MCM 100 film developer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by rayajko, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. rayajko

    rayajko Member

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    I was wondering if any of the forum readers have ever tried the film developer MCM 100, which is available from Photographers' Formulary, and the results you have had with various types of black and white films.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You might be better off using Calbe A49 which is a fairly similar but more modern formula, and has an excellent reputation. MCM100 is reported to be less suitable for modern films.

    Calbe A49 is a reformulation of the old Agfa A49 Atomal developer

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2008
  3. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Member

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    MCM-100 Film Developer

    Hi Robert,

    I have actually found MCM-100 excellent with many films. While very nice results can be found with lower speed films, as you are aware it is know for high speed film use with crystal cubic traditional film. I use it very successfully with TX 120 film and loved its results with the old Agfa APX-400 film— by the way I still have some frozen APX 25, 100, and 400 film!!!

    I seldom use a T-Grain film, but this developer should work just fine and most certainly works well with FP-4; Plus-X, Tri-X, HP-5 type films.

    So, while I formulate this developer myself, Photo Formulary provides it in kit form and provides a technical data sheet for its use.

    This developer is capable of extremely nice tonal gradation, particularly in the mid-tones. While I use PMK and Amidol water bath for much of my large format work, this developer can work with any format size and I use it for really nice results with medium and small format film.

    I hope my reply and added comments helps fellow photographers to reconsider this developer for their use or experimentation— sometimes one just wants to switch things up and try something different! Enjoy
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Mark, I found an interesting link between Miniature Camera magazine and both Ilford & Johnson's, Henry Russell was a columnist under the pseudonym "Minicam" as well as writing articles in his own name but more importantly his company handled the advertising for Ilford & Jonhsons, as well as photographic equipment distributors..

    Meritol (Pyrocatechin/PPD) was a Johnson's developing agent, it was used in a number of Johnson's own proprietary developers unfortunately none of these formulae have ever been published. Johnson's were one of the earliest suppliers of photographic chemicals & developers and their connection with photography goes back to the very beginnings.

    It's interesting to see your comments about MCM-100, you'll note I used the term "reported to be less suitable" which was because I've seen many comments about the developer which have always been anecdotal rather than from first hand experience. I found some PPD last week which I didn't realise I had so I'll give this developer a try now :D Thanks.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2009
  5. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    I found this someplace. It's probably similar to the Formulary mix.

    MCM-100 film developer (reformulated for modern chemicals)
    Water (52C) 750 ml
    Sodium sulfite 88 g
    p-phenylenediamine 7 g
    Pyrocatechin 9 g
    Borax 2.3 g
    Trisodium phosphate (xtal) 6.9 g
    Potassium bromide (10%) 2 ml
    WTM 1 l

    Presoak film 2 - 3 minutes in a 5% solution of sodium sulfite to remove
    antihalation backing. Use running water rise and alkaline fixer.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's the same formula as my 1946 & 47 BJP Almanacs, the Sulphite figure is 176gms Crystalline which is equivalent to 88gms Anhydrous.

    7gms PPD + 9gms Pyrocatechin is equivalent to 16 gms Johnson's Meritol. It shouldn't need the pre-soak and can be fixed in a normal fixer as long as it's not too acidic. Hypam/Ilford Rapid Fixer would be fine at a ph of 5.3-5.4.

    Ian
     
  7. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Meritol-Metol

    Meritol 14 g
    Metol 2.3 g
    Sodium Sulphite 90 gms
    Water to 1 litre


    14 gms Meritol = 6.13 gms PPD + 7.88 Pyrocatechin
     
  10. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I tried MCM once with less than stellar results; my highlights were out of control. Eventually I used it up as a paper dev and moved back to what I knew worked.
    The mistake was probably mine as a PPD dev needs to be "aged" with some dead, exposed film run thru it. I only ran one dead roll thru it and it may never have peaked, so therefore, it probably didn't work well.

    My advice, ask the formulary how many dead rolls you should run thru you new batch of MCM to get it click properly; perhaps a frequent use of the stuff here knows.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Never heard that about PPD devs only those that are replenished like Edwal 12 but not ones like MCM-100 and Merotol-Metol.

    I used a lot of Meritol based developers while at school and had no problems, Johnson's certainly never suggested ageing their developers.

    Ian
     
  12. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I'll have to dig into my texts to find out where I got that info from.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I don't think you're wrong Jim, I know that DF Cardwell and others have recently found this is definitely true with Edwal 12.

    From experience I know that developers like D76/ID-11, Microphen/ID-68, Adox Borax MQ all give far better results when seasoned and used on a replenishment basis. In commercial darkrooms ID-11/D76 wouldn't be used fresh without topping up with some of the previous batch first and would still take a few days/films to reach it's peak.

