D23 with a little less Metol

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by michael_r, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I guess I'll have to try it and see for myself, but I'm wondering if anyone has tried D-23 with say 5g Metol instead of 7.5g.

    It is sometimes used with 5g as the A bath in a divided setup. But I'm more interested in a strange reference to Henn's Microdol research in Anchell/Troop - apparently while working on Microdol it was found 5g Metol in D-23 produced the same results as 7.5g. I'm not sure why this would be the case. Presumably there would be a difference in contrast for given developing time. Perhaps with less Metol there might be a slight increase in sharpness, particularly when diluted. Or maybe not. Maybe the extra 2.5g is superfluous.
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Anchell or Anchell/Troop say somewhere in their books that less metol does work. It may work for a single solution like D-23, but I found that i needed the extra metol of the two-bath.
     
  3. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Most people use the time/temperature method of development rather than total development.

    Using less metol, the only developing agent in D-23, for the same amount of time will cause less development in the highlights. If you use D-23 to develop to completion, as I often do, it will take longer.

    In the given example it is the same as if the developer is diluted 1 + 1 1/3 approximately.
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    The metol is actually slightly acidic in solution so, using less may have the effect of raising the pH of the solution and thus, DECREASE development times and increase contrast.

    I have used 5 grams of metol with about 80 grams of sodium sulfite and called it "D-23" for years. It works fine and, indeed, gives slightly more contrast.
     
  5. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    There seem to be a number of variations on the D-23 theme that work well, as long as you calibrate your picture taking and development procedures for them. Within limits, the metol concentration more or less controls activity and the sulfite concentration the grain (and, to some extent, activity). D-23 is often diluted 1 + 3 to get better acutance, but the Windisch metol-sulfite formula (2.5 g metol, 25 g sulfite, 1 l water) may be even better in this regard.
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Indeed, I've always liked D-23 1+3 with sheet film. Actually, D-76 1+3 also.
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There are indeed other formulas that contain less metol. Some increase the pH with a bit of borax to account for the loss in activity.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  9. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    It's interesting that Kodak did not evolve these formulas into what would have essentially been D76H by simply increasing the Borax, but instead Capstaff went with Hydroquinone.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Kodak did evolve D76 to D76h which contains metol & Hydroquinone with additional buffering but it's not the same as H76 (D76H which is NOT a Kodak formula) and is basically the original Eastman Kodak Research Fine Gran Developer 1927.

    Ian
     
  11. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Sorry about that. I was referring to Haist's version of D76.
     
  12. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I too have always wondered about the decision to use Hydroquinone. Although it has some appealing chemical properties and the molecule itself is quite beautiful, I think the choice may have been driven by cost considerations but that is pure speculation.
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Metol and hydroquinone form a superadditive pair but in a low pH developers its main function is to regenerate the metol. This can be seen in Haist's D-76H where the developer works like regular D-76 but without the hydroquinone has a lower capacity.
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Haist was most likely referring to the 1927 Kodak Fine Grain formula as he knewq Kodak had a Metol only developer similar to D76.

    Ian