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Traditional Film/Dev Combos?
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tecspectr



Joined: 26 Dec 2007
Posts: 2
Location: SLC UT

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:20 am    Post subject: Traditional Film/Dev Combos? Reply with quote

Feeding my newly acquired Century Graphic films like HP5+++ and T-Max just doesn't seem right. Now, thinking about putting those flashbulbs I just bought on Ebay to use, it just seems ridiculous.

I'm told that in its day, the camera would have probably been loaded with Kodak Super-XX, and that the film would have typically been developed in Kodak DK50. (But is that true??)

My Best research on the matter (digitaltruth, photonet, etc..) is pointing me toward Bergger 200, which is supposed to be very close to Super-XX. Kodak still sells DK50, and it's even cheap.

Any firsthand wisdom on the subject?

Allan
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, since "its day" stretches from c. 1949-73, there would be a wide variety of b/w emulsions to choose from. Personally, I would have used Plus-X or Panatomic-X (don't know about availability of those in 2x3 sheet film, but Plus-X was certainly available in 120 rolls), and developed in D76 or Microdol. But the Panatomic had them all beat, IMO, even T-Max. Sadly, it's no longer made.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super XX and No 5 flash bulbs were a mainstay for many years. Developers, like wines, varied depending on the taste of the lab supervisor at the newspaper. Depending on the region, the decade, and the lab tech; Henry's 777, DK50, HC110, & D76 in several variations would have been used.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3258
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hasn't D76 been around since the early 1500's?
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering the way we currently define "old", then Yeah, it's been around since the 1500s.

Officially it debuted in 1923.
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R_J



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 137
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditional Film/Dev Combos? Reply with quote

tecspectr wrote:
Feeding my newly acquired Century Graphic films like HP5+++ and T-Max just doesn't seem right. Now, thinking about putting those flashbulbs I just bought on Ebay to use, it just seems ridiculous.

I'm told that in its day, the camera would have probably been loaded with Kodak Super-XX, and that the film would have typically been developed in Kodak DK50. (But is that true??)

My Best research on the matter (digitaltruth, photonet, etc..) is pointing me toward Bergger 200, which is supposed to be very close to Super-XX. Kodak still sells DK50, and it's even cheap.

Any firsthand wisdom on the subject?

Allan



Hi Allan,

It's always a pleasure to see another Century Graphic user on the forum.
The Bergger 200 is a fairly modern poly-layer emulsion film. If you're looking for a classic film look, the Efke 25 single layer emulsion (now renamed Adox 25, after the original Adox of the same vintage) would give a 'classic rendition'.

I'm always surprised by Panatomic X: the film looks more modern with sharper acutance than any other film I've seen on the commercial market (perhaps excepting Positive Release Film and a variety of orthochromatic films).

The alternative approach of orthochromatic films is worth trying too. Maco Ort25c and now Rollei Ortho (?) are analogous combinations. The fine detail of orthochromatic film is sublime. If perhaps you live in a temperate environment with as much as 75% rain, the orthochromatic film renders exceptional cloud detail and structure when used with an appropriate filter - a Neutral Density graduated filter combined with yellow filtration.

The common denominator for all the films mentioned above is the developer choice - any para-aminophenol type developer is fine. Rodinal, in 1:50 to 1:100 dilutions also produces detailed high acutance negatives. With semi-standing development at 1:200 - 1:300 Rodinal,this acutance is enhanced even further, without the complex switches between types of different developer for each film. One advantage of working in this way is relates to the relative standardisation of the developer, such that minor differences in emulsions can be comparatively rated against one another. One disadvantage of working this way is that no other developer then seems necessary thereafter..


Kind regards,

RJ
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, I developed a lot of Plus-X and Super-XX cut film in the late 40's and early 50's, and I used Microdol for fine grain. DK60-A if I was in a hurry...and if I was in a really big hurry and grain didn;t matter, I'd toss the film in my tray of Dektol paper developer. I believe I also used D76 occasionally. Fred.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah I had forgotten about Dektol. A lot of night clubs employed ahh, persuasive girls to photograph you and your date before the first show.

