Advice on my Two Bath Developer

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relistan

relistan

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Using tap water and only HEDPA as a chelating agent will give you a white flocculant precipitate that kinda looks like biological growth. HEDPA freaks out around calcium ions and forms insoluble complexes. That's why in every color developer where it's included, it is usually done alongside DTPA, NTA, or some aminopolycarboxylic derivative like AMTP.
Interesting, thanks, it may be that this is what was floating around in there. I had etidronic acid from work I had done attempting to replicate results from patents for bleaches. One of the many, many formulas involved a fair amount of it. Alas that formula was of little practical use and I am left with a fair amount of etidronic acid. I think this is the only developer where I used it. I will probably refrain in the future, given what you said. I recall Rudeofus mentioning this as well.
 

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@relistan, I confess I haven't worked through all 9 pages of this thread, though I did read your OP and several other pages. Could you just explain why you wanted to create this developer, rather than use the BT2B? My interest is because I use BT2B exclusively and am (currently) very satisfied with it (example below). Am I missing something?
WSF_8.jpg
 
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relistan

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@relistan, I confess I haven't worked through all 9 pages of this thread, though I did read your OP and several other pages. Could you just explain why you wanted to create this developer, rather than use the BT2B? My interest is because I use BT2B exclusively and am (currently) very satisfied with it (example below). Am I missing something?
Great photo!

Barry Thornton's two bath is a good developer, and @gorbas was posting about that in this thread as well because he has made a lot of good use of it. I also used it myself many times. E.g.:


But I wanted something more like Diafine in use and look. But ideally with more sharpness and a bit higher contrast (Diafine negatives are a little flat), and without costing an arm and a leg like Diafine. 2B-1 nearly hits the mark and I used it to develop a bunch of films. I will likely attempt a little revision of that developer in the coming months. It turns out to be speed-increasing and a pretty good acutance developer that needs just a little taming of the Mackie lines to be what I wanted.

As with anything, it's all subjective taste and there is no developer objectively "better" than any other. It's about obtaining the artistic output that you want from your photos.

This is IMO 2B-1 at its best:

 

snusmumriken

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Great photo!

Barry Thornton's two bath is a good developer, and @gorbas was posting about that in this thread as well because he has made a lot of good use of it. I also used it myself many times. E.g.:


But I wanted something more like Diafine in use and look. But ideally with more sharpness and a bit higher contrast (Diafine negatives are a little flat), and without costing an arm and a leg like Diafine. 2B-1 nearly hits the mark and I used it to develop a bunch of films. I will likely attempt a little revision of that developer in the coming months. It turns out to be speed-increasing and a pretty good acutance developer that needs just a little taming of the Mackie lines to be what I wanted.

As with anything, it's all subjective taste and there is no developer objectively "better" than any other. It's about obtaining the artistic output that you want from your photos.

This is IMO 2B-1 at its best:


OK, thanks for explaining, Karl. I really admire your effort, and your public spirit in sharing the recipe. It's obviously hard to judge from scans and on-screen, but it sounds as though you have pretty much got what you set out to achieve.

As a 2-bath aficionado, did you ever try Tetenal's Emofin? That's the one I would want to bring back - at least I used to, I think I'm fairly settled now - until something really rocks my boat.
 
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relistan

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OK, thanks for explaining, Karl. I really admire your effort, and your public spirit in sharing the recipe. It's obviously hard to judge from scans and on-screen, but it sounds as though you have pretty much got what you set out to achieve.

As a 2-bath aficionado, did you ever try Tetenal's Emofin? That's the one I would want to bring back - at least I used to, I think I'm fairly settled now - until something really rocks my boat.
Thanks Jonathan. I never did get to use Emofin. I remember seeing it on the shelf at Sauter in Munich when I lived in Germany, but sadly never used it before its demise. I've only ever heard praise for it.

Some very nice photos on your site!
 

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Thanks Jonathan. I never did get to use Emofin. I remember seeing it on the shelf at Sauter in Munich when I lived in Germany, but sadly never used it before its demise. I've only ever heard praise for it.

Some very nice photos on your site!

Thank you so much! I’m working on a replacement website with better quality display images.

I recently asked the new Tetenal company whether they had plans to bring Emofin back. They said no, they were only responding to demand. I did point out that the number of people who have even heard of the stuff must be pretty small by now!
 

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Some 30+ years ago I did use Emofin a lot and I liked it. I liked it much more than Diafine or home brew I made. Maybe 25 years ago I did ask Tetenal are they planning ever to bring Emofin to North America and they simply said no. Maybe they cited some legal reason, it was long time ago? Formula for Emofin was published here by our own Alan Johnson. https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/microdol-x-replacement.46346/page-7 post #172
 
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relistan

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I've got a new two bath formula I'm working on, with the intention of building on 2B-1 rather than all the others that came after. Since that developer is IMO pretty good, this is an attempt at modifying it a little bit to accomplish some small objectives.

I want to get a better buffer in A to help preserve the life of the A bath as bromide and oxidized developing agents build up. Slightly reducing the strength of the Mackie lines it forms would also be good.

My main objectives for bath B would be to:
  1. Make it less likely to preserve the developing agents in the ~20ml of carryover from bath A. Ideally they exhaust in B and stay inactive so it can be reused a few more times. I think removing the sulfite would do that, or at least contribute to it.
  2. Make bath B cheap and simple, so that when it does have too much build-up, I can just replace with e.g. a carbonate bath. I don't want to throw out 35g of sulfite every time I want a new bath B. Sodium carbonate I can get locally, sulfite I have to order.
I won't post the formula until I'm happy that I've achieved that. But this is a test shot from the first partial roll I put through it. Looks pretty good. Nearly the same as 2B-1, still sharp.

