Dektol for negative developing

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Antonio Bunt, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Antonio Bunt

    Antonio Bunt TPF Noob!

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    I heard some people say Dektol can be used for negative developing but some other say it's like a herecy. My students have a lot of Dektol, can we use it? How can we process film that way? I don't want them to spend a lot, in Mexico it is now difficult to get some chemicals and equipment. Thanks!
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yes it can be done, but the grain is huge, which is why some may do so, but for students just learning i am not sure it is helpful. When learning it is IMHO good to learn just what a good negative should look like and when using experminetal chemicals it can be miss leading.

    Some place on this site and in fact i beleive in this forum someone has made some suggestions about time and ratios to be used. Just try the search feature.
     
  3. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

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    The lab tech accidentally put the Dektol in the D-76 jug way back in my college Photo 101 class. That's some chunky grain!
     
  4. Antonio Bunt

    Antonio Bunt TPF Noob!

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    I've seen some suggestions on this forum, thanks for the help! My mentor says it's impossible since I need HC-110 (a developer I really fear!!!), how can this be true? Thnaks!
     
  5. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

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    I can assure you that it's not impossible to develop BW film in Dektol, I just don't know why you'd want to.
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    antonio,

    i am sorry your mentor is telling you something that just isn't true. What is true is it can be done, but at great expense of grain, etc.

    Why does hc100 scare you? It certainly has a better shelve life and above all it is a film developer made especially for that purpose. However, i do know some people who have tried using that as a paper developer. These days the makers of film and chemistry are providing excellent product for specific use. there used to be a developer that could be used for both, but rarely used these days.

    use the product that will produce the best results, especially when teaching new students.

    It is one thing to experiment with all sorts of chemistry but one needs to have a sense of what the proper negative/print looks like before , at least in my opinon and i have been teaching traditional darkroom classes for over 30 years and doing darkroom work for over 60 so i am not just talking off the top of my head.
     
  7. maris

    maris TPF Noob!

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    No problems with Dektol, I use it often at a dilution of 1+4 on a variety of films.

    Dektol is a clean working active developer with plenty of developing capacity. It is best used as a one shot formula as the tray or tank life is maybe 24 hours at the outside.

    Because Dektol is not a fine grain formula high speed miniature film will show enhanced grain. I personally find the tight grain structure rather attractive. Films like TMX, FP4+, Fuji Acros are very fine grained by nature and Dektol will generate fine grain negatives; just not quite as fine as D-76 or Xtol for example.

    I generally use 4x5 and 8x10 sheet film and grain is a non-event whether the film is developed in Dektol or anything else.

    Developing times for Dektol on film are established by practical testing. Anyone pursuing fine photography does this for all developers as a matter of course. A good place to start is to try Dektol 1+4 at the same times as D76 1+1. Good luck!
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Maris, i don't want to start a "flame war" here, but these kids are not using LF film, which is going to make a big difference. A huge difference.
     
  9. Antonio Bunt

    Antonio Bunt TPF Noob!

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    Well, I tried something "bold" today. I had expired HP5 4x5 sheet film for a long time (2004 to be exact) and I dissolved a quater of a 35 mm canister of Dektol with a quater litre of water (I believe it's a pint for the guys and gals with the Imperial system) and I developed the film for 5 minutes, the resultas were ok, not amazing but printable.
     
  10. maris

    maris TPF Noob!

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    I'll defer to your seniority on this. I've only been doing darkroom work since the late 1960's and I conducted classes only for a couple of decades at the end of the twentieth century.

    My students developed 35mm film in D76 1+1 mainly but occasionally in Dektol and Bromophen to see what would happen. I've just had a look at some old samples on the light box and Pan F in Dektol is finer grained than HP5 (not the new HP5+) in D76. I know which negatives I would rather work with and it isn't the ones processed in Dektol, not so much because the grain is worse (it is) but because Dektol can seriously coarsen tonal rendition. This may be good for gritty documentary work or portraits of ugly men, but not damsels or landscapes.
     
  11. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ok maris, you win,

    i didn't want to get into an battle here, there are a 100 ways to do this and you have one opinion about this issue and i have another. what one person finds acceptable another may not, it is as simple as that.

    The gentleman asked a question i gave my 2 cents worth as something to consider,

    this is the first time i have mentioned my experience in a post and it will surely be the last.
     
  12. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    Don't be like that, Ann! I enjoy reading your posts too much.:thumbup:
     

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