Interested in powder chems ..

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bessa_L_R3a, May 27, 2008.

  1. bessa_L_R3a

    bessa_L_R3a Member

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    Hi,

    Is there such thing as powder developer and powder fixer? I want to be able to travel with all my negative processing equipment and powder would be much easier, but if fixer can't be obtained in powder form then I might as well keep on using HC 110 ...
     
  2. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Yes. Both D-76 and ID-11 are powders, as is Microdol. (and likely others)

    Kodak "fixer" is powder.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    One thing to remember though is that the powders don't remain homogenous in the package. The component parts tend to be unevenly distributed through the package.

    This means that you cannot reliably mix up just a portion of the powder. You should mix up a whole package at a time.

    The mixing instructions also tend to require hotter water to mix, and then a cool-down before use.

    If you foresee that your travels will include long stops in various places, it may make sense to take powdered chemistry, and develop in batches. If, however you are hoping to develop small amounts of film on a daily or quite frequent basis in lots of different locations, liquid chemistry may make more sense.

    Hope this helps.

    Matt
     
  4. pwitkop

    pwitkop Member

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    Just be wary of traveling by air with white power (most dry photo chemistry is), in your luggage. If flying I'd probably only try to fly with chems in unopened manufacturer's packaging, and put it in a checked bag rather than carry it on. David's suggestions are great, to be on the safe side, I might even stick with Kodak (being readily reconisable brand name for baggage screeners). HCA is ussually dry (at least kodak's), the only chemical I'm not sure I've ever seen dry is stop bath, but you can always just use a water rinse, or use diluted white vinigar which you could get just about anywhere when you get to your location.

    Peter
     
  5. yellowcat

    yellowcat Member

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    You could use citric acid.
     
  6. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    "One thing to remember though is that the powders don't remain homogenous in the package. The component parts tend to be unevenly distributed through the package.

    This means that you cannot reliably mix up just a portion of the powder. You should mix up a whole package at a time."

    For over 25 years I have mixed chemistry from the package by the spoonful with no problems. I mix at the desired dilution and at room temperature. If traveling with powdered chemicals I just invert the package several times to be sure there is little if any settlement.
    At home I don't even bother with this. I have used D-6, Dektol, LPD, Selectol, Selectol Soft and Kodak fixer among others.
     
  7. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    No problem. For film and even paper only three chemicals
    are needed. For the developer carry a bottle of metol and
    a bottle of sodium sulfite. For the film and paper fixer
    carry a bottle of sodium thiosulfate.

    The developer is D-23 and can be used very dilute
    one-shot. Slow with paper but does make good
    prints. The fixer can also be used very dilute
    one-shot.

    So, three bottles of powder chemicals. Dan
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Or you can use sodium acetate. But a plain water rinse works fine.
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    If I remember correctly, Kodak marketed an indicator stop bath years ago in powder form. Was that not sodium acetate, which, when mixed with water yielded acetic acid?
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My suggestion is take a different route when travelling. I'd rather carry a small bottle of a liquid developer like Rodinal, and a small bottle of Fixer like Hypam. It saves a lot of bother making up powdered chemicals away from the darkroom, weighs only a little more, once made up you still have to store the powdered dev which rather defeats the whole object of carrying less weight etc. This is what I do when camping, although I now take Pyrocat HD.

    Ian
     
  11. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    Yup and its more cost effective. I mix it and use it the next day after it's cooled :smile: I didn't heat it the 1st time and it didn't dissolve. I also can't make gravy.........
     
  12. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Are you traveling by Air, car, train, or ship? The reason I ask, if you are traveling by car or train and have room in your luggage you can take a small electronic scale and bulk chem to mix your own. Mix what you need then dump.
     
  13. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    I think this is a myth. Think about it. Kodak does not dump the metol, HQ, and borax into each bag. It's mixed in a huge drum, I would wager, and then is put into packaging. So, right off the git go they are doing on a bigger scale what the home user would do, divving up a batch.
     
  14. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Sodium acetate produces an alkaline solution;
    ph 9 or a little more. About that of borax.
    Likely a good substitute for the latter
    in some darkroom chemistry. Dan
     
  15. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    re Stop Bath

    Use vinegar. KISS. If you have the chems available, citric acid or sodium sulphate work fine, too. I use the latter because I have it as a pool pH reducer, about $2/lb. About 1/4-1/2 tsp in a tray works great. Dump it when done.

    KISS
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    More likely sodium BIsulfate. The sulfate is a near
    neutral salt. Bisulfate is quite acidic. Dan
     
  17. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Yes, I stand corrected.