making D-76

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jbl, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. jbl

    jbl Member

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    I love the look of Tri-X in D-76, but one of the things I don't like about it is having to create the liquid in high volumes: the 1 liter package is too small, but the 1 gallon package is too large given my shooting volumes.

    Today it occurred to me that I could just make it and use it right away, i.e. not keep a working solution around. Has anyone else done this? Anchell and Troop list the recipe for it and its variants. I assume it's straightforward to do. Do the components (metol, hydroquinone, sodium sulphite and borax) keep effectively indefinitely in powdered form)?

    -jbl
     
  2. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Pretty much yes and there are a number of people here who hand mix.

    The stock solution will easily keep 6 months in a sealed air squeezed out soda bottle.
     
  3. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    The individual components keep for years if well stored. Mine are a few years old for the most part and function fine.

    D-76 is pretty easy to mix up, having relatively few ingredients.

    Bear in mind you can also play with other interesting developers once you start to do this. D-22 comes to mind, which is simply metol and sodium sulfite.
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I see that your keyboard has the same problem that mine has -- it is a lousy speller. :smile: Of course you mean D-23

    Metol 7.5 g
    Sodiun sulfite, anhydrous 100.0 g
    Water to make 1.0 l

    There is also D-76H which is a variant of D-76 without the hydroquinone developed by Grant Haist. This formula should not be confused with D-76h. There is a whole family of variants of D-76.
     
  5. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I'm a D-76 guy (and not just because I work for Kodak - and the opinion is my own not EKC's). I have only had it go bad on me one time in my life. That's why I stick with it.

    I mix up a gallon and decant it immediately into four one-quart plastic bottles with fresh seals cut from the lids of Skippy peanut butter. The first three bottles are filled up to the top and I try to seal without letting any air in. The fourth bottle is a little shy. I just use it first.

    These bottles last a long time in my opinion. Last batch mixed in April lasted until October. Sensitometer and densitometer show consistent times.

    When I get into developing film, I'll make a couple runs and use up a bottle. It doesn't seem to hurt to leave a half-bottle around a week or two if I feel like stretching it out.

    Sometimes I feel like switching to HC-110 because it is a concentrate you can mix up one-shot at any time.

    I'm on a roll now... second bottle of the October batch is at 68-degrees so time to pour it in...
     
  6. pcyco

    pcyco Member

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    hallo

    i mix both fron scratch d-76 and d23
    both are great i used d 23 now for two jears and since a few months d-76.
    i always mix only one liter stocksolution and store it in 1/2 liter glassbottles with silicon stubbels (i hope thats the right word)

    holds min. for 3 months but most time i mix new one all two or three weeks.

    with some incredentias more you can mix some paper developers like dektol etc.

    not cheaper but fun.
    --

    thomas
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    None of these developers should be used immeciately after mixing, ideally they should be left overnight, so the answer to the OP is it's better to mix a batch, it'll keep over 6 months mixed up.

    Ian
     
  8. pcyco

    pcyco Member

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    hallo

    oh yes!!!! thankyou ian
    --
    thomas
     
  9. jbl

    jbl Member

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    Thanks for the help, here.

    How concerned should I be about mixing the powders together? Can they go airborne easily? Do I need to worry about pets or others inhaling them? Do people typically wear masks while mixing or is that not necessary?

    -jbl
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    No, they are not going to go airborne -- think of crystalline powders such as table salt. Besides. you are not going to be mixing powders together. You will be dissolving them in water in the order that they are given in the formula. When one chemical has dissolved then you can add the next one.

    The only exception is when dealing with Metol. In this case a small amount of the sodium sulfite is dissolved, then the Metol and then the rest of the sulfite. This is done because Metol dissolves only with difficulty in concentrated sodium sulfite solutions.
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    D76

    I think D-76 is the best developer of all time. When you make it up, it is a bit like draught Guinness, you have to wait for it. But once made you can't go wrong.
     
  12. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I always mix my own D-76. I can scale the amount to what I need. It takes less than 10 minutes to mix up to a liter of stock, and not much longer for larger batches. Most of the time is spent dissolving the metol, with the sulfite a close second. The stock solution keeps decently well, but I usually just mix what I am going to use that day. You don't need to use hot water to mix up a 1+1 diluted solution, so you can use it right away. (However, some people believe that mixing up stock and letting it stand for a day gives more consistent results.)
     
  13. Chris Douglas

    Chris Douglas Member

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    D-76 Formulas

    I have been mixing D-76 for a few years with complete success. You can get chemicals from photographer's formulary and the supermarket. Just one suggestion, if you use the developer right away, you can use the original formula but if you want to store it for a while (up to one year) use the buffered formula with boric acid in it. The original formula changes activity with storage time, believe it or not, it gets more active with time and your contrast will come out too high. I use the buffered formula from Anchell's book. Dissolving boric acid is slow, but I use a stirring hot plate which removes most of the pain of dissolving powders. Some say the D-76 you buy today is actually the buffered version, but I don't know. Good luck and have fun.

