Modified D-23

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by 2F/2F, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hello,

    Yesterday, I posted this: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum48/64725-fp4-long-exposure-extreme-pull.html.

    I put it in the exposure forum. I got some info on reciprocity that helped me out, but I wanted to really get into the idea for modified D-23.

    Basically, I have a handful of questions:

    1. How would halving or quartering the amount of sulfite in D-23 affect its characteristics?

    2. How would making the developer with no sulfite at all affect the characteristics?

    Basically, I am asking if sulfite has any effects other than as a preservative and silver solvent. For instance, does it affect pH, and thus developer activity?

    3. I am thinking of using a reduced agitation method of development to alter contrast and see what bromide/edge effects I can get. What is the minimum amount of metol powder needed to develop one 20 inĀ² piece of film?

    4. What is the life of the developer mixed with no sulfite? Will it go off in 10 minutes? 30 minutes? A day? All I need to do is mix it, let it cool, and then I will use it straight away.

    5. I have no gram scale at home, but I do have kitchen measuring spoons. I have searched a bit and found that 3g is average for a level teaspoon of metol. Is this correct?

    I am thinking of mixing a working solution directly by putting 1/2 tsp of metol into 1 liter of water. Going by the D-23 formula, which calls for 7.5 g of metol to make a liter of stock, this would be the same as a 1:4 dilution of stock to water.

    Grain is OK. Low contrast is OK. I am interested in getting some tips regarding minimum amounts of metol required, the effects of sulfite on pH, and keeping properties of the developer with no sulfite or reduced sulfite.

    Thoughts?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    1:3 D-23 is almost exactly one of the Weinchel [I can't spell] developers. I routinely make 1:3 up before use works fine if you remember to use more developer and time. Contrast etc is normal .

    I don't think you'll gain with leaving out the sulfite. Metol on it's own might have problems.

    I wouldn't mix this up for next day but same day is fine. Shouldn't need to use hot water. High dilution developers mix much easier.
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks. The details of this are exactly what I want to discuss.
     
  4. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Metol in solution alone is acidic, pH around 3, and will not develop film. The sulfite is both preservative and activator in D-23. If you put in enough borax with Metol to raise the pH to 8 or so, you can play with the amount of sulfite, but you're on your own with developing time. Without any preservative, the Metol will oxidize quite rapidly, and its development products act as restrainer. A small amount of sodium or potassium ascorbate will be a better preservative than the sulfite.
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Good information. Thank you.

    So, 100 g of sodium sulfite is a necessity for D-23 to work, I gather you are saying.

    The reason I am curious is that I do not want to use this as a fine-grained developer, but as an acutance developer. Perhaps I will get what I want simply by heavily diluting it...and/or, could I use, say, 50 g or 25 g instead of 100 g?

    Any ideas on minimum amounts of stock required?

    Also, I would need to know how to measure out sodium sulfite using measuring spoons.

    My supply of chemicals is in no way comprehensive. I have:

    metol
    hydroquinone
    sodium sulfite
    sodium disulfite
    sodium metabisulfite
    sodium metaborate
    borax

    ...and:

    potassium ferricyanide
    ferric ammonium citrate (green)
    oxalic acid
    sodium thiosulfate

    ...and no scale, and no way to measure pH. :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2009
  6. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    Developers with ingredients of the dilute D-23 type and metaborate(Kodalk)were studied in Kodak research labs by Altman and Henn,see the end of the link, AH-17 for example.As you surmise they are acutance developers but this research never made it into a popular formula,probably because the alkali metaborate is not strong enough and gives a long development time.With Sodium carbonate alkali you could make Beutler developer,a more practicable method.
    http://groups.google.com/group/rec.photo.darkroom/msg/ad128c7dd785032b
    Or with some sodium chloride(not table salt,it has iodide in) it would be possible to make Microdol type formula which diluted 1+3 gives moderate acutance.
    www.apug.org/forums/forum37/9951-mixing-microdol-x.html
     
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  7. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    But you could get ascorbic acid powder (Vitamin C) from a drugstore or health food store. You can certainly get baking soda. I'll bet you can get pH-Plus or an equivalent form of sodium carbonate where they sell swimming pool or hot tub chemicals. You can get a set of kitchen measuring spoons. You can add 1/4 teaspoon Metol to a quart or liter of water. You can mix 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid powder with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a small amount of water. After the fizzing subsides, add it to the mix. A teaspoon of sodium carbonate completes the developer. You'll have to play with (IOW do some tests) to find the proper developing time. You may be surprised, pleasantly I hope, at how simple things can be.
     
  8. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Another way to look at modified use of D23 is by making up Beutler's developer. An "A" solution like D23, a "B" solution of borax or sodium carbonate, used 1:1:10 with water as one shot. It is considered an "acutance" developer, rather than fine-grain.
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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  10. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The sulfite in D-23 does a lot of things. As mentioned before, it is both the preservative and the alkali. It also acts to reduce graininess (the appearance of grain) and to increase effective film speed. As mentioned above, Windisch metol-sulfite developer is similar to D-23 diluted 1+2 or 1+3 (it has 2.5 g of metol and 25 g of sulfite). So a metol developer can function with reduced sulfite. Keeping a higher metol concentration may help capacity, but I'm not sure what other effect it might have. Reducing the sulfite by that amount will increase graininess a bit and will reduce your effective film speeds. How much and what other effects will happen is a matter for experiment.