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brian steinberger
12-Feb-2006, 22:19
I'm curious as too what print developer everyone is using for black and white and with what paper. I'm currently using Forte NB paper with Dektol 1:3 for two minutes, 68 degrees.

Donald Qualls
12-Feb-2006, 22:52
I'm using Dektol 1:3 as well, though the RC paper I've been using appears to be fully developed in just one minute as long as the room is warm. I think Dektol is pretty much the "default" print developer.

John Berry ( Roadkill )
12-Feb-2006, 23:33
Dektol 1:1 for enlarging, Amidol for contacts.

Deniz
12-Feb-2006, 23:37
Rodinal 1:10 for Ilford MG FB warm and AZO
Dektol 1:2 for Ilford MG FB
Agfa Neutol WA 1:7 for both AZO and Ilford FB warm

Oren Grad
12-Feb-2006, 23:39
Ilford PQ Universal 1+9. Nothing wrong with Dektol, it's just a bit less hassle to start from a liquid rather than having to mix stock from a powder.

ronald moravec
13-Feb-2006, 05:09
Scratch mixed D72 (Dektol) for cold tone pics. I like working with fresh mixed stock from well stored powders. No suprises ever. The price is right too. I make D76 for the same reasons.

Not been happy with any warm tone paper/developer I tried. Hate pink brown, green, and assorted other yuck colors. Dark brown tones are the target. When I get close, the manufactures either change or discontinue the paper.

I am looking for what Kodak used to call a warm black. Can`t find it. Most everything is a neutral black accentuated by Bromophen to cold. When Ilford stopped chemicals, I bought one pack of Dektol, liked the warmer tones, and been making it ever since. I purchased the scale about 1960 and it`s been in use since. Also found a balance in my father in law`s garage. He used it in medical school in 1930. Massive cast iron base and a design that screams 1900. Works fine.

Bruce Barlow
13-Feb-2006, 06:17
Try Forte with the old Ansco 130 (available from Photographer's Formulary), or better still, Fine Art Versaprint. Both use glycin. 130 is really warm, Versaprint and Forte is gorgeous.

MIke Sherck
13-Feb-2006, 06:32
Dektol at 1:2 for neutral tones on Kentmere paper, at 1:3 for a bit warmer tone on Ilford warm-t0ne. Amidol for contact prints on Azo.

Henry Ambrose
13-Feb-2006, 06:40
Another vote for 130. I think Forte is similar to if not the same as Bergger. Bergger is wonderful in 130.

Bill_1856
13-Feb-2006, 06:58
Ansco 130 with the last of my Agfa Multicontrast. I've got a bottle of Amidol on the shelf which I haven't gotten around to using yet.

jnantz
13-Feb-2006, 07:14
another vote for ansco 130 -- 1:2 73 + ...
i use it for outdated azo ( does that even exist ?), ilford fbmg ( + rebranded p-warehouse )
kodak polyfiber, kodak polymax fiber, agfa, seagull, ilford. sorry, i don't have any in-date paper.

Ken Lee
13-Feb-2006, 07:19
If you print the same image with Dektol and Ansco 130, you will be surprised at the difference. Dektol seems to truncate the shadow details.

More complex formulas (like Ansco 130) have been relegated to small suppliers, and to those people who mix the formulas themselves. In fact, when you get the 130 formula from Photographer's Fomulary, you mix it yourself, out of several packets - unlike Dektol, which is contained in only one envelope. Unlike Dektol, the 130 formula needs to be shipped as separate ingredients.

I am no expert, but my recent read of the Darkroom Cookbook has introduced me to the notion that manufacturers (like Kodak) often value the economics of scale and simplicity of manufacturing, when considering their product line. In other words, some of the developers that are still manufactured, are chosen for profitability over final print quality.

Don Wallace
13-Feb-2006, 08:43
I am just getting into mixing my own, and I am just getting into LF contact printing. My understanding of Amidol (from the Darkroom Cookbook) is that it really works on certain kinds of paper, like AZO, but for most papers, it doesn't make that much difference. Is that correct?

Nick_3536
13-Feb-2006, 08:58
KODAK D-72

Water, 125F/52C 500 ml

Metol 3.1 g

Sodium Sulfite (anhydrous) 45 g

Hydroquinone 12 g

Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous) 67.5 g

Potassium Bromide 1.9 g

Cold water to make 1L



Versus Adam's version of Ansco 130

Water (125F/52C) 750 ml

Metol 2.2 g

Sodium sulfite 35 g

Sodium carbonate (mono)* 78 g

Potassium bromide 5.5 g

Glycin 11 g

Water to make 1000 ml



Neither looks more complex/simpler to me. Kodak allegedly put some effort into figuring out how to ship D-72 the way it ships. Now I agree Kodak sells what makes them money but then who doesn't?

Ken Lee
13-Feb-2006, 09:26
Does Kodak still sell D-72 nowadays ?



