View Full Version : Semi-stand for high or low contrast scenes?

Ben Calwell
30-Aug-2006, 06:40
I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, so bear with me. I've been reading a few posts on this and other forums, and I'm confused about when semi-stand or similar developments are called for. Is it to be used for low contrast scenes or high contrast ones?
Some posters have said they use it for flat scenes of two stops or so.
For years, I've used HC110 diluted (from stock solution) 1:31 in trays with intermittent agitation (as described in Adams' The Negative) for high very high contrast scenes. It's never occured to me to use it for low contrast scenes. I thought the whole point of highly dilute developers was to reign in high values that would be blown out with normal development.
Thanks in advance for straightening me out.

30-Aug-2006, 08:13
The current craze for minimal agitation development seems to have started over at Michael and Paula's with a post by Steve Sherman regarding its use with his pre-dawn negatives. He uses it to bring out the microcontrast of his otherwise very flat negatives.

You are correct that Adams and others have used the technique to tame high contrast negatives.

So, I guess the answer is - both.

I think most folks now are using it to increase the microcontrast and edge effects of negatives regardless of contrast range.

Wayne Crider
30-Aug-2006, 19:30
Being that the developer is highly diluted, and is grossly under agitated, the compensation is geared towards high contrast scenes. The edge effects are a result of the scheme.

Donald Qualls
30-Aug-2006, 19:35
I routinely use HC-110 at Dilution F (1+79) and Parodinal (a homebrew Rodinal equivalent made from acetaminophen tablets) 1:50 with agitation every 3rd minute; I've also used Dilution G (Ansel's Dilution, 1+119, close to your 1+31 from stock solution) with the same agitation. At that agitation level, it tends to provide *both* compensation and acutance via microcontrast. Both are phenomena of local exhaustion, only at different scales. As a side benefit, you can easily control overall contrast without affecting true film speed by changing agitation instead of time -- N+1, from the above process, becomes 1 minute agitation, while N-1 requires stretching the rest time to about 5 minutes, with no change in time (hence no change in development of the toe, and no change in true speed).