Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/06/05

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Subject: [Leica] 777
From: jsmith342 at (Jeffery Smith)
Date: Mon Jun 5 15:21:16 2006

Thanks for the info, Joe. I assume that the twice as large tank also has
twice as much developer. Is that how you read it as well? I don't know about
ripening a 3-gallon batch, though. I'd be spending about $80 on the test
roll (and have a lot of developer left over!). I may just yank a few old
rolls of HP5 out of there cassettes and letting them sit in the half-gallon
bottle for a while.

Jeffery Smith
New Orleans, LA

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of joe weil
Sent: Sunday, June 04, 2006 10:04 PM
To: Leica Users Group; Leica Users Group
Subject: RE: [Leica] 777

 here are some specifics from the Fred de Van article about 777. This is
from the Unblinking eye website. 

In our discussions about writing this article, Ted asked Fred to send us as
much information as he could recall about how 777 was used. Here is his

Use a a tank larger than you need by at least 100% filling the space with
empty reels. Start with constant gentle to moderate inversion agitation the
first 30 seconds to 1 minute, followed by 10 seconds per minute thereafter
(5 seconds per 30 seconds for slightly greater density). To lower contrast,
omit half of the agitation the final 2-3 minutes, but agitate once before
the last 60 seconds. To raise contrast, gently agitate by inversion 10
seconds every 30 seconds. 

  Tri-X    9-11 minutes
  FP-4   10 to 14 minutes
  HP-5   11-15 minutes
  Neopan 400  10-13 minutes
Depending on personal agitation techniques, your mileage may vary. 

Hyper agitation can produce surge effects around sprocket holes in 35mm,
although continuous agitation during the first minute can be quite vigorous
in large tanks--when you have sufficient quantities of chemicals, it is
recommended.  Lifting the film out of contact with the solution is the
preferred methodology for all agitation. 

Replenish 3/4 ounce per 80 square inches.  (Harvey's did make a 777R.) 
Ripen a 3 gallon batch with about 500 sq. inches of exposed film. 
Replenishment at this point is not essential, unless contrast of the first
test roll is lower than desired. Results will be repeatable after the first
20 rolls. 

Newer films may have less silver and different dyes and backing materials
than those that this was established on. 

With a floating lid on a deep tank, this is good for about a year of
constant use of at least 20 rolls a week average.  Dumping half to 2/3 every
6 months was the norm, but these guys used as many as 100 (or more) rolls of
120 a week.  If not in use for a while, cover the surface with Saran wrap
before the floating lid or insoluble crystalline deposits will develop.
Tanks and bottles may gain a coating of dissolved silver and gelatin as it
is used. 

> [Original Message]
> From: Jeffery Smith <>
> To: Leica Users Group <>
> Date: 6/4/2006 7:16:57 PM
> Subject: RE: [Leica] 777
> It was the choice of Time-Life and Magnum photographers. I got mine 
> from
> Frugal Photographer. I'm going to try it with Tri-X first.  There are 
> some starting times on that I'll use as starting 
> points.
> replenishment routine is sort of like black magic. You measure out the 
> amount you need to use, use it, and pour it back into a graduated 
> cylinder
> *minus* 40ml (I think). You then add the 40 ml of fresh developer from
> another bottle and pour it back into your stock bottle. Some of the images
> that I have seen (on the web) that were developed in it were breathtaking.
> And it is very tolerant of crazy-ass temperatures other than 68F (which is
> just fine for those of us in the subtropics).
> Jeffery Smith
> New Orleans, LA
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of 
> Scott McLoughlin
> Sent: Sunday, June 04, 2006 8:29 PM
> To: Leica Users Group
> Subject: Re: [Leica] 777
> Wow, Googling a bit, this stuff sounds like some kind of magical
> secretly used by all previous photo greats!  Where did you hear about 
> this developer and where did you get it? Are there published 
> times/temps for different films?
> Scott
> Jeffery Smith wrote:
> >Well, my bags of 777 developer are sitting ready to go. I have had
> >difficulty finding much information on this developer other than all of 
> >the caveats (it smells, it turns sludgy, the funkier it gets, the 
> >better it works, etc.).
> >
> >Do any of you have any practical experience with this developer? I 
> >keep
> >reading that "agitation is critical", but then nother is mentioned 
> >about just WHAT you have to do carefully when agitating.
> >
> >Jeffery Smith
> >New Orleans, LA
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
> >Leica Users Group.
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> >  
> >
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In reply to: Message from weiljr at (joe weil) ([Leica] 777)