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View Full Version : Delta 400 in D-76, YIKES!


mich8261
05-21-2007, 07:41
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I should preface this by saying that I am new to processing my own and have only used Tri-X before. I had some Delta 400 sitting in the fridge from when I used to send out my film to be processed and not thinking that there would be that much difference from one film to the other, I decided to load the Delta for my brother-in-law's wedding (as a guest, not as the photog!). I processed it on Friday, the negs looked fine (to my untrained eye). Saturday I went to Print Space (a rent-a-darkroom place) to do some contacts and of course a few prints.

I couldn't believe how different this film looked printed. My Tri-X usually print in the range of 7 to 12 seconds (for contacts). I needed 25 seconds to get decent blacks on the Delta 400 contact sheet and I also found the difference between steps (3 seconds) to be hard to see. I managed to do one print from the roll. The contrast is a little out of control. I'll have to scan the neg and play around to get a better idea of what I want in the final wet print.

Are these characteristics of the film or the film+D76?

Magus
05-21-2007, 07:58
Post deleted by posters request

lawrence
05-21-2007, 08:03
It is not a characteristic of the film, it seems that you have overdeveloped it. Did you check the time in the Ilford development chart for developing in D76? Also, you should try shooting a test roll or two to establish your own time for this film/dev combo.

psvensson
05-21-2007, 08:03
D400 responds to developer pretty much the way Tri-X does, so your result is odd. Did you use the same dilution of the developer? What was your development time, temperature and agitation scheme? And you're sure you didn't expose it ISO 100?

EmilGil
05-21-2007, 08:11
[...] My Tri-X usually print in the range of 7 to 12 seconds (for contacts). I needed 25 seconds to get decent blacks on the Delta 400 contact sheet and I also found the difference between steps (3 seconds) to be hard to see. [...]
I haven't used Delta 400 so I can't tell you whether it is normal or not but T-grain films are generally more sensitive to development errors/mistakes. To much time or agitation and contrast skyrockets together with density.

What I can tell you is that 3 seconds is a 1/2 stop increase when printing at 7 seconds but only 1/6 of a stop when printing at 25 seconds. Too see more difference, you will need to increase test strip exposure. Instead of using a linear time scale (i.e. 3/6/9/12/15 sec), try using a logarithmic scale (3/6/12/24 sec) where you maintain a full (or half) stop difference between each exposure, as you do with your camera. Here (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/articles/f-stop-printing.pdf) is a list of suitable values (pdf).

Benjamin Marks
05-21-2007, 08:38
I have also had the opposite experience; in fact I like Delta 400 over the Kodak T-grain films, because it is more tolerant of development variation than T-Max 400. Sounds to me like the developer was too hot, the time was too long or the film was fogged. "Needing a long printing time for black" is an indication of how much light you need to get through the film base -- that is the part with the least exposure, plus fog introduced by the development process or other factors. Try printing with part of the film border in the image; this register will help you establish what the density of your film base is and help you calculate the proper development times for your local conditions.

Oops - I see from your post (it helps me to actually read carefully - duh) that you were making contact sheets. Gotta go with fogged film or weak/overused paper developer in a communal darkroom.

mich8261
05-21-2007, 08:45
the Ilford packaging and website both state 14 minutes in 1:1 D-76 at 68F (this compared to 9.75 min. for Tri-X). Agitation was: inversion for the first 30 sec. and then 5 sec every 30 sec, this is the same as I use for Tri-x. I don't think I exposed at 100, but you never know.

Wait a minute, there was something else, and actually I posted a note about it and kind imagine why I would have forgotten about it. Toward the end of the developer process, I noticed that the liquid wasn't sloshing around as audibly during the inversions. When I opened the light tight top to dump out the developer and pour in the stop bath, I noticed that the developer had completely foamed up! Someone suggested I might not have thoroughly rinsed the tank and reels from Photo-Flo residue. The foaming up might have impeded the flow of developer during the inversions.

This is part of the learning process for me. I see the value of the test roll now! So I learned two lessons this weekend. The second being, do not use perma wash before the fixer, d'oh!

psvensson
05-21-2007, 08:55
Someone suggested I might not have thoroughly rinsed the tank and reels from Photo-Flo residue. The foaming up might have impeded the flow of developer during the inversions.


