Developer incorporated paper and Fixer question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MikeS, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    Hi All.

    I have several different Kodak RC papers that are 'developer incorporated', as well as other paper that's not. Just for the heck of it, I figured the paper that has developer in it should develop some form of an image with just an alkaline solution, so I mixed 1.5 teaspoons of sodium hydroxide and 1.5 teaspoons of baking soda into 8oz of water. Once it cooled I exposed a sheet of Polycontrast IIIRC and then put it into the 'developer' expecting a fairly weak image to appear after a minute or so. Wow was I surprised, within 3 seconds a fully developed image appeared on the paper, and leaving it in the alkaline solution longer didn't seem to do anything more for it. I tried making a few more, and they all came out really nice, in fact nicer than the same images I had made earlier on the same paper using a more traditional paper developer (Fuji Korrectol)!

    So my question is this: If all you need to very rapidly develop an image is an alkaline solution with these papers, why bother using a more traditional paper developer?

    The speed that the image came up fully developed has sparked a thought, I have an old stabilization processor here, and as close as I can tell, it puts the paper in either solution (they're designed for Activator, and Stabilizer, so only 2 chemicals) for about 8 seconds, which should be more than enough time for the alkaline solution to develop the image, but what about fixing? Is there any fixer than can completely fix RC paper in 8 seconds? I've been using Kodak C41 fixer mixed 1:4 (one part concentrate, 4 parts water) for both film, and paper, and I usually add some ammonia into it as suggested by Rowland Mowry (sp?) on photo.net as an alkaline fixer, if I mixed it 1:1 instead, would it be able to fix the paper quick enough? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

    -Mike
     
  2. edz

    edz Member

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    You just "discovered" the magic of Tetenal Eukoton--- its 2-5% Potassium Hydroxide. Works great with suitable papers and they are completely developed out in--- as you discovered--- 3 seconds.

    Traditional developers are much milder (so in some ways less problematic to use) and allow for more control but ... Good papers for this magic process were also Agfa's Brovira Speed RC paper. (you have also discovered why it does not really matter what developer you are using with these papers and why developer capacity does not have that much meaning).

    Use a good intermediate wash (or two) and fix in a super-fixer and you can almost literally have "Instant" photographs.. A friend even built a little vertical slot processor for 9x13cm paper ..
     
  3. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    The stabilizer process isn't intended to provide an archival image, but rather a very rapid dry-to-dry access time for things like test prints. As such, it doesn't fix at all; the stabilizer is nothing more than an acid stop that neutralizes the activator and stops development so the print won't instantly turn black when exposed to daylight. It will still print out -- but it takes the usual period of hours to days.

    Rowland Mowrey was working on a super-fixer not long ago that should allow fixing paper in a lot less than a minute -- ordinary rapid fixer fixes RC paper in about one minute, as I recall. You could make something similar by adding certain chemicals to common rapid fixer (though some of the chemicals, like potassium cyanide, aren't compatible with an acidic environment). This super-fixer, however, would have to be applied after the print comes out of the stabilizer -- or else the (alkaline) fixer would need to replace the stabilizer in the processor you have.

    For that matter, you could pretty easily monosoup those papers in a strongly alkaline fixer; possibly a rapid fixer alkalized with sodium carbonate or sodium phosphate would give the rapid action you want without releasing too much ammonia into the air.
     
  4. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    The second bath used in stabilization processing cannot be a simple stop bath for prints so treated would still darken on exposure to light. The process instead uses a solution of ammonium or sodium thiosulfate. Any undeveloped silver halide in the print is converted to thiosulfate complexes which are no longer sensitive to light. While this process is not archival, the prints are reasonably stable and can always fixed and washed at a later time.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Mike

    20+ years ago I had an old Ilfoprint processor, given to me. It was generally not known that Ilfospeed would happily process in the machine. I did buy Activator and Stabilizer but quickly made my own activator using Sodium Hydroxide soln with a small addition of Potassium Bromide & Sodium Sulphite, this prevented highlight fogging. I used Ilford Hypam at 1:4 in place of Stabilizer and gave the prints a qick soak in normal strenght Hypam before washing.

    The whole thing worked brilliantly until Ilford reformulated their papers using different developer incorpration.

    Ian
     
  6. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Sorry I wrote thiosulfate in my previous port when I meant thiocyanate.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Gerald

    Stabilisers use Thiocyanates, any Thiosulphates left in an unwashed print would rapidly cause the image to deteriorate certainly in only a few hours.

