MIXING MICRODOL-X

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Joseph, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. Joseph

    Joseph Member

    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Gloucester,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I would like to mix Microdol-X from scratch. Has anyone had experiences doing this that they can share?

    Steve Anchell's books suggest the following fromula:
    1. 750 ml Water at 125 F
    2. 5 grams Metol
    3. 100 grams Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous
    4. 30 grams Sodium Chloride
    5. Cold water to make 1 liter

    Will this formula match Kodak's packaged Microdol-X?
    Thanks, Joseph
     
  2. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

    Messages:
    212
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    Northern Ida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I tried this formula once, and I didn't find that it performed the same as the real thing. Using this formula, the grain is larger than with real Microdol-X. Using the same times as for the Kodak product produced good negs, just not what I expected. This formula is very much like D23 with some salt added. Might as well just use D23 IMO.
    See what others have to say, and then decide.
    Dean
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    This formulation is substantially different than the one I published in the Apug Chemistry section (with a modification suggested by Patrick Gainer):

    "Here is Ronald W. Anderson's Microdol-X substitute formula. This formula was published in the 1973 Dignan Photographic Newsletter.

    Microdol-X Substitute

    Water-----------------------750. ml
    Metol-------------------------7.5 grams
    Sodium Sulfite (anhy)--------100 grams
    Sodium Bisulfite----------------7.5 grams
    Water to make---------------1.0 liter

    This formula works fine with the normal developing times given for Microdol-X (both use 1:3 dilution). The results: The same, even to image tone.


    Pat Gainer suggests that adding 30 to 50 grams of canning salt or iodine free table salt to this recipe may result in a reduction in granularity without significantly increasing development time.

    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=9308 "


    Note the increase in the amount of Metol and the addition of 7.5 grams of Sodium Bisulfite which distinguish this formulation from Kodak D23.

    This formulation is basically Kodak D-25 with iodine free salt added.
     
  4. tbm

    tbm Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I use Microdol-X diluted 1:3 almost always pursuant to page 70 of [/I]The Film Developing Cookbook as well as a pro Leica shooter who also does the same and I get amazing tonality and sharpness on every occasion! I love Microdol!
     
  5. Joseph

    Joseph Member

    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Gloucester,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Soium Chloride?

    Tom: I had read the APUG Mic-X formula.

    1. How is Sodium Chloride (30 grams) different from Sodium Bisulfite
    (7.5 grams) for one liter of Mic-X?

    2. Does one liter require 7.5 grams of Metol or does 5 grams work OK?

    Thanks fo your info.
     
  6. martin@jangowski.de

    martin@jangowski.de Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm currently testing a similar formula (5g Metol, 100g Sulfite, 33g NaCl, 1g Boric acid to 1l solution). First tests with APX100 (11:00min 1+3, 24deg, rotation) gave an CI of 0.64, excellent sharpness and the finest grain I ever had with APX100. I can't compare with Microdol-X, I never tried the stuff. Speed is about 40 ASA, I rate the APX100 64 ASA with D76H 1+1 with a similar CI.

    Martin
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Joseph, you asked:

    1. How is Sodium Chloride (30 grams) different from Sodium Bisulfite
    (7.5 grams) for one liter of Mic-X?

    Sodium Chloride apparently acts as a weak restrainer in the Gainer version of the formulation. Again, it must be straight sodium chloride - no iodine.

    Sodium Bisulfite acts as a developer preservative. It also acts as a pH buffer in combination with the sodium sulfite.

    2. Does one liter require 7.5 grams of Metol or does 5 grams work OK?

    The Kodak D23 and D25 formulations published by Morgan and Morgan in the 1977 Edition of The Compact Photo Lab Index, both call out 7.5 grams of Metol for 1 liter of stock solution developer.

    Either of these developers can be diluted 1:1 or 1:3 to make a one-shot working developer (as can the official Kodak version of Microdol-X).

    I have always used all three of these developers as 1:3 one-shot dilutions (the equivalent of 2.5 grams/liter of Metol) with good results.

