D76 One Shot

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momus

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Finally tried Mike Anderson's D76 one shot formula. Pentax MV w/ 50 2 lens, no fltr, Delta 100 at EI 64, dev 7:15 minutes around 70-74 degrees F. He calls for 1 tbs for 300ml, my tank needs 375 so I upped it to roughly 1 1/4 tbs by sight.

Works great, so easy, no more wondering if the developer is getting more or less active. Wish I had done this a long time ago. Nice and smooth. Scans are from my little toy Wolverine scanner, the negs will be super easy to wet print. This is my 2nd roll of Delta 100, the first was developed in F76 Plus at 1+8. It looks somewhat different, probably because that first roll was from an n8008s w/ a Leica R 90 2.8 Elmarit lens w/ a Y. fltr. I have very little control over the Pentax camera's exposure, the Nikon's spot meter and AE-Lock gave perfect exposures every frame.


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Donald Qualls

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The hole I see in his argument (in that I completely agree that manufacturers mix a few hundred kilos and then dispense into the bags by volume) is that at the manufacturer, they mix the bulk batch, and then immediately start filling bags; the mixed powders don't sit for long and don't get moved around and shipped halfway around the Earth and then handled and shelved and shipped again and then sit a while before being broken down further.

In other words, the consumer size packages get much more chance to separate after they're filled than the big mixing bin at the Sino Promise factory does.

If the method works, okay, fine, it works -- but if I'm going to mix developer fresh for each session, I might just as well keep a can of metol, one of hyroquinone, a bag of sodium sulfite and one of borax, and just mix from ingredients on demand. I very much like the convenience of having a liquid stock solution or concentrate and I'm much more prone to mix that than to mix developer from powder for each session.

Not to mention that Xtol, my preferred Kodak developer, comes in two bags...
 

koraks

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the consumer size packages get much more chance to separate after they're filled than the big mixing bin at the Sino Promise factory does.

Yeah, that's the common argument being given against mixing partial bags of D76 etc. Sometimes, the argument is backed up with some theory about the dynamic behavior of particles. What I've never seen done, however, is people actually verifying if and to what extent this is an actual problem. On occasion, I've mixed a partial bag of D76 (many years ago) and never noticed any problem with it - but I didn't do any sensitometry either, so take that experience with a grain of sulfite.
 
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The hole I see in his argument (in that I completely agree that manufacturers mix a few hundred kilos and then dispense into the bags by volume) is that at the manufacturer, they mix the bulk batch, and then immediately start filling bags; the mixed powders don't sit for long and don't get moved around and shipped halfway around the Earth and then handled and shelved and shipped again and then sit a while before being broken down further.

In other words, the consumer-size packages get much more chance to separate after they're filled than the big mixing bin at the Sino Promise factory does.

If the method works, okay, fine, it works -- but if I'm going to mix developer fresh for each session, I might just as well keep a can of metol, one of hydroquinone, a bag of sodium sulfite, and one of borax, and just mix from ingredients on demand. I very much like the convenience of having a liquid stock solution or concentrate and I'm much more prone to mix that than to mix developer from powder for each session.

Not to mention that Xtol, my preferred Kodak developer, comes in two bags...

the one-shot method is a guarantee for consistency, but mixing a strong storage solution and diluting it to a normal strength working solution is more practical while still being consistent if used one-shot.
 

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I used to use D76 and Dektol mixed as needed all the time and never had any issue with it (in fact, I have never actually mixed up an entire package of either of those). I don't do it now because I don't buy those things anymore. I mix from bulk chemistry (I usually make a litre of D76 and use it up 1:1 one-shot).

If you do it, though, make sure you filter the developer before dumping it into the dev tank. There will be undissolved stuff in there.
 