I don't have my book at hand, but online sources such as this one (http://thunderstorm.cicada.com/pub/photo/signs/d72.html" target="_blank) say that D-72 is "similar to" Dektol. They do not say it is the same.



Is the formula for Dektol in the public domain ?

Ken Lee
13-Feb-2006, 09:36
"Now I agree Kodak sells what makes them money but then who doesn't?"



You are completely right.



All the choices we make can sound petty to the casual observer, but when we add them up, apparently minor differences in film, paper, lenses, and presentation amount to something. That something, is what has drawn many of us to Large Format in the first place.

ronald lamarsh
13-Feb-2006, 09:38
Dektol and Ansco 130 both give great results with Forte or Adox Vario G I have found that max black with Dektol is about about 30% shorter exposure. The same exposure with 130 gives about 4 more steps of density. I use Dektol for lower contrast images and save the more expensive 130 for the high contrast images.

paulr
13-Feb-2006, 09:39
not sure about forte nd, but on fortezo, my very favorites are ansco 120 and ansco 130 (easy to mix ... you can find the formulas anywhere). amazing control from a soft/hard pair of developers. i tried a few different amidol formulas, but they were almost indistinguishable from the 130. only worth the added hassle and toxicity in couple of cases, when i needed slightly more contrast in the shadows.

among pre-mixed developers, one that i really liked was agfa neutol wa ... not sure it's still made. gave a nice scale and beautiful warm tone on fortezo.

if you experiment, be prepared to discover that many formulas (particularly off the shelf ones) are barely distinguishable from each other.

Sal Santamaura
13-Feb-2006, 10:27
"among pre-mixed developers, one that i really liked was agfa neutol wa ... not sure it's still made. gave a nice scale and beautiful warm tone on fortezo"

See my second post in this thread (http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/503060.html).

Dan Jolicoeur
13-Feb-2006, 11:10
Sprint also has a nice product line if your into the pre-mixed! I find it the same as dektol, although i haven't priced it or used it lately for an over abundance on Dektol, it may be more pricey?

John Sarsgard
14-Feb-2006, 06:01
Ektaflo type 2 with Forte polywarmtone and its almost twin, Bergger VCCB. the Ektaflo is liquid concentrate and cheap. Good for cold tone papers, too. Opens up shadows just a little. I was introduced to it by George Tice in a printing workshop; I believe he has used it for many years.

Eric Wagner
14-Feb-2006, 18:51
I have been using the Ansco 135 formula as my normal developer for the last 10-15 years. It has worked well with every paper I've tried it with. Favorite paper presently is Forte Fortezo.

Larry Kalajainen
15-Feb-2006, 07:42
Dektol (or D-72) is a standard more-or-less neutral tone developer that can be warmed or cooled slightly depending on dilution and whether or not you substitute benzotriazole for the bromide as the restrainer.

I like a variant of D-72 (Chris Patton's E-72--formula available on web) that uses Phenidone and Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) instead of the Metol/Hydroquinone combo in D-72. Phenidone/Ascorbic acid are environmentally more friendly. I make up my E-72 in a concentrated form by tripling all the ingredients, and leaving out the sodium carbonate (the alkaline activator). This concentrate has a pH of around 5 and so keeps very well. Phenidone dissolves easier in alcohol than in water, so I usually dissolve that first in about 100ml of 90% alcohol and then add the other ingredients.

When I'm ready to develop, I just use 100 ml of the concentrate to a liter of water, and then throw 2 Tablespoons of carbonate directly into the tray, where it dissolves in a minute or so, and raise the pH to 10-11 which is where it needs to be for an energetic developer. (Plain old Arm & Hammer Washing Soda from the grocery store is the carbonate.) This liter of working developer will easily develop 30 8X10's without flagging. 1 1/2 minutes at 70 degrees. Excellent rich blacks and good tonal scale. If I want it a little warmer, I use bromide instead of benzotriazole.

Larry

Sanders McNew
15-Feb-2006, 13:26
I am surprised that no one has spoken up for LPD. I've had great success with it. It gets warmer as it is diluted. I develop Agfa MC 111 in a 1:3 LPD solution and really like the result -- good inky blacks, but nice subtle warmtones in the midgreys. I don't know if this is what Ronald was referring to as a "warm black" but to my eye it is a happy middle ground between a neutral paper and a warmtoned one.

Is no one else in this thread using LPD? What are your thoughts about it? If anyone has used both, how does it compare with Ansco 130? Or with Neutol, for that matter?

Sanders McNew (www.mcnew.net)

Rob Gertler
17-Feb-2006, 18:18
I have only used Dektol with Ilford Multigrade IV and Multigrade Warm papers and never used Ansco 130. Judging from the comments already posted, it appears that Ansco 130 can give greater contrast in in the shadows. Here is my question: Is there a significant difference between prints made with Dektol vs. Ansco 130 when exposure and contrast filters are carefully selected to result in the same densities at the very highest and lowest values of the print? In other words, does Ansco 130 have benefits that can not be achieved with Dektol combined with very judicious exposure and contrast filter? Are there other benefits (eg. tone) to switching to Ansco 130? Thanks for helping me decide if there is a good reason to go to the effort and expense of switching developers.

