Amidol, Ansco 130 and a cup of tea

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by dpurdy, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Yesterday I spent comparing Amidol and Ansco 130 on Oriental WT FB. I mixed the amidol in a formula with only sodium sulfite and sodium bisulfite and the Ansco was the standard formula. Neither was giving me enough warmth. The Amidol was surprisingly cold and the 130 with fresh bright white Glycin wasn't as nice as the old chocolate colored stuff I ran out of. I thought maybe a bit of stain would help so I boiled up a pot of tea (Yorkshire Red) double strength and just poured it into the stop bath. I figured what the heck it's acid isn't it. It worked amazingly well. If I wanted to keep the print unchanged I just stopped for 20 seconds, if I wanted a nice warm paper tone I left it in the stop for a minute and if I wanted a very rich warm color I left it in two minutes. It didn't actually make prints that looked stained, they just looked like very warm prints. Looking at them again today in neutral colored mats they are beautiful and glowing and very warm. I started another printing session this morning and just kept using the same tea stop bath and it still is working great.

    Thought I would pass that along. Maybe of no interest to anyone.
    Dennis
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Amidol has always been the developer of choice for the coldest tones on bromide papers. If you want warmth, amidol is not where it's at.

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
     
  3. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    With KBr in the amidol solution you can get nice warm tones on bromide papers.
     
  4. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    What is KBr? My attempt to research it is not working out very well.
    Thanks Dennis
     
  5. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Potassium Bromide. It acts as a restrainer and warms color. Use a 10% solution in your print developer working solution.
     
  6. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    And I always thought it was the desire for those cold, steely, black, Weston-like tones that drove folks to amidol. Well, shows how little I know.

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
     
  7. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Some of his are colder than others. A few of the very best ones have an almost golden hue to them. But I've seen some that were downright blue they were so cold.
     
  8. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Take a look at these, all printed on Azo in amidol. Granted, Azo is a silver chloride paper, but I've gotten warm tones with Kentona in amidol. I think that's a chloro-bromide paper. (I'm not sure though. Somebody familiar with Kentmere stuff correct me.) Steve hates cold tones.
     
  9. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Nice!

    Good work!
     
  10. Scott Peters

    Scott Peters Member

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    Yes, I can alter 'warmth' / tone with kbr as well with Azo.
     
  11. mikez

    mikez Member

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    Oriental WT FB is an extremely warm paper. I've tested most papers on the market today, and Oriental's WT is almost a yellow/green in the mid tones. I think Amidol/Ansco130 are typically "cool tone" developers, but that's just what I know from what I've heard. Maybe the combination of both knocks down the "warmth" of Oriental's paper to a level pleasing to your eye. I've tried it with Ilford CT developer and it seemed to do that. Hey someone with some more background in chemistry want to tell me if there's any relevancy to this or am I just sniffing too much fix?
     
  12. Will S

    Will S Member

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    I seem to remember that Ansco 130 at a weaker dilution will give warmer tones. I think straight or 1:1 for normal, and 1:2 for warm tones. Or were you using it diluted already?

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  13. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    It is funny this thread that I started went a different direction than I intended. Actually I didn't really expect it to go any direction. I know how to make warm tone developers and I use Potassium bromide all the time I just had never referred to it as KBr.

    I was only trying to share what I found to be amusing and interesting info about using tea in the process. I was testing side by side Amidol and Glycin to see if I liked one better than the other in reaction to a previous thread about Amidol. Print warmth wasn't my concern, I was looking for depth of tone and trying to see if I could see the supposed 3D affect of using acid ballanced Amidol.

    I used to use amidol a lot with old Portriga and it was very neutral. I was surprised with the Oriental WT that it was quite cold. It did have wonderful tonality and brilliant highlight seperation. Then I tried the same print using a new jar of Glycin. I like the 130 formula but had been using it with an old bottle of glycin that was mediium brown color in the jar. The new glycin gave prints that weren't as warm as the old glycin and I figured it must be due to less stain. I must have been picking up some sort of stain from the dark brown developer.

    Then I made a pot of tea and while doing that I thought what if I poured tea into the developer for a stainer. It might work with the Acid ballanced Amidol but it would kill the 130. then I thought why couldn't I just pour tea in the stop bath, it is acid ballanced. So I put an extra tea bag in my pot and made it stronger then brewed it up normal and then just poured it all right into the stop bath. It made my stop bath have the pleasant smell of tea.

