A Universal Developer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MurrayMinchin, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    (Before anybody says it, I know the answer is to test it :smile: but there are people here with TONS more experience than I with different developer formulas!)

    I don't know if the following developer is close to any existing ones...I came up with it because I wanted a glycin developer that performed like Ansco 120. I've been very happy with it as a paper developer and have recently been wondering if it has potential as a negative developer. I call it;

    12/15 Developer

    Hot tap water..................................... 750 ml
    Metol................................................. 12 gr
    Sodium Sulfite (anhydrous).................... 36 gr
    Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous)............... 30 gr
    Potasium Bromide (10% solution)............ 15 cc
    Glycin................................................ 15 gr
    Water to make ................................... 1 litre

    I dilute it 1:3 for a three minute development time for Ilford Multigrade IVFB. What do you think?

    Murray
     
  2. Chaska

    Chaska Subscriber

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    If you are talking Ansco 130, I think John Nanian (sp?) is using this for film and paper, he posts here pretty often. For film beleive the ratio he used is 1:5 for about 8 minutes, I tried it and it worked relatively well (I use the photographer's formulary kit), but I have stuck with D76 and Diafine for film so far.
     
  3. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Not at all. Ansco 130 (Adams variation) has more than double the Potassium Carbonate, 11gr of glycin and only 2.2gr of metol.

    12/15 is a gentler beast than Ansco 130.

    Murray
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    This is not Ansco 130 (the proportions are wrong and there is no Hydroquinone).

    What Murray has done is modify Ansco 120 by addng 15 grams of Glycin. Also, he used 12 grams of Metol rather than 12.3 grams (per the official Ansco/Agfa formula of 1939). I doubt if the .3 gram causes a noticeable difference in the results, BTW.

    Hey, if it works, why not?

    I've also used diluted Ansco 130 as a film developer with good results and I've used a Metol/TEA Paper developer of my own (highly diluted) as a film developer as well.

    Results are in various APUG threads.
     
  5. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    You nailed it :smile: (and 3cc less of Potassium Bromide)

    The whole point was to match Ansco 120, but also gain the long shelf life qualities of glycin. The difference is that 12/15 is mixed 1:3, unlike Ansco 120 which is usually mixed 1:2.

    Murray
     
  6. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    OK, here's the whole enchilada...

    For over 20 years I've only used 4x5 Tri-X developed in HC-110. Due to Kodak's recent d_g_t_l seduction I've decided to divorce myself from all things produced by The Great Yellow Father...there's NO WAY my hard earned money is going to finance their change to d_g_t_l!

    Today I received my first 75 sheets of 4x5 Ilford HP5+. Has anybody had experience with HP5+ (or any other film) in a similar developer?

    Murray
     
  7. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Hp5+ and HC110 worked well together the few times I tried. Dil B is around 7.5 min at 68 for a condenser enlarger.

    At EI 100 use 5 min at 68 for nice compression. Still B dil.

    I was using hangars and went in and out two times around once per minute, then rest 45 sec.
     
  8. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Hi Murray

    Have you printed with 130 or Adam's Variation ?
    Reason being, you can safely omit the bromide from Adam's version, and in one swoop match both amidol's blacks, 120's whites, in a pleasant color.

    Also, you may substitute Pot Carb, and get a warmer ( ebony/cocoa blacks ) than Sod Carb.

    Having used Adam's 130 for 20+ years, and never trying your version, I'm breaking my first rule in speculating. But here goes:

    1 Good concept.

    2 I worry there is no need for the restrainer ( for paper at least ) and the presence of the restrainer will cripple the magic. Adams advised adding it only as needed. I've seldom needed it at all.

    3 The 2.2 metol / 11 glycin of 130 works really well. Metol is fast, glycin is slow.
    And they are NOT super additive. Increasing the metol will ( I imagine ) make an ultra soft image, and the glycin will have no effect.

    From my own experience, frightening as I remember it, a simple metol developer is all that is need for today's films. The glycin, to me, is redundant: I'm usually fighting to hold back the highlight densities, and metol lacks nothing on it's own.

    Between D23 and FX1 you have a world possibility using the stock chems for this developer. But I'd save the glycin for printing.
     
  9. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Universal developers do indeed work but there is a tradeoff. In order to develop paper the pH of the developer must be fairly high. Even when the developer is diluted 1+7 or 1+9 (typical dilutions for universal developers for use with film) the developer is still very active. Don't expect anything like fine grain. Universal developers work best with large and possibly medium format.
     
