printing contacts(Fomabrom) but I'm curious about other developers and thought of ordering something extra to play with this time around.
But there are so many different developers, it's hard to choose!
I've no issues with D-76 or Ansco 130 and I appreciate that they're easy to mix and have a good shelf life.
Any suggestions on what might be fun to experiment with?
Did you test your own E.I. and your effective development time with D-76 and Ilford?
Did you test your standard print time for a paper with a given gradation and a given magnification (Fischer-Piel)?
How systematically do you play around / experiment?

Pere Casals
10-Feb-2019, 07:03
I've settled on D-76 for film(Ilford) and Ansco 130

Personally, I've moved from D-76 to Xtol. Xtol is one of the most eco-friendly commercial developers, stock keeps very stable (more than D-76) for 1 year if made with distilled watter and kept in (no air) sealed bottles, it has 1/3 stop advantage in the shadows, it's fine grain and sharp for all formats. Note that great sharpness and fine grain are not easy to obtain at the same time, but xtol does it.

I'm to explore HC-110 with HP5+ for LF portraits, well influenced by Neal's comments.

For paper I plan to move to Ansco 130, I've a lot to learn in printing and my guess is that with 130 I would learn about tone.

Hans Berkhout
10-Feb-2019, 07:49
Try Beers

LabRat
10-Feb-2019, 11:52
Get some phenidone, metol, hydroquinone, vitamin C, borax, some lye (NaOH), some washing soda, some sodium sulfite and a small precision scale. Then you can experiment to your heart's content with many different formulas.

+1...

Getting into moderate volume work, you are just throwing $$$ away paying markup to buy prepared chems, and it gives you a wide range of variations of fresh to order formulas...

And it's fun to mix!!!

Steve K

pepeguitarra
10-Feb-2019, 11:55
I found myself using Perceptol a lot, it gives clear and neat grain, but not much contrast. Rodinal has become my go to developer, especially with the slower film emulsions.

jnantz
10-Feb-2019, 12:52
Hello John

You could always develop your FILM in your Ansco 130 its about 7mins+/- at 1:6 at 72F
You could also buy some cheapo instant rot gut instant coffee, some washing soda and Vitamin C and make
Some Caffenol 130 ( you use the teaspoon recipe for the Caffenol C, and about 20CC of Ansco130 / L of developer ).
It stand develops your film well for about 30 mins, then shuffle a little bit, maybe 1 mins before you stop; or shuffle process &c for 9 or 10.

John

Bruce Barlow
10-Feb-2019, 15:30
Zone VI print developer was Dektol. "Why take a chance?" said Fred.

PRJ
10-Feb-2019, 21:05
If you get Metol, Sodium Sulfite and Sodium Carbonate you can make three completely different developers just by changing the way you use those three chemicals. D23 is just Metol and Sulfite and gives a beautiful tonality as a solvent type developer. You can split D23 into a two bath developer for compensation. You can also mix Beutler's which is a dilute acutance developer if you want really sharp negs with more pronounced grain.

Add some Potassium Bromide to the three and you can mix the soft working print developer Ansco 120.

Something easy for you to do without having to get too many chemicals.

Hope that helps you.

Eric Woodbury
10-Feb-2019, 21:32
Good for you for settling. You can spend a lifetime tinkering with the chemistry and miss a lot of camera time, or you can learn the tools you have and maybe miss a few shots to wrong chemistry.

I've settled on XTOL type for film and D-14 for paper (Ryuji Suzuki's). The D-14 is similar to Agfa Neutol Plus and its offspring.

e

Drew Wiley
11-Feb-2019, 17:17
Bruce, as I already mentioned, Zone VI Dev was basically Dektol modified in two regards, one of them being a greater amount of Hq. So the effect was slightly different. Around the same time Picker sold the luxurious Brilliant Bromide paper, which did have, just as he claimed, an abrupt shadow dropoff. That's was an understatement. More like a cliff. So he wanted a tweak of 76 which a little better matched that particular paper characteristic. But I always preferred amidol. I still have a few bags of that old Z VI developer laying around, which I've never gotten to since I have an MQ tweak of my own which I liked even better for Polygrade V when it became my favorite paper after the demise of Brilliant Bromide and Seagull G.