    But the interesting thing is how well it worked. And it was variable. If I stopped for just 20 seconds it didn't stain at all. If I stopped for a full minute I got a very nice warm print and if I stopped for 2 minutes it was rich and warm almost like an ivory colored platinum print. And it didn't have a stained look to it as much as a toned look. I have printed like this for 2 days now and matted some of the prints in neutral white mats and they are quite beautiful in color. The most interesting is a too dark print that was processed in Amidol that I put in the tea and left a long time.

    http://dennispurdy.com/amidolandtea.html

    I couldn't get the scan to quite match the print and you can see a bit of uneveness in the stain because I put this one in the stop/tea and left it with no agitation.

    Anyway I know lots of people stain in tea and this is no news to them.

    Dennis
     
  14. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Dennis, very cool. I may have to give this a try.

    JIm
     
  15. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Yeah, they just don't come any better. :smile:
     
  16. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Truly beautiful print color. I shall try it with Michael Smith's formula. What is Yorkshire Red? I want to try to duplicate the tea as closely as possible.

    BTW, I don't think the print is too dark at all.
     
  17. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Beautiful print Dennis.

    I've always found Smith's amidol formula to be quite receptive to adding KBr to increase warmth. Pretty much get whatever kind of effect I want. This depends a lot on the paper too. Anso 130 is less receptive to warming but at 1:2 with 20 ml or more additional KBr, I can improve warmth slightly. Again. the paper itself is always a big factor.
     
  18. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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  19. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I don't have a lot of Amidol formulas on hand and I was looking for one that was supposed to develop bottom up due to the PH of the gelatin acting as a restrainer. The one I do have that says it works that way is very simple with just a lot of Sodium sulfite (125 grams) and sodium bisulfite (50 grams) and 15 grams Amidol to make a liter of working solution. I thought of adding some Potas Bromide to it but I didn't want to mess with the ph of the formula for my experiment.

    Usually when I mix Ansco 130 I customize it a bit by increasing the Hydroquinone and decreasing the sodium carbonate and increasing the postassium bromide to make it go warm and it seems to work.
    Dennis
     
  20. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    As far as I know, all amidol formulas develop from the bottom up so to speak. Smith's amidol contains some citric acid which prolongs the working life by reducing the the oxidation of the mixture due to air absorption. It uses a minimum of 4 ml (going off memory here) KBr per liter but you can increase the KBr as desired to adjust warmth. You can get at least 24 hours, usually 30 hours solution life.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2008
  21. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Thanks Dennis, this is pretty interesting. Did you notice any change in color once the print was in the fix? Or could you just go by what you were seeing in the stop bath (as well as one can under the safelight)? As far as I know about tea staining it is the tannins that do the work so I think you are right that any black tea will do it, no sense wasting the good stuff.
     
  22. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Based on the color of my developer, I think the Chinese must have put a little "Yorkshire RED" in the big batch of Amidol :smile:
     
  23. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    My darkroom is very dark, lit only by red leds. However I did decide to re-stain one print after the fix and I just put it back over into the stop (after a rinse) and it worked just fine at the same time as before. In truth there is probably no actual advantage to staining in the stop other than it takes less trays and less overall time. When I was looking at my wet prints and considering the color, I rinsed them and then stuck them to a plastic divider from my print washer, standing up in the water tray and then held a neutral colored white mat in front of them. Sometimes it is hard to see warmth without a neutral reference next to it.

    I guess I should mention that I don't use indicator stop, I use clear glacial acetic acid.

    Dennis
     
  24. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    It's 2ml / liter on the website, but since he wrote that the paper has gotten colder, so his standard now is 3ml / liter. Sometimes I double that, but I find that any more KBr than 6-8 ml really begins to degrade contrast (KBr is, after all, the restrainer in the formula).
     
  25. blokeman

    blokeman Member

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    This is all very interesting for me, always looking for new methods now that the true chloro-bromide papers are no longer available such as Portriga. I will definitely try this method you have outlined. I have used tea before particularly with changing the colours of Cyanotype prints. I always found the cheaper nastier teas (ie: not fit to drink!) made for better/stronger stains. I presume with your tea staining that it is equally staining the white borders as well as the image area?
    The Oriental WTP is almost all I've got now after lucking onto some cheap rolls a few years ago and I find the warmest methods are using only Hydroquinone/Glycin as developers (especially at dilutions) but the catch is in waiting for the extended developing times which can be long. My remedy for this is adding just a small amount of Metol but of course this will alter the intended colour of the end result. And using KBr of course. Using Benzotriazole will aid a split if toning later.
    With earlier Oriental WTP (graded) I used to get an amazing greenish hue over the whole image using Amidol. This doesn't happen with what I've got now though.