Edwal Ultra Black thread redux-attn:photomc

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Flotsam, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    In a previous thread about this print developer, a concern came up about it's useful life and exhaustion rate. Since then I have a bit more input.

    The last time I printed, I stored my partially used tray solution (diluted 1:11) in a green plastic soda bottle (figuring that a bottle capable of storing a carbonated beverage indefinitely must be pretty gas impermiable), with a poot of butane to displace the air in the bottle's headroom.

    Tonight, after more than six weeks, I ran a strip through this developer and the image came up fine with a two minute developing time. I dumped this and mixed a fresh tray solution from my bottle of concentrate that I opened two months ago and stored in it's original bottle, again using butane. I ran another identical strip, for comparison, and it developed identically to the old tray solution.

    Mike, I don't know why you have had such bum luck with Ultra Black but this is my only experience with it and I'm now fairly impressed with it's useful life. I'm not certain that Dektol could equal this test, although I haven't tried it. I like UB's tonal qualities, as well. Deep blacks and nice tone in the mid and highlights with Ilford MG fiber.
     
  2. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Neal, thanks for the input. Now I have to go back and check the storage bottles that I am using to see if they are suspect. I will admit to using the old co2 method - blowing into the bottle to replace the air. May have to switch butane, which would be no problem.

    I agree, that this is a nice developer, like the tonal qualities of UB as well and use I think the blacks are very deep - also using Ilford MG ...
     
  3. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    AFAIK CO2 is not better than air as a keeper - it will react with the alkali (if I'm not wrong) in the developer.

    Jorge O
     
  4. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Update, after about six weeks after opening a new bottle of Ultra Black, and have had good success this go around.

    Bottle was opened, but this time before closing it tight, I gave it a burst from can of compressed air (Falcon). Each time a new batch was mixed up the same procedure was repeated. I have now used the entire contents with no problems.

    Thanks to Neal and everyone else, Jorge O you are correct, CO2 is not any better than air as a keeper.

    Must admit, I am a little confused how a burst from a can of compressed air can make such a difference, but why worry about it, if it works.
     
  5. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    Probably because there is very little air in a can of compressed air. There is a high concentration of hydrocarbons and very little Oxygen. In the absence of oxidizers, the solution will stay fresher. Additionally, there is very little CO2 in your exhaled breath. True, it is higher than in your inhaled breath, but oxygen, the culprit, is still up there around 20%.