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momus

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Hi peter k. The first link in my post shows the details on Mike's original flickr post. Shaking the original packaging bag like crazy in the beginning is maybe the key? I agree w/ Mike's assessment, there's no valid reason why this wouldn't work. The chemicals in the bag are already thoroughly mixed up from the factory, we just need to give the bag a good shaking in case some may have gone to the bottom. My measurement were for D76 stock solution, so dilute it accordingly for something else.

There's a resistance to things like this. People like to make charts and graphs rather than just trying something and seeing what happens. It's more fun this way too. Experiential results are just more reliable, that's always how it's done in real life. That rocket always needs to be actually tested w/ a launch no matter how many computer simulations have been made. Like I mentioned, this seems smarter than mixing up a gallon of D76 and having it change activity over time, which it assuredly does.

My next one shot try will be w/ Foma 100. That film looks great in Rodinal, so I need to see what others have been getting using D76. It may be that it's not the best developer for it, but its the film I have. These negs sorta look like Tri-X in D76, while my 1st roll of Delta 100 looked different in F76 Plus. I like it either way. Great film w/ beautiful grain and tonality.
 
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koraks

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That rocket always needs to be actually tested w/ a launch no matter how many computer simulations have been made.

But you don't want to know what kind of telemetry they put on your average rocket when they test it.

Not saying you're wrong or shouldn't have tried, but I guess all of us have done the experiential thing and have it bite our ass once in a while. I sure have that experience.
 

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If the method works, okay, fine, it works -- but if I'm going to mix developer fresh for each session, I might just as well keep a can of metol, one of hyroquinone, a bag of sodium sulfite and one of borax, and just mix from ingredients on demand.

I do it mainly to save money (it works out to be basically free for any roll of film) but I've always mixed from scratch -- just as much as I need -- because I never know if I only need 10 ounces to develop a roll of Minox film, a quart for three rolls of 35mm, or a gallon for lots of processing.

Add in the potential for chemicals settling in a premixed bag, and only using a bit of what happens to be on top, and I've got one more reason to keep doing what I'm doing.
 

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As I understand it, the manufacturers don't necessarily fill bags from the pre-mixed chemicals - in many cases the bags are the final mixing containers.
But in general, I doubt any of us have the means to tell whether the recommendations against splitting the contents are well founded.
None of the regular posters here use enough to be able to make large number of tests.
And the sensitivity to the issue certainly must vary with the chemical.
As I've posted elsewhere, I have no problem doing this with Kodak HCA, because of the makeup of Kodak HCA, and because of what it does, and where it fits in the processing "chain".
And I can see the argument for doing it with a paper developer, because our tolerance for session to session variability with paper developers is high - if we waste a couple of sheets of printing paper due to weak print developer, it wastes some money and time, but the prints can be replaced.
But variability of film developer because of mixing is much more problematic. And it takes sensitometry to ascertain meaningful results - visual inspection won't usually do the job.
 

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I'm sure this has been discussed for at least a century, with the same arguments for and against. 🙂

I mix my own developers from bulk chemicals, so I'll have 500 ml to 1000 ml stock when I need it.
 

pentaxuser

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Interesting link. Clearly forfiv is it's main advocate but there was another who was a believer in not taking any risk. in the same way we tend to fall into those 2 categories here. forfiv is a firm believer and so far he has some proof that using part of the powder works in that it has worked for him. I don't know how many times he has tried this nor how many times he would need to be successful to rule out that chance had played a major part in his success

Three questions arise for me: 1. Is there any reason to believe that a good shake of the powder before removing the level tablespoon does not distribute all the ingredients in the same way that the D76 maker's machine does in the 1 or 5L bag?

2. If each shake from which the tablespoon of powder is taken does not replicate exactly the amount of the ingredients in the bag after the appropriate shake, is there any reason that the tablespoon of powder will be far enough out of spec to materially affect the development of the negs?

3. How much, if any, does the procedure of opening the bag and then closing it again after squeezing out the air shorten the life of the remaining powder? Does the powder, using the tablespoon method of mixing, last much longer than mixing a stock of 1L or 5L and filling 250ml or 125ml bottle to the top?

