neutol plus - slow developing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by malheur 72, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. malheur 72

    malheur 72 Member

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    I chose Agfa Neutol Plus for its non-toxic quality and am very pleased with the prints it gives me with Slavich fiber base graded paper. However it takes 4 minutes for all the details to come up. I am not a good printer to begin with and this slow time really hurts my productivity. The development doesn't seem very temperature sensitive - at 68 degrees or below, 4 min. Is it the lack of hydroquinone that causes slowness or am I doing something wrong? Would I be better off switching to an equally safe (i.e. little or not harmful vapors) developer?
     
  2. Remi

    Remi Member

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    I used Neutol Plus and it was always kind of weak - even at 75, the blacks weren't super black. Switched to Dektol and haven't looked back.
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    My TEA stock concentrate recipe gives a good black D MAX, similar to D-72 (DEKTOL).

    The stock concentrate lasts for years. The working solution lasts for a few hours.

    Triethanolamine
    Metol

    Ascorbic Acid

    Benzotriazole (for a black or blue black image tone).

    Potassium Bromide (for a warmer image tone).

    PM me for the recipe and mixing instructions.
     
  4. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I've never used Neutol Plus; however, another paper developer with similar environmental characteristics is Silvergrain Tektol. Actually, there are two versions -- Standard and Neutral. These are the next-generation commercial version of the mix-it-yourself DS-14 formula. I've used both of the Tektol versions and DS-14. They work a little bit more slowly than Dektol, but not much -- I develop most papers for 1:30 in Tektol/DS-14 vs. 1:15 in Dektol 1+2. That said, I've only developed a few sheets of Slavich Bromoportrait in Tektol -- certainly not enough to really get a good feel for the combination. I seem to recall the Slavich didn't take much longer to develop than the Agfa and Foma VC RC papers I normally use. In fact, I think my exposure times with the Slavich were longer than the development times; the Bromoportrait is a pretty slow paper.

    If you're willing to mix developers yourself, there are lots of other options, too. I'm sure Tom's recipe will work fine, or you can mix DS-14, E-72, or lots of others. You might even experiment with the formulas Slavich provides, or come up with phenidone/ascorbic acid analogs of them.
     
  5. sbelyaev

    sbelyaev Member

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    I use neutol + (1+9) with RC paper. Have never had any problems neither with time no blacks.
     
  6. malheur 72

    malheur 72 Member

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    thanks to all

    Thank you for your responses. I will probably begin by experimenting with Tektol since I'm not currently set up to measure and mix chemicals. Jim
     
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Fortunately, mixing home-brew formulas is fairly easy. You'll need a scale, but they aren't too expensive. For phenidone-based formulas, the scale should be capable of measuring pretty small quantities, or you'll need to make a stock solution in propylene glycol or some other suitable solvent. Of course, you'll also need a stock of raw chemicals. You can buy what you need from Photographer's Formulary, Art Craft, Digital Truth, or other outfits. Putting this all together will take a bit of research, but once you've got it you'll be able to experiment with lots of different formulas. Of course, buying ready-mixed developers is easier, but not by that much once you've got the necessary equipment and basic chemical stocks.
     
  8. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    I use Neutol WA almost exclusively as a paper developer, and am pleased with its slow reacting performance, one reason being that I often will develop pinhole camera exposed paper negatives in Neutol, and the slow development aids in controlling contrast.

    I also like premixed liquid paper developers, and the keeping properties of Neutol are, in my opinion, on par with Rodinal. Buy a big bottle and it'll last a long while.

    ~Joe
     
  9. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Note that Neutol WA is an entirely different developer from Neutol Plus, which is the developer the original poster has been using. Neutol Plus is a phenidone/ascorbate (PC) developer, and the OP has been using it for that reason. According to the MSDS available from Freestyle, Neutol WA contains hydroquinone, which Neutol Plus doesn't use. There's no mention of any other developing agent in Neutol WA that I noticed in a quick scan, but it could be it contains phenidone in such small quantities that it didn't need to be mentioned. If so, that'd make it a PQ developer.

    This may be true of Neutol WA, but I wouldn't assume it to be true of Neutol Plus. PC developers in general have an iffy reputation for longevity. I vaguely recall seeing claims of Neutol Plus going bad in the bottle in only a moderate period of time. Of course, since it's a paper developer, this isn't as bad as a film developer going bad, but I certainly wouldn't recommend that anybody buy more than a few months' anticipated supply of Neutol Plus (or the Tektol products I mentioned in an earlier post).
     
  10. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

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    What concentration did you use to give you these results ? If you weren't using 1+9 perhaps you should try it. Neutol Plus is my paper developer of choice for now.

    Peter
     
  11. malheur 72

    malheur 72 Member

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    neutol plus dilution

    The 4 minute developing time was achieved with a 1:9 dilution. For reasons of economy, I didn't try a stronger concentration. Jim
     
  12. Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Member

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    I've used Neutol plus quite a bit with no problems regarding maximum blacks or developing time compared to Dektol or anything else. All neutral/cold tone paper developers are about the same regarding final print characteristics when used with developer-incorporated papers (which is almost all VC papers) I've never been able to tell the difference between Neutol, Dektol or the A-130 formula when examining my prints. The paper itself makes much more of a difference.