"High sulfite concentrations" and t-grain films.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MMfoto, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    Can anyone tell me why developers with "high sulfite concentrations"(Film Developing Cookbook, and online posts) are not recommended for t-grain films, and for that matter, what is considered a high concentration?
     
  2. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    TMY in Microdol can be enlarged quite a bit - it is not edgy but it is smooth and not a bad choice for roll films and 16x20 photos
     
  3. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    D-76 is a high sulfite developer, and it is definitely recommended for t-grain films - and it gives excellent results. But it is recommended at the 1:1 dilution (50 g/l sulfite), which is less than something like D-23. T-grain films probably don't benefit much, or at all, from the solvent action of high sulfite concentrations. In ordinary films, the sulfite helps expose the silver halide grains to the developing agent (increasing speed), reduces the developed grain size and changes the shape of the developed grain. All these benefit ordinary film. With small, face oriented grains, they may be unneccessay.
     
  4. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    I'm also a little confused by the fact that XTOL has a relatively high sulfite concentration(or at least according to the patent-85mg), and that developer is highly recommended for t-grain films.

    I have had a good deal of success with Acufine with TMZ, and that is definitely a high sulfite developer. I am planning to mix and try some FX-11 soon, and would like to understand why lower sulfite levels would benefit t-grain films before I go tinkering with the recipe, as recommended by Anchel & Troop.
     
  5. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I think high-sulfite developers work better with T-grain or Delta-grain films than they do with older films like Tri-X. The newer films lose less accutance to the solvent action, while giving very fine grain.
     
  6. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    D76, as lovely as it is, is not the best choice with T Grain films... not because of anything WRONG, but because XTOL is so fantastic with the films.

    If you actually LIKE acufine, that ancient , crude and barbaric developer, XTOL will knock your socks off.

    Instead of thinking there are good developers and evil developers, I find it easier to think that even highly capable research scientists are able to improve things in 70 years ( D76 ) and 45+ years ( acufine ).

    AS for FX11, it was pretty hot stuff in the '60s. XTOL will get more speed, better acutance and less grain. Not to mention a better usable curve. Ascorbate simply wasn't an option 40 years ago.

    .
     
  7. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    The problem with XTOL is that it is perfect on all points accept one; I don't usually like it. I have done some very nice things with XTOL and TX 120, and with Delta 3200. But for the vast majority of my work I do not like the tonality. It has a "brightness" to it, it's just so "nice."

    I do like APX400 and Rodinal in 135, TMZ in Acufine, Rodinal and FX-39. Those combos fulfill most of my needs and have a mood and other qualities that are important to me.

    I do think Acufine has a nice look and gives a nice balance of pushability, grain structure I like, and tonality with TMZ. That has made me curious to try FX-11, as it appears to be very similar to the FX-4 formula that is purported to be similar to Acufine, and I am so curious to see what a glycin version does to TMZ.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2006
  8. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Nothing to argue with there !

    Keep us posted -
     
  9. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    If you think about it the solvent effect will eat away at a flat crystal much quicker than a round one.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    That depends. Sulfite is a poor silver halide solvent actually. You can use D76 as a monobath for Chloride emulsions and Chlorobromides with great speed loss, but it does not happen with bromoiodides. A high iodide t-grain or a t-grain with epitaxy could hardly be touched by the sulfite at the sensitivity centers.

    It also depends on development rate vs solvation rate and after that it depends on the redeposition rate of dissolved silver on developing silver sites.

    Final answer is, the only way to find out is to try the developer with the film and determine if it suits your purpose.

    PE
     
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    For economy, PC-Glycol is actually about half the cost of PC-TEA, on a per-roll basis, at least if you use propylene glycol anti-freeze as your source of propylene glycol. (In theory this is a bit risky because you don't know what else is in the anti-freeze. Personally I've had no problems with it.) PC-Glycol is:

    Part "A"
    ascorbic acid 10g $0.28
    phenidone 0.25g $0.07
    propylene glycol to make 100ml $0.36

    Part "B"
    sodium carbonate, anhydrous 15g $0.04
    water to make 100ml

    The prices are from my costs spreadsheet; yours are almost certain to differ. Assuming 250ml of working solution per roll and a 1:1:48 dilution, this works out to $0.04/roll. Note you mix parts A and B with water; this is not a divided developer.

    The formula for PC-TEA is:

    triethanolamine, 99% 100ml $1.39
    ascorbic acid 9g $0.25
    phenidone 0.25g $0.07
    makes 100ml

    At 1:50 dilution, this works out to $0.08/roll.

    Both formulas were published in the March/April, 2004 issue of _Photo Techniques_. You can order a back copy for $5, IIRC; check at http://www.phototechmag.com. The article has a few more formulas and information on the creation of these. It doesn't use the name "PC-Glycol," though; that formula is unnamed in the article but seems to have picked up the name "PC-Glycol" somewhere along the way.

    Personally, I've used PC-Glycol but not PC-TEA. In addition to cost, PC-Glycol has the advantage that you can experiment with part "B" if you like. You could create a part "B" that'd create something that should, in theory, work just like E-76, for instance. I get the impression that PC-TEA is more popular, though. I'm using PC-Glycol with Fomapan 400 and like the results. I've yet to try it with any T-grain films, though.
     
  12. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    All other things being equal, developers like D-76 achieve their highest solvent action at a sulfite concentration of 80 g/l. This may explain why Xtol uses 75 g/l.
     
  13. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    My big flip-flop.

    I have many times said bad things about XTOL...

    ...I don't know what the hell I have been thinking. I went back and printed some TMZ XTOL 1:2 negs from a couple of years ago and this is by far the best I have ever seen this film look. Somehow I got a bad spot in my head regarding XTOL-probably from my long time dislike of lab developed straight XTOL negs. It also comes from a side by side test I ran with this film and four developers, wherein I failed to equalize the contrast of each sample and the XTOL print came out the softest. Maybe some little good ol bad attitude too.

    The negs I printed were shot around 800. Nice tight, but sharp grain, with smoothness and tonality I haven't seen in this film without a highly solvent developer.

    I will do some testing with some of the longer push processing times and will go from there. As for now, at least for reasonable EI's, I can vigorously recommend XTOL with Kodak P3200.