    So it would be interesting to know what other PPD developers work best this way.

    Ian
     
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  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Superfine Grain / Meritol Metol

    The 1960 BJP Almanac gives the formulae for Meritol-Metol and Superfine Grain (also known as Meritol0Sulphite). Note the slight difference in the amount ofMeritol in Meritol-Metol.

    Meritol-Metol

    Meritol 13.7 g
    Metol 2.3 g
    Sodium Sulphite (anhyd) 90 gms
    Water to 1 litre

    13.7 gms Meritol = 6 gms PPD + 7.7 Pyrocatechin


    Superfine Grain (Meritol-Sulphite)

    Meritol 16 g
    Sodium Sulphite (anhyd) 90 gms
    Water to 1 litre

    16 gms Meritol = 7 gms PPD + 9 Pyrocatechin

    There's a warning that Superfine Grain developer might give dichroic fog with faster emulsions.

    Ian
     
  16. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    By golly, I knew I saw this somewhere! :smile: Read Fred De Van's post near the end of the thread where he mentions "running a load of inconsequential film". http://photo.net/black-and-white-photo-film-processing-forum/0065dl

    There's also a mention by Conrad Hoffman in another post. I'll try to get a link. Yup, 1st paragraph.
    http://photo.net/black-and-white-photo-film-processing-forum/007JMl

    This may be why my MCM100 didn't work well for me. Perhaps I didn't season it enough. It was also a homebrew and there's a better-than-good chance that human error was introduced in mixing. The OP may do very well with the kit from formulary.
     
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  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Thanks Jim, that makes sense as it's referring to Edwal 20 in the first link.

    Ian
     
  18. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    There's also a section on ripening in A&T (or should it be T&A? :wink: . It's a blanket statement re: all PPD devs; running a dead roll thru it to ripen.
     
  19. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    An old thread, I have using a tank of MCM 100 replenished similar to 777 or Edwal 12, I have a gallon mixed up in which I replace a quart every 12 to 14 rolls of 35mm film. Mycurrent tank is almost 2 years old, at what point should I toss and replace with all fresh?
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    PPD is a rather poor developing agent. When used alone it causes a large decrease in film speed and poor tonal separation. It's use in developers intended for modern emulsion is not recommended. PPD can cause dichroic fog with some fast films It can also cause skin irritation, may be a carcinogen and causes cross-sensitization in some people. One could run the risk of becoming allergic to say Metol. It's use in such developers as MCM 110 was for its silver halide solvency. With today's fine grain emulsions its use is problematic.
     
  21. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    After 2 years I have not seen any fog with Tmax or Foma 400, tones are good, grain is good as is sharpness, no loss of speed. Yes it can be toxic, I use gloves, so far no allergies reactions. With the new EPA rules for testing and posting for household chemistry many of our legacy developers may be coming to and end. Until then my question is when do I dump my tank and start over? Gerald's take is just dump it and use a modern developer. Any other thoughts?
     
  22. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    MCM-100 uses PPD in a superadditive combo with Catechol, so most of this doesn't apply to MCM-100.
    This, on the other side, is quite relevant to MCM-100, and everyone should make a conscious decision whether some possible small pictorial improvements are worth the risk dealing with PPD. From what I read it goes right through skin, so the typical "well, I won't eat it then" precaution will not suffice.
     
  23. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I use gloves and I wear glasses, on the other hand I am not sure how long any PPD developer will be on the market, the new federal law requiring testing on all the chemistry and toxicity of all home products is going to effect as soon as the EPA writes the regulations.
     
  24. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Yes, PDD must be used with some other developing agent. I wanted to stress that it brings nothing useful for modern films. There are so many of these old formulas that periodically get pulled out of the dust bin of history. The films that they were designed for no longer exist.
     
  25. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    I went through this dilemma just a short time ago and gave up trying to source PPD. I was trying to make Edwal 12 from scratch, which requires PPD and couldn't find a source. I ended up making it with Kodaks color developer additive CD2 and report that it works just fine. Maybe CD2 can also be used in MCM100? I used MCM100 many years ago and liked it. My only mistake was I used Kodak Rapid fixer w/hardener and maybe shouldn't have. The negatives came out with the image etched into the films emulsion(or whatever you call it) much like looking at color slide film at an angle under a bright light and both the emulsion side and base side had a shine to them. The only way to tell the emulsion side was by the etching. The negatives printed just fine, but I went back to Edwal's FG7 as that and HC-110 were all I used back then. I'd still use FG7 if it were made, but oh well on that! John W
     
  26. Marco Buonocore

    Marco Buonocore Member

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    I'm curious, what has changed with film that makes these developing agents less relevant?