Developer Dilutions : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Generally speaking, what changes should one see in negatives and/or prints as film developer dilutions move from full strength to 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3? I know we don't get something for nothing, so what are the pluses and minuses of using stronger and weaker dilutions? Thanks, Victor

-- Victor B. Soto (, November 24, 1998


It effects on the negatives contrast and grain, depends on the developer and the negatives you use, also generally speaking, the stronger the dilution, the faster the negatives reacts, more grains, and if your lucky, more contrast you got. I usually go for 1:1, with the increased temperature, you got better grain control and the quality of the negatives. Try different dilution with the negatives you always use, stick with it till you find the best setting.

-- Bill Wiriawan (, November 27, 1998.

By increasing the amount of water in the mix you are slowing down the developers activity. This causes areas that have received more exposure and will be darker in the negative to develop slower. The plus side of this is that to get a normal contrast on your negative you will have to develop longer, this will cause an increase in film speed giving you better shadow detail. Another plus is that because your development time is longer and lets say you make a mistake and develop 30 seconds too long, 30 seconds is only 5% of a 10 minute developing time but is a 10% mistake if the time you were aiming for was 5 minutes. I feel that you have more control with a more diluted developer but make sure that you are using enough of the stock developer to completely develop the amount of fim you are developing. The downside I guess is that your development times are longer but to me "What's the hurry?"

-- Jeff White (, November 28, 1998.

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