Does Reducing Developer Strength Have Side Effects ?

Discussion in 'Talk About Developing Film' started by Ian-Barber, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    For my Fomapan 100 film, I use the 1:63 dilution and develop for 9 minutes. This is basically 1/2 the strength of dilution B.

    The reason why I do not use use dilution B is because the development time works out at 4.5 minutes which I feel is a little short.

    Would increasing the dilution and extending the time have any side effects as the developer is obviously not as strong or is this been compensated for in the longer development time?
     
  2. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    Interesting question. There are a number of possible side effects, but as to whether they would apply in any particular case probably depends on various factors. I assume you're using HC110, which I've never used? The most obvious effect stems from the developer being more dilute. Ignoring agitation for the moment, that means that there will be less active reducing agent working on a particular area, and it will be exhausted faster. Diffusion of the exhausted developer will tend to slow down development at the boundary with a region of different exposure, whilst diffusion from this region into the exhausted developer area will result in a sharpening of the edges - a typical acutance developer result.

    Some developers will oxidise more rapidly than others from oxygen in the solution, and this could be a possible effect - a race of oxidation against developer action, rather like the race between the developing agents and the fixer in a monobath.

    On the whole, I'd guess at an increased acutance effect, although agitation frequency and technique will have a bearing.

    Depending on how you stabilise your temperatures, a longer development time could give more scope for the temperature to change, which can give rise to other effects. If the developer has more than one active reducing agent, the relative rates could change (some developing agents are more susceptible to temperature than others.

    All the above is nothing more than my first thoughts.
     
  3. alexmuir

    alexmuir Member

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    More dilute developer solutions, coupled with the corresponding increase in development time can have an effect on the image quality. I don't mean that in the sense of an improvement, or reduction in overall quality, but that certain aspects of the negative image, such as sharpness, graininess etc, may differ. It may be worth exposing two sheets of the same image and developing one at B, and the other at H to see which you prefer. It may be that the short B time is manageable, and produces a negative that you prefer.
    Kodak recommend an agitation scheme for HC110 that involves short periods of agitation at more frequent intervals (compared to other manufacturers) which may produce even development at the short B time. I think 30secs followed by 5secs every 30secs was the scheme.
    Alex


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