Mixtures of chemicals - Bonehead move of the day

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MikeS, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    Hi All.

    Well I sure messed up today! I bought a pound of Hydroquinone & a pound of Elon (metol) on eBay last week (both were Kodak brand, in a single listing), and it came in today.

    When I went to put it away I decided that the bottles looked like they had enough room that I could pour in the remaining amounts of Elon & hydroquinone that I had here already, and have one bottle of each, rather than 2. So I pull out all the bottles, and I open the old bottle of elon, pour it into the new one, mix them up a bit (so it wouldn't be old on top, new on bottom, but rather a mix, then I proceed to do the same with the hydroquinone, and as I'm getting ready to mix it up, I notice that the bottle I just poured it into says ELON on it!

    So now I have a pound of hydroquinone with a small amount of elon in it, and a pound of elon with some hydroquinone in it! I decided that it would probably be better to mix them all together, so I emptied both containers into a larger mixing bowl, mixed them together, now I have slightly over 2lbs of a roughly 50/50 mix of Metol & Hydroquinone!

    So... Am I totally screwed? Is there anything I can do with them other than pouring them down the drain? Maybe I should just throw in some amidol, and some pyro, mix them all into TEA, and come up with a new developer? :smile:

    -MikeS
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Premixed paper developer? You may experience quite a bit of variation between batches, but it should be allright for paper. I wouldn't want to develop film in it though - by the time you have figured out how the developer works today, it will be time to mix a new batch and start all over again...
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I think this is how new formulas are created. The problem is going to be you'll really like the results and won't be able to duplicate them. :surprised:
     
  4. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Second what Ole said. Haven't we all done one of these? I mixed up some Rodinal the wrong way once and used it for paper; worked fine. In fact, all of my experiments gone wrong end up as paper dev.
     
  5. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    In most developers where one ingredient is superadditive with another--in this case Metol (Elon) with HQ-- there is a point at which the combination of the two is at optimum ratio, and beyond that the superadditivity factor ceases to increase any further. I don't know where this is with Metol/HQ, but maybe someone like Gainer can help you here. It may be that once you figure out through experimenting on a test roll or two what a developing time might be, that all you'll have done is waste some of the chemicals which are not really contributing to the reaction because they've passed the optimum ratio.

    For sure it will work as a paper developer, albeit I suspect, as a fairly contrasty one. You might want to divide your paper developer to control the contrast. Put all the ingredients except the sodium carbonate in the first bath, and the carbonate alone in the second bath (about 1/3 cup per two liters of water). Give the print 30 seconds or so (not critical) in bath 1 and then however long in bath 2 until it develops to completion--usuallly less than a minute.

    Larry
     
  6. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    One of the published formulas of Kodak film developers, blessed if I can remember the name, uses equal parts of Elon (metol) and hydroquinone with Kodalk as alkali. It was used for sheet film in the days when press photographers used 4X5 Speed Graphics and monstrous flashbulbs. For a quick and (hopefully not) dirty trial, you can mix 2 tsp of your mixture, 2 tbs sodium sulfite and 2 tsp of Kodalk in a quart or liter of water. It should also work with 1 tsp of sodium carbonate in place of the Kodalk. If you like it, you can weigh out the teaspoon measures so you can tell others your formula to the 0.01 gram.
    I'm sure you will find a similar recipe in "The Darkroom Cookbook".
     
  7. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Perhaps the biggest problem would be assuring that the metol and hydroquinone were both uniformly distributed in the micture. If you made a saturated solution of the mixture in an alcohol, the differential solubility of the two might give you a good ratio to use in something akin to D-76. Hydroquinone is considerably more soluble in propylene glycol than is metol. You would have to contrive a way to determine how much of each a given volume of the saturated solution holds, and what to do with the sediment.
     
  8. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    You're getting off light...I poured a half gallon of ripened Harvey's 777 developer into a bottle half filled with rapid fixer.
     
