Dektol and Film: Bad combo?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by nealjpage, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I'm out of D-76 but have a few packages of Dektol laying around. What happens if I process Kodak Plus-X 125 with it? I would use D-76, but I'm impatient and don't want to wait for my next shipment to arrive. :blushing:
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    just try it and see what happens. That's what I do in doubt. I just make sure, it's not something that I need to come out right if i'm wrong.
     
  3. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    It's been done with Tri-X for years. The massive dev chart http://www.digitaltruth.com/chart/search_text.php?Developer=Dektol has the times and dilutions for Tri-X. I don't see any reason why it couldn't be done with Plus-X as well. You'll have to experiment a bit, or do a google search to see if you can find a starting point specifically for Plus-X and Dektol. I'd advise using a test roll or three to find the exact time and dilution you need.

    If Hertz is around, he can probably tell you right where to start. He knows everything.

    Edit:
    I figured the ratio of time for Tri-X and Plus-X in D-76 (stock). The Plus-X is takes about 81% of the development time that Tri-X takes (in D-76 Stock). Applying this difference in time to the Tri-X/Dektol development times yields

    Plus-X & Dektol 1+3: 2 minutes, 51 seconds
    Plus-X & Dektol 1+10: 4 minutes, 4 seconds.
    (Someone want to check my math?)

    This very likely isn't the developing time you'd want to use, but it sounds like a decent starting point, with some pseudo-logical basis to it.
     
  4. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Souped the Plus-X in Dektol 1:10 for 4.5 mins at 72 degrees. Got something--not sure what since it's still rinsing. I'll post something once I get them scanned.
     
  5. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Also ran some Efke KB400 through for 4.5 mins at 70 degrees at 1:10. So far it looks good.
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    expect large grain.

    also, developing film for less than 5 minutes is not a recommended process as the possibilities of uneven development is increased.

    the exceptions will be diafine, but it is a two step developer with a total time of 6 minutes.
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for that but it's nowhere near true :lmao:

    Dektol uses pretty much the same formula as D-76 with one or two exceptions. It uses an accelerator to get faster results because it's designed as a print developer.
    Short development times (below 5 mins) are to be avoided with film because, as Ann says, you will get uneven density build up.
    Vigorous developers like Dektol will have the following effect on film if you use them to process:
    short dev times, coarser grain, increased contrast and probably some gain in speed.
    If you dilute the dev you will slow it down. This will also help to 'soften' the graininess.
    As for a starting point - I shall have to pass on that one.
    My days of trying strange combos out are over. I found it far better to stick with one or two films (plus-X and Trixie), one developer (Microdol-X) and learn how to use them to the optimum.
    But don't let me stop you from having fun.
     
  8. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Or giving in to my addictions. My dad's grandfather used to drink vanilla extract when he couldn't find booze. I improvise developers when I don't have the right supplies. I guess making-do runs in the family! :lol:
     
  9. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Yeah, that stuff's like 150 proof.... crazy...

    The vanilla extract, too.
     
  10. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Here's the results. Much better than I had expected.

    1. Bronica ETRS 75mm lens. 1/125 f11. Plus-X 125 in Dektol:

    [​IMG]


    2. Pentax K1000 50mm lens. 1/60 f 8. Efke 400 in Dektol:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  11. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Cool.

    The first looks very contrasty, which you'd expect with direct sunlight. However, it looks like it's even a bit more contrasty than that... Hard to say whether it's due to the dev process or not without a comparison run normally. F/11, 125, though, there should be some detail in the shadows (per sunny-16 rune), and there is... I can just make out the shaded part of the curtains. Looks good.

    #2 looks much better. Obviously, the lighting's a bit more even. The contrast seems a little less, even so. I've heard that Efke films have a very high silver content; I wonder whether it might be better suited to development in Dektol? Hmm.

    Don't mind me. This entire post is basically my speculative musings to myself, and may or may not have any basis in actual fact. It looks like something I'll experiment with, though. It has piqued my curiosity.
     
  12. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Thanks, James. I've read that about Efke, too, but I still have no idea what it means! :lol: So far I like their films, though, and have been very pleased with results I've gotten from them. Granted I haven't made any enlargements from them yet, but that'll happen soon.

    If you try this experiment, too, post some results. I'd like to see how this dilution works on other films.
     

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