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Thread: D 23 Users

  1. #1
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    D 23 Users

    I am about to start using D 23, with no experience

    Perhaps we can have users post how they use it

    Jim Noel has been instrumental in my decision

    Here is one person's story

    https://pictorialplanetjohnfinch.blo...ret-sauce.html
    2022

  2. #2

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    Re: D 23 Users

    I'm interested also

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    I am about to start using D 23, with no experience

    Perhaps we can have users post how they use it

    Jim Noel has been instrumental in my decision

    Here is one person's story

    https://pictorialplanetjohnfinch.blo...ret-sauce.html

  3. #3

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    Re: D 23 Users

    It is very straight forward as D-23 is a general purpose fine grain developer quite similar to D-76 in working characteristics (it will tend to produce very slightly less emulsion speed and slightly finer grain than D-76).

    Stock or 1+1 are common. 1+3 works as well. No special procedures required.

    It also makes a good first bath in a "divided" development process. Divided development gives a somewhat straightened characteristic curve, maximum emulsion speed, and different grain characteristics.

    Easiest developer to make, of course. To make 1l, simply 700-800ml water at ~50C, dissolve 7.5g metol, then 100g sodium sulfite (anhydrous), then top off to 1l. Some people prefer to dissolve a small pinch of the sulfite before adding the metol, to scavenge oxygen, but this is really not necessary. If you do it, make sure it is a very small amount of sulfite, as metol will be impossible to dissolve if there is any meaningful amount of sulfite in solution beforehand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    I am about to start using D 23, with no experience

    Perhaps we can have users post how they use it

    Jim Noel has been instrumental in my decision

    Here is one person's story

    https://pictorialplanetjohnfinch.blo...ret-sauce.html

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: D 23 Users

    Replenished D-23 is a goal
    2022

  5. #5

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    Re: D 23 Users

    I've found D23 an excellent developer, and it is my main go to. Here's two links that are helpful:

    Tim Layton's discourse. Keep digging you'll find his time/temp combo useful as I did: https://www.timlaytonfineart.com/blo...nd-d23-formula
    Ken M. Lee's discourse as well (as a fanboy, I posted the can photo of Kodak's D23 from Ken's article on my bottle of D23 soup): https://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/tech/D-23.php

    I've used it on my Jobo with 35, 120 and 4X5 and have no complaints. Got into after my ID11 and Perceptol period when we moved and gave Caffenol a try for environmental reasons seaside. Caffenol is wonderful and pretty "green" if you care about that, but somewhat of a pain given the inconsistencies of one coffee to another, and zero keeping properties. Aside from its positives, I found it was too much time mixing, and wanted something almost as simple, almost as "green", but with better keeping. Call me lazy? Vitamin C tends to make Caffenol a poor candidate for anything other than mix and use, and my efforts at refrigeration tended to ice up the Vitamin C. So that was a bust. But once you cross the mix it yourself barrier, you start looking for simple ingredients, and D23 wins on having only two and not having to do anything special in anyway. Just mix in warm water (125 F or so), and be done. And then dilute for use. Tim Layton raves about mixing fresh every time, but like I said, that drives me nuts... or at least gives me reasons to defer development that I don't need to give in to.

    By contrast, D23 keeps very well mixed at room temp though generally if I haven't used it up in 3 months, I'll throw it out and mix more. Some reports I've seen suggest it keeps much longer. But I am a belt and suspenders kind of a dude. And it's cheap enough, I've not tried the 1:3 dilution since I like what 1:1 gives me. I'm fine with experiments and "tests" up to a point, and then I just want to get stuff done. FWIW, you need a ton of sulfite and a small quantity of Metol... so it also becomes easy to visually tell which chem is which by size of the container.

    So I have ONLY diluted 1 to 1 for use, and then disposed when done. You could do another round I'm told, but I'm not THAT stingy. And my experience is that Jobo's tendency to aerate chems during use tends to make replenishment something I haven't had the time or inclination to figure out at this point. Tried that path with XTOL and after discussion with the folks at Catlabs decided to bail on it replenishment schemes in using a Jobo. Others have had more success by using much more new chem in replenishment on their Jobos, and I'm sure that works. I suppose if you use manual agitation that would be more reliable as the aeration would be more defined. FWIW, I think D23 is supposed to work well in replenishment. YMMV.

