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Thread: D 23 Users

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    now in Tucson, AZ

    Re: D 23 Users

    Jim, I would never argue with your experience. In fact it is fascinating to hear!
    I'll just add that, from my own experience, any replenished process system, color or B&W, depends upon large volume to work properly.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Montreal, Canada

    Re: D 23 Users

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    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.
    Unfortunately there are many variables involved so it is difficult to generalize. What is often overlooked is that the film is an important variable (modern films have more iodide etc.). Different aspects of seasoning/replenishment can have opposing effects. For example, build-up of bromide and iodide can sometimes have sharpness-enhancing effects, but at the same time as a solvent developer such as D-23 is repeatedly used, physical development might also gradually increase, which can sometimes work against sharpness. Etc. Etc. So it is hard to say. Of course without a significant enlargement factor, such small differences in image structure are invisible anyway.

    One characteristic of replenishment which can generally be expected and is well documented by Kodak etc. is a loss of emulsion speed. But here again, we're usually not talking large differences.

    In order to truly evaluate the pros/cons, one would have to develop identical images, made on the same type of film, to the same contrast in both fresh and well-seasoned/replenished D-23. They could then be compared. However the conclusions would only apply to the particular film. I am 100% confident nobody has ever done this. Therefore take everything you read with a grain of salt. That goes both for people claiming it is magical, and people claiming it is terrible. Nobody has any evidence.

  3. #13
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: D 23 Users

    a question

    does D 23 need N2 in gas bubble system to maintain chemistry

    If it does, how does it handle rebottling, storage, transfer pump back and forth from 1 gallon tanks to 3 gallon tanks with a floating cover, which will add room air with every transfer

    as some here know I use a gas burst system with air compressor

    I can change to N2 and have worked with huge amounts of N2 as liquid and 5K bottles for decades, not film processing

    but we always run out of N2

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Re: D 23 Users

    D23 is so easy to make, and given the consistency of always having a fresh batch I have never considered replenishment. One thing that I have done that works well is using it diluted. For xray film I make it 1:7, which stretches the dev time for more control and may lower contrast.

    In the past there have been periods where I used D23 for Tri-X, but I have always come back to D76 because D23's fine grain comes from dissolving grain . . . and sharpness. Also, I find that for Tri-X is doesn't have any of the creamy highlight sparkle that I so appreciate from D76.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format:
    Mostly 35mm:
    You want digital, color, etc?:

  5. #15

    Re: D 23 Users

    When I was using D23 in 11x14 tanks (5 gallons of developer!) I used replenishment. It seemed very wasteful not to do so. I used replenishment instructions from a 1950s Kodak darkroom guide. The replenishment worked very well, and after the first batch (which were slightly different, but I can't remember in what way) my negatives were very consistent.

  6. #16

    Re: D 23 Users

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    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.
    Thank you for that information, Jim. I don't doubt your results at all. Do you suppose an accumulation of bromide also contributed to the properties of this well-seasoned developer? Also, do you think there is a way to add bromide to a developer like D-23 to season it?

  7. #17

    Re: D 23 Users

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Greenberg Motamedi View Post
    When I was using D23 in 11x14 tanks (5 gallons of developer!) I used replenishment.
    Using D-25R replenisher?

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Montreal, Canada

    Re: D 23 Users

    The re-plating of dissolved silver (referred to by Mr. Noel) onto developing silver is physical development. It plays a role in the accumulation of density. However it tends to work against sharpness. With older films it could sometimes result in dichroic fog. For these reasons historically in formulating fine grain solvent developers attempts were often made to prevent or reduce physical development. Microdol-X (which evolved from D-23) was an example.

    Related to this, in large commercial replenished systems the buildup of dissolved silver (usually referred to as "sludging") could make it more difficult to maintain equipment. Compounds were sometimes added to developers to prevent this as well. Ilford's ID-11 Plus was an example.

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Re: D 23 Users

    On a related note, is there any practice with high dilution, extended development with D-23 beyond 1:3?
    Silver Photographers Never Die, They're Just Getting Fixed

  10. #20
    Joe O'Hara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Marlton, NJ

    Re: D 23 Users

    I use D-23 at 1-1 with TMax 400 in the Jobo tank. I use 100 ml of D-23 stock and 100 ml of distilled water for each sheet of 4x5 film, and discard it after one use. That way I don't have to figure out how to replenish it after it slops around in the tank for 10 minutes or so getting thoroughly aerated. That works for N+, N, and N-1 development. I expose it at a nominal ISO 400, but I tend to expose generously as a matter of course, placing darker areas I want full detail in on Zone 4.

    For N-2 or greater contrast reduction, I dilute it 1:3 (still using 100 ml of stock per 4x5 sheet, but with 300 ml water) in a tray. I give the tray one rock on each of the 4 sides every 30 seconds or so and otherwise leave it alone. Times will depend on what paper you are targeting and the kind of enlarger you are using, but I'd start with your N-1 time in the Jobo tank and see how it goes from there. BTW I add one stop of exposure when doing this amount of contraction.

    Honestly, in making mostly full-frame prints on 11x14 paper from a 4x5 negative, I've never seen any difference in sharpness in the prints whether the negatives were developed in D-76, D-23, Xtol, or WD2H. You might see a difference in really big enlargements, or under a microscope, but I don't do those things so the question has never concerned me.
    Where are we going?
    And why are we in this handbasket?

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