Certainly for low volume users this method, íf it works perfectly all times or at a level of success that makes only the most marginal of differences to the negatives has some real attractions

pentaxuser
 

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Here is an example of a recipe for D-76:

Ingredients/chemicals you need:

750ml of Water
2gm of Metol
100gm of Sodium Sulfite anhydrous
5gm of Hydroquinone
2gm of Borax
Cold water to make 1 liter of the solution
*Chemicals need to be mixed in the same order as listed here!

Start by putting some gloves on.

Proceed by weighing all the chemicals so you can just add one after another later on.

Prepare the 750ml of water heated up to around 50°C (122°F). In order for the developer to react properly it’s very important what kind of water you use. PH of the final solution should be at 8.5 so I recommend you to use distilled water as tap waters around the world are very different and can have lots of added ingredients you definitely don’t want to have in your developer.

Start adding the chemicals one by one. Every chemical needs to dissolve completely before you add the next one. Also make sure to stick to the same order as listed above because for instance if you add Metol at the end it wont even dissolve. If you can I recommend you to use a magnetic stirrer & you will thank me later.


The amounts of Metol and Hydroquinone are relatively miniscule by weight and, I would assume, by volume.
Unless the component powder particles are individually homogenous, how likely is it that a home user can ensure that a teaspoon of developer does not end up containing half as much Metol as needed? Twice as much Metol as necessary?
Particularly if this is one of the examples (which it may or may not be) where the manufacturing process involves mixing the components in single package quantities in the packages themselves.
 

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The amounts of Metol and Hydroquinone are relatively miniscule by weight and, I would assume, by volume.
Unless the component powder particles are individually homogenous, how likely is it that a home user can ensure that a teaspoon of developer does not end up containing half as much Metol as needed? Twice as much Metol as necessary?
Particularly if this is one of the examples (which it may or may not be) where the manufacturing process involves mixing the components in single package quantities in the packages themselves.

Kodak's D76 has always been a homogeneous powder with no possibility the individual chemicals are added to the bag separately. You only need to examine it to know that. It would also be inefficient to add separate chemicals to individual bags.
Shaking the bag would only help to separate the chemistry. Vibration (shaking) is what causes elements to settle by density. Stirring is what mixes them.
 

MattKing

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You only need to examine it to know that. It would also be inefficient to add separate chemicals to individual bags.

Not necessarily. Production lines where the separate components - not individual chemicals, but combinations of chemicals in each hopper are metered exactly into a target hopper that is a single bag size and then dumped into the bag are not that uncommon, and can be efficient if mechanized.
To picture this, think of a line that looks like a multiple candle candelabra, with a single final container at the end.
Each arm of the candelabra has some, but not all of the components - often bonded together into a single particle designed not to interact in powder form with the other components in the mix.
 

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Shouldn't any recipe for D-76 include instructions to first put a PINCH of the Sodium sulfite in the water before any Metol goes in, to scavenge the oxygen from the water?

That said, I gave up buying Kodak chemistry three years ago, after purchasing bad packages of Xtol, D-76, and Dektol. I make everything from scratch now, using component chemicals from ArtCraft. Making a liter of D-76 as needed is ridiculously cheap, reliable and you know you're getting consistent results - no more storing a gallon at a time and worrying at the 3 month point if your last 500ml bottle is still good.
 
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pentaxuser

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Matt, how does the D76 commercial maker ensure that the bulk mix gets divided into exactly the right portions for each packet of D76 sold? I presume that each pack be that 1 or 5L is not mixed individually but is mixed in bulk.

Thanks

pentaxuser
 

Don Heisz

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They used to sell this stuff in packages to make a litre, in packages to make a gallon, in cans to make a gallon, in cans to make 5 gallons, in barrels to make a swimming pool full of it. They (Kodak) mixed D76 and then put it in packages.

