As you already know, two-bath developers work by having a low energy fore-bath usually just containing developing agent(s) and preservative. Kodak D-23 or similar is typical with the second bath containing the excellerator like Borax, Metaborate or Carbonate. The good points are ease of use and good keeping properties and they are highly compensating, if the development is increased, you get slightly better shadows with out excessive density in the highlights (film exposure of course is important here) but an inevitable compression in the midtones which can make the prints look very flat.Jay DeFehr wrote:The idea that 2-bath development is inherently better or worse than single bath development is pure mythology. Either approach is capable of the same results, and each has strenghths and weaknesses. If one doesn't know how to use either approach, results are sure to disappoint.
Two-bath developers have their devotees and if they like the look, then fine, but it`s not to everyones liking and if these developers did everything that the two-bath devotees claim, then the major film manufacturers would have them in their range of processing chemicals too.
The fact that they don`t, says something. This also applies to the many Pyro & Catechol formulations which are being touted as miracle developers by the self styled Guru`s who formulate them.