Dilute Paper Developers (Liquidol) - More Control?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Matthew Gorringe, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    Last night I was faced with a fairly common problem of having shadows block up too much in a print of a night time scene. I was using Galerie Grade 2 and Liquidol at 1:9. In the past I would have reached for a developer with reduced hydroquinone in it like Selectol Soft or the Ansel Adams A130 mentioned in Anchell.

    This time I decided that since I had the Liquidol made up I'd try diluting it further to see if that gave more control of the shadows. The result was a print that I'm exceptionally pleased with; it has lovely contrast but very open shadows with lots of local contrast. A print with Selectol Soft would have been much muddier with lower local contrast (still useful for some scenes but not this one).

    I found that diluting the Liquidol to 1:14 gave incredible control in agitation and time. I ended up reducing agitation quite a lot but still developing for 3.5 minutes at 73deg. F. to ensure full development of the highlights and to retain the effectiveness of my existing flashing.

    Do others here regularly use developers diluted well beyond their recommendations?

    Is Liquidol particularly suited to greater dilution? I tend to use other developers at slightly higher dilutions (Dektol 1:4 or A130 at 1:3) but have not experienced this level of control before.
     
  2. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Beer's at 1:7 works well. Same formula as Ansco 120 but 2/3
    the strength; so Ansco 120, 1:11. Dektol, at 1:7 or 1:11 should
    work well. Development times increase with increases in dilution.

    Play with it some. Use minimal solution volumes with enough
    chemistry to do the job and you've got one-shot chemistry.
    I follow my one-shot developer with one-shot fixer, also
    very dilute. Single tray processing. Dan
     
  3. Stefan Findel

    Stefan Findel Member

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    I am using VC Papers, so I have no experience with paper/developer combinations. But I have used different developers at different dilutions on ortho films, recently including Liquidol 1+19, D-23, Harmann WT, all different dilutions. It appears, that you have to find a combination of materials, that work for you in your situation. (For ortho my preference is Harman.) You might be very happy with Liquidol for Galerie paper but not so much when using another paper. For paper I use Liquidol as well, maybe I will try other dilutions. Maybe PE can chip in and say a word.
    Dan: I read about your use of diluted fix as a one shot in another thread as well. I had never heard about that, but it sounds very interesting to me. How do you know for sure what dilution and time to use for archival results? (I use T-4.)
    Stefan
     
  4. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I've run tests. The amount of fixer concentrate used must clear,
    with some margine, within four minutes. Four minutes being
    somewhat arbitrarly chosen. I use slow rather than 'rapid'
    fix. A print size of 5x7 is used for establishing the base
    amount. Papers vary in the amount of fixer needed.

    Testing is done with unexposed paper and after a complete
    wash the ST-1 drop test is used. The sulfide in the test solution
    will produce a stain if silver remains in the emulsion. Gross
    under amounts of fixer will produce, after short exposure
    to room light, a gray or colored paper.

    Test with minimal solution volumes. With 8x10s 1/4 to 1/3
    liter will do. Agitate continuously. The fixer is very dilute.
    To stir pull the print over upon itself back to front right
    to left. For starters use 10 ml of concentrate or about
    half that for 5x7s then up or down it from there.
    Time, perhaps 3, maybe four minutes.

    Besides fresh fix each, or a few at same time processed,
    the low silver level in the fixer guarantees archival results
    with one fix. Fixer volume must be a multiple of the number
    of prints at same time processed. As there is no build up of
    developer in the fixer I've dispensed with stop, water or
    acid. No problems. Dan
     
  5. Stefan Findel

    Stefan Findel Member

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    Thank you much, Dan. I will give it a try!
    Stefan
     
  6. OP
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    Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    Thanks Dan and Stefan.

    I don't think I'm as likely to go down the one shot route for either developer or fix but I will now start trying Ansco 130, Ansco 120 and Dektol and much greater dilutions while being mindful of capacity and repeatability.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Matthew:

    You might consider sending a PM to PE with any questions you have about diluting Liquidol :smile:.

    Matt
     
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    Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    Thanks Matt,
    did that first but wanted to open it up to others experiences, perhaps with other developers.