WD2D+ Developer

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by doug_landrum, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. Hello All,

    I just processed my first two rolls of Ilford HP5 in Wimberley's
    WD2D+ developer from Photographer's Formulary. I think that I
    followed the directions carefully - pre-soak in Photoflo solution,
    develop, acid stop, fix in Ilford's rapid fixer and wash followed by
    Photflo and hang dry without wiping.

    I have not printed any of the negatives in the darkroom yet, but I
    have scanned negatives on my Coolscan IV, Digital ICS off, with both
    Nikon Scan 3.1 and Viewscan.

    My scans show a lot of dust like imperfections that do not show on
    the negatives - particularly in even light gray sky areas. If
    anything, the spots, that show like dust, look like a bit of
    thickening of the negative density.

    Any thoughts? Is this typical of WD2D+ or other staining developers?

    Do negatives developed in staining developers scan well?

    Your replies are appreciated.
  2. First of all, I'm fundamentally opposed to presoaking with most modern films. There is absolutely no need for it that I can see. There may be some older style emulsions (such as Efke's) that could benefit from presoaking. But modern films are pretreated by the manufacturer to eliminate any need for presoaking.

    In fact, presoaking may alter the film's receptivity to developer. I haven't presoaked any film since I was in school 30 years ago using sheet film with the older thicker emulsion. Not once since then have I ever seen a problem with my rollfilm development that could have been remedied by presoaking.

    Okay, apart from that I've publicly sworn to accomodate and embrace presoakers as my brethren, so I'll shaddap. Except for one more little admonishment:

    Presoaking with Photo-Flo? That's possibly the worst idea I've ever heard. Photo-Flo foams like crazy. Unless you thoroughly rinse the film *after* presoaking to remove all residual traces of Photo-Flo, you're setting yourself up to induce foaming with every agitation during development. That will definitely lead to uneven development.

    Recently I tested a theory I had about other photographers' reports of persistent spotting. I suspected that Photo-Flo residue in the tanks, lids and reels was responsible. Like many folks I use Photo-Flo (always in distilled water) as a final step before hanging to dry. I noticed that once or twice when I forgot to rinse the tank or lid they dried with obvious spots from the residual Photo-Flo. Now, whenever I noticed this I'd rinse the tanks and reels before reusing them. But I suspected that if left alone this residue could cause foaming during development.

    I deliberately left the Photo-Flo residue in place for a test. I poured in plain water with empty reels, fastened the lid and agitated normally. When I opened the lid there was quite a bit of foam and bubbles in the reels that could not be dislodge by rapping the tank. Many developers act as surfactants (reducing the surface tension of water just like soap) which would exacerbate the foaming of any Photo-Flo residue. Bubbles would readily stick to the softened emulsion.

    Don't presoak with Photo-Flo. Modern emulsions like HP5+ are already treated with a prewetting agent that won't foam.

    Okay, sorry if my little admonishment went on rather long. But I've written about this extensively on the B&W Film and Processing forum, not here.

    Needless to say (tho' I will anyhow), the effect of foaming on the emulsion will appear as something like dust spots. It'll be particularly noticeable when scanning, which is totally unforgiving of any marks, less so when printing conventionally with a diffusion enlarger and non-glass negative carrier.

    Go ahead and use the Photo-Flo (preferably with distilled water) as a final rinse before hanging to dry. I do, tho' I plan to switch to LFN after this bottle is done.

    Another tip for clean-drying negatives, one which I borrowed from Roger Hicks: stretch the negs diagonally to dry. The water will gravitate toward the lower edge and drip off the lowest corner. I typically get better results if I don't try to shake off the water - when left wetter the residual water seems to pull itself off the film in sheets, whereas if I shake the film too much orphaned water droplets are left behind.

    With 35mm film I use paper clips through the sprocket holes to stretch the film. For medium format film I use hemostats. No need to stretch the film tight, just enough to take out the slack. It'll help the film dry flat for cutting into strips too.

    Good luck. Hope you don't mind my lecture about presoaking.
  3. Lex...

    Read the directions for WD2D+.

    Use photoflow - and Sodium Cabonate and Sodium BiSulfate as a prewash before developing. Why? Because they say so. Because it's the first time using this deveoper. I did the same thing last night. First development of some Classic200 with WD2D+.

    Interesting. Tonite I am going to develop the sister negatives (I shot two of each image at each exposure just for this test) in Rodinol 1+50 for 12 minutes. The control.

    I'll let you know. I will say the negatives in WD2D+ are pretty amazing even if they have this brown tint to them. Total shadow development, no blown out highlights. We will see how they print.

    What amazes me more is the brilliance of the 135/4.5 1930 Zeiss Tessar lens I shot them through. There is detail in the electrical insulators on top of a 80 foot high tension tower in my photo. Amazing.

    Doug - I did find the emulsion a bit soft and managed to scratch the edge of one sheet of film while handling it after wash. The other spots I attribute to dust in the film holder, SOP.

    tim in san jose
  4. BTW - you use the Edwal LFN non foaming photoflow.

  5. Error correction... Sodium BiSulfite

    Oh hell, here is a cut and paste...

