Two bath developers

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H. James Wolf

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Over the past year, I've been trying various combinations of D-23 and Thorton's divided developers. Most seem to cut the film speed in half - shadows go blank - when compared with Xtol 1:3. Is this normal? Should I increase the time, agitation, or amount of metol? Is there a divided/two bath developer that gives full film speed?
 

el wacho

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yes there is crawley's fx4 - omit the borax in bath A and use a bath B of about 7 - 12 g/ltr of borax. i, too, experience loss of film speed so i overexposed by one stop ( halve the box iso ).
 

Donmck

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This is my experience with 2 bath developers, which is all I've used for the past 5-6 years.-

Most of these developers times are 3 min. in bath A and 3 min in bath B.-----it doesn't work with modern films ,with the exception of the 20 and 25 speed films.


times in bath A need to be 1/2-3/4 of the total development time per developer.Usually I use borax for bath B, but if the light is flat I"ll use sodium carb for the extra pop.This always gives me box speed.


The Teaspoonful Two Bath
As far as I know nobody has mentioned another technique which I have evolved and which works really well to give different tonal characteristics and very similar automatic contrast control, and to avoid having to mix anything but an approximate Bath B - two heaped teaspoons of sodium metaborate in 1 litre of water. It dissolves almost instantly and is cheap enough to use once then throw away, though it would handle 15 roll films if re-used. Simply use your normal standard developer (T-Max, ID11, llfotech, HC110, Econotol, Perceptol etc.) for half to two thirds of the maker's stated time as Bath A, drain it off, and use the teaspoon-measured Bath B for 3 minutes at the same temperature as Bath A. You may have to fine tune Bath A time by experience. For all 2 baths stop and fix afterwards in the usual way after Bath B, but not between the two baths Copyright Barry Thornton.

-Don
 

davekarp

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Barry Thornton suggested a teaspoon 2 bath years before he passed away.

I used to use HP5+ at 320 in XTol 1:3. Now I use it at 200 in Thornton's 2 bath. Not much difference. Many photographers find that they need to cut the box speed when using films in real life. 1/2 the box speed is quite common. It is not just a "problem" with 2 baths.

The statement that 2 baths don't work with modern films is not true for everyone. This technique works quite well for me. Also search on APUG for Sandy King's experiments with 2 bath Pyrocat.
 

Harry Lime

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This is my experience with 2 bath developers, which is all I've used for the past 5-6 years.-

Most of these developers times are 3 min. in bath A and 3 min in bath B.-----it doesn't work with modern films ,with the exception of the 20 and 25 speed films.-Don


I've used Barry Thornton's 2-bath with Tri-X and now also Tmax-2 400 for the past few years. No, problems, works like a charm. I expose the film a little more conservative, at around 320asa. IME there is some loss of speed, but the consistency and tonality are worth the tradeoff. Blown highlights are a thing of the past for me.

I also use Diafine with both of these films at 1250 / 1600 and again, great results.
 

el wacho

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i've had consistent results with modern emulsions - acros, tmax 100 and 400. actual results with Thorton's two bath should have dispelled the myth that modern emulsions don't work. some people don't like the somewhat thinner neg that is produced. 4 + 4 min. should give you a grade 2.5 - 3 print with a condenser enlarger. if you want a little more density, increase the metol by a little amount ( in a controlled fashion so you learn the characteristics of your workflow ) until you get the desired result.
 

el wacho

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ps if you use the zone system you will find that metol only developers rarely produce box speed... i suspect that street shooters are less concerned with adequate shadow exposure compared with someone shooting landscape etc.
 
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G'day,
I've used EMOFIN for about 3 years now. (I also use Pyro) I have not noticed any thing untoward with my negs and the densitometer has supported this. I like the ease of this form and know that I can place 50 100 & 400 ASA film in the same tank without any problems.
Pat
 

Donmck

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I guess I didn't explain myself very well--

I've been using Barry Thornton's 2 teaspoon method for years with no problems. What I was suggesting is that extending the time in bath A can give
box speed and good shadow detail.

My main film is APX 100---4 :30-5 min. in bath A(D-76 stock) For Tri-X, 3 :30-4 min. In bath A(D76 stock) Rollei ortho 25 2:30-3 min in (D-23).

I don't use any of the metol only developers except with contrasty film like ortho 25 or maybe Plus-X in contrasty Light, ,other than that my A bath is replenished D-76.

So, if I would be allowed to rephrase--- Using a(metol only) two bath developer ,with a 3 min. soak in bath A does not work with (most) modern films--(unless you drastically reduce box speed). -----at least that's the way it seems to be in my world.

-Don
 

juan

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Somewhat different, I've been using Farber's divided developer that's usually called divided D-76, although I don't like that description as it is not really D-76. It's a metol/hydroquinone/borax developer.

I'm using it for 35mm (Tri-X and old Forte 400) and have found that extending time in both solutions to 5 minutes, and reducing the ASA to 200, it works very well. I'm street shooting, so I am not so concerned about shadows. In fact, I meter and expose for Zone VI.
juan
 

Donmck

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Carter john-

No,I use either 2 tsp.of borax for bath B--OR ,,--If I think I need more contrast I use 2 tsp. of sodium carb.

-Don
 

Carter john

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Thank you, Donmck, I will give it a try. I use with TMY-2 (200), Rodinal 1+50 A bath for 75% of my normal time and normal agitation, then I let the B bath, of approximately, 2 tsp. per liter of borax stand for 3 minutes.
 

Harry Lime

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Question:

Does Divided D76 produce the same speed results as normal D76?
I assume that D76 delivers full speed or very close to it (TX400 = 400asa)

thanks
 
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juan

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Re: divided D-76 - I haven't performed any serious tests on this developer, so I can't say whether they are the same speed results as D76. I simply use it for street photography outdoors where shadows are not that important. In fact, I don't use a meter - just Sunny 16. I'm shooting old Forte 400 at 200 and get adequate speed for my purposes.
juan
 

Harry Lime

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I don't know.

I also shoot street photography and shadow / highlight detail is important to me...
:smile:

That's one of the main reasons why I use divided developers. That and simplicity and consistency.
 
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Carter john

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I don't know.

I also shoot street photography and shadow / highlight detail is important to me...
:smile:

That's one of the biggest reasons why I use divided developers. That and simplicity and consistency.

I don't shoot street much, but when I do I want shadow/highlight detail like Harry Lime does. All other shots I want S/H too. That is why I use the 'Two Bath' developing technique.
 

KenR

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Vestal's Divided D76

I have used David Vestal's divided D76 as described in "Darkroom Cookbook" with good results for street photography. As above, the contrasts can be extreme and this seemed to tame the excesses a bit without much loss of film speed. However, I didn't do any formalized testing.
 
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