Divided D-76 which formulation and times

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I started experimenting with DD-76 a few days ago. I used the formula which I found on the unblinkingeye web site in an article concerning D-23. Since this is the closest formula to the original D-76, I decided that this is the best starting point. The formula for 1 l: Bath A : Sodium sulfite : 100 g Metol : 2 g Hydroquinone : 5 g Bath B : Borax : 2 g at 3+3 minutes Tri-x is un(der)developed and at 5+5 it has an EI of about 100 asa, not exactly what I was aiming for. I see two possible next steps : A) Longer development with the same formula, I was thinking of 10+5 minutes. B) An other formula, I have seen one which is identical except from bath B containing besides the 2 g borax 50 g sodium sulfite and must work at 5+5 minutes according to that article (DD76 variations). I am limited at this moment to the products : metol, sodium sulfite, hydroquinone and borax. Thanks a lot in advance for your advice.

-- Frederik Boone (frederik.boone@harol.be), November 27, 2001


Frederik, I seem to recall that the Borak was a bit heavier than your formula, at least the one that I use... I will have to look up my formula that I use and get back to you. I use it with TXP @400, PXP at 100, Agfa 400 and 100 and process for 3 min and 3 min but with the t- grained stuff it is 5 min and 5 min... I'll get back to you! Cheers, Scott

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), November 27, 2001.

Heres what I wrote earlier about a version of Divided D76H: Complete post at:

"If you want low to moderate contrast film this is a good answer. The negatives scan quite well. For very narrow range scenes other developers may be better. (I use Xtol)

I mix it by table spoon measure. For one liter or quart of each: Start with 120 degree F distilled water, part A is 1 tsp of Metol, 6 of Sodium Sulfite, part B is 6 tsp Sodium Sulfite, 1.25 tsp Borax. 5-7 minutes in each bath, no stop in between."

I don't think that hydroquinone is needed. I leave it out simply because its one less thing to mix and buy. When mixing Part A put in a pinch of sodium sulfite before the Metol then after the Metol is dissolved add the rest of the sodium sulfite.

I find that 120 TriX and HP5 are good at 320 in this developer. The difference between 5 and 7 minutes each bath is very small. I have run a roll of TriX and a roll of HP5 together for 7 minutes and they were both quite nice. Again if you want N+ development you may need another developer.

-- Henry Ambrose (henry@henryambrose.com), November 27, 2001.

Whoops! Here is the link I omitted in my last post.

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch- msg.tcl?msg_id=0070Hd

-- Henry Ambrose (henry@henryambrose.com), November 27, 2001.

Seems to me I read somewhere recently that the amount of Borax in B should be 10g/L or maybe a little more.

Another formula:


1L water, 3g metol, 50g sodium sulfite


1L water, 5g borax, 50g sodium sulfite.

Five minutes in each, as a starting point. For more contrast give more time in A.

I have no idea how well that formula works.

-- John Hicks (jbh@magicnet.net), November 27, 2001.

On a purely theoretical note: I can see absolutely no point in having huge (50g or 100gm/litre) amounts of Sodium Sulphite in part A of this two-part developer. All it will do is to start dissolving the silver halide crystals before any development has begun, and the silver dissolved out will then not be available to act as a physical developer in part B. The result, as Frederick has already seen, is a drastic and pointless loss of film speed, which doesn't reap any benefit in reduced grain clumping. The Sulphite should be almost entirely in part B of the developer, if it's to perform its intended purpose of reducing grain size. A small quantity should remain in part A (I suggest 10 to 15 gm/litre), but only as a preservative for the developing agents.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), November 28, 2001.

On a further theoretical note. Don't you think the dissolution of undeveloped silver halide in sulfite rich solution A is strongly temperature and agitation-dependent? I might stick with 20C temp and agitate a bit vigorously at the very beginning and let it sit for a few minutes, and see if speed loss recurs. Also, I would radically boost borax in solution B, or use metaborate.

-- Ryuji Suzuki (rsuzuki@rs.cncdsl.com), November 30, 2001.

Thanks a lot everybody for the sugestions. It seems that every user has his own personal formula. As a next step I left bath A unchanged (100 g sodium sulfite, 2g Metol and 5g hydroquinone), and modified bath B : 50 g sodium sulfite and 2 g borax. This gave me with Tri-x, 5+5 minutes negatives which had about the same density as rodinal 1+100 for 20 minutes. There is not mone density in the shadows and from zone VIII on it becomes softer. I did not print negatives from that roll yet, only measured the zones but according to these values, these muts be quite good negatives. In a next step I will increase agitation (now only once a minute) and the next bath A (after this one is used) will contain only 50 g of sodium sulfite.

-- Frederik Boone (frederik.boone@harol.be), December 03, 2001.

I have found by experiment that 10% sulfite solution used as a pre-bath for 8 minutes has no more efftect than a plain water pre-bath on density or contrast. In fact both the sulfite and the plain water produced a slight increas in contrast on HP5+. Don't always believe theories about sulfite.

-- Patrick A. Gainer (pgainer@rtol.net), December 04, 2001.

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