Most of the time they processed the film in Dektol for about 3 minutes with constant agitation, went straight to fix for 2 minutes--just enough to clear, carefully squeegee the negative and pop it in the enlarger. Printing was tricky as exposure changed as the negative dried. Best to get the print on the first or second go.

Talk about meatball photography!
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 360
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW I recall pushing Kodak Tri-X to an 800 ASA rating for available light basketball action shots using FR "Electronic Flash" developer during the '55-'56 season.
No grain problems for an 8" x 10" print from a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 negative.
I don't recall if Tri-X was available in cut film then but it was available as 120 and 620 roll film.

C. Henry
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tri-X was available until fairly recently (last five years) in 2x3 cut film, matter of fact I still have part of a box, maybe 15-20 sheets. Very tedious to use, though. 120 roll film rules!
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't remember the exact times, but I did so much of it, I had it down pat. I was not at all technically correct, so to speak. I never bothered about the temperature. My darkroom was in the basement, so the temp was fairly constant. I also used and deveoped a lot of film packs...and about the only way to do that flimsy stuff was in a tray. And you are correct...run it through the Dektol...no stop bath...just a tray of water...then into the "hypo" acid fixer for a couple of minutes...back into the tray of water...squeegee...and into my Kodak Hobbyist Cold Light Enlarger with the f6.3 Ektanon lens. Made many, many enlargements with this cheap set-up. Got the shots with a Century Graphic with the cheap Century shutter & Trioptar lens and a no-name strobe that packed a punch. The strobe used a Model-T coil with vibrator and huge caps for the high voltage. Whoops. There I go again....waxing sentimental. Regards. Fred.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But Les and clnfrd, Dektol is a *paper* developer, not a film developer! So says Great Yellow Father.
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 360
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be in error, but I seem to recall that "Great Yellow Father" offered "Tri-Chem Packs" that included a "Universal M-Q Developer" that had a formula very similar to Dektol!
Grain was atrocious with that stuff!!!!

C. Henry
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry wrote:
But Les and clnfrd, Dektol is a *paper* developer, not a film developer! So says Great Yellow Father.


I guess you could use it for that too! I guess you could say they were being efficient in the time and materials. When you have to get a decent print to your customer in less than half an hour, you tended to get creative in the darkroom.

I also don't think the great yellow father suggested that you wash your film in the toilet either, but many a small darkroom used the top tank as a film washer.
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tri-X WAS available in the early 50's. I used it in either cut film or film packs (2-1/4" X 3-1/4")...can't remember which. I never had a roll-film holder in those days. If I recall, the Tri-X was rated at about 360ASA at straight development but could be pushed a bunch. Shooting football games with strobe required a lot of extra development...and I also recall using a chromium intensifier at times to add density to under-exposed negs. And yes, Dektol is a paper developer, but it also develops film. The graininess didn't matter much, as a lot of the shots were for print and the photo engraving then was just a bunch of dots that pretty much cancelled out the graininess. The Kodak Tri-Chem pack was my favorite "use and throw away" method in about '49 through '52. I thought the developer was Dektol, but perhaps it was "universal". I rarely went to the trouble of mixing the stop bath. I just used water. I still use Dektol for paper (among other things) and D-76 (also among other things) for film, both mixed from powder and stored in 1-liter dark bottles that originally contained root beer. So, to summarize, if you want to do it like we did back then...the most used film for me was Super-XX and Tri-X and the developer was mostly Dektol for paper and, to my recollection, D-76 or DK-60A for film. If I shot a wedding or portrait, I would use some Plus-X film and Microdol developer.The enlarging paper I used was 8"X10" Kodabromide Glossy, usually F3, but also a lot of F4 for added contrast. Fred.
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