mixing D-76

greenspun.com : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I've always used the premixed chemicals in the school lab and am now mixing darkroom chemicals for the first time. I'm frustrated and confused by the lack of information on the packaging. I have Kodak developer D-76 and the package says "to make 1 u.s. gallon". On the backside of the package, there is notation regarding "dilution 1:1". Does this mean that I should mix the chemicals to make a 1 gallon stock solution that is then diluted 1:1 before use ? If not, do I mix my chemicals to be a 1/2 gallon stock solution and then dilute 1:1 before use ?

-- mark hall (mhall01@mail.win.org), December 27, 1997


The package is to make one gallon of stock solution. It is then diluted 1:1, 1 part stock solution to 1 part water. This is the standard dilution, and is always done from stock just prior to your printing session. The solution has a better shelf life before being diluted 1:1 so it is best to follow this procedure. If you are not doing volume processing or are doing it over a period of time, you may want to split the stock up into 1 quart containers, filled to point of over flowing. This will eleminate as much air as possible from the container and will reduce the amount of oxidation over a longer period of time. There are other dillutions that are used, from straight stock to 1:4, for various reasons. I would suggest using 1:1 and try others after you have mastered that. Good luck!


OK to use D-76 not diluted ?

Is it OK to use D-76 not diluted as long as the # of rolls processed are recorded? Or is the standard to dilute 1:1 w/ water? Package instructions for the beginner are very unclear !! Thanks

-- jim mc (jmccull@bellatlantic.net), December 27, 1997.

With any film developer I would strongly urge that you use it as a "one shot" developer, at the recommended dilution. In the case of D-76 the recommended dilution is 1:1 with water. Use the developer once and throw it out. You really have no idea how much the deveolper is being exhausted during the development process and the best thing you can do to ensure consistancy is to always use fresh developer. You can re-print a picture that is printed with weak developer, but if you screw up the negatives with contaminated or exhausted developer, you might not get a second chance at the picture. Do what ever you can to get the best negative you can and your printing will be a lot easier.



I've been processing with D-76 as one shot, full strength, at the times listed in Kodak's darkroom data guide. What do you think of this process?


-- Larry Kruzan (lkruzan@ntslink.net), December 29, 1997.

D76 - One shot or recycled.

I prefer to use D76 diluted 1:1 as a one-shot developer when developing roll films in hand-held tanks. I have also used D76 as a multi-shot developer in its stock strength (i.e. no dilution) in large open-topped tanks for processing sheet film in hangers. The developer stays in the tanks and is reused over and over. The key to using D76 as a multi-shot developer is to keep CAREFUL records about how much film is processed and to replenish the developer according to Kodak's instructions.

-- Tony Doucet (tdoucet@hydro.mb.ca), January 08, 1998.

The bottom line is not what anyone thinks of your process, but is it working for you. If you are developing negatives that fit your printing style with the contrast range that produces the look in your prints that you desire, then I see no reason to change. On the other hand if your negatives are to flat or to contrasty, then you might want to look at changing a dilution rate or adjusting your time, to alter the contast of the negatives. There is an old axiom that goes "if it aint broke, don't fix it", I tend to live by these words, and it makes things less complicated.


In response to Mark's original question, I mix D76 (and Dektol) as follows: - I use a 5 litre plastic container (windshield washer antifreeze!) and cut a corner of the top off for easier access and mixing - I have a permanent mark for the hot water level - and a mark for the final 1 gal/3.8l level - add water to first mark - pour in powder while stirring - stir for a full 2 minutes - pour into 4 1l/U.S. qt containers

And secondly, I process All films with undiluted D76, one-shot. Excellent results for `regular' films, Delta, T-max and Konica and Kodak IR films. Mike

-- Mike world (mbworld@adan.kingston.net), January 04, 1998.

Most photographers use D-76 at a ratio of one part water to one part developer. The diluted developer is an aid to producing thinner negatives. Because today's paper does not have as much silver in it as older papers did, thinner negatives print more easily. D-76 should be mixed at 125 degrees as directed by Kodak. It is important to let the developer sit overnight so the chemicals can jell. If you have to use D-76 right away, wait one hour if possible.

-- Kenneth Williams (loftacall@email.msn.com), April 25, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