Mythbusters: OJ film developer???

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by srs5694, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I just watched tonight's episode of "Mythbusters" (on the Discovery Channel on US cable/satellite systems). For those not in the know, this show is devoted to testing urban legends, myths, etc., "scientifically." (Their scientific rigor seems to be about on a high school science fair level.)

    Anyhow, tonight's episode was a "MacGyver Special," in which they tested some feats shown on the TV show "MacGyver." In one task, the hosts had to solve a number of MacGyver-style problems, one of which was developing a roll of film using their choice of a dozen or so common kitchen liquids. The hosts failed at this particular task, but viewers were told that the "correct" solution (presumably taken from the MacGyver TV show) was to develop in orange juice and fix in ammonium. This seems extremely wrong to me, but I thought I'd toss it out for opinions. The OJ would be at a very wrong acidity to develop film, would it not? Would there be any chance for it to work even if you added enough sodium carbonate or some other base? As for fixing, would plain household ammonium do anything at all? I thought it was the thiosulfate part of ammonium thiosulfate that was more critical in fixing film.
     
  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    They should have picked coffee.....
     
  3. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    OJ alone, no way. OJ + Tylenol + pH Plus or household ammonia stands a good chance.
     
  4. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    OJ has vitamin C, I would guess that adding Soda (carbonate) so that pH is alkaline it may work.
    But as gadget said it is quite imporbable
     
  5. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    They'd have been better off using Kryptonite!
     
  6. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    homemade developer - instant coffee & washing soda (sodium carbonate)
    homemade fix - allegedly the "make water safe for fish" drops contains sodium thiosulphate so in a pinch you could use that MAYBE but it's way more costly than fix so few people have tried it. I know a 250ml bottle of Tetra Aquasafe costs about £8 and there's lots of other stuff in it so it's probably not at the right concentration either.
    Edit: actually Tetra Aquasafe is one brand that DOESN'T contain Sodium thiosulphate apparently (when I googled)
     
  7. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

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    i wonder how many people made a mess AND ruined some film lastnight/today/whenever the reruns happen
     
  8. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I'm more more inclined to use alternative chems for paper developing than film. I guess I'm just too afraid of ruining the raw material for printing. Also, the results on the print are readily apparent and can be applied to virtually any good negative. I have had some pretty good (if inconsistent) success with printing using Caffenol. In the case of Caffenol, the effect is more like that of toning developers.

    If you're interested, here is an article I produced following my experiments with printing in Caffenol:
    http://tomoverton.images.googlepages.com/caffenol

    Cheers,
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Orange juice contains vitamin C, ascorbic acid. They had bicarbonate of soda as well on the shelf. Those mixed until the foaming stopped and then addition of more bicarb would have made an alkaline solution of ascorbic acid. That might have developed film in about 1/2 hour or so. The ammonia would have fixed the film at least to the extent of rendering the image stable for a short time and viewable.

    PE
     
  10. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    If the Mythbusters show was only about 10 or 15 minutes, without all the repetition and cerebral-ness (duh factor) it would be watchable and sometimes entertaining. As is they take all the fun out of it and take forever to get to the last 2 minutes where they finally shoot something or blow it up or whatever. What was the last show, showing how long it takes for grass to grow or paint to dry? BORING!!!

    paulie
     
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I'd forgotten about the vitamin C in orange juice. Maybe I'll give it a try, just for the heck of it! Oh, and I do know about caffeinol, paRodinal, and other home-brew developers. I didn't mean to start a re-hash of discussions about them, just solicit opinions on OJ, since I didn't recall ever seeing it mentioned as a possible developer. FWIW, I didn't notice coffee amongst the products they had available, but they didn't provide viewers with a clear list, either.
     
  12. arigram

    arigram Member

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    A film developer using a imprisoned black boxer?
    Now, that's seems a bit hard to make.
     
  13. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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  15. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    He was a football player, and a very good one running back.
     
  16. knoxissimpler

    knoxissimpler Member

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    I tried this yesterday, it did develop the film when some soda was added, but the tank came open while agitating, and the lights were on so I sorta scrambled to get the developer to stop... was in for around 15 or 16 minutes.. the images that were visible were not really transparent (I assumed this was from not enough development time)... and I had to get out of there cause my time had run short (school hours)

    but for my first time to actually develop the film myself (and since he still wont let me use his film developer) I rather enjoyed trying orange juice!

    ADDITION: BTW, i used B&W film, T-Max 400
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2008
  17. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    They would have been better trying human urine (I guess you might be able to call it a common bathroom liquid, if not a kitchen one).
     
  18. knoxissimpler

    knoxissimpler Member

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    tried coffee, didn't work

    I tried the afore mentioned coffee, couldn't get it to work... and I still haven't had time to replicate the original results with OJ (need to find out what kind it was, I just found it at school)... any suggestions for when using coffee? I found that OJ tends to make a froth that keeps coming back...
     
  19. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Coffee developer is slow and is a pull & staining developer. You'll lose about 1 stop of speed so overexpose your film by 1 stop. It takes about 30 minutes to develop. You are using washing soda not baking soda to change the pH, yes? :smile:
    here's the recipes for caffenol
    http://www.digitaltruth.com/techdata/caffenol.php
     
  20. knoxissimpler

    knoxissimpler Member

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    yes I am using washing soda, and thank you for telling me that I need some more exposure (really had no idea)... and good news, even though my OJ developed film never really became transparent enough, I still made a contact sheet and a enlarged print!... I'll try to post them tonight maybe..
     
  21. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    doesn't it have to be something someone has heard of to be a myth --- OJ as developer is not one I have heard.
     
  22. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Yeah, you hit that nail on the head. I find their antics amusing, and sometimes they rig up pretty cool devices, but as "edutainment" goes it's heavily weighted on the "tainment" side of things. I always find myself cursing that they didn't bother to explain a physical principle even superficially, or that they never bother doing replicate experiments because of statistical variability, etc. But hey - it's all about blowing stuff up in amusing ways, and keeping the unwashed masses from changing the channel :wink:
     
  23. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    The few times I watch it, I usually download .avi versions, and the fact that it's geared towards a station with constant commercial interruptions is apparent... the pattern is so annoying: 2 minutes of flashback, 2 minutes of new content, 2 minutes of "what's up next" <spot for commercial segment>, 2 minute flashback, 2 minute new content, 2 minute "up next", <spot for commercial>, etc.

    I couldn't imagine having to put up with all that repetition plus a bunch of crappy commercials.

    TV becomes so absurd once you've been away from it for a significant amount of time.
     
  24. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    Yes, but are you somebody? :wink: :D Just kidding, too easy to pass that one up.

    I hadn't heard of the OJ version but until I tried Folgerol and Vit-C for myself a few years ago the did sound quite far-fetched. Not exactly mythic because there are several "reliable" references to them on the web.
     
  25. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    Amen. I wish the production staffers had walked with the writers...
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If you spend an hour reading APUG posts, and then spend an hour watching TV, the TV does not seem all that bad. :D

    PE