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pbromaghin

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We have a vacation trip coming up. I will bring HP5+ and FP4+ in 35mm as well as PanF in 120. This will all be processed in full-strength, replenished D23 with constant roller agitation. There will of course be bright sun, cloudy days, and maybe some attempts at indoor architecture. I'm pretty new to D23, and just so I can thoroughly confuse myself, what Exposure Index would you recommend for each of these.
 
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No one can give you a definitive answer to your question since your own, individual E.I. will depend on your equipment, metering techniques, etc. Unless you test yourself to find your best E.I., you'll never really know.

That said, rating your film 2/3 stop slower than box speed is usually a good starting point for testing. If I had to work with untested film, I'd likely expose it there; a bit of overexposure is no problem, but underexposure is.

As far as using roll film in situations with substantially different subject brightness ranges goes, you really just have to be very careful metering and compensating for very contrasty situations. If you are spot metering and basing your exposure on a shadow value, then there are no problems, but if you are using an in-camera averaging/matrix meter, the camera will tend to underexpose contrasty scenes. To compensate, add a stop of extra exposure with your exposure compensation or whatever.

Best,

Doremus
 

ags2mikon

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I used to use Ilford perceptol and everything was ISO divide by 2. I now use D-23 1:1. The last 6 months I began using D-23 1:1 and replenishing with the replenisher at 1:1. So far it seems to be working after about 18 rolls of film. Different films respond differently as far as EI goes. GP-3 is about box speed and Pan-f is about 25. Rollei retro 80s looks like EI 25. If you don't have time to test ISO divided by 2 will work. But you are taking a risk. I live in the desert southwest and the contrast is very great and D-23 1:1 really helps. The longer developing times allow me to listen to stairway to heaven all the way through.😀
 

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When developing with continuous rotary agitation, I rate HP5+ and FP4+ at box speed in stock D23.
You'll have to work out your own development times - to suit your taste and printing style / process / equipment.

I don't use Pan-F so can't really help there.
 
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With the criteria of 'replenished full strength', I would suggest FP4 at 100, HP5 at 500, and Pan F at 50, I am assuming for optical printing, cold light head. With a Leica Focomat I'd be more tolerant of wanting overexposure at the expense of grain for the contrast so Pan F could be at 32 and HP5 at 320, and of course for scanning I'd go the other direction with a thinner neg, so everything box speed. I would suggest a test run of all three showing bracketing exposures, one run should give you a better idea for you and your uses to dial in each of these films Exposure Index.
 
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pbromaghin

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Thanks to all. Lots to think about here, and about as much extra confusion as I expected...
 

pentaxuser

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Thanks to all. Lots to think about here, and about as much extra confusion as I expected...

Yes I feared as much, Peter. As I recall in John Finch's video about D23 he was asked about what speed this developer was able to achieve and as I recall matters it was largely box speed in that in reply to the comments and questions section he compared D23 to D76 but unless you have the time to do a speed check before you go on holiday and depending on how much you value shadow details a drop by 1/3rd to 2/3rds of a stop may be sensible

Here's his video

pentaxuser
 

Roger Cole

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D23 SHOULD get the same speed as D76, because at the PH of fresh D76 the HQ isn't active anyway (at least according to either the Darkroom Cookbook or Film Developing Cookbook - I'm reading both now and can't recall which I saw that in.)

Why D23 in particular? It's very cheap if you mix it up yourself from bulk metol and sulfite so there's that. I've had very good results at box speed with HP5 and FP4 in my Jobo in, at the time, T-Max RS, and I expect Ilford DD-X to be pretty much the same which is what I'll try now (I never liked the regular T-Max developer but I really liked the RS, even though I used it one-shot.) That's on the other end of the scale cost-wise, though, so if that's the reason a film developer doesn't get much cheaper to home mix than D23. I've thought about trying it out when I want a lower contrast developer, maybe divided D23.
 
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pbromaghin

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Yes I feared as much, Peter. As I recall in John Finch's video about D23 he was asked about what speed this developer was able to achieve and as I recall matters it was largely box speed in that in reply to the comments and questions section he compared D23 to D76 but unless you have the time to do a speed check before you go on holiday and depending on how much you value shadow details a drop by 1/3rd to 2/3rds of a stop may be sensible

Here's his video

pentaxuser


Interesting, and he is such a good presenter, clear and understandable. This is one of the first things I will do once the darkroom is built. John Finch is the guy who got me on to D23.

