Legacy Pro chemicals: Identical to Kodak formulas?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by eng1er, May 12, 2014.

  1. eng1er

    eng1er Member

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    Surprisingly, I'm not finding a thread dedicated to this question. But I'm wondering if the Legacy chems are as identical to their Kodak counterparts as they claim. Some (unreliable seeming) sources on the interwebs suggest various provenance (produced in same plants, exact clones produced elsewhere, reverse engineered similar, not even close, etc.) Anybody know the true story, tested them with a mass spec or GC, or know from decades of experience that they are indistinguishable from the Rochester soups?

    I'm gonna try some out, but I'm curious to know the back story.
     
  2. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Can't help you on the ingredients, however I used it for a few years now and it's a great developer.
     
  3. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Perhaps but you're buying a pig in a poke. For example since the formula for D-76 is well known their L-76 is probably very similar but may not contain a few minor chemicals. However their Legacy L-110 is NOT the same as Hc-110. Just look at the MSDS sheet versus the formula in the Kodak patent. Kodak manufactured some of the chemicals because they were not otherwise available. L-110 probably does not have the long shelf life that HC-110 is known for since the Legacy formula contains water. Does it produce negatives similar to those of HC-110 maybe. But if you want HC-110 then buy HC-110.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2014
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Legacy Pro were once far better known under a different name (they still manufacture the colour chemistry). It's not unusual to find ex-Kodak employees involved in smaller companies taking their knowledge with them. This happened in the UK where one third party manufacturer of colour & B&W chemistry was formed by ex-Kodak chemists.

    I'm not endorsing Legacy Pro rather just stating that we can't be sure how good or bad the products are or how close to the Kodak versions.

    Ian
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I have used their versions of Microdol-X, Xtol, and D76. Without having any densitometer equipment I conclude that negatives processed with either original Kodak or Legacy Pro developers print the same.

    Xtol is the only one I've tested extensively, and it lasts at least as long as the yellow bag stuff.
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Some are, some aren't. I've used the Rapid Fix (exactly the same as far as I can tell) and the Brown toner (ditto.)

    As Gerald said, some are well known formulas, some are not. I'd say for the well known ones they are the same or close enough as to make no difference. For others, I don't know, but worth a shot if something you want is no longer made by Kodak (Microdol-X, Selectol Soft etc. and, in my case, brown toner.)
     
  7. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    Roger, have you tried the brown toner? I'd like to get some, but in doing a search I didn't find out much about it. I also searched Kentmere Brown Toner since Freestyle says that's what it is, but not much on that either. JW
     
  8. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I've used the brown toner and its the same. No idea why its so expensive!
     
  9. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    They are now made in Dexter, Michigan, about 15 miles from where I live. Years ago it was Unicolor. Are they the company in the UK?
    They seem to work just like the Kodak chemicals, however, I have had two bad packages of paper developer. Both had turned brown, and I had not had them very long - maybe four months. I called Freestyle and they told me they would be replaced. Within a few days I received my replacement packages directly from the manufacturer. I don't know what happened; might have just been a bad batch. As said, they were quick with the replacement.
     
  10. eng1er

    eng1er Member

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    Anybody used LMax, their TMax developer knockoff?
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Yes I use it all the time - probably over half my prints. Any time I print on Ilford MGWT I almost always tone in highly dilute brown toner. There are some threads about it here, and scans of a few prints on my Flickr.
     
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    There's nothing secret anymore about the Kodak formulas. The packaging might be a little different, but so what?
     
  13. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    Thanks Roger! I think I'll try a bottle on my next order. I have enough potassium ferricyanide and thiourea to last my lifetime, but would like to just have one bottle of selenium and one bottle of brown/sepia toner sitting on the shelf to help keep it simple. Do you have to alter your exposure much with the Legacy Brown Toner to have your prints come out the way you like? JW
     
  14. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I don't really alter my exposure at all. I do alter the dilution, something I got from Drew Wiley here or over on LFPF. According to Rudman's toning book brown toner becomes MORE active when more dilute. That may be but there has to be a point of diminishing returns. I also found, contrary to what others report, that it simply didn't last long once mixed so using it at 1/4 to 1/8th strength is much more economical.

