Good Homebrews for High Speed Film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by dancqu, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I shoot Pan F+ for the most part but do have a few ready
    to develop rolls of HP5, Tri-X, and Delta 3200. I don't think
    the FX-1 - Beutler type used with the Pan F+ will do for
    those high speed films.

    I'm not after a push developer but rather one for fine grain
    and EIs of 300 +/- for the Tri X and HP5 and 800 +/- for
    the Delta 3200.

    I compound fractional batches and use one-shot.
    I'm considering classic D-76; 2gr metol, 100gr sulfite, 5gr
    hydroquinone, and 2gr borax. Can I do any better? Dan
     
  2. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    I have tried all sorts of thing over the years and recently tried undiluted D76, your formula, and find it the best. Just put it in small one time use bottles just after mixing so air can`t get to it. You get unpredictable activity level changes if it does. NO HALF FULL BOTTLES even for a week.

    Fractional batches are a waste as it will last 6 months in the dark with no air and you start getting into measurement problenms. And D76 should sit 24 hr before use.

    Tri x is five minutes at 68 with agitation 5/30.
     
  3. skahde

    skahde Member

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    I found DS10 to be especially good for high-speed films.
     
  4. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I make fractional batches that I use right after mixing. I have good consistency, but it's a bit of drag to weigh the ascorbic acid every time.

    For 35 mm I use, in order of mixing:

    1L water
    50g sulfite (two tablespoons)
    2 g ascorbic acid
    5 ml phenidone 1% in 91% rubbing alcohol

    It needs maybe 20% more development time than D-76 1:1. The grain is very fine and speed is good. Dissolving the sulfite raises the water temperature by 2 deg F.

    Add a pinch of sulfite to the alcohol, and it will keep for months and months.
     
  5. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    I use some generic vitamin-c tablets from Costco. At 500 mg, I would just pop 4 into solution. No weighing. It includes some inert material but hasn't affected anything yet.
     
  6. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Somebody is bound to come by and say the sulfite is not necessary, and that there are better accelerators. Let me reply in advance: I get finer grain with sulfite than with any other method I've tried. There are good sulfite-free developers too, and they may meet your needs. But if you like the look of D-76, I think you will more likely prefer a sulfite-based developer. For low-speed films, this would be less of a consideration.
     
  7. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Cool! I think I'll try that. Do they dissolve fast?
     
  8. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    For me, at 70F, it would take 2-3 minutes to completely dissolve with all the little floaties coming to the top. Works great!
     
  9. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    Dan, it looks like you have the ingredients for D-23. I haven't used it, but it seems like it would be good for making up on the spot, and you dispense with the borax, which is slow to dissolve. I hear it doesn't keep as well as D-76.
     
  10. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    The problem with the activity of D-76 changing upon storage and becoming more active is caused by a complex reaction of the hydroquinone. Grant Haist suggested a viariant of D-76 which eliminated the problem by eliminating the hydroquinone from D-76. The modified formula is called D-76H and it works very well and keeps in partially filled containers.

    Metol ......................... 2.0 g
    Sodium sulfite (anhy)..... 100 g
    Borax ......................... 2.0 g
    Water to make ............. 1.0 l
     
  11. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Sorry the amount of Metol in the formula I posted should be 2.5 g
     
  12. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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  14. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I mentioned it before, but be careful that what you get at the pharmacy is ascorbic acid. The body also can use dehydroascorbic acid as Vitamin C, but it won't develop film. I think it should be marked on the container, but I don't know for sure if it is required to be identified as anything but Vitamin C.
     
  15. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Some time ago, when I first used phenidone, before I learned about ascorbic acid, I made a substitute for D-23 using 0.1 gram of phenidone + 8 or more grams of hydroquinine along with 100 grams of sodium sulfite per liter. My idea was that the PQ combunation is less sensitive to bromide content than the metol, and the phenidone can only activate a certain amount of hydroquinone, which is usually considered to be about 40 times the weight of the phenidone. My thought was that the developer would be self replenishing. I used to develop a roll and pour the developer back into the bottle. When it got so gross looking that my worry wart started hurting, I mixed a new batch. At the time, I was working full time at NASA, playing in two symphony orchestras and various other musical engagements, taking pictures of guest artists at dress rehearsals and having prints ready for autographing the next day, while trying to be a good father to 6 children. I never had a failure I could attribute to weak developer, and I got 8 or more rolls out of a quart.

    I just recently resurrected this formula and it still makes good negatives aout of HP5+. Sulfite IS a good preservative for hydroquinone.
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    All about D-76 and many versions at a R. Suzuki site. At Google
    enter, "years of D 76" .

    I'll likely give an 80 gram sulfite D-76 a try. My Acculab is
    good for .01 gram resolution. A half batch should do for starters.
    I've a bunch of amber glass Boston Rounds with Polycone caps;
    one serving per bottle. As I use chemistry one-shot, a 1:1 or
    so dilution will be needed.

    If I read Mr. Suzuki correctly, the borax is needed only IF the
    developer is re-bottled after use. Dan
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Correction noted and made. Most readings mention the
    addition of borax as the cure for the used or oxidized HQ
    caused increase in activity. I did read one article which
    placed the blame on the hydrolysis of the borax. The
    cure? Minus the borax.

    I use all chemistry one-shot so never have it used
    or oxidized; no used or O2ed, no HQ, no borax. That
    leaves 2.5 grams Metol and 100 grams S. Sulfite
    which makes for a 1/3 strength D-23.

    FX-13 looks interesting. It is a high sulfite, metol, carbonate
    brew and, save for the 8 fold increase in sulfite, the same as
    FX-1. The results, I'd think, are likely similar to some of the
    PC brews mentioned. Likely I'll test a D-76 and FX-13. Dan
     
  18. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Borax is a stable chemical and does not hydrolyse in water. In fact, it is used as a reference to calibrate pH meters; a 0.01M solution (3.814 g/l) has a pH of 9.22 at 20C.

    When hydroquinone oxidizes in sulfite solution hydroxide ions are produced which raise the pH of the solution. This causes increased film density and contrast. Various modifications of D-76 have been suggested to get around this problem. The best used a combination of borax and boric acid. One D-76d uses 8 grams of each. Kodak seems to use a smaller amount (perhaps 4 grams each) in their packaged D-76.
     
  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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