Developer Incorporated Paper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Rlibersky, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    I was going through my collection of “Darkroom & Creative Camera Techniques” when I came across a question in the Photo Chemistry section. See Attached PDF.

    A couple of questions (based on Robert Chapman’s response)

    1. Were developer incorporated papers made for the press and speed of processing?
    2. Has anyone tried putting the paper in alkaline solution? What were the results?
    3. Can they be washed out of the paper if presoaked? For how long?
    4. Are there papers today that have a developer incorporated?
    5. Why would papers need to have the developer incorporated today?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    I used some Agfa stabilization materials around 1980 so will try to give you some answers.
    1. they were primarily used for speed and convenience where a long lasting image was not required as in art prep for printing.
    2. The activator solution was very alkaline; as in finger dissolving. ;<) I could take a sheet of film and pass it through the solution and into stop bath without pause and it would have a Dmax of 4+.
    3. I see no point in doing this as the material should develop in regular chemistry. Also any paper or film would be quite old. You would also wash out the citric acid or whatever was used to prevent autodevelopment.
    4. AFAIK this is not being made today. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Many modern papers contain incorporated developers. They are easily tested for activity and level by fogging the paper and adding a drop of strong alkali. Low levels or weak developers in the paper will allow it to brown or darken quickly, and high levels cause immediate heavy blackening. No incorporated developer leaves the paper a normal white or sometimes light buff colored.

    These incorporated developers were not just present in some papers, they were used in general practice to give faster development times or to cause certain development effects.

    PE
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have a pile of Kodabrome II RC that is developer incorporated, works wonderfully. I use Dektol 1+2 and 90 secs dev time its useful time as per kodak is 90-120 sec to full dev.

    Rick
     
  5. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    Would it be useful to wash out the developer?
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Very few current papers (I don't know of any) are developer incorporated, Ilford stopped producing the developer incorporated versions of Ilfospeed/Multigrade quite a few years ago, and we all know Kodak stopped theirs too :D

    It was an hidden fact that the early Ilfospeed papers could be processed using the Ilfoprint Activator/Stabiliser machines and I used one for a few years, I mixed up an Activator from scratch NaOH, some sulphite and KBr, and used Hypam instead of stabiliser. The sulphite & KBr were needed to prevent base foggingg in the activator.

    The reasons for Developer incorporation were to improve speed of processing and allow very short development times, but with almost no large scale B&W print processing left there's no need.

    There were disadvantages because you couldn't use processing techniques like soft working or contrast developers to to vary print contrast on the fixed grade papers.

    Ian
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    In spite of their words to the contrary, Ilford MGIV paper tests medium positive for incorporated developing agent(s). It is not useful to wash a developing agent out as other useful chemistry might go as well.

    PE
     
  8. zumbido

    zumbido Member

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    Is it possible that they aren't specifically incorporating developing agents, but that some of the other chemistry happens to carry a medium (or weak, or whatever) development effect? Not that it matters, I'm just curious.
     
  9. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    PE & zumbido have beaten me to the send button... :wink: (see below for clarification)

    Ian, could you describe this "base fogging"... Did the reverse side brown?

    It sounds like what Ian and Robert describe are better called Stabilization Papers...
    PE noted before that one Ilford paper "passed" his "ID or Not" test... to which Simon of Harman clearly stated no Ilford (Harman) paper had ID... PE described his test, some thought too strong a pH was being used and the topic died down... there was never any clear resolution as far as I remember, other than a hint that something other than ID might be responsable....

    I am curious to hear about Ian's base fogging in this context, but in any case, for actual use to get development without a tradtional "developing solution", I don't see why a pH any higher than that of a normal developer should be needed in ID testing... unless the agent incorporated, had a poor developing potential, which might have a certain usefulness....

    Another disadvantage might have been the stability of such papers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2010
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Very likely, Ilford have stated very clearly that MGIV isn't developer incorporated. It cn't be processed in an Activator solution.

