Dr. Roland F Beers variable contrast paper developer

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joglar
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Dr. Roland F Beers variable contrast paper developer

Post by joglar » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:47 am

Hello,
I am interested in this formula and I would appreciate if someone can give me the details of the original publication. I have checked in the net but I was unable to find it.
Thank you very much in advance and warm regads from Barcelona!
Jesús

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payral
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Re: Dr. Roland F Beers variable contrast paper developer

Post by payral » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:15 am

The Darkroom Cookbook 3e edition
FORMULA #90 page 287
Philippe Ayral
www.payral.fr

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sanchell
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Re: Dr. Roland F Beers variable contrast paper developer

Post by sanchell » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:00 pm

Saludos, Jesus. If it is simply the formula you're after you can also find it on page 282-283 of DCB4 or p. 287 of DCB3, as payral suggests.

There are two VC paper developers of which I am aware. Dr. Beers formula is the most well known and the one I learned in the '70s.

The other is Kodak D-64, which I have never seen published outside of the PLI. There are significant differences in the two formulas as you will see.

Kodak D-64

Stock Solution No. 1
Water 125F/52C, 500 ml
Metol, 4.7 g
Sodium sulfite, dessicated, 33.8 g
Hydroquinone, 5.2 g
Sodium carbonate, dessicated, 26.9 g
Potassium bromide, 2.4 g
Cold water to make 1 L

Stock Solution No. 2
Water 125F/52C, 500 ml
Sodium sulfite, dessicated, 33.8 g
Hydroquinone, 19.2 g
Sodium carbonate, dessicated, 26.9 g
Potassium bromide, 2.4 g
Cold water to make 1 L

If monohydrated carbonate is used, the quantity must be increased to 31.5 g

For use, dilute as follows to make 1 L:

A-Soft, for prints from contrasty negatives. Use Stock Solution No. 1, 360 ml; water 600 ml
B-Normal, for prints from normal negatives. Use Stock Solution 2, 180 ml; water 600 ml
C-Hard, for prints from soft or flat negatives. Use Stock Solution No. 1, 180 ml; Stock Solution No. 2 360 ml; water 420 ml

To each 1 L of developer, A, B, or C dilution ready to use add 4 ml of a 10% postassium bromide solution.

Develop not less than 1 1/2 minutes at 68F/20C

NOTE: This developer contains the minimum quantity of bromide. More bromide may be added if warmer tones are desired.
Do it in the Dark,

Steve Anchell

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sanchell
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Re: Dr. Roland F Beers variable contrast paper developer

Post by sanchell » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:18 am

My response to this post was slightly rushed last night. What I failed to mention is that Beers formula has been around for a very long time, and was in use when I began my career in 1970. In the 1983 version of The Print, Ansel Adams mentions it in three places in the text and provides the formula on page 192. He twice mentions that "combining Dektol and Selectol-Soft in various proportions will give almost as much contrast control." Ansel, like many of us, was always searching for a more stream-lined approach to printing.

The version published in the DCB4 is only marginally different than Ansel's version. It was passed down to me by another photographer and kept for years in one of the many notebooks scattered around my darkroom. These notebooks filled with odd facts and formulas were the foundation of the DCB.

Modern substitutes for Dektol and Selectol-Soft can be found in DCB4 as Kodak D-72, p. 280, and Agfa 105, p. 276.
Do it in the Dark,

Steve Anchell

joglar
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Re: Dr. Roland F Beers variable contrast paper developer

Post by joglar » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:20 am

Hi Philippe and Steve,
Thank you very much for your replies.
I guess I did not expresed correctly myself. I have both Adams "The Print" and DCB4 (and DCB3, too) and I am aware of the differences in the formulas written in both. My question is if anybody in the forum knows where to find the original publication (if any) of Roland Beers. I know this may sound unusual and I admit it. I must be biased by my profession (I do research in chemistry and biocatalysis) and I always try to find the origin of things instead of "believing" in anything that has being transmitted by others' writings.
In any case I would appreciate any input if someone knows it. If not, just forget about it.
Thank you very much again!
Jesús

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sanchell
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Re: Dr. Roland F Beers variable contrast paper developer

Post by sanchell » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:21 am

The Beers formula was being used to alter contrast on graded paper since Ansel was wearing knee pants. I have seen it published in numerous older texts but not one of them has been written by Dr. Beers, they are all simply reproductions of his formula. And you are correct, they may not be the original. One of the primary reasons Bill Troop wanted to publish the Film Developing Cookbook was to finally get all of Crawley's FX formulas correct once and for all - and this was while Crawley was alive and still active.

That said, Beers formula is not magic, Beers himself would have had no special insight into the amount of carbonate or sulfite to use + or - a gram or three. All he did was mix up a soft and hard developer that worked well with the papers of his day, which I would be quick to point out were significantly different than the papers of today.

Having the absolute, drop dead, from the ink stained hand of Dr. Roland Beers formula means nothing unless it is for the historical record. What is important is to mix a batch, try it with the paper you are using, reduce the carbonate or Solution 1 if the blacks are too dense, increase Solution 2 or the bromide if the whites are too gray, and make prints. :)
Do it in the Dark,

Steve Anchell

Bill Troop
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Re: Dr. Roland F Beers variable contrast paper developer

Post by Bill Troop » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:15 am

I appreciate the effort to find the original Beers publication but I don't believe, in this case, there really is one, since Grant Haist, who was interested in the matter, couldn't find one. His own citation for the formula, the citation that of all those available he considered most authoritative, is Wall and Jordan, Photographic Facts and Formulas, 1947, pp 162-163. An earlier citation of a similar process from the recognized author Lloyd Varden is "A Two-Tray Print Developing Procedure", Phot. Technique , 2 (10); 32 (1940). Apparently, this employs the Agfa 120 and Agfa 130 formulas

NB !!!! Many enlarging papers from the 1980s onwards use increasing amounts of iodide in increasingly sophisticated ways. The result is that different developers have less effect on the material. This will also obviously be even more true of developer-incorporated papers. If you want this variable-contrast-through-print-developer technique to work, you will have to choose your paper carefully. The technique was more necessary in the days when graded papers were fewer, and variable contrast papers didn't exist. The older the paper technology, the more likely this technique is to work.

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