    With regard to diluting the 5 gram version 1:1 or 1:3, try it and see if it works for you.
     
  8. psvensson

    psvensson Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I thought a silver sequestrant was necessary if you add NaCl to the developer? I believe I've read that the "X" in Microdol-X refers to that secret ingredient. I certainly got dichroic fog when I added salt to a phenidone/ascorbic developer.
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I see nothing to indicate that a silver sequestrant is necessary when you add NaCl to this metol/sulfite formulation. Phenidone/ascorbic is a different animal.

    Perhaps Pat Gainer will chime in on this.
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I forgot to mention, someone ran an FTIR Spectroscopic analysis on Microdol X and posted the results. The constituent ingredients were the same as Kodak D25 plus NaCl and Calgon.
     
  11. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

    Messages:
    244
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I was told you can tweak the formula- more salt= more "fine grain" (grain dissovling) effect... can anyone confirm this...
     
  12. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    The NaCl is a very weak restrainer. Its main use in fine grain developers is as a silver halide solvent. Remember, the first fixer for photo emulsions was brine. You don't want iodized salt because iodine is a stronger restrainer than bromine IIRC. You may be able to find the article "Salt to Taste" in the Photo Techniques back issues at www.phototechmag.com.
     
  13. skahde

    skahde Member

    Messages:
    427
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There seem to be more Microdol-(X) substitutes out there than you can shake a stick at.

    All approaches seem to take something like D23 (with more or less Metol) and to either add a restrainer (i.e. solvent action NaCl, KBr) or lower the pH (add bisulfite, boric acid or the alike) and thereby increase time of development and in turn solvent action of the sulfite or just do both. Besides the exact quantities used all aproaches seem to be pretty similar.

    The formula quoted by Anchel and Troop may not be identical to Microdol-X but there has been information dripping out of Ilford indicating that the formula is darn close if not identical to Perceptol. In my view it can be seen as the the basic approach to the problem.

    Stefan
     
  14. psvensson

    psvensson Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Shooter:
    Medium Format

    From a post by Richard Knoppow on http://www.binbooks.com/books/photo/i/l/5DDE6AE25C

     
  15. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My comment was not based on the Kodak MSDS but on an independent spectroscopic analysis. Of course, Kodak may have changed the mixture since then...
     
  16. psvensson

    psvensson Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I wonder if the Calgon is the silver sequestrant Knoppow is referring to. I got some interesting results when I added kosher salt to a Gainer-type brew of phendione, ascorbic acid and carbonate. The grains were small and very well defined little dots. Didn't look like a sulfite-free developer or a sulfite developer. Unfortunately, results were inconsistent and I had dichroic fog, so I abandoned the formula. But Calgon is readily available, so it's worth a shot.
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,035
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I Know this is an old thread but as it's just been linked to:

    The Sodium Chloride is added as a mild silver solvent. Many years ago Iford published a leaflet suggesting adding Ammonium Chloride to certain of their developers to obtain finer grain but at the expense of a speed loss. It was published in:
    ILFORD TECHNICAL INFORMATION SHEET P10
    FINE GRAIN DEVELOPMENT

    It's the same principal as the addition of additional Bromide to a warm tone print developers is to reduce the grain size in the print.

    You can see that the amount of Sodium Chloride is high at 30gms per litre but it probably has a less side affects with regard to loss of shadow details etc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2005
  18. psvensson

    psvensson Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Now that it's back from the dead, I might as well chime in that I've been experimenting some with a developer that has a lot of sodium chloride and no sulfite. It needs Calgon to prevent dichroic fog. I'll post more details when I've tried it a bit more.
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,035
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Stick as much calgon in as you like it's not really the answer to dichroic fog.
     
  20. psvensson

    psvensson Member

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Then why do I get dichroic fog with no Calgon, a little bit with 1 ml of Calgon, and none with 2 ml of Calgon? Done this a number of times. Have you tried?