    Best regards,
    Chris
     
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  15. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Gerald, I've always been curious about this. How much more difficult is it to dissolve Metol in water without the "pinch" of sulfite that is usually recommended? I'm asking because I use a lot of Perceptol which comes in two parts. Part B lists Sodium Sulfite on the packet but I don't think there is any Sulfite in Part A, which is the Metol, and Part A seems to go into solution quite quickly/easily.
     
  16. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Hi Michael.

    The pinch of sulfite is to remove any oxygen from the water and to protect the Metol while it is dissolving. This is a small problem but using the pinch prevents the Metol from becoming discolored. It doesn't help with the Metol dissolving. Once the Metol is dissolved the rest of the sulfite can be added.

    Trying to dissolve Metol in concentrated sulfite solutions is difficult needing heat and lots of stirring. Excess stirring introduces oxygen into the mixture and is best avoided.

    In "two bag" formulations there is usually some sodium sulfite in bag A. Besides the problem during mixing the sulfite also preserves the developing agents while in the bag. As PE pointed out, Kodak spent a good deal of research on packaging and holds quite a few patents on this matter. This allows them to use a single bag package.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2011
  17. presspass

    presspass Member

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    I mix the Haist D-76H and find it works well at regular D-76 times. BTW, if the dry metol goes slightly yellow in the bottle, is it still good?
     
  18. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    A slight discoloration of the Metol is OK but it shouldn't be brown. It will develop a gray or purple color when exposed to light. This is also OK.
     
  19. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Ah. Thanks for the clarity on this. It didn't occur to me such a small amount of sulfite would have a marked effect on preservation of the Metol during mixing. For Perceptol, when I pour in the Metol the solution takes on a slight pink/tan cast. Once I add in packet B (Sulfite, Sodium Chloride) it becomes colorless.

    One more question on Perceptol, Gerald. The third agent in packet B is Sodium Tripolyphosphate. Is this a sequestering agent?
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Yes, this chemical is one of a family of condensed pyrophosphates that sequester calcium and keep it in solution. Another chemical often used is sodium hexametaphosphate, tradename Calgon.

    There is a funny story about Calgon. The Calgon company used to market two forms of this chemical for retail customers. One was the pure chemical and there was also Calgon Bath which contained soap and a perfume. One poster complained that his developer foamed badly with use, but it did smell good.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2011
  21. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Thanks for the help.
    Michael
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Kodak spent many years looking at how to imporve D76 which is a derivation of a much older Wellington & Ward Buffered Borax developer. As a consequence there are over a dozen variants of D76 all but one (DK76b) containing both Metol and Hydroquinone

    However there was an un-numbereed Kodak Fine Grain Developer published in 1927.

    From the 1928 British Journal Photographic Almanac.

    Eastman Kodak Research Fine Gran Developer 1927

    For Fine grain. - A developer recommended by the Eastman Kodak Research Laboratories for use when images of specially fine grain are required is as follows:-

    Metol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 gr (2g)
    Sodium Sulphite (anhyd) . . . . . . 400gr (100g)
    Borax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 gr (2g)
    Water to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 ozs (1600ml)

    The developer works more slowly than those of normal formula. - A.P., May 25, p. 504.

    This seems to be one of the earliest published Fine Grain developer from Kodak.



    One of the problems with D76 is the high sulphite level and if this is dropped slightly as in Adox Borax MQ there can be some significant improvements in terms of better sharpness, slightly higher film speed, cleaner working (less solvency effects) which helps improve tonality.


    Adox Borax MQ (Fotokemia FR-2)

    Metol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2g
    Sodium Sulphite (anhyd) . . . . . 80g
    Hydroquinone . . . . . . . . . . . . 4g
    Borax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4g
    Potassium Bromide . . . . . . . . 0.5g
    Water to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 litre

    Another option which was commercially available in the US:


    Agfa 44 (Agfa-Ansco 17)


    Metol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.5g
    Sodium Sulphite (anhyd) . . . . . 80g
    Hydroquinone . . . . . . . . . . . . 3g
    Borax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3g
    Potassium Bromide . . . . . . . . . 0.5g
    Water to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 litre


    If I still used a developer of this type it would be Adox Borax MQ, it lives up to what Geoffreu Crawley wrote about it back in the early 1960's, and with 35mm negatives there's a noticable improvement over D76.

    Ian
     
  23. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I am a dedicated D-76 home brew user but keep an eye out for something that may show me a better negative. This one looks interesting to me. Can you tell me how the development times used for D-76 compare to Adox Borax MQ?

    TIA, Bruce
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Dev times are 10-20% longer, but there is a touch more speed 1.3 to 1/2 a stop.

    Ian
     
  25. jon.oman

    jon.oman Member

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    This is an interesting thread. I may have to try mix my own....

    By the way, do you have a formula for a replenisher to be used with any of the above?
     
  26. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    REPLENISHMENT
    Ansco 17R

    Water (52C) 750 ml
    Metol 2.2 g
    Sodium sulfite, anh. 80 g
    Hydroquinone 4.5 g
    Borax, granular 18 g
    WTM 1 l

    Add 1/2 to 3/4 oz of replenisher to Ansco 17 for each sheet developed.
    Maintain the original volume of developer, discarding some of the used developer if necessary.