N-1 by water bath development

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Deckled Edge, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

    Jan 25, 2004
    Manhattan Be
    8x10 Format
    Bergger BPF has taken a beating on this forum, but I have had good luck with it in both 8x10, and recently, 11x14.
    I want to report a successful test of N-1 development using HC110 and sodium metaborate. Rereading Ansel Adams' The Negative, I was researching water bath development. He comments that, among others, HC110 can be a "compensating developer" in that shadow values can be strengthened using "stand" development in either an alkaline bath or a second developer. I chose the former and made a 5% sodium metaborate solution, developed an 11x14 negative in HC110 1:9 for 3 min. of the usual 6 min. development time, then laid the wet negative into the alkaline bath for the remaining 3 minutes, without agitation.
    Results: Very nice N-1 negative with very open shadows and some indicated Z IX which contracted to Z VII+.
    This will be my standard N-1 hereafter, and I will experiment with N-2, which I hear is nearly impossible with BPF.
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Large Format
    Thanks for your information.

    I haven't heard anyone having difficulty in contracting density range with this film. In fact printing on Azo I rarely have a N minus situation. The problem that I and others seem to have with this film is in the area of gaining enough contrast. It is almost impossible to get N plus one in the density range that Azo requires. That is with ABC pyro which is a heck of a lot more energetic then HC110 and has the added benefit of proportional stain that HC110 does not have. I haven't found anyone that can get N plus two out of the stuff.

    In my opinion the only viable use that I would have for it would be for a low contrast film that would be used in contracting density range.

    I probably have a box or two of 8X10 that I would make you a good deal on if you are interested. Since you like it and I hate it may make a good deal for both of us.