  9. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    So now you have a monobath developer.
     
  10. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Gadget, I'm pretty sure 777 isn't fast working enough to make a monobath with rapid fixer. HC-110 Dilution A is barely fast enough, with the rapid fixer diluted at 1:24 (normal film strength is 1:4).
     
  11. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    What you need is a "ball mill".

    Throw a dozen large steel balls in the container (hopefully it is not glass or thin plastic) and roll it around for some time to let the balls break the crystals into smaller crystals and powder them.

    Use a rock polisher if you have access, or duct tape the container to the inside of the mag wheels of a friend's muscle car and drive around slowly for an hour. This will allow the steel balls to pulzerize the mixture and mix it until it becomes homogeneous.
     
  12. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    That being the case, you can probably use the fixer, developer and all, as fixer. I say this because I often add fixer concentrate directly to the developer at the end of development time. Even TF4 acts as stop bath and fixer when I add at least 1 ounce of fixer concentrate for every ounce of developer. Edwal used to suggest this method of using their rapid fix, and I did it then and still do. I think in some cases the timing of development is more consistent than if I poured out the developer, poured in stop bath or water, poured that out and then poured in the diluted developer.
     
  13. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    THis would work, but I would dedicate that blender to only be used with chemicals, and not coffee. Perhaps you local thrift store has some real cheap.
     
  14. phfitz

    phfitz Member

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    Hi there,

    Commercial Developer Kodak DK - 50

    Water (125°) 500ml
    Elon (metol) 2.5g
    Sodium Sulfite 30.0g
    Hydroquinone 2.5g
    Kodalk 10.0g
    Potassium Bromide 0.5g
    Water to make 1.0L

    Dissolve in order given.
    Suggested: 4 - 6 min.@68°F in trays
    8 min.@68°F in tanks
    8 min.@68°F in tanks at 1 -1 for portraits


    Commercial Developer Kodak DK - 60a

    Water (125°F) 750ml
    Elon (metol) 2.5g
    Sodium Sulfite 50.0g
    Hydroquinone 2.5g
    Kodalk 20.0g
    Potassium Bromide 0.5g
    Water to make 1.0L

    Dissolve in order given.
    Suggested: deep tank = 7 min.@68°F

    You could always mix it up as divided D-76. DK50 & DK60 are both very fast acting, dilute 1-1.

    Just a thought.
     
  15. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I have in fact seen small blender-type coffee grinders at low cost. Walmart probably has one. That might be a good thing to have for dedicated use in the darkroom. I don't think much of coffee ground that way.

    One problem with this method of mixing is that air is entrapped in the powder, which probably increases the oxygen diaaolved in the developer solution. This initially dissolved air may be more than can be absorbed by opening and pouring from the developer bottle, whether you use marbles or a collapsible bag or other means of keeping air from the surface of the stored developer. It is always recommended that water to be used for making developer solutions be boiled to eliminate as much air as possible, but I think a vacuum pump would be needed to get it out of powdered solids. IIRC, one of the reasons for premature failure of XTOL was leaking "vacuum sealed" foil pouches.
     
  16. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Yes, quite probably.

    But think about how many grams of oxygen that would be. One mole of air at STP will occupy about 22.4 liters and weigh about 29 grams. That's a little over 1 gram/L.

    So how much air will be trapped in that 5 grams of powder that you are going to measure out? Let's be generous and say maybe 1 ml of entrapped air? So that's about 1 mg of air. And then only 21% of that air is oxygen, so now we are down to about 0.2 mg of oxygen that would be entrapped. But I don't think I would call this a problem.
     
  17. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    At 80F it might be. Wonderful things happen with 777 @ 80 degrees.

    tim in san jose
     
  18. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Yes, it is true that the amount of air would be very small, but so is the amount of air that we worry about so much that we fill airspace with marbles or use wine bags. One molecule of oxygen can and will disable one molecule of ascorbic acid. I wouldn't hesitate to use the pulverizing mixer, but I won't make any guarantees about it to others until after I have tried it.
     
