Ilfochrome developer

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Lopaka, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    I have a kit that's been partially used, sitting on the shelf for a while and the developer died. The bleach and fix are still good. Since the dev is basically a B&W dev, are there any print developers that give good results? I know there has been some formula info posted here, but I've never really been a mix it from scratch kind. In order to salvage the remainder of the kit, I would like to find developers that give good results. Any one with experience using existing B&W dev, and what adjustments, if any are needed?

    Bob
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    With no guarantees, you might try Dektol (D-72) at about 1:3 for starters.

    PE
     
  3. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    It is my understanding that the ilfochrome developer has a tad bit of fixer in it to help with the masking.

    Corey
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, it would actually be a bit of a sliver halide solvent such as Potassium Thiocyanate.

    Also, it might contain some of the dye bleach catalyst, in which case you may need to add about 10 mg/l of a Phenazine derivative to the developer. If you need help, I have patents and data here.

    PE
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The data sheet of the P-5! process speaks of Hydroquinone and Phenidone in the developer bath and the catalyst in the bleach bath.

    What would be the idea to add some catalyst to the first stage?
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The idea would be to have the catalyst evenly distributed. Some patents claim that it is used in the bleach, some in the developer and some claim it is used in the coatings. So, I cannot be sure.

    I discussed this several years ago with the head of the Swiss R&D effort and he was, as you would expect, quite evasive.

    PE
     
  7. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I have more experience mixing Ilfochrome developers than I care to remember. You need to use a developer with hydroquinone. Any normal print developer with HQ should work. The (many years) old emulsion didnt require the HQ but that changed sometime in the 90's. You dont need any catalyst in the developer. I would just use whatever is handy-if you have some Ilford (or Dektol, or whatever) developer toss in the hypo and go.

    Second, you need hypo in there. When I mixed my own developer I used about 1/4 teaspoon per liter IIRC. The amount is not critical (again IIRC) but it has to be there. I have 30 pounds in the garage, if you just need a dollop or two let me know.


    Wayne
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If you overdo the hypo, I would guess some bad things can happen to the image, so I would 'work up' to the 'right' level. Just a thought.

    Too much solvent can hurt the image.

    PE
     
  9. boyooso

    boyooso Member

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    Am I wrong to assume when you say 'hypo' you mean sodium thiosulfate (fixer)?

    Corey
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I mean sodium thiosulfate (the 1/4 t is for crystal), but I don't mean fixer. Fixer (usually) has other things in it too (and sometimes doesn't have sodium thiosulfate at all)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2008
  11. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Thanks for all the replies - now I have some ideas to play with when I have the time. Will try to let you know results in a week or two.

    Bob
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    Please do. Have you tried anything yet?


    Wayne
     
  13. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Sorry I haven't been back to this thread - Iv'e been busy preparing work for an exhibition. I did order some chemistry this morning, with luck I will be able to run some controlled testing by the end of next week.

    Bob
     
  14. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Preliminary test results

    Preliminary testing results on substituting other B&W developers in Ilfochrome:

    First, I asked another photographer who at one time was a tech rep for Ilford USA and his job was to travel around and teach pro photogs how to use Ciba/Ilfochrome. When digesting his reply, note the source: " Yes, dev and fix are variants of B&W chemistry and I've found other developers to be inferior, and further, if you do not use Ilfochrome fixer, you will not get archival results." OK, so much for the company line.

    Testing conditions as follows:
    Printing from a known image, one 8x10 each developer variant, same enlarger height, f-stop, time and filter pack. All from the same box of paper. All processing done on JOBO CPP-2 once and dump. Bleach and fix drawn from same working solutions mixed for the session. Alternate developers run at same time/temp as Ilfochrome dev. Where there is ref to sodium thiosulfate, it is crystal obtained from Digitaltruth, what looked to be approx 1/4 teaspoon weighed out at 0.8 gram on lab scale accurate to +/- 0.1 gram. Where used, it is at 0.8g/litre of working solution dev. Control print made with fresh Ilfochrome developer in same session.

    1) Dektol 1:3 - print ok density/contrast with some yellow shift, looks to be correctable with filter change

    2) Dektol 1:3 w/sodium thiosulfate - same as (1) but a bit lighter, like somewhat overexposed

    3) Ilford Warmtone 1:9 - almost a match for (1)

    4) Ilford Warmtone 1:9 w/sodium thiosulfate - pretty good match for (2)

    Note that this is not a comprehensive test as only one image was printed and cannot identify whether differences in highlight/shadow detail can be acheived with different types of images.

    Anyway, this is a start - as always YMMV.

    Bob
     
  15. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    Thats exactly what the hypo is in there for. My limited understanding is that there is an excess of yellow dye in Ilfochrome to ensure that there is enough in the shadow areas, and the hypo removes the excess where it isnt needed. Or something like that. But you're going to need it in there.

    Thanks for posting your results!

    Wayne
     
  16. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Thanks Bob for not only taking the time to do this experiment, but also for posting the results here on Apug.
    I'll be printing some BW soon, and time permitting, will try some of this also.
    D.
     
  17. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Note that I have not yet attempted to make corrected prints - that will be round 2. Close examination of round 1 reveals that Ilford Warmtone w/sodium thiosulfate is closest to the control, although in theory at least, none is so far off that they could not be corrected to match, We'll see.

    Bob
     
  18. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I came across one of the old divided developer formulas that used to work, back in the day (ie before my day). They only contain 1/8 teaspoon of hypo/liter. I tried quite a few using that quantity. I never had any troubles using that amount of hypo (they just didnt do much for contrast), so you might want to try that. Or you can derive your own optimal quantity from testing. Have fun.


    Wayne
     
  19. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Apologies for taking so long to get back to this thread. Here is what seems to be the simplest answer:

    When developer part B turns dark and no longer works, substitute Ilford Warmtone B&W developer in the mix. Use the same amount of Warmtone as you would have of part B and continue to use parts A and C as indicated. It's part B that contains the developing agents that die an early death after the bottle has been opened. Warmtone is not precisely the same formulation, but close enough that when used with the existing parts A and C produces results that require very little adjustment.

    At least that seems to be a workable answer when you are absent from the Ciba process for a few months.

    Bob
     
  20. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Bob,

    Does your discussion and apparent usage of an alternative developer imply not all ILFOCHROME process solutions are used at the same rate, or simply that one component has a short shelf life?

    Tom
     
  21. mmerry

    mmerry Member

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    Thanks for the info - I acquired some chemicals where the developer was shot.

    I've had some success with Dektol 1:1 and ~1/4 tsp hypo/liter. The print is a bit duller than I'd expect, but that may be due to me trying a new process :smile: Difficult for me to tell what is my fault, the fault of older paper and what is the fault of the developer mix. As noted above, dektol without the hypo introduces a yellow shift I found hard to correct for. I'll be doing more extensive testing in the upcoming months.
     
  22. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    Sorry I didn't see this post before - Part B of the developer has a shorter shelf life - it contains the main developing agents, the part A and C of the developer contain mostly modifiers that help tune the chemistry for propere color balance etc.

    Bob
     
  23. darragh

    darragh Member

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    Is the sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate or anhydrous form?
    Thanks
    darragh
     
  24. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Both can be used, you have just to convert masses; but if they are speaking "about" and "teaspoons", there's not so much difference.

    If they speak about "crystals", then it's probably pentahydrate. To convert it to anhydrous form, divide the mass by 1.57, or if you want to convert anhydrous mass to pentahydrate mass, multiple by 1.57.