Formulating cold tone paper developers

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tom Kershaw, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    In the process of trying some papers for the first time, I adapted D-72 with increased Metol, reduced Potassium Bromide, with the addition of Benzotriazole following the most frequent recommendation.

    Metol 4g
    Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous) 50g
    Hydroquinone 12g
    Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous) 65g
    Potassium Bromide 0.5g
    200ml Benzotriazole 1% solution.
    water to make 1000ml.

    Dilutions used 1+1 and 1+3. 3 minutes development time.

    The results were strong blacks, good tonal distribution and reasonably neutral-to-cold tones on Kentmere Bromide but not definite blue-black tones. Kentona still maintained its warm tone. In the June 2006 issue of 'Black & White Photography' (UK) Mike Crawford gives an example of Kentmere Kentona developed in ILFORD Cooltone developer (now discontinued) displaying a definite cold tone shift from the paper's usual warm tone.

    I didn't mix Maxim Muir's blue-black developer I as don't have any Sodium Hydroxide in stock.

    Any ideas on achieving results closer to ILFORD Cooltone developer?

    Tom.
     
  2. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Have you tried the Clayton Ultra Cold Tone developer?
     
  3. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    No, I'm in the UK.
     
  4. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Did you try it without the bromide? With 200 ml 2% BZT I don't think you need it...Evan Clarke
     
  5. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Evan,

    I didn't try the developer without the Potassium Bromide; probably a good direction to head.

    Tom.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You've probably rather over done the Benzotriazole, essentially you've gone towards ID-62/ID-20 it should be quite cold.

    Ilford Cooltone dev used a proprietary agent instead of Benzotriazole.

    Ian
     
  7. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Less Benzotriazole should give colder tones? Would you expect ID-62 with additional Benzotriazole to give colder tones?

    Tom.
     
  8. Lowell Huff

    Lowell Huff Inactive

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    Hello Mr. Kershaw: we ship to the U.K. cheCk with DIGITAL TRUTH for CLAYTON ULTRA COLD TONE DEVELOPER
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    ID62 with the KBr reduced to about 0.5g and probably 60-100ml Benzotriazole should give quite cold tones. Anscojohn does the same with Agfa-Ansco 103.

    There's a point where the Benzotriazole will give optimal Cold tones, once you go past that poin it will will have a adverse effect on the overall balance and working of the developer.

    I'd suggest making up a litre of stock dev with low Bromide, then try adding the Benzotriazole 5ml at a time by syringe to the dilute working solution and do some quick tests finding the optimal level. It may differe depending on the paper.

    Ian
     
  10. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    ID-62 stock developer?

    Tom.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The concentrate you make up yourself. You can cut the KBr further to 0.5g

    Ilford PQ Developer (un-numbered formula published in the 50's PQ Version of ID-20)

    Phenidone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.5 g
    Sodium Sulphite (anh) . . . . . . . . 50 g
    Hydroquinone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 g
    Sodium Carbonate . . . . . . . . . . . 60 g
    Potassium Bromide . . . . . . . . . . 2 g
    Water to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 litre

    Use 1+3 Develop 1½ - 2 mins 20ºC

    Neutral/Cold tones: Add 5ml Benzotriazole solution (1%) to each litre of working solution. (Becomes ID-62) To increase the Cold tone further add further Benzotriazole in 5ml increments.

    Warm tone: Add 7.5 ml Potassium Bromide 1% solution to each litre of working solution. To increase the Warm tone add further Potassium Bromide to suit.

    This Developer formula is identical to Forte FD-203 which is recommended for Forte Polygrade papers, including Poly-warm tone. (No Benzotriazole)

    Ian
     
  12. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Not being a chemist nor even scientifically minded, I go with what is told to me by the experts and with my own experience.

    Real cold tone is, first and foremost, in the paper itself. That being said, I FEEL that the significant increase in metol in Ansco 103, compared to say, D-72, is an help in producing colder tones. That, plus the limiting of bromide in the stock solution to just enough to keep print tone fairly constant--rather than preventing fog. I leave it to the benzotriazole to limit fog and to help produce a colder tone. I was told not to eliminate the bromide completely, as bromide is produced as a by-product of the developing process, and that a small amount of bromide to begin with helps maintain more constant print tone.
    I agree with Ian that too much benzo is not a good thing; and that adding it to the working solution is a good way to get fairly precise control of print tone.
    So--if'n ya wantz cold tones; use a cold tone paper--but the developers can help if bromide is kept to a minimum.
     
  13. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    John,

    An interesting characteristic of the ILFORD cooltone developer as profiled in the magazine article was its ability to make Kentona shift to a cold tone image.

    Tom.
     