  19. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    (re: 777 accidentally mixed with rapid fixer as a monobath)

    My experience (having actually made a monobath with rapid fixer) is that there are very, very few commercial developers fast enough working for this to be practical. My own monobath requires HC-110 Dilution A, at 75 F, which would normally give a development time of not much over two minutes, and at that I had to boost the alkalinity and dilute the fixer as far as I dared. My monobath formula is reproduced in an article on APUG about a Pintoid Processor (the article isn't mine, but the monobath is). Take a look over there and tell me if 777 would work fast enough, even at 80 F, to beat a fixer that takes less than six minutes to fully fix the film.

    Even if it can, you'd have to replace the alkali neutralized by reaction with the acetic acid in the fixer, and the fixer is so dilute it should be used as one-shot -- which rather defeats the reusability of 777.
     
  20. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Jay, your Rapid Universal Developer is the first one I've seen that was a good candidate for monobath use with rapid fixer at common film strength -- complete dev and fix in three minutes, looks like, and hang the film less than ten minutes after pouring the soup. If you already have an alkaline rapid fixer on hand, I'd suggest trying it. You might have to adjust alkalinity or dev/fixer ratio to get the right contrast, and since the fixer is removing the halide even as the developer is reducing the exposed portion, there is usually some loss of film speed -- but the press used to love monobaths before Polaroid and then digital took over their rapid-pub applications. Develop 35 mm film inside the cassette, in daylight, in a coffee cup, using a pencil (eraser end) to manipulate the cassette spool by way of agitation. Even traditional monobaths worked in ten minutes or so, and with RUD-based monobath, if you have a way to wet-scan the negatives, you could shoot film and seriously compete with Polaroid and digital...
     
  21. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A strange side effect of fixer in the developer is that sometimes the development is faster with fixer in! I believe it is a result of the fixer dissolving the siver halide crystals, so that the developer has better access to fresh sites to work on - but i might be wrong. Anyway, it's probably related to the development of van Dyke prints in the fixer...

    With a very rapid developer, diffusion speed is the limiting factor on how short the development can be. And fixer might actually help it a bit here, if my guesstimate of what goes on is within a reasonable margin of being a usable model.

    PS: That last sentence could only have been written by a geologist trying to avoid committment!
     
  22. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    One other factor to keep in mind for monobaths -- if your developer and fixer have the same working time, you'll lose shadows because the halide will fix away before details are developed there. OTOH, if the developer goes to completion, with most developers, you'll have excessive contrast. In your case, the Superfixer might be overkill even with RUD (though if you could package the two together in gel form, you're on the road to making your own Polaroids -- think in terms of 70 mm film used to create reloads for old roll-film Polaroid cameras like the Pathfinder 110).

    And yes, it's necessary to alter the proportions and/or alkalinity both to control contrast, and to accommodate different films (fixing rate and developing rate don't maintain the same relationship with different emulsions). The simple way to do this would be to carry two or three bottles of concentrate -- one RUD, one Superfixer, one of something like sodium carbonate or even sodium hydroxide solution for adding alkalinity when needed -- and mix the stuff as needed. No more complicated than making salad dressing -- for a 35 mm roll of Film Q, use X ml RUD concentrate, Y ml Superfixer concentrate, Z ml carbonate solution, and water to make 240 ml. Mix, pour into tank, agitate for two minutes, and wash. Washing will be fast too, of course, because the film is left alkaline.

    Bad news is, liquids are frowned upon for air travel, and unidentified white powders in your luggage aren't much better... :tongue:
     
  23. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    And in a slightly less exotic arena, some B&W Polaroid systems develop/fix in 15 seconds at "room temperature" of around 70 F (though the Type 55/665/85 P/N family take a minute or more)