    Ian
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's interesting. So what if you put one of these papers straight into a tray of TF-4?

    I believe Ilford stopped incorporating developer in their RC papers one or two generations back. Which papers out there are still developer incorporated?
     
  9. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Had you bothered to read my second post you would have seen that I corrected myself. Trying to do too many things at lunch time.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Apologies Gerald but you hadn't actually made the post when I was writing out the correction, I was interrupted by a phone call and as soon as I hit Post Quick Reply I saw you'd already corrected yourself.

    Ian
     
  11. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Sorry on my part too. I should have realized that there might be a time disconnect in posting.
     
  12. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    Donald:

    I have the stabilization processor, but not the 'proper' stabilization chemicals/paper. Years ago I had a Spiratone stabilization processor that I actually used with activator and stabilizer, and the proper paper, etc. but I got this machine a while back with the idea of trying to slow it down enough to use as a roller processor, but when I saw how fast it was I shelved the project. (I didn't recall from years ago just how fast these machines run) But after seeing how fast a sodium hydroxide solution will develop a paper with developer incorporated into it, it got me wondering about using the machine.

    I guess I should ask, what is a good test to see if a print is fixed enough? I of course could just use a strong fix in the machine as the 'stabilizer', and then refix in a tray when they come out, but it would be cool if I could have the machine do all the fixing too, so all that I would have to do would be to wash the print, and dry it.

    And of course I'm playing with this idea right after the one company who's paper I know is developer incorporated has announced that they're discontinuing their paper! :sad:

    -Mike
     
  13. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Most RC papers have incorporated developing agents because they are intented for machine processing. By incorporating the developing agents the developer in these processors will not exhaust as rapidly.

    Stabilization processors do not afford much time in either bath therefore using a conventional fixer in them will not work. However, you can still use them with an ammonium thiocyanate bath. You could then save up several batches of prints and fix and wash them all at one time at your convenience.

    The Dignan Newsletter may have published some formulas for the two baths.
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Haist mentions a few very rapid fixers. Here's one designed to fix microfilm in 10 sec. at 80 deg. F. He notes that since there is no hardener in this one, wash times are also reduced--

    Sodium thiosulfate (crystal)--280 g
    Ammonium thiocyanate--140 g
    Potassium sulfite--80 g
    Water to make 1 liter
     
  15. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    I used a Kodak stabilzation processor for many years, I used kodak papers and Agfa/Gevaert both could be made perminent with Kodak Rapid fix. We used the prints for halftones and other printing. I have literally hundreds of stabilized prints not run through the Rapid fix that have not faded in twenty years or so. I also have a number of prints that did go through the fix bath and apear just as bright and snappy as the day they were made.( 20 years or so.)

    It is a myth that stabilization prints cannot be made perminent perhaps not archivally, but twenty or more years print life for a quickie process aint shabby.
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    One-tray, one-shot, one-solution processing. Not that the
    thought has not crossed my mind but you've renewed my
    curiosity. I'd be more inclined to use the sodium form.
    I'd expect some lose of paper speed. Dan
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Back around 1978 I did quite a bit of research into using Monobath's for B&W paper processing, and came up with a very practical and effective formulation.

    The company contemplated selling the Monobath commercially but in fact it was part of a longer term project and we took it no further.

    Ian

     
  18. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Bear in mind that the stabilization process was based on the use of FB paper. The rapid processing of RC paper is possible of course, but the stabilizer must be absorbed into the base in order to be effective for any usable length of time. This means that a true fixer should be used with RC paper.

    It is also possible to make a developer concentrated enough to develop a paper that has no developer incorporated in the first part of the machine. Another possibility is to use the machine only for development by using a divided developer with a strong activator in the second tank. The output could simply go into a tray of fixer, or if you can find another roller processor you could arrange to have the paper fed directly into the second one for fixing.
     
  19. lee

    lee Member

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    we use to place the processor on a stand and place the fixer tray underneath and just let the paper drop into the fix they wash and dry as usual . this was a long time ago when RC did not exist. Have not seen paper in eons.

    lee\c
     
  20. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    The sodium form of fixer wouldn't smell, but with images appearing in a few seconds with the strong alkali, there's no reason you'd expect to see speed loss even with the ammonium fixer; the image will be developed to completion before appreciable fixing takes place. I'd try something along the lines of 2% sodium hydroxide solution plus around 80 g/L sodium thiosulfate and leave the paper in for the normal fixing time -- or use the 2% sodium hydroxide to dilute rapid fixer concentrate, but I think that would wind up with too much ammonia evolving for use in most darkrooms. Either one should be reusable up to the fixer capacity, since there's nothing to neutralize the alkali and you get fresh developer with each sheet. I wouldn't keep them from session to session, though, due to developer contamination of the bath.

