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Thread: What is the difference between "Stand/semi-stand" and "compensated" developing?

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    stradibarrius stradibarrius's Avatar
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    What is the difference between "Stand/semi-stand" and "compensated" developing?

    I have used Stnad development with good success
    I have been reading Bruce Barnbaum's book The Art of Photography, and he talks about the benefits of "compensated" development but doesn't give a lot of details regarding the process. I did some Google work and it appears that stand and compensated development are basically the same. Is this correct, if not what is the difference?

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    Re: What is the difference between "Stand/semi-stand" and "compensated" developing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    I have used Stnad development with good success
    I have been reading Bruce Barnbaum's book The Art of Photography, and he talks about the benefits of "compensated" development but doesn't give a lot of details regarding the process. I did some Google work and it appears that stand and compensated development are basically the same. Is this correct, if not what is the difference?
    Compensated development is used to control development in the highlights in scenes of very high contrast. There are two effective ways to obtain compensated development.

    1. Use of stand development where very dilute developers are used with reduced agitation schemes.

    2. Two-bath development, where the developer is divided into two parts, the reducer and the accelerator.

    Both methods can be effective depending on what one is trying to achieve.

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
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  3. #3
    retrogrouchy
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    Re: What is the difference between "Stand/semi-stand" and "compensated" developing?

    The former is one technique to achieve the latter. Any development process where there is local exhaustion of the developer, e.g. (semi-)stand or two-bath, will give some compensating effects.

    There's a couple of short entries in my FAQ (link below) that might help a little.

  4. #4
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: What is the difference between "Stand/semi-stand" and "compensated" developing?

    There's mention of Rodinal being a good developer for very dilute solutions. Is it advisable to use any others? Or, perhaps put another way, are there types to avoid?
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

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    Re: What is the difference between "Stand/semi-stand" and "compensated" developing?

    I think you have to define what you are after before anyone can assist you.

    First of all, are you going for a darkroom print, or are you going to scan? They need very different negatives, IMO. Rodinal is a developer that outlines the grains and articulates them. Some like this. Others would rather have the grains disappear, get smoothed out, and not be so prevalent. I would never recommend Rodinal because I am looking for a very smooth print. To each his own....

    I like XTol and all kinds of Pyro for development. D-76 is not in the same class as either of those, nor is HC-100, and a lot of other developers. Pyro has always been amazing and Xtol is the latest and greatest from Kodak. It is way further along than the D series... It has very tight grains, compensates ok, but has a tighter time frame in which that operates.

    You have to remember that, generally speaking, compensation allowed photographers to keep the highlights from blowing out when shooting in contrasty situations, like sunlight. Stand development offered a way to do this and slowly increase shadow detail as well. There are lots of other techniques. Sandy is correct, of course. However, one has to come back to what you are trying to accomplish. You don't need much less compensation if you are printing with alternative techniques, or if you are scanning.

    It was the inability of darkroom paper to handle the upper limits of density that created these techniques. In some measure it is still true, but it is different for each type of print, both the medium and the look and feel of the print you are after.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

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    stradibarrius stradibarrius's Avatar
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    Re: What is the difference between "Stand/semi-stand" and "compensated" developing?

    Maybe I should ask the question a different way...are stand development and compensated development synonymous? I was basically asking to define the two words relative to each other.
    Based on the answers it appears that stand is a type of compensated development.

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    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: What is the difference between "Stand/semi-stand" and "compensated" developing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    are stand development and compensated development synonymous?
    Compensating developer: For example, Acufine Diafine two-part compensating developer. This means using a developer which is formulated to work with high-contrast negatives. Some people call Pyro a compensating developer, some don't.
    Stand (reduced agitation) development: A development technique which is used to compensate for high-contrast scenes.

    These are things that you need to do your own experiments to see how they work for you. Myself, I use premixed pyro from Photographer's Formulary, and that's as far as I'm going with pyro. I'm not a major "chem-head" (to quote Arthur Fellig, aka Weegee). I just bought some Diafine to see how it works for me. Most of my development is using my Jobo, with a little bit done with trays. So a low agitation developer like Diafine isn't something that I would use a lot, but it's interesting to know what's available when I need it. Same thing for the William Mortensen refrigerator development. It works, but it definitely wouldn't be an everyday method.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

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    Re: What is the difference between "Stand/semi-stand" and "compensated" developing?

    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    Maybe I should ask the question a different way...are stand development and compensated development synonymous? I was basically asking to define the two words relative to each other.
    Based on the answers it appears that stand is a type of compensated development.
    No, stand development and compensating development are not synonymous. Compensation is the effect desired, i.e. compress highlight density. Stand or semi-stand development are methods used to achieve the desired effect.

    However, stand and semi-stand development are not always used to compress the highlights. These methods are also used to increase overall acutance, boost effective film speed, or enhance micro-contrast in the mid-tones. By the same token, other methods of compensation are also used to compress the highlights, including special low alkaline developers, two-bath development, and water bath development.

    Regardless of the final printing method, or with scanning, some form of highlight compression is usually desirable or necessary when photographing in scenes of very high subject brightness range, say SBR of 12 or more (in Zone parlance, N-4 or more). For many years I used a form of stand development when developing negatives exposed in this type of lighting. A few years ago I switched to two-bath development, which I now consider overall a superior method of achieving highlight compression in scenes of very high contrast.

    Sandy
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
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