Novice Q ; one-shot or reuse? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I shoot very little black and white, but began developing myself recently to get some control. I have been using HP5 mostly but also some FP4 and Delta3200. I am using Arista F76 (from Freestyle), a reputed D76 equivalent.

My main question is about reuse vs one-shot. I typically process 3 or so rolls of 120 at a time. I have been mixing 600ml (2 rolls worth), processing one at a time. My negs look more or less the same between the first and last processed, so I assume I haven't exhausted the developer. How many rolls could one process in this manner, or should I really be using the developer once and dumping it. The spec sheets have some info concerning capacity, but it is not clear to me how to apply this in practice for such small amounts.

-- Richard Ross (, January 26, 2001


D-76 regular strength should have a capaticity of 10-12 films per 1 litre. That is 120 or 135-36 films. So 600 ml should be fine for 6-7 films, but after every 2 films a slight increase in developing time is recommended usually 15%. For more detail please refer to the instructions or Kodaks Datasheet on D-76. Disadvantage: you will have to keep track of the changes in time.

The alternative is to use D-76 diluted 1:1 one-shot(one part stock solution, one part water, one part would be 300 ml in your case). So you would need 300 ml stock solution for every two films. 600 ml stock would be turned into 1200 ml and would be fine for 2 times 2 films.( totals 4 films). The deloping time will be longer in diluted D-76.

As long as you do only 3 or 4 films at a time you may find it easier to use D-76 1:1. Some people prefer D 76 1:1 for the look, but that is up to you.



-- Wolfram Kollig (, January 26, 2001.

Depends on what you're after, and on your throughput.

Many photogs use one-shot developer because it's more consistent. All developers that are not one-shot will, obviously, gradually decrease in activity as the effective developing agent is depleted, and oxidation products are accumulated, part of which slow down development. Of course, developer manufacturers formulate their developers so as to ensure the best possible consistency, and the decrease in activity may remain acceptable if you comply with the manufacturer's recommendations concerning capacity. Yet: One-shot developer is naturally more consistent as it hasn't been before.

The second issue to be considered is your throughput: If you only develop one or two films every now and then, developer solutions will oxidise. Working solutions have a much shorter shelf life than concentrates. So you may not be able to exploit the full capacity of your developer.

Third, devlopers for re-use do have one more advantage: You don't have to mix them each time, and if you take them with you (on a vacation, for example) you need only one bottle.

Regards, Thomas Wollstein

-- Thomas Wollstein (, January 26, 2001.

People reused their developers a lot more in the days when most films were large format and development was done by inspection. When roll film came into wide use, some continued to reuse developers, but worked out a formula by which to increase development each time, or by which to replenish the developer (such as D-23 and its D-25R replenisher). With the advent of the zone system, people tended to prefer precision and repeatability. Rodinal, HC-110 and PMK are all good bets for one-shot development--they keep well and are cheap.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, January 26, 2001.

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