    For high speed processing Activators use Hydroxide and a high pH, typically developing in a few seconds, I think my Ilford machine took under 15 seconds seconds to process a print, about 3-5 in the activator

    The fogging came from having no restrainer or a sulphite and was a base gray chemical fogging, commercial activators contain Sulphite & usually bromide, but my first test were with plain NaOH.

    But for normal tray use then a lower pH is of course fine.

    Ian
     
  11. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Perhaps the mere presence of a developing agent does not make a paper "developer" incorporated;
    Developing agents are not rare, and if those present can't actually be used for processing, then they are not there to function as "developers" and there is thus no ID.

    Logically illogical?
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If a developing agent is in an emulsion then it just need the other ingredients of a developer to function, and NaOH is sufficient.

    Sodium Sulphite is a very weak developing agent so where do we draw a line, an adjunct to aid faster processing may show a weak developing effect but not be considered a developer in normal circumstances

    Ian
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    A developing agent is a discriminating reducing agent. Thus HQ and Metol are developing agents and reducing agents. Stannous Chloride is a reducing agent but is non-discriminating and thus is a fogging agent but not a developing agent. Sodium Sulfide is a strong reducing agent and non-discriminating. It can act as a non-discriminating developer, a fogging agent or a reducing agent.

    The Ilford paper contains an agent which will develop the Silver Halide when presented with an activator solution. Now, make of that what you wish, a reducing agent is present which will develop a brownish black image in alkali in the samples I tested. If it caused fog, then under normal conditions, the paper would fog.

    It may be there as a preservative for all I know, but it meets my criteria. That is all I can say. I would not suggest using it in an activator due to the poor image quality. So, whatever it is, it is rather weak.

    PE
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2010
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  15. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Yes, I agree.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  17. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Uht-Oh... I'm confused! :surprised:
    Was this a typo?

    Stannous Chloride is
    a non-discriminating reducing agent
    and thus not a developing agent.

    Silver Sulfide is
    a non-discriminating reducing agent
    and [thus a] non-discriminating developer.


    A non-discriminating developer = not being a developer, as does all non reducers, correct?
     
  18. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    Thanks for the information.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

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    Ray;

    That should read Sodium Sulfide.

    Sorry. It is used in reversal B&W processes to act as the second developing step after the bleach.

    PE
     
  20. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I agree with this. There are a lot of threads on APUG insisting that MGIV does not have incorporated developer and that might be true but there are acceleration agents or something. Last night I played for quite a while with some cut up pieces of lumen prints on MGIV and they develop a dark grey very quicky when dipped in 2oz water + 1/2 tsp sodium carbonate. I can't get to full black and the development appears to exhaust fairly quickly: after the initial 15 seconds or so, no further development happens in "washing soda water".

    This makes me wonder how much of the paper development with caffenol I've read about is just from alkaline solution and how much is from the homemade developer or coffee part.

    I was trying to produce an extremely slow working developer for paper, and thought an old unwanted lumen print would make a good test subject. Pretty soon I was just playing with room light exposed paper strips, at my desk in room light.

    I managed to produce one very interesting effect. I took a little snippet of a lumen print with whitish plant stems on it, surrounded by pinkish purple. This I dipped in the "soda water" and then quickly into a cup of coffee ( would be slightly acidic, I think) . I managed to stop the development at a lower point. Then I blasted the snippet under my desk lamp for about 15 or 20 seconds and started dipping it back and forth between the coffee and the soda.... the background only darkened a little more, but the original light colored stem turned a dark purple color. I think I might have produced something similar to the so-called Sabattier effect.. or maybe just some kind of self-masking & developer exhaustion combination. Whatever it was, I did get a reversal, even though the final result was lower contrast. I'm intrigued and will probably play around with this some more.

    Do you think it might be possible for me to reduce the ph enough not to activate the developing agents/accelerants in the emulsion, or at least slow them down enough to get the process more under control? I'm interested in setting up a "snatch point" rather than developing to completion.

    I guess I'll find out for myself... I'll try a lower concentration and maybe some sodium bicarbonate to restrain the ph.

