Ansco 130 restrainer question (PE, G. Koch please chime in also)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by michael_r, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Ansco 130 contains 5.5g/l potassium bromide. This seems high, but my understanding is the higher amount is there to make the formula slightly warmer, not just prevent fog. I'd like a cooler version of 130 - to use with MGWT. One of the more simple ways suggested by Anchell is to replace some or all of the bromide with benzotriazole. One example is Wimberley's version of 130, which uses 0.2g/l benzotriazole in place of the bromide. But I am confused by a few things:

    1. The "Cookbook" suggests 0.2g benzotriazole has the same anti-fog effect as 1g bromide restrainer. If that is true, Wimberley's formula implies regular Ansco 130 should only need 1g/l potassium bromide to prevent fog. Is this right? Could the amount of bromide in 130 simply be reduced from 5.5g to 1g? It seems to me this would make the formula slightly less warm, without using benzotriazole.

    2. The "Cookbook" suggests even the 0.2g/l benzotriazole in Wimberley's 130 is higher than necessary to prevent fog. How much is required? Or, how much bromide restrainer is really required in the original 130 to prevent fog?

    3. Is reducing the bromide and/or replacing it with benzotriazole even going to make a meaningful difference with current chlorobromide VC papers? The "Cookbook" gives the impression this "cooling" effect is most effective with bromide papers. So maybe this is a waste of effort.

    Michael
     
  2. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Here's my variation which has a few followers. I've used thus for eight or nine years now...especially nice with Ilford WT FB.


    Cooltone 130 paper developer**makes 1L stock

    750 cc water @125 deg.
    2.2 grams Metol
    50 grams Sodium Sulfite
    11 grams Hydroquinone
    80 grams Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous)
    11 grams Glycin
    15 cc 1% Benzotriazole solution
    Water to make 1L.


    Mix in order shown. Add a pinch of Sodium Sulfite to the water before adding Metol.

    I dilute 1+3…..

    I like to run the tray at 73 degrees

    80 g. anhydrous carbonate is important.
     
  3. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Thanks eclarke, if I'm reading this correctly it is Wimberley's but with .15g benzotriazole instead if .2g. A couple of questions:

    1. Can sodium carbonate monohydrate be used in place of anhydrous if the amount is adjusted accordingly?

    2. How do you mix your benzotriazole solution?

    3. Why do use this at 1:3 vs the standard 1:1 dilution for regular 130?

    4. What is your normal development time with MGWT FB?

    Thanks.
     
  4. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    1. Anhydrous is more stable but if you adjust it it's fine..don't cut it short
    2. I have good stirring equipment (Corning heated magnetic stirrers)
    3. Because it works
    4. It depends on the exposure in the enlarger, but I shoot for 2 minutes but am prepared to snarch it early if necessary.
     
  5. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    It will dissolve in water better if it's a bit alkaline. Since you're making a developer with quite a lot of carbonate, a pinch of that could go into the water in which you're making the benzotriazole solution. You won't have to account for the carbonate in it when formulating the developer, since it is insignificant.
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Thanks guys.
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Benzotriazole is usually used as a 1% solution and potassium bromide as a 10% solution. Usually the same amount of solution is used whether BZT or KBr. I don't know where Anchell gets his figure of 0.2 g of BZT. In general I am rather skeptical of Anchel's book. I would suggest making up Ansco 130 without either chemical and then adding small amounts of each until you obtain the image tone you are seeking. I have done this myself with another paper developer to get a purely neutral black which I favor.

    A 1% solution of BZT is easy to make without resorting to any other chemicals. But you need to start with hot water or else do a lot of shaking.

    The amount of resttainer is dependent on the paper used. What is listed in formulas is a compromise vaule which may not be ideal for the paper you are using.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2012
  8. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Hi Gerald, Anchell seems to refer to the use of a 1% benzotriazole solution when modifying PQ developers for colder tones. He refers to the use of a 2% benzotriazole solution (and the ratio I quoted) for modifying MQ developers for colder tones. Of course, he warns there are no hard and fast rules, and that testing is required.

    Perhaps I will also try to contact John Wimberley's regarding W130B which, as I described above, is identical to 130 except that the 5.5g/l of bromide restrainer is entirely replaced with .2g/l benzotriazole.

