Anyone know where to find RELIABLE Crawley FX formulas?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by steven_e007, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Is there a place where we can find genuine reliable formulas for Geoffrey Crawley's FX series?

    The reason why I ask is that I went looking for FX-15 following on from an earlier thread. Googling for the formula is easy and gives plenty of hits...

    So far I have found three different formulas :confused:

    They all have the same ingredients - but have different values for Phenidone and Sulphite. They all make up to 1 ltr - so it isn't a proportions issue. It could be an anydrous / crystal difference with the Sulphite, but the formulas don't say which to use, which isn't helpful - but I can't see any justification for different values of phenidone?

    I think it is just that at least 2 of the three must be wrong - possibly all three! :rolleyes:

    Does anyone know of a source of reliable data?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Crawley published them all in the British Journal of Photography in 1960/1, and repeated them in the PJP Almanac/Annuals until recently, a few are more recent like FX37.

    The Formula for Acutol-S FX-15 was only published after it was dropped from production by Paterson, but I've seen more than one version, Crawley did modify some of his formulae over the years.

    FX15 Acutol S


    Metol 3.5g
    Sodium Sulphite (anhyd) 100g
    Phenidone 0.1g
    Hydroquinone 2.25g
    Sodium Metabisulphite 0.5g
    Borax 2.5g
    Sodium Carbonate (anhyd) 1g
    Potassium Bromide 1.5g
    Water to 1 litre

    Hope that helps

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2009
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Is that the order to mix (I assume start with 750cc water), Ian? If so I'l put it on CiM.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It would be the order I'd mix it.

    Ian
     
  5. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Thank you, Ian.
     
  6. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    A good (?) source for these might be Anchell & Troop's "Film Developing Cookbook."
     
  7. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    FX-15 there matches Ian's posting with one common substitution:

    0.5 g of Sodium Bisulfite rather than 0.5 g Sodium Metabisulfite

    Lee
     
  8. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    According to the latest information from 1932, it would be better to dissolve the Metol first in a small amount of plain water. Metol is acid enough in this solution to prevent its own oxidation. If you add sulfite before adding the hydroquinone, any oxidized Metol will be converted to a less active sulfonate form. If the hydroquinone along with a small amount of the sulfite is added before the bulk of the sulfite, the oxidized Metol is regenerated. This advice comes from 2 redoubtable Kodak warriors, Hardy and Perrin, in their text book "Principles of Optics." It was applied there to D-76, but should apply to any MQ developer. If for some reason you would like to substitute sodium ascorbate for hydroquinone, it may be added directly to the Metol solution, as the ascorbate regenerates oxidized Metol without sulfite.
     
  9. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Pat - Hardy and Perrin aside, a pinch of sulfite, added before the metol is added to the solution, will consume the small amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. (Cool water will have only about 8-10 mg/L of dissolved oxygen.) Since there is very little oxygen left in the water after the sulfite dissolves, there will be nothing there to oxidize the metol.

    So which approach is better?
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The pinch of sulphite first does help the metol to dissolve, but then with a commercially packaged developer like D76 everything is already mixed together before you dissolve them. So it's not essential.

    Ian
     
  11. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    The oxidation to be concerned about here is that which may have been present at the start. It is not the oxidation that might occur in solution. Granted, it might be quite small in today's product, but who knows? It is the fact (not mine, but what I read in The Theory of the Photographic Process) that whatever amount of Metol may already have oxidized before starting the preparation may be fixed as the sulfonate that I have assumed was the reason for the recommendation by Hardy & Perrin for that deviation from the usual practice of a pinch of sulfite added with the Metol. It's not really much of an inconvenience. It may be that the Q will later revive even the sulfonate. I'm just guessing that it does not . I measured the pH of the solution of Metol in water to be about 5. I will measure it again with the pinch of sulfite. I just thought it a curiosity that Hardy & Perrin used that order of mixing without explaining why, as if everyone else already should know.
     
  12. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    PS. A small pinch of sodium ascorbate would be even better, as it restores oxidized Metol to its original form without forming the sulfonate, according to what I have read. Anyway, it might be worth considering if the Metol is very old.
     
  13. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Good idea! Thanks for the suggestion.

    just to make sure I understand correctly, you're suggesting the following order (e.g. for D76)...
    1) a pinch of ascorbate (would Ascorbic acid from the health food store also work?)
    2) the metol
    3) the Hydroquinone (?)
    4) sulfite (or, Borax...or does it even matter at this point?)
    5) borax
     
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  14. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    One hundred grams of sodium sulfite. One half gram of
    either of the two above. Must be a misprint. Dan
     
  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No it's correct. Sodium Metabisulphite is often used in small quantities in developer formulae. In theory if you use bisulphite instead you should add slightly more as it's not quite the same. I found a Kodak research article recently in a BJP Almanac (late 40's/early 50's) that compared the two and gave the suggested equivalents, the book's in the UK but I may have scanned the article. The difference is generally around 3-4% more Bisulphite is need compared to Metabisulphite.

    I have 6 other film developers in my database using 0.13 up to 1 gram per litre of film developer, these are Ilford, Crawley and Agfa Ansco developers, (4 are 0.5g or less).

    The importance of the metabisuphite is the free SO2 it gives off, it's often used to stabilise commercial powdered developer - used in Part A with the developing agents.

    Ian
     
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  16. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    1/2 level teaspoon of ascorbic acid + 1/4 tsp baking soda in a little water. Let the effervescence subside. Add this to the Metol solution. You probably dont need all the ascorbate, but I doubt it will make a noticable difference.