This is Fomapan 400 @ 200 (how I always shoot it) in my Yashica Electro 35 GSN (which I usually use for testing). 5 mins A + 4 mins B @ 20C.

2B-7Test1.jpg
 

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The tonal values look good. There is grain, but Foma 400 is a rather grainy film to begin with. Plus, being 35mm doesn't help hide grain.
 
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relistan

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The tonal values look good. There is grain, but Foma 400 is a rather grainy film to begin with. Plus, being 35mm doesn't help hide grain.

Thanks. Yeah the solvency is about the same as D-76 1+1. But the pH is lower in bath A (about 8.0) so the effect is that it’s a little better than that. I like sharper negatives and I think it’s close to right for me.

2B-1 has strong accutance and I want to retain good accutance while softening the Mackie lines a bit. Testing with Fomapan 400 is useful because it shows up the changes nicely. Something that finer grained films don’t always.
 

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Thanks. Yeah the solvency is about the same as D-76 1+1. But the pH is lower in bath A (about 8.0) so the effect is that it’s a little better than that. I like sharper negatives and I think it’s close to right for me.

2B-1 has strong accutance and I want to retain good accutance while softening the Mackie lines a bit. Testing with Fomapan 400 is useful because it shows up the changes nicely. Something that finer grained films don’t always.

I found that I prefer HP5+ for testing compared to FP4+ due to the grain structure. Similar to how Foma 400 works for you in testing. A couple of days ago I mixed up a variation of Stoeckler two bath to test with HP5+. The formula is for a slightly sharper developer than the stock Stoeckler two bath.

Bath A
750ml H2O
5g Metol
50g Sodium Sulfite
2g Borax
to make 1 liter


Bath B
750ml H20
12g Kodalk (Sodium Metaborate)

Bath B actually calls for 10g of Borax, but I used sodium metaborate, which should give slightly higher contrast along with slightly larger grain.
I'm going to see how this works and then compare it to your 2B-1. I think the two should be very close. I'm trying to decide whether I want to use 4X5 HP5+ or 35mm HP5+. I'm leaning toward the 35mm version, as it should let me (us) know much easier how each developer handles the grain. It might be a few days or more before I can complete these test, since we are in the process of cleaning out and selling my deceased 90yr old mother's home.
 
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I'm going to see how this works and then compare it to your 2B-1. I think the two should be very close. I'm trying to decide whether I want to use 4X5 HP5+ or 35mm HP5+. I'm leaning toward the 35mm version, as it should let me (us) know much easier how each developer handles the grain. It might be a few days or more before I can complete these test, since we are in the process of cleaning out and selling my deceased 90yr old mother's home.

Metol gives a slightly different look than PQ developers. It's subtle, but I would expect it to look a little softer (see my post #203 vs Barry Thornton's two bath). I would expect more acutance from 2B-1 as well. Grain may be similar: 2B-1 has a lower pH in A and should have a similar pH in B vs your metaborate substitution. However, 2B-1 has a little less sulfite solvent which may or may not be offset by the lower pH.
 

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Metol gives a slightly different look than PQ developers. It's subtle, but I would expect it to look a little softer (see my post #203 vs Barry Thornton's two bath). I would expect more acutance from 2B-1 as well. Grain may be similar: 2B-1 has a lower pH in A and should have a similar pH in B vs your metaborate substitution. However, 2B-1 has a little less sulfite solvent which may or may not be offset by the lower pH.

Yes, I'm more interested in the difference in grain structure between your 2B-1 and this Stoeckler version 2-bath. I have tried and really like Pyrocat-HDC, but I did try the HD and MC versions also. If I didn't settle on the HDC version, I would pick the MC version of Pyrocat next. I just liked the MC version over the HD version, but I don't know about sharpness being better in one or the other. I'm using medium format and 4X5 with Pyrocat so might not notice any difference in sharpness like I would with 35mm.
 
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relistan

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Yes, I'm more interested in the difference in grain structure between your 2B-1 and this Stoeckler version 2-bath. I have tried and really like Pyrocat-HDC, but I did try the HD and MC versions also. If I didn't settle on the HDC version, I would pick the MC version of Pyrocat next. I just liked the MC version over the HD version, but I don't know about sharpness being better in one or the other. I'm using medium format and 4X5 with Pyrocat so might not notice any difference in sharpness like I would with 35mm.
I would expect that the acutance will be visible in 120. A good example is the lower photo in #203. The thin white wire coming down from the power lines to the house on the right. When zoomed in, there are two sets of Mackie lines there. You might not otherwise even see it.

Another example is this shot:



Look more closely at where the walls of the castle meet the sky and you will see it. The furthest tower on the left has a Mackie line running along the sky, but it stops when it meets the trees.
 

John Wiegerink

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I would expect that the acutance will be visible in 120. A good example is the lower photo in #203. The thin white wire coming down from the power lines to the house on the right. When zoomed in, there are two sets of Mackie lines there. You might not otherwise even see it.

Another example is this shot:



Look more closely at where the walls of the castle meet the sky and you will see it. The furthest tower on the left has a Mackie line running along the sky, but it stops when it meets the trees.


Very good highlight and shadow detail in your castle shot. Certainly has enough detail for these old eyes. I like my prints/photos the same as I like my apples.............the crisper, the better. Soft is for little old ladies and some nudes. That's just me! The weather women said we might get a pinch of sunshine tomorrow, but I'll believe it when I see it. My cameras are loaded and ready just in case. Michigan is in "doom and gloom" mode for sure.
 
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