Ken Lee
17-Feb-2006, 18:28
...does Ansco 130 have benefits that can not be achieved with Dektol combined with very judicious exposure and contrast filter? Are there other benefits (eg. tone) to switching to Ansco 130?



I made a test last week and my conclusion was Yes. It also inspired me to purchase a copy of the Anchell book "The Darkroom Cookbook", to gain a better understanding of the various formulas.



I also tried the Kodak formula Selectol Soft. It makes an enormous difference in the final print. I have been stunned to see how much impact developer formulations have on the tonality of the image.



You may find it comforting to know that densitometric tests have shown (I have seen some anyhow) that Ansco 130 comes closest to Amidol, in producing a long straight curve - so close, in fact that I found it hard to tell the difference. Amidol (I have read) is a more demanding ingredient to deal with, whereas the 130 formula is popular because it is gives (I have read) almost identical results, with none of the problems.



Purchase a small 130 kit and try for yourself. Only you can be the judge.

Ken Lee
17-Feb-2006, 19:11
I found the article to which I referred. Written by Dhananjay Nayakanakuppam, it is here (http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Azo/azo1.html" target="_blank) on Unblinking Eye, and shows the effects of different developers on Azo paper.



Azo is different from most papers, so perhaps I have drawn an erroneous conclusion about Ansco 130.



However, the kit I purchased from Photographer's Formulary (http://www.photoformulary.com/DesktopModules/StoreProductDetails.aspx?productID=121&tabid=9&tabindex=2&categoryid=33&selection=0&langID=0" target="blank) says the following:

"FORMULARY 130 PAPER DEVELOPER is a superb paper developer that produces a full scale of rich blacks. The developer has an excellent shelf life, high capacity and is very suitable for batch processing. The prints obtained with F130 are surpassed only by the Amidol developers, however F130 is much more pleasant to work with. We feel F130 is one of the best developers ever formulated. "

paulr
17-Feb-2006, 21:37
"You may find it comforting to know that densitometric tests have shown (I have seen some anyhow) that Ansco 130 comes closest to Amidol, in producing a long straight curve - so close, in fact that I found it hard to tell the difference. Amidol (I have read) is a more demanding ingredient to deal with, whereas the 130 formula is popular because it is gives (I have read) almost identical results, with none of the problems."

this echoes my experience exactly. there's no contest for me between 130 and developers like dektol ... but again, this is with papers that respond significantly to development changes. a lot of emulsions don't. i'm not sure i could tell the difference on something like multigrade.

i gave up on using amidol. i had one or two very old negatives that seemed to warrant it ... they were thin and had precious little contrast in the shadows. in these cases i could see a slight increase in shadow contrast from the amidol, but it was never dramatic enough to let me get a good print from these lousy negs.

amidol is much more difficult to work with. it oxidizes rapidly in solution, so you have to mix it right before use. it stains your fingernails black (although you shouldn't have your hands in the developer anyhow). it's very expensive. i forget if there are unusual toxicity issues with it, so i'd suggest finding out before playing with it.

one nice thing about 130 is the excellent shelf life of the working solution. glycin (one of the developing agents) has a short shelf life as a powder, but it's unusual in that has a long shelf life in solution.

also, don't forget ansco 120 ... it's a more conventional formula, but it's beautiful for a soft acting developer and works great as as part of a 2 bath pair with the 130. it's not the same as selectol soft (i don't if anything is very close) but it can be used the same way.

Gary L. Quay
18-Feb-2006, 07:28
I mix my own Ansco 130, and vary it depanding on what kind of contrast I want. It works well with everything. I like the midranges it produces better than with the Dextol. Another developer I like is Clayton CP. You can find it at www.digitaltruth.com. It's a bit more environmentally-friendly than the Ansco stuff. I like that. Lastly, Amdol print developer from Photographers Formulary. I like what it does with bromide papers.

--Gary

Ken Lee
19-Feb-2006, 08:52
"Try Forte with the old Ansco 130 (available from Photographer's Formulary), or better still, Fine Art Versaprint. Both use glycin. 130 is really warm, Versaprint and Forte is gorgeous." - Bruce

"Another vote for 130. I think Forte is similar to if not the same as Bergger. Bergger is wonderful in 130" - Henry



As Bruce and others have pointed out in earlier postings, Fine Art and others sometimes offer re-branded products. Is Versaprint available in another brand ? Is Forte the same as Bergger ? What are the differences ?



While we're on the subject, has anyone tried the Defender HQ formula ? Is it related to a liquid form of Ansco 130, offered by Photographer's Formulary as BW-65 ?

Many thanks !