Home Made B&W Developers.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Keith Tapscott., Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    How many of you here on apug actually mix your own film and/or print developers from the basic raw constituents? If you do, which formulas do you make?
    I am curious to know what you make and why you do it.
     
  2. trexx

    trexx Member

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    pc-tea, pmk, pyrocat-??. These all beg for home brew as no one is mass marketing then. Yes there are those that will package up premade or kits. But as these, and other formulas come from individuals, not companies, they are ripe for experimenting. I mixed it I need to test it. I can tweak the formula to meet my needs. That somethng I have not done much of but is an option.

    TR
     
  3. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    For film : Sandy King's Pyrocat HD
    PC-TEA
    Caffenol VC (testing stadium)

    For paper : Chris Patton's E-72

    Philippe
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2009
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well you know I do Keith.

    Pyrocat HD for my films, and ID-78 for my prints, but also a great many other formulae for high & low contrast film & print development, toners, intensifiers, bleaches, chromogenic developers/toners (for B&W papers) etc.

    Ian
     
  5. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    Home-made is what rekindled my photographic interest. I go through stages where the "art/vision" is driving me and then find myself enjoying the diversion of the tinkering that comes with getting the chemistry to add a dimension that I'm after. I've settled somewhat on PyroCat MC as my go-to soup with most films when I need something that assures good, solid prints. The developer controls highlights in difficult lighting situations, gives a glowing skin tone rendition that I like and has simplified the worst of my negative scanning issues.

    One note: If you approach this as a move to some sort of economy, be warned..... By the time you build up a good cross section of photo chemistries, high grade scales, stir mixers, etc, etc, you'd need to be in some sort of high volume, production mode to see any economies. If you kept it at its simplest, perhaps it could provide some modicum of economy such as with some kitchen measure D-23 or the like and a simple paper developer. If you're anything like me, you'll be needing some odd item such as Pinacryptol Yellow to give that interesting concoction a try and the slippery slope begins!
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Pinacryptol Yellow, I have a good supply, I paid £20 or £30 for the complete stock of Photochemicals from Hogg Lab Supplies when they stopped selling them. A few Kilos of Pyrogallol, 15-20 Kg Hyroquinone, almost as much Metol etc etc, plus a 200 yr supply Photo flo, Benzotriazole and many other useful chemicals, all that was missing was the normal lab chemicals like Carbonates, Sulphite etc :D

    Ian
     
  7. mcfactor

    mcfactor Member

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    I mix rodinal, FX-1, and Ansco 130 from scratch. I just follow the photographer's formulary formulas available on the web. It saves money and (shipping) time to have a bunch of raw chemicals and a cheap digital scale. Besides, the rodinal kit has been discontinued by the formulary and i have been using rodinal for a few years now, so i know how my stuff behaves. The FX-1 and beutler's is just easy to make and I use so much of the Ansco 130 (as my primary paper developer) that it saves money to mix it myself.
     
  8. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Ansco 130
    Dupont 54
    Dektol
    various Amidol formulas
    home made wt formula

    Film
    Ansco 47
    Beutlers
     
  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I use homemade Ansco 130 for prints and PMK for film on a regular basis. I also make homemade D-76 too.

    I've dabbled with some other formulas occasionally.
     
  10. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I keep a large selection of chemistry on hand. I will often mix up standard formulas - D-76/D-72/Microdol - if I only need a litre and have run out of the packets. It can be fun to fiddle around with odd formulae and alternative processes.

    If you buy S. Sulfite, S. Carbonate, Glacial Acetic and S. Thiosulfate in bulk from a low-cost supplier then compounding your own chemistry can make economic sense. Add some Metol, Hydroquinone and P. Bromide from a photochemicals supplier and some boric acid (roach powder) and borax from Sainsburys and you are set to go for the bulk of black and white processing.

    Some of the cheapest of developers are strictly DIY: D-23, Gainer's Vitamin C/Phenidone formulae, Caffenol, POTA. Pyro and Rodinal can be very cheap if you compound them yourself, though they are a bit of a PITA to make and are cheap enough in package form.

    Although there is much debate, using kitchen measuring spoons to measure out chemicals works adequately well. Metol, which fluffs up, is the only one that gives much trouble with the teaspoon method, but if you can figure the volume of the cylinder in which your 100gm of metol resides you can figure it's density in grams/teaspoon (5ml volume).
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I make ABC pyro, PMK, and Paul Farber's Acufine-ish speed developer for film as well as a few others occasionally, like RAF Pyro-Metol or paRodinal or fx6a monobath. For prints I make Ansco 130 and both versions of Michael A. Smith's amidol.

