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pstake

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I would like to find a book, even a textbook, that explains the difference between developing agents, how they work on paper and film, what components affect emulsions and how they interact with developing agents, the effects of pH changes and all of this hopefully dumbed down so that a pedestrian mind like mine can comprehend it.

This is in part to hopefully help me better use my materials but also just to satisfy my inner geek.

I have the Darkroom Cookbook ordered and look forward to reading it, but I am looking for more than recipes.

For example, I read a post once where Glycin was described as a "physical" developing agent whereas Metol was described as not a physical developing agent.

Here is the exact quote:

"Glycin is less active (in almost every sense) than metol or p-aminophenol in lower end of usable pH range, but if the pH is high, glycin can be just as active. In addition, glycin is known to be an effective physical developer whereas metol and p-aminophenol are not a physical developer at all."

I'd like to know what that means and just generally have a solid understanding of the relevant photochemistry. Another thing I'd like to understand is the reason BZT restrains and makes an image colder while kBr restrains and makes an image warmer.
 
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Jim Noel

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"Handbook of Photography" by Henley and Dudley, 1939
You should be able to find a copy on one of the used book stores on the web. If it is not in this book, you don't need to know it.
 

Rudeofus

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This list would be incomplete without Mees's "Theory of the Photographic Process", which has a great chapter devoted to the effect of pH on developer action.

Sadly, none of the books, neither in the public domain nor under copyright, will say much about Phenidone, Dimezone S, Ascorbic Acid, substituted PPD and HQMS, which are the ingredients of many modern, advanced developers. Authors were either unaware of these developing agents, or prevented by their employers from writing about them except in most cryptic and somehow misleading ways.
 
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pstake

pstake

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These are all great. Thank you and please keep them coming.

Michael, what did you write and delete? Were you going to curse and swear at me and changed your mind?!
 
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pstake

pstake

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"Handbook of Photography" by Henley and Dudley, 1939 is available for free at the Internet Archive
https://archive.org/details/handbookofphotog00henn

Reading the preface, this seems to be just what I'm looking for.

Haven't looked at the Jacobsen book yet.


This list would be incomplete without Mees's "Theory of the Photographic Process", which has a great chapter devoted to the effect of pH on developer action.

Sadly, none of the books, neither in the public domain nor under copyright, will say much about Phenidone, Dimezone S, Ascorbic Acid, substituted PPD and HQMS, which are the ingredients of many modern, advanced developers. Authors were either unaware of these developing agents, or prevented by their employers from writing about them except in most cryptic and somehow misleading ways.

Not happy to hear this. I would really like to know more about those developing agents.
 
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Gerald C Koch

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Photographic Chemistry, Vol. One, Pierre Glafkides, 1958

Photographic Processing Chemistry, L. F. A. Mason, The Focal Press, 1966

Modern Photographic Processing: v. 1, Grant Haist, Wiley, 1979

The Theory of the Photographic Process, 3rd Edition, by T. H. James, editor, The Macmillan Company, 1966

The Haist book is the newest book on photo chemistry. Very little research has been done since it was published. So it is in a sense the last word on the subject. A tad expensive but very good.
 
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pstake

pstake

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Ya, it looks like the Haist book will run $100-plus to get it and get it shipped.

Can you tell me something it covers that the 1939 book doesn't? Maybe it goes more into VC papers?

Photographic Chemistry, Vol. One, Pierre Glafkides, 1958

Photographic Processing Chemistry, L. F. A. Mason, The Focal Press, 1966

Modern Photographic Processing: v. 1, Grant Haist, Wiley, 1979

The Theory of the Photographic Process, 3rd Edition, by T. H. James, editor, The Macmillan Company, 1966

The Haist book is the newest book on photo chemistry. Very little research has been done since it was published. So it is in a sense the last word on the subject. A tad expensive but very good.
 
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pstake

pstake

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Thanks, Michael. As always, your input is helpful. Didn't expect to get so many heavy hitters responding to this.

I'm ordering the Jacobsen book but may order the film cookbook later as well (when I find it cheap). The Jacobsen book answers my initial question about "physical" development, on page 23. And it costs less than $10 shipped!

Also, it seems to write in plain-enough language that I only have to re-read paragraphs once or twice to comprehend stuff!
 

Gerald C Koch

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Can you tell me something it covers that the 1939 book doesn't? Maybe it goes more into VC papers?

A photography book written in 1939 is hopelessly outdated. In 1939 little was known about the formation of a latent image. You really need solid state physics to explain the process. Nothing about the phenidones or a practical ascorbate developer like Xtol. Nothing about T-grain or delta emulsions and their development. Many, many of other things would not be explained.

There is nothing particularly difficult about understanding VC papers. Simply put they have two emulsion layers. One is a low contrast emulsion and the other a high contrast one. They are sensitized toward two different colors. So, using one type, if you expose a sheet to magenta only light you will get a high contrast image, say grade 5. When exposed to yellow light you get a low contrast image, grade 0. Various mixtures of yellow and magenta light will produce the contrast grades normally seen for papers.
 

julio1fer

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The Darkroom Cookbook by Steve Anchell (not only formulae but also some tweaking and ideas), covers modern films too.
 

RalphLambrecht

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be warned. this book is greatbut as hard to digest as they come.
see if you like the much lighter cost I wrote on the subjectfrom a non-chemist for all the non-chemists out there:
:smile:
It's just an appetizer compared to the book above.
 

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Gerald C Koch

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Michael

This obviously explains Ilford VC papers. Do you know if all of the manufacturers use the same method?

Jerry
 
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pstake

pstake

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be warned. this book is greatbut as hard to digest as they come.
see if you like the much lighter cost I wrote on the subjectfrom a non-chemist for all the non-chemists out there:
:smile:
It's just an appetizer compared to the book above.

That was a fantastic rundown, Ralph. I almost bought your book secondhand from a guy who was selling a bunch of photo stuff but he had sold it a few hours before I got there. I can see I made a mistake. I will be sure to pick it up, now. I will also be looking for the book by Eaton.
 
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MattKing

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Gerald C Koch

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I found the following explanation of VC paper to be easier to understand than other literature including Ilford's.

http://www.antsmith.net/Articles/VC.htm

"VC papers are often described as containing two emulsion layers, one being of a soft grade and one of a hard grade. This is slightly confusing as it creates a vision of there being an upper and a lower layer, whereas the two emulsions are in fact an homogenous, single layer, mixture. Soft and hard grade silver-salt grains lying side-by-side throughout. The two grain types are sensitised by different wavelengths (colours) of light, typically blue and green. A high contrast print is achieved by exposure to blue light and a low contrast print by exposure to green light. Intermediate grades are produced by balancing blue and green light in different proportions. Because the emulsions are mixed (not layered) it doesn’t matter if the two exposures are delivered together or sequentially. If the exposures are delivered sequentially it doesn’t matter in what order they are applied. Typically the two exposures are delivered together, through a single filter say. It is possible though to expose only the hard contrast salts with a grade 5 filter and then to expose only the soft contrast salts through a grade 00 filter. The practical impact of this is that a print can be made from two (or more) sequential exposures at different grades. This is the basis of the split-grade printing process."

So the only difference between the conventional explanation (which I gave) of variable contrast and what is actually occurring is that the two emulsions are mixed together in a single layer. However they essentially behave as if there were two emulsions in two distinct layers. The single layer approach has its own advantages.
 
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