  10. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Hi df,

    Yes I did try Adams variation of 130 (although I used the full amount of Potassium Bromide) and found it had too much *snap & sizzle* for my images taken in the moist atmosphere of a temperate rainforest - a function of the 67gr of Sodium Carbonate?

    You've given me much to ponder, as if I'm not pondering enough as it is...thanks :wink:, I'll try reducing the Potassium Bromide and see what happens when I next mix up a batch in about 8 months.

    While 12/15 is softer than 130, it lacks nothing in the base notes and is a good deal crisper than Selectol Soft. I've also found that extending a prints development time beyond completion of the highlight values proportionally effects the lower values more, leaving the high values almost unchanged. Willing to speculate what effect this property will have on a negatives shadows?

    I have next week off, so it should be entertaining!

    Murray
     
  11. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Basically, the bromide that is in the formula is a safe amount to prevent fogging.

    Working under bright safelight, and developing for 5 to 7 minutes, I get no fog. That, of course, describes my darkroom. Three to 4 minutes under any safelight I think will be safe.

    What you get with a restrainer-less developer is the ability to insert 1 to 2 zones into the highlights without affecting the rest of the scale. You can do the same with 120/selectol.

    What you get by leaving out the HQ, of course, is the superadditive effect, the source of your *snap & sizzle*.

    There is just enough glycin to work slowly and build up the areas of greatest exposure.. the blacks... and you get remarkable depth and transitional tones, not to mention a pure black equal to dektol or amidol.

    I'll speculate that without the restrainer, you'll have too much metol-- it won't fog, but it will work so quickly, the glycin won't build the shadows as well as it could.

    With restrainer, I speculate the glycin has little to no effect.
     
  12. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Can't really comment on your glycin/metol developer, but Dektol used to be sold as a universal developer; instead of 1+1, 1+2, or 1+3 as for paper, you'd dilute 1+9 for film (as suggested in another post). The low sulfite levels mean any grain that's present is in its original (crisp, gritty) form, not modified by any solvent action, and the rapid development may reduce film speed a little compared to a long, slow soak in diluted HC-110 or Ilfotec HC (which, BTW, is said to be very similar to HC-110 in both usage and results). I've used Dektol to develop Verichrome Pan, 6x6 on 620 and liked the results, but I was contact printing at the time, with one of those light bulb in a box printers, all with materials and equipment that came from a yard sale in the early 1970s.

    OTOH, I've got a LOT of Dektol around right now; I just might dunk my next Fomapan 100 9x12 cm negatives in it and see what I get...
     
  13. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I presume your abbreviation "gr" means "grams". Officially, it means "grains" of which there are 15.385 to the gram. Just picking nits.
     
  14. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Thanks! Can't stand those itchy little b*st*rds :wink:

    You're right...I meant grams...

    Murray
     
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi murray -

    can't comment on your developer, but if you ever switch to ansco 130 for film ( best with sheet film ) i'll be happy to tell you what i know. :smile: one suggestion is to use your developer at about 70º or so, i heard somewhere that glycin loves the warm environments and you will get better results from it at those temperatures.



    donald -

    i love hearing of folks using dektol ( d-72 ) as a film developer :smile: i've spoken with many olde-timer news-guys that used dektol on a regular basis to process their films ... isn't it the same formulation ( or close to it ) as ansco 125 ( also a universal developer ) but using 80g of sodium carbonate instead of 65g :smile:


    ... now if i could only find out the formula for "GAF UNIVERSAL DEVELOPER"
    ( in the red can! ) i'd give up everything else and only use that.

    -john
     
  16. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I don't recall if D-72 is the same as Agfa 125 -- I've got formulae for both bookmarked here somewhere, but it doesn't really matter. Pretty much anything close to either one will work well with both film and paper. Honestly, HC-110 does a fine job developing paper, it's just too expensive to use that way (as are most film developers). OTOH, I've got 2.5 gallons of double strength stock Dektol here that I'd dilute 1:17 (making 50 gallons of film strength working solution), and the box cost $20. Question is, can I use it fast enough; four ounces of this stock, diluted 1+7 (to equal standard Dektol 1+3), is still going strong after 18 8x10 prints in a 4 hour session, which means unless it goes off from age I'll be through my *second* box of paper before I use this stuff up.
     
  17. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Update Time

    It took 5 days and the answer is...yes. 12/15 is a universal developer, but it doesn't match the accutance of HC-110.

    My method was to go out and photograph full scale subjects with Tri-X in the even numbered holders and HP5+ in the odd numbered holders, taking the same image with both films. The negatives were printed at max black time with the prints given the same processing.