    I make these developers mainly because I like the visual effects they produce, though other factors like convenience and film speed may also enter into consideration.

    I like to mix developers from bulk chemicals, so that I don't have to worry about them becoming discontinued, and I can mix them fresh in any quantity that is convenient without being tied into manufacturers' packaging decisions.
     
  12. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i mix my own ansco 130 ( it lasts forever or so it seems )
    caffenol C ( because it is cheap and fun )
    and i mix caf130 which is caffenol C with some ansco 130 mixed into it
    i pretty much don't use any other print or film developers ...

    i have raw chemicals to mix mortenson's glycin varient, and d23
    but i haven't made / used them yet ...
     
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  15. McFortner

    McFortner Member

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    I tried that with Caffenol C and D-76 1:3 at a 50/50 mixture and it turned out pretty good.
     
  16. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    D76, ID68, ID78 and parodinal - in descending order of frequency
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Foma FV3 is D76/ID-11, but the commercial versions have changed slightly. In a Patent Ilford show a referance developer which appears to be ID-11 but with double the Borax.

    It's thought that commercial D76 is probably D76d, Ilford used similar buffering in their Commercial PQ variant of D76.

    Iantypo
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2009
  18. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    For film, Germain Finegrain, D76, Pyrocat MC and FX37. For paper, Ansco 130. A number of bleaching formulas and toning formulas..Evan Clarke
     
  19. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    Modified D23 (adding EDTA and Glycin) for use with Borax
    Ansco 130
    PMK
    Film strength Fixer
    Paper strength fixer
    Just standard stuff, really
    Logan
     
  20. AshenLight

    AshenLight Member

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    For film, PMK, D23, Caffenol and Rodinal (paracetamol version) and for paper Ansco 130, Defender D77 (or is it D72?) and my own phenidone/ascorbic acid type.

    Ash
     
  21. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Ian, I think you are confusing D-76H with D-76d. It is D-76d which is the buffered-borax formula. D-76H as devised by Grant Haist hence the `H` is the basic D-76/ID-11 formula with the hydroquinone omitted and the Metol raised to 2.5 grams per litre of stock.
    To me, D-76H isn`t a developer of the D-76 type, but a weak D-23 variant with a borate added to it. Think about the replenisher for D-23 (DK-25R) and you will see what I mean.
    I`m not sure about the commercial D-76 being D-76d despite what the MSDS says as I believe that the boric anhydride mentioned might be something to do with stabilising developers which have been compounded into single-powders as Kodak do.
    You will have to check out the patents for single-powder developers.
    The formulary in the BJP annuals show that the development times for D-76d need to be extended by anything up to around 25% compared to the standard D-76/ID-11 formula. D-76d is said to give higher base fog as well.
    For further reading about buffered-borax MQ and PQ developers, read `The British Journal Photographic Almanac 1957, pages 138-141 by A.J Axford and J.D Kendall of Ilford Ltd.
    You can see the development times for Fomadon-P (D-76d) on the Digital Truth site which I assume are the times that Foma recommend.
    I would be interested in finding the Ilford patent that you mentioned.:smile:
     
  22. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Excerpt from `Modern Photographic Processing` (Volume 1) by Grant Haist.

    Borate Alkali's: "Borax,Na2B4O7.10H2O, is the common name for sodium tetraborate, an alkaline compound used in the preparation of low-contrast, fine-grain developers. Borax may be written (NaBO2)2.B2O3, which shows the boric anhydride that limits the alkalinity possible from borax.
    Borax acts as a buffer; that is, it maintains a reservoir of alkali but delivers only small quantities of hydroxyl ions at any one time. The alkalinity is maintained relatively unchanged until all of the borax has been neutralised."
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It was a typo Keith, I meant D76d, but there's D76h and a non Kodak hypothetical all in the mind D76H which Troop attributes to a discussion with Grant Haist.

    Commercial D76 is probably somewhere between D76, D76d & D76h. D76h has increased Metol to increase the activity slightly.

    Ian
     
  24. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    D23 for film; F24 for fixer; Ansco 103 (Not a typo, it is one zero three) for paper.
     
  25. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    I`m still not sure of what Kodak do to make their D-76 as all the Kodak patents that I have read all point to the original formula. The increase in borax in the Ilford patent that you mention makes sense though, as that would also improve the buffering capacity as in the Adox Borax MQ developer.
     
  26. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    What is the formula for Ansco 103 John?