    A pre-bath (Presoak) is recommended to help ensure even development and to minimize the presence of air bells (bubbles) on the film. The pre-bath consists of a working solution of wetting agent such as Formulary Forma-Flo or Edwal LFN in distilled water.
    To help dissolve anti-halation dyes present in the film emulsion, 1 level teaspoon of Sodium Carbonate, Monohydrate and 1/2 level teaspoon of Sodium Bisulfite per liter of distilled water may be added to the pre-bath.
    Presoak the film for two minutes, agitating vigorously for the first 30 seconds, intermittently thereafter.

  6. Ahh, you kwazy pre-soakers. You're so *cute*!

    Semi-seriously, if you gotta pre-soak and you gotta use a wetting agent then, sure, LFN is probably the way to go. Kodak Photo-Flo is definitely a bad idea unless you plan to rinse the film in plain water after the pre-soak to minimize the risk of bubbles, which would make the pre-soak the pre-pre-soak and...ahh, never mind. It's just sooo *cute*!

    Shame on me. I keep saying I'm not gonna pick on pre-soakers but I just can't seem to help myself. If it'll make y'all feel better you can pick on me for being addicted to push processing.
  7. Thanks Tim and Lex: You have both given be a bunch to think about. I used Photoflo in the prewash because it was the only wetting agent that I had. You see the WD2D+ directions called for a prewash with a wetting agent or the other buffering chemicals. I can see the need for a prewash with something that will take off the heavy anti-halation coatings of the T-Max films and maybe the Ilford Deltas. I have never had bubble effects on negatives even with the hard water that I have in Southern California. So my next attempts will be without a wetting agent prewash. I have used prewashes with Deltas and T-Maxes with good success in stripping the coatings for development in Xtol. Do you have any more comments? I really appreciate both of your responses, I would be lost for ideas on getting WD2D+ development right without your help. Best regards, Doug.
  8. Doug, about all I can add regarding the anti-halation backing is that I haven't seen any indication in my negatives that it causes any problems.

    Whether I develop in Rodinal - which strips the dyes from T-Max films so aggressively that the developer comes out bright purple! - or any other developer, the residual bluish/purplish tint has no effect on scanning or conventional printing.

    Now, if there's a legitimate reason to removed the dyes prior to development because the dyes might interfere with the developer, sure, that's another story. But I haven't seen any indication that the dyes interfere with the developers I use (ID-11, Rodinal, Ilfosol-S, Microphen, Diafine). In fact, Microphen, Diafine and, as I mentioned earlier, Rodinal, all tend to strip out those dyes during development; ID-11 and Ilfosol-S do not.

    Any residual dyes generally come out during fixing and, especially, with assertive washing. I wash in the tank using inversion agitation, which very effectively clears the film base.

    Again, tho', if it is a fact that the anti-halation dyes can interfere with development (and I'm not agreeing that it is a fact, only acknowledging that it's a possibility), then, sure pre-soaking may have some benefits. But it may also be detrimental. Me, I'd want to test it both ways to determine for myself what works. I'd certainly try it with and without pre-soaking if I'd noticed the same problems you've described.
  9. Regardless as to how it looks, I am not neccessarily disagreeing with Lex. I am making the point that the directions say to do it this way.

    It's like cooking, one of my other loves... you follow the recipe the first time, then modify it to reflect your results. Never bitch because it tastes like dog doo if you didn't follow the book.

    Doug, you should not have used Photoflo2000 but that's the only mistake you made. The guy who developed this brew specifies that you use a specific prewash before you develop using his formula. I suspect he has no financial interest in Edwal or the other chemical companies so that's probably not the reason he recommends this procedure.

    Now, as for using the sodium carbonate and the sodium bisulfite, the reason I used them is because of the tubes I am using to develop film do not allow fluid to get behind the film and disolve the anti-halation backing. This is a problem that can be solved in the hypo clear stage except you are not suppose to use hypo clear on these negatives (reduction of stain issues). So...

    A two minute presoak that takes off most of the anti halation, but not all, and then a processing according to the developers instructions. The final wash removed the last of the AH backing. I used Classic200 shot at 160. Development times as per John Wimberley (personally I might add) of 10 1/2 minutes.

    Looking at the negs, I might reduce the time by 30 seconds to a minute. The sister negs done in Rodinal look good. I don't see a significant difference in highlights or shadows. I believe it's going to either come out on the proof sheets or not.

  10. Why has no one here stated that the brown tint to the film after developing is the STAINING ACTION OF PYRO DEVELOPERS, and its one of the biggest reasons its even used???
  11. "Why has no one here stated that the brown tint to the film after developing is the STAINING ACTION OF PYRO DEVELOPERS, and its one of the biggest reasons its even used???"
    Because we assume a certain level of competence if you are participating in a certain type of discussion on the board. If you don't know this is a Pyro type developer, why would you care?
    And why are you resurrecting a thread from 6 years ago? *L*
    tim in san jose
  12. Google "WD2D+" and this is still the first thing that pops up =)
    I'm always reading more about different processes than I use and I'm on a pyro reading kick. School is too busy currently, but I'm hoping this summer to branch out from my HC-110 cocoon.

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