    I use with a water stop bath which I do in at least 2 to 3 rinses mainly because I used to rinse before and after real stop baths, and then I use TF4 or TF5 fix - whatever I have on hand. Wash and then dunk in the photoflow, squeegee and hang to dry.

    Folks suggest that D76 times are a good place to start. Following Tim Layton's times which he gives at higher temps, I backed that into D23 @ 1:1 for a time of 9:54 at 20 degrees Centigrade for FP4 as my NORM (N) reference. Tim uses the same setup for both FP4 and HP5. I have less experience using it for HP5, but like the idea of being able to develop both in the same tank. Comes in handy, and the lone batch of HP5 I've run with it came out fine. More on the way. I've only been running this way for about a year at this point, but I've run a LOT of film through (by my measure). Probably 50 rolls of 35mm, 100 plus sheets of 4X5, and only a handful of 120. Very consistent results. I used to be a Photo Formulary exclusive kind of guy, but depending on your location, Arts & Crafts (?) is a very good source and speedy delivery here on the east coast of USA.

    I have no experience with the divided two-bath variety, though you can find a lot at Blinking Eye I think.

    Have I done my own testing? No, other than just referencing my negatives at this point. But I have recently acquired a densitometer for $50 or so, and will give that a whirl somewhere. And I do try to collect times for D23 and other films where they can be found. Most of the times I see are somewhat shorter that this reference point. And yes, I do collect articles and tidbits as I find them on folks using D23... geek that I am.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6

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    Re: D 23 Users

    Not sure why one would want to replenish D-23, but fair enough.

  7. #7

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    Re: D 23 Users

    I've only used it at 1:1; excellent developer! And, easy to mix yourself as stated above.

  8. #8

    Re: D 23 Users

    Randy, thanks for the link to John Finch’s article. Some interesting points he’s making. Can anyone substantiate the supposed role accumulated bromide (as a development byproduct) in replenished D-23 might have in rendering “better” negatives? When anyone touts a specific tool or technique as “magic”, my skepticism alarms go off.

    I’ve used D-23 on its own and as a divided developer with an accelerator second bath. Both have their uses. Most recently I made up a batch of D-23 to use on some test negs of Bergger Pancro400 in my search for a better developer for that film (I like BER49 but it’s SO expensive, and it’s not always available). Take a look at this test shot on 8x10 Pancro400: https://flic.kr/p/2kvHYPx
    This was processed in D-23 diluted 1:1 for 17 minutes, if I remember correctly.

    I’m not much inclined to use D-23 replenished, because I have my doubts about there being any meaningful benefit other than economic. Persuade me otherwise, if you can!

  9. #9

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    Re: D 23 Users

    Agree with Michael R here. Read over the material OP linked, and Finch raves about replenishment. But in my small mind, his description of replenishment just sounds too squishy. I'm fine with squishy in front of the camera or in some part of the printing process. Those are parts where you have visual control. Darkroom squishy over stuff I can't see or control? Dunno. Just sounds like a ticket for disappointment for guys like me, and maybe it leads to brilliant results for guys like Finch with his much more extensive background, but for my money, consistently good results is far from boring.

  10. #10

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    Re: D 23 Users

    I use D-23 in two ways, and usually keep 2 different batches.
    One is relatively fresh , less than 6 months old, which I use straight and in a tray.
    The more important batch is now more than 3 years old, and has been heavily used. After each use it is topped off with fresh D-23, NOT D-25R which is the normal replenisher. This batch is used on negatives which would normally be very flat - Low contrast subjects exposed under flat lighting conditions. The negatives are developed for lengthy periods of time, even overnight. The result is a negative with brilliance. When I learned this method as a teenager in the 40's it was explained that the silver left after development of many, 100's, of negatives replated the highlights.
    We used this method when I worked in a large Photo store darkroom to develop all roll film. When i was teaching at the college we used a nitrogen burst system with D-23. At the end of each semester instead of throwing this away, i brought it home and continued to use it. The system works well with FP4+ the only "regular" film I use today.
    Note that it will not work if less than at least 500 4x5 negative equivalents have been developed in it. I use the "younger" D-23 on x-ray film.
    Some of the younger members of this forum will question the validity of my statements. I will not argue with them but continue to use my proven methods.

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