Why D23 in particular? It's very cheap if you mix it up yourself from bulk metol and sulfite so there's that.

After watching John Finch's earlier video on mixing and using D23, I realized I could do it too. As well as loving the "hands on" aspect of photography, I was at a point where I really wanted to take more control. Besides mixing D23 from scratch, I also quit shooting C41, got 100ft of Vision3 50D and an ECN2 kit. So going forward, 120 will be B&W only and 35mm will be all roll-your-own, everything processed in house. This could lead to homebrewing D76 and ECN2 at some point. Next year at this time the darkroom should be ready for printing B&W. Color will remain a hybrid process, though.

The pandemic has been terribly hard on my photography. Hopefully this will start a breakout.
 

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I like D23 (easy to make) but why would you try a new developer for photos from a vacation?? I don't see any difference between D76 and D23 except for mixing your own chemicals.
 

albada

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D23 SHOULD get the same speed as D76, because at the PH of fresh D76 the HQ isn't active anyway (at least according to either the Darkroom Cookbook or Film Developing Cookbook - I'm reading both now and can't recall which I saw that in.)

Except that D76 contains borax and D23 doesn't. That additional buffering makes some difference, perhaps affecting speed.
 
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And if your pushing any rolls D-76 is likely the better choice of the two, with he old pj trick of using old, er, 'well-aged' D-76 when the Ph shifted to push rolls.
 

takilmaboxer

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In my experience D23 develops the shadows at a rate similar to D76, but develops the highlights more slowly than D76, resulting in lower contrast overall. I generally shoot at half box speed. When diluted D23 can have a compensating effect which further controls the highlights. Love the stuff-simple formula and can be mixed as needed.
 

pentaxuser

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Interesting, and he is such a good presenter, clear and understandable. This is one of the first things I will do once the darkroom is built. John Finch is the guy who got me on to D23.
Peter, just a hunch on my part but I have a feeling that the cyclist and runner you know may well want to help with the teaspoon mixing and the addition of the water and then stick a label on it that says "I made this" 😃

pentaxuser
 
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pbromaghin

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My personal preferences:

HP5 at 250 1+1 dilution
FP4 at 64 1+1 dilution
Pan F at 25... 1+3. It's quite nice in this developer.

Andrew, I'm sorry for the late response! I'm a big fan of your videos and was really hoping to get your opinion when writing the original post. \
 
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pbromaghin

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I like D23 (easy to make) but why would you try a new developer for photos from a vacation?? I don't see any difference between D76 and D23 except for mixing your own chemicals.

It isn't 100% new, having started using it in January, but there isn't a real familiarity yet. Mixing my own chemicals is the main point of it, the little difference between them is even a bonus. It's about going one layer deeper into it, along with all roll-your-own 35mm. Since it is a hobby, there are no worries about pleasing a client and, as an untrained autodidact, failure is always just one more learning step.
 
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pbromaghin

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Ok, shooting’s done andI think I know how I’m going to process. All films were shot at half box speed. However, before I start, would any one like to comment on expected difference in results between full strength, 1+1, and 1+3?
 
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ags2mikon

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I have only used full strength and 1:1. Full strength has mushy grain that 1:1 does not. 1:3 may be sharper than 1:1.
 

Donald Qualls

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1:3 may be sharper than 1:1.

Unless your lens, tripod, and enlarger/scanner are perfect, you aren't likely to see that difference.
 
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pbromaghin

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When we get to considering 1+1 and especially 1+3 dilutions, at what point do we run to a developer volume problem? As when the Kodak d76 sheet recommends (very confusingly) minimums of both 237 and 118 ml undiluted stock?
 

Donald Qualls

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Given that D-23 has about the same overall activity level as D-76, I'd take the same recommended stock volume as a good starting point. BTW, 237 ml seems high, give that many stainless tanks want only 250 ml total for a single 35 mm roll. Sure that isn't the actual mixing amount for 120?
 

Donald Qualls

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My Paterson wants 290 ml for 35 mm and 500 ml for 120 -- for the same film area. 35 mm is where the minimum active developer is an issue (or 220 or 2x120 if you double load the reels like I do).

At your link, they give that +10% for 1+1, they don't even mention 1+3 (Kodak has never recognized that dilution, AFAIK, just as Agfa never talked about Rodinal 1:100 or weaker). Further, the recommend doubling the volume for the same area of 120 -- which makes little sense. Still, 237 and 118 ml are about the amounts of full strength developer you'd want for give 500+ ml of diluted solution at 1+1 or 1+3.
 
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