    I tone for short periods, 15 seconds to a minute depending on temperature and how much toning I want. Here's a pretty much fully toned photo of my then-girlfriend, now wife:

    [​IMG]Alicia Park Bench - Toned1 by Roger Cole, on Flickr

    And here's a lightly toned print of one of my friends:

    [​IMG]Max by Roger Cole, on Flickr

    Both on MGWT developed in Harman WT developer, the only difference as far as tone being the time and dilution of the brown toner.
     
  15. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    I like the looks of not being over-cooked and also you saying you're not altering your development times. Right up my alley! Going on my next order for sure. Thanks, JW
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I don't know if their products are sold in the UK now, but PSInc make Unicolor and Legacy Pro products in the US and have been around since about 1973.

    Ian
     
  17. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    It is simpler buying a set of micro scales safety glasses gloves and mixing up from published formulas.

    As things contract you may have to do this eventually.

    You do have to use the best formula eg the buffered D76 a Kodak formula keeps better then the more normal Kodak formula I think the latter is a deep tank formula.

    Eventually ingredients may stop being available as photo chemicals and you may need to buy as chem reagents.

    I use ID-68 a D76 clone cause I have bad allergies already, it has less fog but no other detectable differences, some of the other clones are low fog.

    http://www.lostlabours.co.uk/photography/formulae/developers/devD76_variants.htm
     
  18. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Simpler? Huh??

    No. It may be cheaper, and it has other advantages - you can make up things not made commercially anymore, or that may be out of stock, you can tweak the formulas, and you can always have fresh chemistry. But it certainly is never simpler. Simplest is "open a pack of powder or bottle of concentrate and dilute as needed."
     
  19. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Where I live some chemistry and film is intermittent already.

    Forma film never in stock in formats and speed I want, any bulk I need to order... The University students clean out the shelves when they are given next projects.

    That makes life difficult.

    CD3 etc I need to order from Germany, Kodak have stopped ECN kits resently...

    Note this is central London.

    Yes a Kodak HCA yellow package is easy today but Kchrome25 used to be in all chemist/pharmacy shops. I used to have a C41 lab within walking distance.

    Nothing will be the same again.

    Weighting out chemicals is easy.
    [OT]
    I really like toned photos as well...
     
  20. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I have to order everything. But really, considering the amount of non-photo stuff I order that I COULD buy locally, even for a comparable price, "have to" seems needlessly whiney. I make a few mouse clicks and it shows up at my door usually, when I consider I'd have to find time to go shop for the stuff and fight Atlanta traffic, sooner than I'd be able to get it myself anyway.

    I order everything. Can't get it locally anyway but that never bothered me. Where I lived in the 90s I couldn't buy locally then either, for most things I used.

    Either you have to order the pre-mixed chemicals or you have to order the components. Either way you have to order.

    I'm not arguing against mixing your own if someone wants to do that and in fact I've been very tempted and may once the basement/darkroom buildout is complete and I have more room. It certainly has advantages as I said, but simplicity isn't one of them. (Don't need HCA anyway, some sulphite and water does nicely.)
     
  21. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    Yup, that's what I'm after................simplicity! I have all the scales/chems, but just want to open a bottle and pour. Simple me I guess...........JW
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If you make up your chemistry in bulk then it's simple to just "open a bottle and pour" for each developing/printing session. I mix my PQ developers to a commercial strength rather than to the published formulæ and substitute Potassium Carbonate & Hydroxide in place of Sodium Carbonate which is what Agfa, Kodak and Ilford do for commercial liquid concentrated PQ type devs. So you can have the best of both worlds,

    Ian
     
  23. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Most developer formulas are easy enough to mix yourself from scratch. Just don't imagine you're going to cook up your own HC-110, however.
    Some things still require true industrial muscle.
     
  24. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Fortunately for me I don't have to order from Freestyle. I can easily drive there. :smile:

    (well, if you consider battling downtown Los Angeles traffic easy)

    Maybe it really is EASIER to just order it and have it drop on my doorstep.