The two bath development idea is not at all new, there are a number of known recipes. Up until now, however, it has not been possible to achieve a good contrast compensation coupled with a high contour sharpness.
This problem is solved with MZB. The developer delivers a demonstrable contrast compensation and at the same time high level of contour sharpness and very fine grain. It creates negatives with very harmonious levels of grey which in itself allows a remarkable degree of enlargement to be made.
Not every photograph is ready or able to be processed according to the Zone System, and this is particularly a problem when using small or medium format photography. If the negative density is too high the highlights cannot be differentiated correctly in the print if at the same time, the shadow area tones are to be clearly separated. This problem is accentuated by modern emulsions and the only means to solve it by conventional development methods is to reduce the developing time. The disadvantage of this approach is that the sensitivity of the film is reduced.
With MZB there is now another way: by observing the film sensitivity the tone gradient curve can be contoured to just the highlight areas so that by using the recommended development times the highlights can be shifted by approximately one Zone. Without going into the Zone system to deeply, suffice it to say that above Zone VII the curve becomes slightly flattened.
MZB is delivered as a powder to make 2x2 Litre stock solution. The solutions have a shelf life of at least 6 months even if kept in partly filled containers.
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