    Using a Zone VI Compensating Developing Timer in "film mode", the Tri-X would get my usual 6 minutes in HC-110, dilution E, tray developed with agitation every 30 seconds. Then I would try the HP5+ at various ASA's, dilutions and times until the Zone I exposure got nailed. Once that was found I tried playing with the dilution and times until zones V to IX printed properly.

    Using my 120ml Schnieder at 160 ASA (my 210ml Schneider at 320 ASA...go figure?) the development for HP5+ in 12/15 @ 1:7 dilution was 10 minutes with agitation every 30 seconds.

    I've got three more days of holidays, so I'll see how it reacts to plus and minus development situations.

    I don't know if I can live with the loss in accutance...it's really hard to describe, but with a 120ml lens the edges of raindrops on a surface 15 feet away at 11x14 print size with the HC-110 negatives are crisp, and the 12/15 negatives are "somewhat diffuse", using a loupe.

    I would post examples, but I don't have a scanner. The prints are almost identical and I don't think there would be much of a difference on a computer screen anyways.

    Good fun :smile:

    Murray
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2005
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i know what you mean about using it up fast enough!
    a bunch of years ago i had no $ left but a boatload of paper and film, and a huge can of "gaf universal developer" it has resided on the (interior) windowsill of the studio i had been renting i am guessing for a long long time, since it had not been opened, and gaf stopped making the developer a long long time ago. the window was boarded up, but it was still drafty, and the winters were cold and the summers hot (new england). in an act of insanity i punctured the can and mixed it up. i didn't really have anything big enough (bathtub?) to mix 10 gallons up at once so i kind improvised ... then i had to find 10 amber jugs ( luckily a friend was getting rid of 7 of them and i had 3 or 4 :smile: ) ... it was the summer and about 100º all day and in the 80s all night and i figured i had to use it as fast as possible - i shot boxes of 4x5 paper, dozens of rolls of film and printed lots of prints until it was all used up. it was great stuff, and now i am kind wishing there was some way i could find some more. :sad:
     
  19. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Murray - what the heck is a 120ml lens? :tongue:
     
  20. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Why Tom, I'm SHOCKED you've never heard of them...they're very rare...only the best of photographers have them...just low-life photographers use 120mm lenses :wink:

    (D'Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    Murray
     
  21. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Man-O-Man...was I ever WRONG!

    (See Tom Hoskinson's post on page 2...he already nailed me for using a 120ml lens :smile: )

    I read on another post how sanking tests for accutance; by photographing a distant mountains ridgeline against the sky, then printing that portion of the image with the enlarger racked up to 20x24. I just did that with an HP5+ developed in 12/15 image I took on the weekend, and even wet (with the emulsion swollen) the ridgeline is sharp - SHARP - SHARP!

    Why was the first accutance test innaccurate? My best guess is there must have been a song on the radio with lots of base while I made the HP5+ exposure at 11x14..?

    If this combo pans out with plus and minus development as well I'll try to get them scanned, then post examples. I'll let this thread fade away now, it's just that I had to correct my earlier wrong.

    Murray
     
  22. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    HP5+ 4x5

    I used to shoot it for portraits. (Ilford does a good job of hiding blemishes.)
    I always developed in D76 straight--no dilution as a 1-shot developer. I've used HC-110 1:50, but didn't like it. Rodinal made it too grainy, BUT STUDIONAL (also made by Agfa) gave beautiful tonal range, and fine grain.

    My 3 standard developers are thus: HC-110, Rodinal, & Studional. Hope this helps.

    Joe
     
  23. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I think I may have found it John (don't know about the red can, though). I posted the recipe here: http://www.apug.org/forums/article.php?a=163

    It is listed in the Agfa Ansco 1939 "Formulas For Photographic Use as:
    Agfa 103 Universal Film and Paper Developer. It was available from Agfa Ansco (Binghamton, NY) as a packaged developer.
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey tom -

    thanks for the post here ( and in the recipe section ) ...
    it looks like it *might* be it ... at least the development times are close to the same :wink:

    i came across a recipe for a "kodak universal film and paper developer" recently that looked like it could be pretty interesting ...

    maybe it was this that i found, but it was in a different place with a different name:

    KODAK DK-93
    Film and paper developer

    Water, 125F/52C 500 ml
    Para-aminophenol Hydrochloride 5 g
    Sodium Sulfite (anhydrous) 30 g
    Hydroquinone 2.5 g
    Balanced Alkali 20 g
    Potassium Bromide 0.5 g
    Cold water to make 1L
    Mixing instructions: Add chemicals in specified sequence.

    Dilution: Use undiluted

    Starting point development time: 8 mins.

    - john