    The large amount of bromide in regular 130 is interesting. Among other things it would help explain why 130 is reputed to work so consistently from print to print.
     
  9. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    not a good practice. Pulling the print prematurely makes for low-contrst midtones and weak shadows.
     
  10. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    This has certainly been my experience.
     
  11. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Unless it's right.. I said I am prepared to snatch it if necessary.
     
  12. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Michael, I hope you do not mind me saying that I feel I may be following in your footsteps in the search for a cooler working 130 for MGWT. I have spent the last 3 days combing APUG for posts about cooling down warmtone emulsions (there is ton of good info here spanning a few years), through developer and toner choice, and I think I am ready to mix up a developer, or two, this Friday to reprint one of my images, for which I seek less of a brown tone following Se. I will use MGWT, fibre, and I am fond of 130, because that's what I have used for the past 4 years, exclusively. I like the gentle plum of Se, and I have integrated it well into my process. It seems a logical choice would be to try BTA instead of KBr in 130, or a combination of both. Did you experiment with other antifoggants that Ruyji mentioned in his older posts?


    Before I do so, may I ask you to share what your experience was with this experiment? Did you persist? What temperature and dilution, and what time did you settle on?


    I like MGIV shadows, highlights, and the midtones, in 130 followe by Se, very much, but I am less fond of the optically brightened base nowadays, than I was in the past. Having said that, I like it very much when I know my print hangs where the brightener doesn't get the UV it needs. MGWT does not seem to have that issue, and I also like its tonality, very much.
     
  13. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I sometimes substitute powder benz at approx 1/4 the gram wt of KBr. The final warmth/coolness factor
    is really related to the final toning regimen, and not totally predictable simply by the choice of restrainer. This is esp the case if you use gold toners. I've never had good results snatch developing VC papers, incl MGWT, in the sense that I once did with premium graded papers.
     
  14. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Should have followed that up by noting how image warmth is affected by the actual aging/oxidation of
    the glycin itself. My habit is to keep a fresh unopened bottle of glycin power in the freezer, with another
    bottle gradually ripening through gradual use - then pick out the particular negs which might best match
    that stage of glycin stain.
     
  15. AndreasT

    AndreasT Member

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    I may be wrong in this but I think it was our very own PE who wrote here somewhere that because of the high KBr content Ansco 130 last long because new Bromide created during development is relatively seen little to affect or change the developer.
     
  16. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Andrew, I was wondering, actually, if dropping this considerable amount of KBr would impact 130's legendary powers and longevity. If you, or Michael, or anyone else have data about the BTA 130 and its longevity, I'd love know. I suppose there is an amount of KBr that should stay there even with BTA added.

    Drew, thanks for stressing the importance of toning. I'm planning to stick with Se, as I like the gentle plum shade, and it fits my workflow with this paper, but I may experiment with gold again, though it was too blue for my liking when I used it with MGIV, must try with MGWT. I had no idea that aged glycin will impact on tone. Mine is frozen and happily seems fresh, light tan, when I mix it.
     
  17. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    An old technique was to use 1 g of KBr in the stock solution and then adjust the tone (and possibly the fog level) by adding 10 percent KBr solution. BZT is well known for its cooling effect in Ansco 130, and it also restrains fog. You can use both if you like. and 1 g KBr plus BZT to taste seems like a reasonable approach.
     
  18. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I prefer the Ansel version of 130 (which omits the Hydroquinone) and I use Benzotriozole instead of the KBr. Give that a try. It sounds like it is what you are looking for.
     
  19. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    AndreasT: Yes the high level of bromide is said to be a key factor in the stability of 130 over its working life (including print colour).

    Rafal: I went around in circles on this for a long time. In the end I went back to my standard MGIV/Dektol/Selenium workflow for neutral tones, which I admit was what I expected to happen, rather than working against a warm toned paper to achieve a neutral tone. I tried all sorts of things with 130 and some other developers, with Selenium toning, contacted wedges and even did colour densitometry with the results. In the end I always come back to Dektol. I still have some SE6 I will try at some point. But I doubt it will do anything special. I didn't find Ansco 130 gave me better results than Dektol - in fact in most cases there was no difference within the margins of experimental error. So why would I bother scratch-mixing and having to worry about the Glycin they ship me?

