Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's gotta go......

I go to develop some negs again.....XTol has gone flat on me again! :(

Well, it's not my fault I can't use it fast enough. I process mostly reversals these days. The problem is everything is not art. XTol only comes in 5l packs and I can barely get through 1l. I like the stuff, but I don't like throwing it away along with a roll of film that got wiped because of it.

Time for a new take. I am going to switch to something I can make when I want and how much I want. Living in Canada presents some challenges of what I can get. I guess that will have to factor into something.

1) Buetler - probably the simplest there is. The promise is fine grain and acutance.

    Part A

    Dist. Water 750ml
    Metol 10g (B&H)
    Sodium Sulfite 50g (B&H)
    Dist. Water to make 1L

    Part B

    Dist. Water 750ml
    Sodium Carbonate 50g (Baking soda baked @450 for 3 hrs on a sheet of alum foil)
    Dist. Water to make 1L

Usage is 1:1:10 with a start time of around 10-15 mins.

This is what I got.

A larger one is here . Rodinal size grain. Sure this was Neopan 400 and not a recommended speed. But this is my life...lol. I moved on.

2) Stoeckler 2 bath

This is a modified D23 with an alkaline 2nd bath. It is a compensating and high acutance developer. Recipe is as follows.

Bath A

    Dist. Water 750ml
    Metol 5g (B&H)
    Sodium Sulphite 100g (B&H)
    Dist. Water to 1L

Bath B

    Dist. Water 750ml
    Borax 10g (dep store, 10 mule team)
    Water to 1 ltr

I was impressed. I wasn't expecting much because of the above results. This has a capacity of about 15 rolls of 35 mm.

Larger versions here and here . Fine grain and high acutance indeed! The blacks are excellent. Worthy of a goto formula, but I play on....

3) Thornton 2 bath

This is Thornton's modification  of  Stoeckler's work. He changed the amounts of the Metol and Sulphite to adapt the tones. He used Sodium Metaborate (Kodalk) instead of borax. This was considered a more stable consistent alkali.

Bath A

    Dist. Water 750ml
    Metol 6.25g (B&H)
    Sodium Sulphite 85g (B&H)
    Water to 1L

Bath B

    Dist. Water 750ml
    Sodium Metaborite (Kodalk) 12g (B&H)
    Water to 1L

Wow. Just looking at the curves on vuescan, shows much more of an even spectrum.

A bigger version here

Note that I stand develop with these 2 bath developers. There is not much sense in using high acutanse 1developers and dulling the edges with agitation. I just vigorously shake for 15 secs and slam them down on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles. My ballpark times are 6 & 6 for iso 400, 5 & 5 for iso 100. These are generally longer than suggested by other people stuck on stirring...

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