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  15. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    And it does-MGWT also.Needs additional exposure though
    Mark
     
  16. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    Hello

    Have just had a look at the article and dug out the original prints and the Kentona in cooltone really is a lovely blue black. The magazine repro is a little bit lighter and a touch more cyan. It's always tricky with these sort of tests as the reproduction will never be exact for toned black and white prints unles accurate scanning and extensive proofing is done which would only happen for a fine art book and not for magazines. The worst occasion was something similar I did for the BJP. The same image processed through cooltone and warmtone dev came out almost the same murky grey in repro. And all the supplied prints were reproduced about a stop too light!

    I have tried adding Benzitriazole to different developers and have got some very nice 'cold' prints but still nothing like the Harman Cooltone, which with MGWT, Forte and a few others gave such wonderful blue blacks. One day when I've got time, I'll get in the darkroom with lots of formulae and raw chemistry from Silverprint. Then I can sell the powder developer as 'Crawford's Cooltone!' Actually, this makes me think. It was discontinued I believe for a mixture of poor sales balanced with the keeping properties of the solution. (Legal note; this may be wrong!) If so, why don't Harman sell it in powder form which will keep well on the shelves. It could also be sold cheaper perhaps? As Michael Maunder of Speedibrews says, 'we don't sell water.' Just a thought.
     
  17. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Mike,

    Have you tried Maxim Muir's Blue-Black developer?

    Tom.
     
  18. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    No I haven't though I've got the formula in the Darkroom Cookbook so will try it out.
    Ta
    Mike
     
  19. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Mike, I really miss Cooltone Dev

    If you come up with a powder kit I will buy some.

    As for poor sales, I could never find a reliable source of it - its the chicken and the egg scenario - we don't stock it & people don't buy it :sad:

    Martin
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Maxim Muir's Blue Black Developer isn't to dissimilar to ID62/D72 when you look closely. Divide his quantities by 3.6 and you get:

    Phenidone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.61 g
    Sodium Sulphite (anh) . . . . . . . . 50 g
    Hydroquinone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.75 g
    Sodium Hydroxide. . . . . . . . . . . . 9.72 g
    Benzotriazole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.42 g (42ml 1%)
    Water to, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 litre

    Commercial liquid developers (Agfa & Ilford) usually substitute Sodium Carbonate with Potassium or Sodium Hydroxide and Potassium Carbonate the balance of Hydroxide/Carbonate varies, but when the Hydroxide is too high the keeping properties suffer. Maxim Muir suggest a shelf life of a month and a short tray life for his developer. The level of Hydroxide is

    Image colour/tone is related to grain size, it would be interesting to see what effect dropping the Sulphite level might have in a formula like ID-62 along with the increase in Benzotriazole. In addition switching from Phenidone to Metol which is colder working.

    Ian
     
  21. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I did, but it was some time ago using Kodak Polymax and Ilford MG papers. I wasn't impressed. The results were somewhat (not a lot) colder than Dektol, but the quality was inferior. The remarks above about Kentmere papers are instructive. The variety of tones you get with various developers definitely depends on the brand of paper you use. The old Agfa papers were noted for being able to give superior cold tones. I wonder if the papers Adox is now selling approximate them.
     
  22. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Perhaps I should try something along the lines of:

    Metol 4g
    Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous) 25g
    Hydroquinone 12g
    Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous) 65g
    Benzotriazole 2g

    Water to 1000ml.

    Tom.
     
  23. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    While not being too serious about selling it myself, I'm sure there would be a market for small production runs of a Harman type blue/cool dev. Have tried others that are available in the UK, which are not many, and none quite compare though are all good (expensive) developers. Another reason to mix it oneself!
     
  24. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    For a specialized developer, I'd prefer something I can mix myself. Whereas a standard developer such as Fotospeed PD-5 I'm happy to buy in 5 litre quantities for convenience.

    Tom.
     
  25. Lowell Huff

    Lowell Huff Inactive

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    Martin you can order our Clayton Ultra Cold Tone Developer from Digital Truth.
     
  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's along the right lines, have a look at Defender (Dupont) 54-D which is described as a coldBlue tone developer. Note the Carbonate is increased.

    Defender 54-D

    Metol 2.7 g
    Sodium sulphite 40.0 g
    Hydroquinone 10.6 g
    Sodium carbonate (anhyd) 75.0 g
    Potassium bromide 0.8 g
    Water to 1.0 litre

    Dilute 1:2.

    Then consider Bürki and Jenny's Cold tone developer
    Supposed to give greater blue/black tone than 54-D

    Bürki and Jenny's Cold tone developer

    Metol 3.0 g
    Sodium sulphite 40.0 g
    Hydroquinone, 12.0 g
    Sodium carbonate (anhyd) 65.0 g
    Potassium bromide 0.8 g
    Water to 1.0 liter

    Dilute 1:2 - add between 6.0 ml and 15.0 ml 1% Benzotriazole solution, more Benzotriazole gives colder Blue tone.

    Dropping the Sulphite and increasing the Carbonate as in 54-D will give a more vigorous developer, with less of a solvent effect, and adding the Benzotriazole as in "Bürki and Jenny's" will help.

    Ian