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03-11-2014, 12:31 PM   #1
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D-76 developer advice

It's been a while since I've used D-76 and I'm trying to decide whether to go full strength or dilute 1:1. There's a lot of info on the web from blog posts to forum posts. Everyone's got their own formula based on personal experience. I have a pretty nasty head cold right now so my brain is sputtering. Can someone offer me a starting point here?

I have a metal two reel tank that can hold 16 ounces of fluid with both reels inserted. The fluid reaches the tippy-top of the tank.

I will be developing two rolls of Kodak 100 T-Max film. One roll is 24 exposures and the other is 30 (film broke during rewind). Should I use 16 ounces of 1:1 diluted developer or 16 ounces of full strength developer? If I go diluted I wonder if I would have enough developer strength for both rolls even with an increase in developing time.

Thanks!

03-11-2014, 12:43 PM   #2
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Wow, you've got a real dilemma there. I haven't processed any film in a while either. I guess if you thought your exposures were right on or slightly underexposed I'd go with full strength and if possibly overexposed probably diluted. Did you check the histogram?
03-11-2014, 01:29 PM   #3
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Keep it simple. Per Kodak's D-76 info sheet http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/j78/j78.pdf It looks to me that you could go either way. Personally, I'm used to diluting my developers. I haven't used D-76 in many years but I've used some D-76 clones and 1:1 is normal for these. So go 1:1 8oz D-76 to 8oz water @ 68F. Looks like 12 minutes at 68F. This will be fine for multiple rolls - no worries there.
03-12-2014, 11:24 AM   #4
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If you read the STORAGE LIFE AND CAPACITY section of the D-76 data sheet, it may help you decide. I'd recommend following Kodak's instructions for your first rolls and only after you have gained some experience, refer to people's particular version of the process found on the web.

As noted by Kodak, a 1:1 dilution should not be stored. So if you go that route, you just need to make you use it to capacity after mixing and then discard. You can develop 2 rolls of 135-36 (or 120 roll film) per 32 Oz of 1:1 working solution according to Kodak's table.

On the other hand, if you go the non-diluted route, you need to monitor how many rolls of film you develop and apply time compensation if stored in a single container. That is, increase development time by 15% after every 4 rolls of film developed on a 1 gallon mix of full strength working solution.

What I'd suggest is mix a gallon of full strength D-76 and divided the contents up into quantity of (4), one-quart containers. Then just develop 4 rolls of film per one-quart of full strength working solution at your leisure. That way you don't have to apply time compensation or worry about 1:1 dilutions creating air pockets in your stock solution as you use it up.


Last edited by tuco; 03-12-2014 at 11:44 AM. Reason: correct an "and" to "or"
03-12-2014, 01:03 PM   #5
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I use the stuff diluted 1:1 one shot. By definition, 1:1 will be strong enough at any quantity that covers the roll(s). I haven't found the D76 loses potency stored at full strength - at least within 4-6 months. I make a gallon in a gallon ice tea jug; and decant maybe 2 or 3 liters into liter bottles. I start using it from the jug, and then work my way through the small bottles, and don't worry about getting air out or anything.

The one shot approach gives me longer development times (which I like) and consistency.
03-12-2014, 06:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I use the stuff diluted 1:1 one shot. By definition, 1:1 will be strong enough at any quantity that covers the roll(s). I haven't found the D76 loses potency stored at full strength - at least within 4-6 months. I make a gallon in a gallon ice tea jug; and decant maybe 2 or 3 liters into liter bottles. I start using it from the jug, and then work my way through the small bottles, and don't worry about getting air out or anything.

The one shot approach gives me longer development times (which I like) and consistency.
Nesster has nailed it. If it covers the reels you're good to go. I've used D76 1 to 1 from a 1 L container (air squeezed out) that I discovered in the back of the cabinet that was about 15 months old, no problem. You can replenish, but since D 76 or its clones is cheap, why go to that complication? The longer development times are a real advantage, since timing is less critical. Do be sure to standardize your technique, in terms of agitation, temperature, etc. I use distilled water to make the stock solution and to dilute it to 1 to 1, and also for the Photo-Flo final rinse. and fixer. I use just tap water for a rinse between developer and fixer, and for the wash. I try to keep the tap water within a few degrees of the process solutions. So far, so good!

Heed Nesster, The Master!
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