To picture this, think of a line that looks like a multiple candle candelabra, with a single final container at the end.

And picture when one of those nozzles clogs and a few hundred pouches of D76 have no metol.
 

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Even if the right amounts of all the ingredients are correct, heavier particles will settle to the bottom. If you mix the whole package -- no problem -- but movement moves the chemicals.

Fill a bag half full of black glass marbles and half white plastic marbles. Then move the bag around. The heavy black marbles will slowly move to the bottom.
 

Donald Qualls

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make sure you filter the developer before dumping it into the dev tank. There will be undissolved stuff in there.

we just need to give the bag a good shaking in case some may have gone to the bottom.

Is there any reason to believe that a good shake of the powder before removing the level tablespoon does not distribute all the ingredients

Vibration (shaking) is what causes elements to settle by density. Stirring is what mixes them.

There is good, well confirmed physics that says "shake the bag" will make any incipient separation of particles that are not identical in both size and density worse, instead of better. And if you're having to filter the developer for undissolved "stuff" you're not going to have whatever failed to dissolve in the final developer. D-76 can't be successfully mixed in room temperature water; it needs to be about 125 F to get everything dissolved in a reasonable time frame.

The reason people get reasonably normal results with this method is because the separation of non-homogeneous particulates takes time. Dump a dozen shovels full of sand and two of gravel into a cement mixer, and the paddles inside the drum will stir them together. Put them in a box and apply a form vibrator (usually used to move air bubbles out of the concrete) and the rock will wind up on top; if there's enough relative to the top layer surface area, the larger rock will wind up above the finer. This won't happen right away, though; you'll have to vibrate the box for a good while to separate the components.

Further, there has traditionally been minimal free space inside the bags or cans of Kodak developer products; this limits the actual movement due to vibration.

In the end, I don't know that there's anything to be gained by mixing developer using tablespoons from a bag that contains a couple cups, compared to mixing the full liter or five liters of stock solution. With good storage, the stock solution is good for much longer than the two months or six months Kodak usually recommends.
 

MattKing

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Matt, how does the D76 commercial maker ensure that the bulk mix gets divided into exactly the right portions for each packet of D76 sold? I presume that each pack be that 1 or 5L is not mixed individually but is mixed in bulk.

Thanks

pentaxuser

I don't know that this approach applies specifically to D-76 - I just used that as an example of one common "recipe".
But when that method is used, the individual components are measured, and the total combination is not mixed in bulk - it is mixed as it is being "pumped" into the container that is then dumped into an individual bag.
To reach a bit too far for an analogy, this is how gasoline is dispensed from individual pumps that offer a choice three or more octane grades. There aren't three or more tanks underneath the pump. There is a high octane tank and a low octane tank, and the intermediate grades are obtained by mixing them in different proportions.
The biggest reason to do all this is to avoid the situation where the different components interact with each other before being diluted, while still making it easy for the end user to mix up their chemicals.
 

MattKing

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They used to sell this stuff in packages to make a litre, in packages to make a gallon, in cans to make a gallon, in cans to make 5 gallons, in barrels to make a swimming pool full of it. They (Kodak) mixed D76 and then put it in packages.



And picture when one of those nozzles clogs and a few hundred pouches of D76 have no metol.

You realize this immediately, because the systems measure exactly how much of each component is delivered to the mixing container - a clogged nozzle will mean no measured delivery.
 

Donald Qualls

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What I've never understood is how Kodak makes commercial D-76 mix well with all the components poured in together. Normally, if you add too much sodium sulfite before the metol, the metol is hard to dissolve -- do they just get away with this via timing (only a little of the sulfite will dissolve before the metol goes into solution -- enough to prevent oxidation but not enough to affect solubility), or is there some special treatment of something?

Which, of course, has nothing to do with whether the first tablespoon from a bag of commercial D-76 powder has the same composition as the last...
 
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