Newbie to Amidol - some ?'s

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Digidurst, May 10, 2005.

  1. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Hey ya'll :smile: How goes it?

    Have any of you tried the Michael & Paula mix from Photographer's Formulary? It comes in 1 & 3 liter kit sizes but considering the shelf life of the stuff is 24 hours at best, I'm thinking I wouldn't want to mix up the whole batch at once. Or is that the way it's supposed to be done?

    Forgive me, I'm new to the Amidol thing so suggestions for dividing would be helpful. Thanks!

    p.s. Here's the mixing directions from PF for mixing 1 liter
    900 ml Distilled water (68°F) Just before use
    30 g Sodium Sulfite
    3 g Citric Acid
    2 ml (10 ml) 10% Potassium Bromide solution
    8 g Amidol
    Distilled water to make 1000 ml
     
  2. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    You don't need a kit. Just buy the constituent chemicals from Artcraft Chemicals along with a scale and mix before each use. Mix in the order and quantities you have listed above. Then you needn't worry about shelf life. Michael's Amidol was made in 1903. He's been using the same batch for something like 30 years.

    Some of us have standardized on 3 cc of KBr rather than the 2 cc listed on the M&P website. This warms up the tone a little, especially grade 3.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2005
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd also recommend just acquiring the ingredients and mixing it yourself in whatever batch size works for you, since you should mix it right before the developing session, and it doesn't last really to the next day.

    Go to the "Procedures and Formulas" section in the "Azo" are at www.michaelandpaula.com for the formula. I usually mix it for Azo at the beginning of the session, and if I'm planning to do enlargements, I add the requisite amount of KBr and benzotriazole to use it with enlarging paper, just so I can get as much out of each batch as possible.

    Not all papers respond in interesting ways to amidol. Azo and Maco Expo RF (formerly sold in the US under the Cachet label, manufacture by Efke and also sold under their label) are interesting in amidol. Ilford MG IV FB and RC don't do much in amidol that they couldn't do in Dektol. Experiment with whatever paper you use to see if it's worth it.
     
  4. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I, too, recommend getting the ingredients and mixing them yourself. I frequently mix 1/2 of the recipe you give - simply cutting the amount of each ingredient in half.
    juan
     
  5. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Sorry for the off topic, but is the J&C Expo paper the same as the Maco and Cachet?
     
  6. User Removed

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    I too would say to purchase from ArtCraft Chemicals the things you need to make the developer yourself, get a cheep little digital scale, and mix away. You are getting ALOT more developer for your money by buying in bulk. Just purchase the smallest ammount of everything that you need from Artcraft, and that will make enought developer to last you several printing sesions in your darkroom.

    Someone suggested to add MORE KBR, but I say DO NOT. It depends on what type of tone you like in your prints. It is recommended to use 2ml of it, but I use an eye dropper and do about 15 drops, which is just abit less then 2ml. If you add even a few more drops to your developer, your prints will come out a funky dirty green color, compaired to a neutral cool color. Its really up to you, I just say experiment.

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  7. User Removed

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    Also, what paper are you using? Michael has a different formula for both AZO and enlarging papers. Make sure you use the correct one. The formula you posted above is for AZO.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Good question. I think Maco may have stopped distributing it, so I'll need to figure out what it is next time I need to order paper. Cachet no longer distributes Maco in the US.
     
  9. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Yup - that's what I'm getting ready to experiment with :smile:

    p.s. What is 'KBR'

    (I told you guys I had no clue about this stuff so don't start throwing odd abbreviations my way or I might accidently blow up the house or something)
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    K=potassium
    Br=bromide
     
  11. User Removed

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    Kbr is Potassium Bromide. You want to make sure you mix the 10% dilution correctly too before using it. When i first mixed it, I did not bring the water volume up after adding the Potassium Bromide, so it was more then 10% (probably closer to 20%), so when I added it to the developer, it made my prints come out with very weak blacks and a gross green tone.

    Mixing amidol is VERY simple. I think you might be able to purchase a cheep digital scale from photography formulary, but I would still purchase each chemical yourself and mix it yourself. You are saving ALOT of money, getting ALOT more developer and you are learning at the same time! Make sure you mix them in the order that Michael has listed, and make sure each one is FULLY disolved before adding the next chemical.

    If you need any help, just let us know!

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  12. User Removed

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    Im not sure if your familar with mixing dry chemicals, so I borrowed this from Ansel Adams book "The Print". It relates to how to get the proper mix on your chemicals. I made this mistake when I first started, so I just dont want you doing the same thing!