The foam is normal: it comes from a wetting agent releaed by the film to speed and even out the soaking-in of the developer.

varjag
05-21-2007, 08:55
For instance, it's more likely to retain fine grain in nonsolvent developers.
Try it in Rodinal 1+50 :)

psvensson
05-21-2007, 09:04
Try it in Rodinal 1+50 :)
I have. It's certainly finer-grained in Rodinal than Tri-X is.

oftheherd
05-21-2007, 09:19
Blacks on the print come from lighter areas of the negative. Normally, that is because they don't get as much light, or they don't get developed as much.

Since you said the negatives looked normal, neither of those is apparently the problem. Did the prints look muddy? That might be an indication of exhaused print developer as someone mentioned. What was the aperture of the lens on the enlarger. Was it normal, and was the height of the lens where it normally is when you print contact sheets?

You mentioned an excess of foam. Was there anything on the negatives that might indicate the level of the developer dropped? That is, the top of the negative didn't develop like the lower?

What is "normal" looking to you? I used to read the dark area of a properly exposed negative could be read through if placed on a printed page. Personally I never liked them quite that thin, but they shouldn't be too dark either.

Seems like you have us curious. I certainly am.

mich8261
05-21-2007, 10:30
Would a water pre-soak alleviate the foam issue? I don't think the issue is with the print developer as I also did some Tri-X contacts and prints and those came out okay. The contacts I did at f8 and the prints at f5.6. I'll have to study the negs carefully tonight to see if there are signs of uneven development, fogging or other abnormality.

Thanks to all for your input.

rich815
05-21-2007, 10:53
Like any B&W film and developer combo I'd experiment a bit more and see about makng your own "educated" adjustments with a few rolls before either judging an emulsion or asking "what happened?" here. It could be any number of things! Obviously people get good results with Delta 400 and I'd venture to say with D-76. Just has much different characteristics, look and reactions to exposure, developer, times, temps, etc than what you might indeed be used to (especially Tri-X).

Then there's YOUR subjective nature of course in what kind of look you want from your B&W images. Again, otherwise, we're all just guessing again. Try a few rolls, adjust times, temps, exposure as you think they need to be adjusted to move more towards what you want. You'll not only learn a heck of a lot more about that film and how it works in D-76 but be able to better share details and knowledge with people here if you still want to be gaining a different result at that time, if need be.

I'm amazed at how much better I think almost all films and developers are vs. my opinions of them before I had years under my belt using them! ;-)

(all that said I recommend HC-110 dil B with Delta 400 following times on Digital Truth. Gives me nice results.)

rpsawin
05-21-2007, 13:36
I haven't used Delta 400 so I can't tell you whether it is normal or not but T-grain films are generally more sensitive to development errors/mistakes. To much time or agitation and contrast skyrockets together with density..


I have not used D400 with D-76 but did develop some T-Max 400 in D-76 and boy did it stink! Emil is correct that T-grain films are more sensitive. You may want to go onto the the Ilford site and download the Delta 400 pdf and look for recommended developers.

Bob

psvensson
05-22-2007, 06:05
Would a water pre-soak alleviate the foam issue? I don't think the issue is with the print developer as I also did some Tri-X contacts and prints and those came out okay. The contacts I did at f8 and the prints at f5.6. I'll have to study the negs carefully tonight to see if there are signs of uneven development, fogging or other abnormality.

Thanks to all for your input.

Once again: the foam is normal, deriving from the wetting agent Ilford includes in the film. They recommend against a presoak because it washes out the agent, which reduces uneven development.

mich8261
05-22-2007, 08:31
thanks for the info psvensson. Also makes me feel better that it probably wasn't photoflo residue. I am usually pretty thorough (except for the permawash-fixer mix up!)

Max Power
05-22-2007, 14:33
My first developer for D400 was ID-11 which is a clone of D-76. It always turned out well for me. Maybe your times and temps were off?

mich8261
05-22-2007, 14:52
Hey Max, How she going b'y? Halifax is my old town. I miss it. Back to the subject at hand, as soon as I have time I'll scan this film to compare to my other stuff. I am still very new at the darkroom stuff so the user error might have occured there and not have anything to do with D-76.

Cheers.

footephoto
07-19-2014, 13:34
Here's a shot that was in an undeveloped roll of film from about 3 years ago. The roll was in the glove box of my car in Arizona for 2 summers at least. Also this was my first attempt at developing my own. D76 1:1 about 9 minutes.