    In fact, if you run out of hydroquinone, you can try this: multiply the required amount of hydroquinone by 1.6 to find the amount of ascorbic acid. Multiply that amount to get the required amount of baking soda. Mix these amounts in water , Use a big container,but not any more than half the water you're going to use to make the developer. It's going to fizz a lot. When it quits fizzing, dissolve the Metol, then anything else that needs to go in and enough water to bring the volume up to total. You can try this sometime when you have time to play. It will substitute about the same number of molecules of sodium ascorbate for the hydroquinone.
     
  17. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    BIG BOO BOO!
    Multiply the calculated amount of ascorbic acid BY 0.48 to get the amount of baking soda. By baking soda I mean, of course, sodium bicarbonate like you take for bellyaches such as I sometimes give people.
     
  18. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I have not found any difficulty in dissolving 2 grams of Metol in 100 ml water at room temperature. If my explanation of the mixing instructions given in Hardy & Perrin is not the right one, what is? They gave none in that book, but may have in another publication.

    Maybe Metol available in the 30's did have a possible oxidized component. Oxidized Metol is a development inhibitor. Sulfite converts it to the sulfonate, which at least is a weaker developing agent. Hydroquinone + sulfite regenerates oxidized Metol, as does an ascorbate. If their method is no longer needed, it still might do some good and no harm. There is no appreciable increase in time required for preparation.
     
  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    SO2, sulfur dioxide, a gas. A bisulfite when moist, as it may
    become with powdered commercial developers, acts like any
    sulfite to preserve. Why the BIsulfite is still a mystery. Free
    sulfur dioxide, sulfite or bisulfite, is unlikely because it
    would take quite an acidic environment to cause it's
    release. Over acidic stop baths can cause it's
    release. Dan
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Metabisulphite is used to control the pH, the SO2 forms sulphurous acid in solution, in combination with Sulphite it also has a buffering effect.

    The Sulphite/Metabisulphite buffer range is between pH 8 and pH 6.5, becoming more acidic as the proportion of Metabisulphite is increased, this is compared to the Borax/Boric Acid buffer range of pH 9.2 to pH 8.

    As a preservative Metabisulphite is many times more effective than Sulphite., which is why it's used in the food trade and wine making.

    Ian
     
  21. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    So you're saying that Crawley and the chemists at Agfa, Kodak & Ilford etc don't know what they are doing when they put such small quantities of Metabisulphite etc in a developer :D

    Paterson/Crawley put less in one of their other developers, sometimes small quantities have disproportionally beneficial effects.

    Acutol-S / FX-15 isn't a normal fine grain film developer, it was formulated specifically to give high acutance which it gives at the expense of a slight increase in grain and loss of tonality. It's no co-incidence that the other developers using these small quantities all give additional acutance.

    Take the Metabisulphite & the Carbonate out and you'll have a developer with quite different attributes.

    Ian
     
  23. KennyE

    KennyE Member

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    Crawley's FX series formula FX-26 universal developer

    I am new to your forum. I have not truly posted yet because I am writing and putting together a research paper for this forum, as part of my first post and coming aboard arrival.

    Yet I have run into a small problem and I require some assistance after weeks and months of research. I need and require the formulas for Crawley's/Paterson's FX-26 Universal developer and Johnsons of Hendon Universol Developer.

    If anyone can assist me, it would aid me in completing this research paper by Mothers Day, May 12, 2013. And I will post it online in both .doc and pdf formats. Allowing others to add, edit, and post their own information to it. It is truly a remarkable research paper. I just require a little amount of assistance.

    I truly believe that somewhere out there, some one has the information that I desire, and can add their valuable infor to the research paper. It is my belief that once this research paper is posted. Hundreds of thousands of people will download it, add to it, and keep it growing, until it will develop into one of the most sought after pieces of document the world have ever known. And all of you, can be a part of it.

    Thank You

    KennyE
     
  24. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Most commercial developers are jealously guarded trade secrets. You are not going to find the actual formulas published. What you may find is what one person thinks the formula might be.
     
  25. KennyE

    KennyE Member

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    Yes..., that is a true statement. But I do need something to start with. I deeply feel and believe that someone knows or have those formulas that I seek.

    I sit here and I think back to 1999, remembering the times as we moved closer towards Y2K, hoping for change towards a better world. And all I got was September 11, 2001.

    What I have learned from that time is that only we the "people" can make that better world. One thing at a time, one improvement a day or week, or month.

    We as humans, left so much of our knowledge behind, from the last century. Not mention the other centuries before that. We go through life thinking the other guy will take care of it.

    Well, I am that other guy. I am tired of leaving our hard earn knowledge behind, allowing it to go waste. I am tired of saying "do you remember when", " do you remember that or this". We need a place to go to, to replenish our knowledge, thoughts, and dreams.

    No one on this planet owns anything. We are all borrowers. Because when God calls for our attention. We must go. And all those things we claim to own. Does not leave with us. We own only one thing. Our knowledge. Because when we pass, that is the only thing that we take with us. Our souls.

    I want to leave things behind for those that come after us. So that they see and draw knowledge from the past and maybe incorporate it for use in their future.

    We as a people, can not allow this information to die. For I remember the great and powerful automotive companies of the past, Tucker, Rambler, Hudson, Packard, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Saturn, Pontiac. All their technical knowledge is nearly lost. Only a select few has access to it. But when they die, then what.

    Will their heirs safe guard it or merely trash it, as so many others have done.

    Yes, I am a romantic, but I want the stream of knowledge to flow to the masses..., forever.

    So I say to you all..., stop the B.S., get me the information; so that I can share it with the world.

    It is out there. Please release it.

    KennyE