View Full Version : What Film Is Kodak D-19 Developer Used For?

Len Middleton
4-Sep-2009, 09:10
Background first. I got a bunch of surplus B&W chemicals from my brother. He no longer does wet darkroom work, and got these chemicals from someone else.

Part of it was a number of foil packs of Kodak D-19 developer. It says on the outside of the package "A high contrast developer for scientific, technical, and aerial photography". Looking at the Kodak web site and their B&W chemistry matrix, it shows it as higher contrast and increase in graininess, but recommends none of its current films (on the matrix) with it.

Those comments confirm the very brief description ("high-contrast developer") in the appendix of "The Manual of Photography" (formerly "The Ilford Manual of Photography"), 7th edition.

Is this a speciality developer intended for lith or X-ray film, or has time and the market passed it by?

Does it have any use anymore, and if so with what film?

Thanks, I appreciate the insight that the combined knowledge that this forum provides,


Merg Ross
4-Sep-2009, 10:49
D-19 was a popular developer with press photographers because of short developing times, high contrast, and long tank life. As noted, it can be used with x-ray films and Kodak also recommended it with Tech-Pan and Infrared films. My guess is that it would work with many of the currently available films where contrast, at the sacrifice of fine grain, is the goal. It is a MQ developer simlar to Kodak D-11.

4-Sep-2009, 10:56
According to Kodak's "Processing Chemicals and Formulas for Black and White Photography", publication J-1 1973, Kodak Developer D-19 is designed as a higher contrast developer for continuous tone films. It provides short development times. While primarily aimed at scientific applications, it has utility where high contrast is desired.

It is not as active as D-8's extremely high contrast or D-11's very high contrast. Both of those are designed to fully utilize the line reproduction possibilities of lith films. Kodak says D-19 produces, "brilliant negatives with short development times. It has good keeping properties and high capacity. D-19 is recommended especially for continuous-tone work that requires higher-than-normal contrast."

Glenn Thoreson
4-Sep-2009, 11:14
Where ever you see "brilliant Negatives" it means high contrast. I would try it and see what it does. It may be the new fad. :D

Nathan Potter
4-Sep-2009, 13:02
I used it in photomicrography especially at high magnification where a narrow Subject Brightness Range yielded images of low contrast. When D76 produced too low contrast after development I would do a second neg. using D19 to yield more snap. This with Tech Pan.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

Robert Hughes
5-Sep-2009, 10:12
D-19 is functionally equivalent to the developer used in reversal movie film processing.