    "For those not familiar with the preparation of percent solutions, a 10 percent solution contains 10 grams of a dry chemical in 100 ml of MIXED solution. NOTE that this is not the same as adding 10 grames of the chemical to 100ml water! Usually, the dry chemical is added to about 3/4ths of the water, and then after mixing it together, more water is added to make up the required total volume"

    Hope I helped.

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  13. mark

    mark Member

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    I assume you bought the kit already.

    If you got the 1 liter kit you do it all at once. I think the three liter kit can be broken up. The working solution of Amidol is very short lived in that you can't save if for the next night when you are finished.

    All of the above advice is good and when you finish off this kit you can buy the raw chemicals. Since I have a small child in the house and the darkroom is the bathroom kits make a little more sense storage wise for me and my situation.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Nope - just looking into it. Guess that's a good thing, huh? I miss my own stuff for alt. process stuff so mixing a little isn't a big deal. It's just that with my inexperience, I thought the kit would be easier. But saving a little $$$ is never a bad thing :smile:

    Thanks all for the help!
     
  15. User Removed

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    You do not know how simple and easy it is to mix working amidol developer, its VERY simple and I know you will like it. What type of paper are you using? I use only AZO, which of course...amidol is amazing for, but I have also used Agfa enlarging paper and had better blacks, and better tonal range on the prints by using Amidol. Oriental Seagull also worked well for me in Amidol.

    Probably one of the best things, is using the waterbath development. Are you familar with that at all? It comes in handy if your printing on graded papers.

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  16. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    No, I'm not familiar with the waterbath development technique. I'm just beginning my explorations with contact printing and I've heard lots of good things about AZO. A kind individual (from the AZO forum) sent me a couple of proofs and they were really beautiful so I was inspired to try it. A fellow APUGer put some AZO paper up for sale which is allowing me to experiment without such a large cash outlay.

    Those other papers you mentioned; Are you doing contact printing with those?
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Water bath processing is a real attraction of amidol for reducing contrast. The basic technique that I use is to put the print in the developer for about 1/3 the total normal development time or until the image emerges, then transfer it gently to a plain water bath without agitating for the remaining development time. The developer will be exhausted quickly in the shadows and the highlights will continue to develop. Keep an eye on the print, and if you want more shadow density, you can transfer it back to the developer and then back to the water bath if you want, as many times as you like until the print looks right.

    Amidol has the curious property of developing from the bottom up rather than from the surface down, so it is particularly well suited to this technique, because the developer isn't quickly washed away in the water bath. It can work for film too.
     
  18. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Contacts

    Digi-a contact print is a contact print-no matter what paper is used. People are using AZO because it supposedly gives a 3D effect. But ANY paper will suffice. Remember that it is a 1:1 process-nothing is lost to enlarging. Please read the threads at the AZO forum because you must produce a very dense negative for grade 2. Enjoy the paper!!
    Best, Peter
     
  19. User Removed

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    Of course you can contact print on any paper, but why would you want to contact print on an enlarging paper, when there is AZO? Clearly you saw the results that AZO gives compaired to enlarging paper, so you know its worth it.

    Do you have grade 2 or grade 3 AZO? From experience, I know you will need grade 3 and use grade 3 the most. Since I have been contact printing and shooting 8x10, there has only been like TWO negatives that needed grade 2...everything else worked on grade 3. With using water bath development you can take a grade 3 paper down to grade two anyways!

    I recomend you purchase some grade 3 from Michael, or find someone on the board to sell you at least 20 sheets. I just say purchase the whole box because you WILL use it, that is for sure.
     
  20. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Very interesting, David! Thanks for sharing the technique :smile:
     
  21. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Actually Ryan, thanks to Peters (who sold me his supply) I have a bit of both to play with. So I'll experiment and learn and have a good time and I will probably try lots of papers before it's all over with. But man oh man! the results I saw in those proofs are just breath-taking. All in good fun :smile:
     
  22. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Grade 3

    Digi-Ryan is right about the grade 2 but since you are starting out make your negatives to fit that grade. I only sent you the remaining grade 3 of which there is not alot left in the box. I would spend the money and get the grade 3 from Michael. You can always use the 2 for proofing.
    Best, Peter
     
  23. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    I hear ya, Peter, no worries :smile: But I make all my negatives for contact printing that other way that we're not allowed to mention unless we want to endure a virtual stoning. But I'll use what you've sent, evaluate from there, and get what I really need in the future. Buying your supply just gives me a cheap way to experiment, ya know? So thanks again :smile:
     
  24. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Other way

    Nothing wrong with the "other" way. It's the final image that counts. I know other people here who do the same for Plat. printing. Someday I might even learn how to do it!!
    Best, Peter