    Anyway, I stumbled across this thread and it is very true that modern recently made MGIV will "develop" just in water +sodium carbonate, to a dark grey but not black.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

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    It is impossible to predict. Ilford insists that there are no developing agents present, but MGIV tests mildly positive.

    PE
     
  22. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    Foma papers have incorporated developers.
     
  23. NedL

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    I will also try a normally exposed print, to see if this is fog or development. I hadn't read any of these threads before and was very surprised when the water+soda had such a strong effect. ( I was hoping to soak a pure white sheet in it, and then slowly add in coffee until I saw some development.... the soda+water all by itself went much further and much much faster than I wanted. )
     
  24. Photo Engineer

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    A simple test will prove + or -

    PE
     
  25. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    First, I should have said thank you for that response. I'm not a chemist so I had no idea at all, but that answer was not "futility", so I was encouraged to explore further. After tonight's work, I am greatly encouraged and think this might work, but still need to do a lot more testing.

    You are absolutely correct: a simple test was all that was needed. The answer is "yes", and that fixing is a further consideration. By reducing the concentration of sodium carbonate, or adding sodium bicarbonate, the effect is reduced and it happens in a very systematic and controllable way.

    I started a little further back in my tests tonight, just to be sure:

    1) No effect whatsoever in plain water. ( had to check :D )
    2) No effect in water with increasing amounts of sodium bicarbonate.
    2a) Left to explore further and very intriguing: test strips that went into the bicarbonate solution would not develop later even in strong sodium carbonate solution. It has "disabled" the active agent.
    3) Dark grey as observed yesterday with 1/4 t "washing soda" per 2oz water. Several tests confirmed that the tone changes with concentration of sodium carbonate. I don't know enough about this but I think the ph will max out as the solution gets saturated, but I don't know where that point would be, and for what I'm doing it doesn't matter: I'm trying to reduce the effect. ( I'm not assuming this is ph, but it is related to concentration. )
    4) Lighter grey after adding 1/4 t bicarbonate
    5, 6, 7...) each addition of 1/4 t made the grey lighter, by an amount that was very noticeable and looks a lot like a step card.. it is easy to judge. I did not time the reaction carefully, but my impression was that it did not take longer. All of these tests ended after about 15 or 20 seconds with no further "development". Presumably the agent was exhausted.

    Now things get a little interesting when I tried fixing the test strips ( after wash )

    I got various shades of tan and brown in the "lighter versions". Most of the grey bleaches right away in the fixer ( doe this mean that it is not reduced silver? ) The darkest ones still retained some grey ( so I think that means there really is silver and this isn't all about dyes or staining. ) The very darkest ones look like a flat somewhat underexposed print. The darker ones have an unpleasant drab greenish tinge to them.

    These were strips from a lumen print and some of the intermediate ones fixed to a light chocolate color with hints of pink in the highlights. Some have hints of yellow in the light brown.

    Now very interesting:

    In the same intermediate ones, contrast increased dramatically in fixing and especially during dry-down. I could actually see details emerge and subtle color shifts as it dried. I have the impression that there is a "sweet spot" that will maximize contrast and have nice colors. I have one snippet that I think might contain *more* detail than the original lumen print ( but the contrast is low. )

    The fixed images from two hours ago have been sitting directly under a fluorescent lamp since and have not changed. I think the images are fixed but I need to test that idea by leaving them out longer.

    I've got quite a lot more I want to test but this is pretty fun.

    -Ned
     
  26. Photo Engineer

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    Ned;

    If you have a Carbonate solution, it will have a given pH based on the amount of Carbonate. As you add Bicarb, the pH becomes more acidic and the activity of any incorporated developer goes down.

    Of course, the amount of solution and agitation also allow the developing agent, if any, to decrease.

    In some cases, the developing agent is blocked to prevent spoilage. Base activates it, and less base means less activity due to less unblocking.

    These are guesses, not having run the tests myself, but they are based on sound chemistry.

    As for the changes on fixing, well, in many cases that depends on how finely divided the silver is and how acidic the fixer is. In this case, I would suggest a neutral or basic fix that is rather dilute. IDK. Just keep us posted.

    PE