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Thread: Tmax 400 in D-76 correct dev time

  1. #11

    Re: Tmax 400 in D-76 correct dev time

    Quote Originally Posted by Jared09 View Post
    Btw. is there any advantage of dissolving developer (apart from increasing volume) 1:1 or even more?
    You're going to get twenty different answers to this question, but choosing a 1:1 dilution over Stock developer is going to have a very subtle effect on the negative. When working with D-76 (a solvent developer with lots of Sodium sulfite in it) diluting the developer has the effect of decreasing contrast slightly, while increasing the apparent grain and slightly improving acutance.

    I suggest you read this discussion for more thoughts on the matter.
    Last edited by paulbarden; 24-Oct-2021 at 17:36.

  2. #12
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Tmax 400 in D-76 correct dev time

    I have only used d76 1:1 and used something just longer than 10 minutes but it's hard to remember since I've used pyrocat for such a long time now.
    The benefit for me of using 1:1 was that I could adjust the temp very easily. If my stock was 65f and I wanted 70f working, I'd put in 75f mix water and the two simply average to 70f.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Re: Tmax 400 in D-76 correct dev time

    Try this procedure on the TMax 400. Personally, I tested TMax in HC110 and Kodak TMax developer and much prefer TXP or now HP5+ due to cost and consistancy. I have also standardized on Ilfotec HC developer.

    Years ago I learned an excellent method to find the correct developing time and EI for any film. I source was an article by William Mortensen. Mortensen wrote some excellent books and articles about basic sensitometry. The last time I did this test was when I abandoned Tri-X and switched to HP5+ due to cost about five years ago. I proceed as follows.

    I set up my trays with my favorite developer HC110B (1:31), now Ilfotec HC (1:31). I pull out a sheet from the package in the dark. and then when the package is sealed again I turn on the room lights. This part of the test is done under the lights. I cut the sheet into five strips and mark them 1-5 by punching holes with a paper punch. Lets say the recommended time is 5:00. I want to see 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00, so I throw all the strips into the developer and agitate as usual until 3:00 when I move the No.1 strip over to the stop bath. Then I pull No.2 at 4:00, No.3 at 5:00, etc. I fix, wash and dry the strips as usual. What we are looking for is the best usable film DMax value. Obviously the film has been fully exposed! When strips dry lay down a page of news print on a table in good light. Find the strip through which the news print is barely visible. That's your developing time. Now to find the film speed.

    Go outside in unchanging light conditions and expose five sheets and expose one at the manufacturers rating and then the other four at one half a stop and one stop less and one half a stop and one stop more. In the dark, develop them all together for your newly derived time. Contact print them together exposing and developing the paper for maximum usable paper DMax value through the film base plus fog negative rebate area. Pick out the best-looking contact print and you have your film speed.

    Because my 7:00 negative looked the best on the first test, I did the test again with 7:00 as the central developing time and found that 8:00 was indeed too dense. This HP5+ time was the same as the as the developing time I had been using for Tri-X and film speed was also the same, EI400. I have also switched to Ilfotec HC developer due to cost and availability and find it to be a clone of HC110.

    Many of the last generation of B&W gurus favored a development time of 5:00 for Tri-X and suggested an EI of 64-100. You can do the above test backwards, developing for 5:00 minutes and finding the film speed. I like 100. The difference between negatives exposed at 100 and developed for 5:00 and those exposed at 400 and developed for 7:00 is quite subtle. Both could be considered "normal" or N negatives. The 100 negative has slightly greater shadow and highlight detail that only a careful, knowledgeable viewer could detect. This slight improvement might not be worthwhile trading for two stops in the field. I do routinely rate HP5+ at 100 under powerful strobe light in the studio and it produces beautiful skin tones.

    From here, if you are still with me, you can derive expansion and contraction schemes for both the 100 and 400 "normal negs". I do this by changing dilution rather than time. Make sure you have at least 1 oz. of the concentrated sauce for each 8X10 sheet or equivalent. For contractions I found that 3/4 oz. concentrate to 31 1/4 ozs. H20 yields an N-1 neg at a one stop loss in film speed and 1/2 oz. concentrate to 31 1/2 ozs. H20 yields an N-2 neg at a two stop loss in film speed. For expensions, 1 1/4 oz. of concentrate to 30 3/4 ozs. H20 yields an N+1 neg at a one stop gain in speed and 1 1/2 ozs. concentrate to 30 1/2 ozs. H20 produces an N+2 negative with a two stop gain in speed.

    If you look at the chart of Tri-X film speed in Phil Davis' BTZS book you can easily pick out the film speed in HC110B 5:00 as EI 64.

    Don't apply reciprocity exposure and development corrections for long exposures (1/2 sec. +) based on published data. Test for yourself and you may be surprised. I wasted a lot of time and effort producing long exposure negatives that were thick and flat. When I finally tested, I found no compensation was required for TXP or now HP5+ out to one minute.

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Tmax 400 in D-76 correct dev time

    I'd avoid anything as hot as 75 F with TMY; there's a risk of edge frilling - I've seen it happen. I recommend full box speed of 400, and now routinely process TMY in PMK pyro. But D76 is easy to do and gives decent results. I'd start out with 1:1 dilution, normal 20C, ballpark 10 min, and then evaluate results for either slightly more or slightly less time. As others have already pointed out, a lot depends on your specifics in terms of agitation. You simply have to test first, and then fine tune it.

    Gosh, a lot of the foregoing talk is like having a navigation device in your car that takes you on some convoluted detour for two and a half hours, when you could have gotten there straight down the freeway in ten minutes instead. Let the poor fellow learn to drive first!

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Victoria, Australia

    Re: Tmax 400 in D-76 correct dev time

    Quote Originally Posted by Jared09 View Post
    Hi, yes I am reading the times for stock (undiluted). 7,5 min sounds reasonable. Have you tried it, or you use only 1:1 solution?
    My apologies for the delayed reply, notifications have been rather haphazard for me.
    I've always and only used D76 at 1:1
    The most recent batch of Tmax I developed was actually 35mm and I decided to develop it outside because it was suffocatingly hot inside the house. I THOUGHT I was doing a fair job with a cold water bath to keep the temperature down, but I was seriously wrong. Even so, for photos taken out in the blaze of an Australian summer and developed in chemicals that got up to 24C in the process, the resulting negatives were still easily printed at Grade 2 and no harm done. At that temperature, I should barely have had them in the developer for 6-7 minutes, let alone the full 10min. I use for 1:1
    I'm sorry not to be able to give you a first hand account of using Stock D76, but I hope I've given you a little confidence in the datasheet times given. Obviously your own methodology will bring its own variations, I'm just saying 'bog standard' works for me (and, quite possibly, I've simply evolved a way of working to fit those standards).

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