developer for Azo??? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

does anyone have any suggestions for a developer formula for the development of Azo for contact prints. specifically, do you water down Dektal for this paper for more or less contrast?

-- david clark (, April 12, 1999


I have been using HC 110 mixed at about 1:6 up to 1:12 or so for quite some time. Seems to give good strong blacks and good gradation through the mid and highlights. It also accepts selenium toner very well. It saves me keeping different bottles around in my small house. I mix right from the original bottle -- the "syrup" and I rinse the 1 ounce mixing cup with the amount of water I want for the dilution. I find I can vary the contrast by about one-half grade up or down by changing the dilution. Nuts, maybe, but it works.

-- Tony Brent (, April 12, 1999.

I am no darkroom alchemist and a long long way from a formula mayven. I have been using Dektol 1:2 and didn't like the results, too big a jump between GR2 & 3. I should try going 1:3 & 1:4. There's selectol or selctol soft, I forget which has been discontinued.

The time honored Weston Amidol Formula and another Amidol formula are available as kits from Photographer's Formulary, or you could buy Amidol by the gram and mix your own or follow the formula published by Michael A. Smith in View Camera in July of '96 I think.

I can't afford any of 'em so I've been using Clayton P-20 which Freestyle sells. I have been happier with the results from this than with the Dektol 1:2.

-- Sean yates (, April 12, 1999.

I use dektol diluted 1:3 and selectol soft diluted 1:1 in for varying amounts of time in each developer, following Adams from The Print two devoloper printing. I do it sequentially. I get nice results. Last I checked, probably January, Selectol soft was available in 1 gallon powder form from B&H. It is difficult to preserve after mixed. This is a nice combination for other kinds of paper as well. It does take some time but with experience a "rhythm" can be established. Good luck.

-- jim Ryder (, April 14, 1999.

The real trick with Selectol soft which is a great developer is keeping it fresh. I think the smallest size is 1 gallon and I use 8 oz. per printing session. However if exposed to air it goes bad very quickly. I now mix up the gallon and pour it into 8oz beer bottles all the way to the top. Then I squeeze in a hardware store cork. This squeezes out any air and makes a seal. This way I can keep it about three months, although some still goes bad. The bad stuff is indicated by a very strong stink. This causes some spillage and you need a lot of small beer bottles. If you make larger or more prints in a printing session a larger beer bottle might work better. There may be other ways to use and preserve selectol soft but this is one.

-- jim Ryder (, April 14, 1999.

The best thing I've ever found to keep air out of solutions to prolong their storage life are plastic Cubitainers...(the things that Sprint Systems package their products in) with spigot caps. As the solution is gradually used..atmospheric pressure squeezes the container in so air stays out. This dramatically prolongs the life of any kind of oxygen sensitive solution. Before he died several years ago I was fortunate to talk my good friend and mentor Paul Krot into selling me a supply of new, unused, empty Cubitainers, but I will need new ones @ some point soon. Apparently Paul went thru a lot to get access to them originally when he designed Sprint packaging (I believe they are made by Heico) Sprint is still (very understandably) reluctant to go into the empty container business. If anyone can locate a source for new, unused Cubitainers..with or without the boxes..they would be doing the Photo world a major favor...Anyone???

-- C Matter (, April 22, 1999.

The best developer I have used on Azo paper grade 2 was Peckham Amidol, I have kept it at 75/80-F in full and sealed bottles for 3 weeks. One quart would do between 8/10 8x10 depending on the amount of time and brushing involved. There is a very notable difference between Peckham and Dectol or Zone VI developers. Much richer/deeper blacks. The Amidol prints have depth to them. I prefer longer developement 3-5 minutes with brushing. Beautiful prints.

-- pat j. krentz (, May 24, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