    Oh, yeah, and leaving the paper alkaline will speed washing, too...
     
  21. DKT

    DKT Member

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    The reason why Kodak papers had dev-inc. in them was not for the Ektamatic Processors--the original activator/stabilizers rapid processors. Those machines were pretty simple, and ran very fast--like 15 seconds--required no running water etc. They used that Ektamatic SC paper--a single weight paper, so like th epost above explains--they absorbed the chemistry, and came out slightly sticky, they'd later dry and be sorta waxy...


    That was the Ektamatic machine--the *other* kodak activator processor had a much longer run in terms of usage. It was the Royalprint 417. They made this machine for at least 15-20 years and supported them up until about 5-6 yrs ago. It was a big floor model machine, configured sorta like an ektamatic (but bigger) up front--followed off with tanks for rapid fix, wash and a dryer. The neat thing about the Royalprint though, was the preview. The preview was a gate that could be raised or lowered before the fixer. If it was set right, the prints woluld come up out of the machine in the middle--after about 15 seconds. Most labs (including one near where I work) had a small inspection light on a snooted tube aimed down at this point, with a footswitch. In a gang darkroom, you ran your print through, did a quick check and then flipped the paper over and ran it back through the rest of the process.

    The Roylaprint could only use dev-incorp papers. They used Polycontrast mainly, although you could use MG III Rapid, or the other one--the faster version, which oddly enough, I think Ilford still makes. I thought gthis was gone, but that recent announcement of Kodak--Ilford compatibility lists this paper for the machine processing....

    So that's the Royalprint--I think this is probably the real reason why Kodak stuck with the dev-inc papers. They had another machine towards the end, the Dektomatic, but it was a different type of processor. They didn't have near the widespread usage as the Royalprint though. Our lab, like a few more in the system, went with an Ilford machine (for better or worse, pick a day, could be one or the other).

    The Ilford machines ran at higher temps (95) and faster. They used a pretty standard dev & fix and require no dev-incorporation. We run MG IV alongside Polycontrast and there's virtually no difference. They process in the dev in about 15-20 seconds. The fix is about the same, and is follwed by a quick wash and dryer--runs in 60 seconds dry to dry. The prints last pretty well, if the chemistry is fresh and the wash tank is fresh.

    The lab with the Royalprint just got a new machine--a Colex, basically an RA4 machine with a footprint the same as the Royalprint. It's slower though, but uses a more standard chemistry--they use polymax RT now. This would be almost identical to Ilford's old 2000RT. So, now they can use Ilford paper if they wish to do so--before, they were locked into Kodak. This Colex though, apparently is the same model used in one of the smithsonian labs as well. They were pretty much designed to install where a royalprint was....

    when Kodak discontinuted their papers--that was the nail in the coffin for the royalprint. probably not that many are in use anymore, but if anyone wants one....check out state surplus in few months. fwiw--I used the ektamatics and the royalprint as well in newspaper darkrooms for years.
     
  22. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Does that sentence make sense? "reusable" and "fresh
    developer with each sheet"?

    I'd use the monobath paper developer one-shot. For
    starters I'd try an Ansco/Beer's A mix used less dilute
    and hope the very dilute fix I use is not to fast. Dan
     
  23. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    That last paragraph should have read, Ansco 120/Beer's A.
    The two are the same save for recommended dilution.
    The both are very similar to FX-1 and Beutler's
    film developers. They are all of metol, sulfite, carbonate,
    composition and are with or without a bit of bromide.

    Add Beer's B for VC results from Graded papers.
    B requires hydroquinone. Good VC results in a well lit
    graded paper darkroom. Dan
     
  24. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Well, I was referring to a simple strongly alkaline fixer as a monobath for DI paper. In that situation, the "fresh developer with each sheet" is that in the paper from the factory, which accounts for the appearance of the image in a few seconds in an alkali solution (like 2% sodium hydroxide). And the "monobath", in this situation, is really just fixer and there's no reason not to reuse it, at least within a session. Given reports of full development in a few seconds, I wouldn't think fixer being too fast would be a big issue.

    After all, this thread was originally about very rapid development of DI papers in connection with stabilizer processors, not about mixing conventional developers with fixer.