    One avenue I'd like to look into is using a warm-tone developer to shift MGIV to warm-neutral. I think that might be of more value to me.

    If you are interested in cooling MGWT, you might want to look up Brian Steinberger's APUG thread on this. Ultimately he got what he was looking for using Moersch SE7 (I think it's 7) with MGWT and Selenium. The tone was what I'd call "steely". He posted some test prints of wedges in the thread.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2013
  20. AndreasT

    AndreasT Member

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    I am willing to mix my own Ansco 130 in the near future. What I was wondering about since it is supposed to last a long time is it feasible to mix a working solution and have a replenisher solution with less Bromide to top up the working solution and keep its properties. At least more or less.
     
  21. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Can't help you there, Andreas. I'm a "one-shot" guy regardless of the chemistry I'm using. I discard working solutions after a darkroom session.
     
  22. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Oh dear—I was hoping you had a more positive experience. I am not too willing to go back to MGIV for everything I do, due to the optical brighteners just making the highlights too blue in UV-richer lighting, for my liking. So, perhaps, I am not looking for something that is as cold, and maybe the cooling down of MGWT will work for me. I have studied Brian Steinberger's and Evan Clarke's posts carefully, and I noticed their Moersch SE6 results. I wonder if that developer uses one of the lesser-known restrainers that Ryuji wrote about.

    You also touch on another important issue, that is if sticking with 130 makes sense, considering you feel you did not get better results than with Dektol. I greatly respect your critical thinking and your clear ability to focus on the facts and not only on the feelings. When I switched to 130, from Dektol, 4 years ago, it did give me better results, with MGIV, which was my main paper at the time. I found the tone was more neutral, less greenish, before Se, and I found it richer, and more pleasant to my eye, after Se. Also, I found it easier to achieve desired contrast with 130 than with Dektol, my prints got a sparkle, however this could have been due to anything else that I changed in my process at that time. Since then, I used 130 exclusively, not going back to Dektol, as I also liked the keeping properties of stock and working solutions (can't be one-shot where I am due to chemical waste restrictions). Now you are making me think that I should try Dektol again, as perhaps I've learned enough to print better since those days, and maybe 130 is no longer as necessary for me as it was then. On the other hand, I'd rather tweak it to cool it, than to change it altogether, so as not to introduce too much change at this point. Decisions...
     
  23. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Well, I'm only one guy reporting my own results. I'm not suggesting anything, so don't change anything you're doing based on what I wrote. My conclusion was simply that no variations on 130 had a significant enough cooling effect on MGWT to render it neutral. As an aside, it also annoyed me there were inconsistencies between the various 130 kits I got from Formulary. Sometimes I'd mix it and the stock solution was clear, a few times I mixed it and it went to a pronounced brown colour during mixing. Whether or not this affected performance is unclear, but I don't like uncertainty and variations beyond my control.

    I'm sure there are many people out there who would argue 130 is better/different than Dektol (although most of them would have no objective data, evidence etc :smile: ) and it of course depends on the paper. My workflow has always included weak Selenium toning (with all the neutral papers I've used over the years), so I always measured print colour, d-max etc after toning.

    One important correction to my previous post: SE6 (blue-black) is the developer Brian tested on MGWT, and SE3 ("cold") is the one I have which I have not yet tried on any warm papers. In my previous post I wrote that SE7 was the blue-black developer and SE6 was the "cold" developer. Sorry for the confusion.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2013
  24. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Thanks, Michael, I find your explanation very helpful. Did you find that the effect was noticeable, at all, and was it pleasant? I suppose I will have to try something, to put this one to bed, so I am wondering how to set my expectations. Do you remember what proportion of KBr/BTA in 130 made the most difference, to you, in terms of the tone cooling/neutralising effect?

    My experience of mixing PF130 is that I always get a coloured stock solution, of a light orange hue. I no longer mix it from kits, but from individual ingredients, using PF glycin. Colour of the liquid is still consistent, and so seems its performance, but I will keep my eye on that, too.

    I should have also added, earlier, that I like the surface of MGWT very much, and I find it easier to dry mount—in addition to my preference for the lower/lack of UV-activated brighteners. It has a nice tonality, although I am happy with MGIV for that, too. It just needs a slightly different printing approach.