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Thread: Vitamin C developer question

  1. #1

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    Vitamin C developer question

    Although I have fairly happily settled on D-23 for film developing for several years since returning to the darkroom, I did some experiments with Patrick Gainer's Vic C developer over at the unblinking eye site, on the recommendation of a local LF photographer. He scans his negs and can deal with highlights much denser than I prefer. I was having trouble taming this very active developer, especially for N- developments, and did not see the speed and grain improvements he liked about it, so I didn't continue my efforts too far.

    I'm curious as to whether others have tried either greater dilutions or other means with this developer to tame long ranges for silver gelatin printing.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  2. #2
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Vitamin C developer question

    The only time I use Vit C is in Caffenol. Some formulas are excellent at taming long ranges, or exceptionally contrasty film such as Adox CMS 20.

  3. #3
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Vitamin C developer question

    I use DS-10 for most of my developing, a Dimezone-s/Ascorbic acid developer. I'm happy with the speed/grain/density characteristics with Acros, FP4+, Neopan 400, TMY, TMX and Delta 100, the main films I use. If you're happy with D-23, I wouldn't switch. Generally, if you have problems with density and grain, then developing less is a good solution. It will lead to slightly slower film speed, though.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  4. #4

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    Re: Vitamin C developer question

    I used a variety of Vit C developers at one time, but found them to not be superior to PCat and other developers I like.

  5. #5

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    Re: Vitamin C developer question

    There really is a Silver Bullet that will assure better results than anything else on the market.

    No one has found it yet.

    No matter the combination, if you work with it you will most likely get good results. Many top names work with simple combinations/out of the package chemistry and no one seems to have any problem with their prints.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  6. #6

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    Re: Vitamin C developer question

    Thanks for all your replies. In the effort to keep my post concise adn focused, I omitted my reasons for interest in the possibility of the Vit C. I am not looking for a silver bullet, honest; I've been processing B&W since 1968 and neither illusion nor inclination to seek one any more than dreaming about the images I could make " if only I had Lens X, Camera Y, and Remote-controlled, titanium Ultra-gizmo Z." There is a secondary matter of convenience, with which I need trouble no one. I may experiment again at some point; meanwhile, D-23 is fine.
    Philip U.

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  7. #7
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Vitamin C developer question

    Patrick originally was experimenting to see if he could make developers without any sulfite. He wanted to make them as simple as possible, and then there was the whole glycol idea, which led to long lasting solutions. What I'm saying is that his formulas are decent developers, but it doesn't follow that they're better than other ones. They are more along the lines of, "I wonder if this would work?"
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  8. #8

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    Re: Vitamin C developer question

    I used the gainer vit C formula for a while on small format film. It worked, but it wasnt wasn't special. Looked a bit like a grainy d76 variant. Instant mytol is a vitamin C developer xtol clone that actually seems very useful; I use it a lot these days. Nice tonality and very fine grain.

  9. #9
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Vitamin C developer question

    Instant MYTOL
    Start with 700 ml of water
    11.5 g ascorbic acid (same molar concentration of ascorbate as MYTOL)
    0.15 g phenidone
    60 g sodium sulfite (anhydrous)
    13.4 ml triethanolamine or 7 g sodium metaborate (“Kodalk”)
    Water to 1000 ml

    DS-10 Fine Grain Developer by Ryuji Suzuki

    Dimezone S 0.15 g
    Ascorbic acid 8.0 g
    Boric acid 4.0 g
    Salicylic acid 1.0 g
    Sodium sulfite (anhydrous) 75 g
    Triethanolamine 10.0 ml
    Distilled water to male 1 l
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

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