Old Agfa Atomal / Orwo A49 / Calbe A49 questions

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by James1, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. James1

    James1 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingd
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi folks,

    I've got another quandary...

    I recently bought a job lot of old Orwo stuff, and in it were a few packets of Orwo A49, made in 1976. I've also previously bought Orwo A49 made in the late 1980s, and I have some modern Calbe A49.

    I was suprised when I opened the 70s Orwo A49 - it contained three packets of chemicals to be dissolved in water. The 80s A49 and the moden Calbe A49 have only two.

    I seem to remember reading that Atomal/A49 was reformulated at some point, because one of the ingredients, HEAP, was no longer available. Is this the reason for the apparent difference between the 70s A49 and the others? Does anyone have an opinion on which is better? :smile:

    Finally, how long will stock solutions of each of these keep? Googling suggests anywhere between 1 month and 6 months.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Shooter:
    35mm Pan
    Hi James, Any ORWO B104 paper developer in your treasure box? It vanished from market around early '80 and was replaced with N120.
     
  3. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,237
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Probably.
     
  4. James1

    James1 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingd
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Gerald.

    @gorbas - Unfortunately no, but there is a packet of N120.... I do recall seeing some B104 recently, can't remember where at the moment. Will see if I can find it.
     
  5. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Shooter:
    35mm Pan
    Hi James, I found in my processing book this instructions for A49. One is from around 1978/79 and other is early '80, maybe 1983?. First A49 come in cardboard box, second was in "aluminum" foil bag. Both are with 2 part bags.
    Thank you for looking for B104!
    goran basaric002.jpg
     
  6. AndreasT

    AndreasT Member

    Messages:
    355
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had a few packet of GDR Orwo A49 developer. Using it without testing it my negatives were thin, very thin. It was in the day when I started developing film so maybe I did somthing wrong although I doubt it.
    The developer was at least ten years old. Just test it before using.
     
  7. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I thought the difference in recipes was a difference in sodium hydroxide amounts.

    Just something bouncing around in ye ole' noggin atm so take it for what it's worth.
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,237
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thw formua that I have for Atomal uses sodium carbonate as the alkali not sodium hydroxide.

    The developing agent Atomal is hydroxyethyl-o-aminophenol sulfate. It was also used in the May & Baker developer Promicrol. Eventually there was just not enough demand for the chemical and production ceased.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2013
  9. James1

    James1 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingd
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for all the info and updates folks. So, looks like my 70s A49 contains HEAP as the developing agent and is the original formulation, and ther 80s stuff is the updated formulation. Andreas' point noted - will certainly test before use.

    I suppose there is no point worrying which is better as I only have enough of the original for 12 films!

    Does anyone have any experience of how long a stock solution of any of this stuff stays usable?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2013
  10. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,936
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    south centra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a couple packs of the Agfa Atomal, suppose it is any good?

    Thanks
     
  11. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Shooter:
    35mm Pan
    Hi James,
    I had to dive deep in my "cold war" photo library. There is what i have found:
    goran basaric 3.jpg
    goran basaric004.jpg

    As you can see, there is mention about developing agent but no information regarding alkali in developer.
    Thank you for the link for B104. Unfortunately I can't open it.
    Are you in Europe?
    Also I have 5 packs of original Agfa Atomal if anybody is interested.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,030
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hydroxyethyl-o-aminophenol sulfate was used in Russia in a manufacturing process for something non photographic, that meant it was economic to produce, when the process ceased in Russiathere was no longer sufficient demand to allow manufacture at a low cost. Photographic use had always been a very small fraction of theproduction.

    Ian
     
  13. James1

    James1 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingd
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Gorbas. Yes, I am in Europe - the UK.

    That looks like an English version of Orwo Rezepte - I would love a copy. If anyone has one going spare, or knows of one for sale, please let me know...

    @Ian - thanks for the confirmation!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2013
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,237
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Atomal

    Distilled water (50°C) …………………………………………… 750 ml
    Hydroxyethyl-o-aminophenol sulfate …………… 6.0 g
    Catechol ……………………………………………………………………………… 10.0 g
    Hydroquinone ……………………………………………………………………… 4.0 g
    Sodium sulfite (anhy) ……………………………………………… 100 g
    Sodium carbonate (anhy) ………………………………………… 25.0 g
    Potassium bromide ………………………………………………………… 1.0 g
    Sodium metaphosphate ………………………………………………… 1.0 g
    Distilled water to make ………………………………………… 1.0 l

    Since HEAP is no longer available I would suggest subtituting Metol which is chemically similar. Since the molecular weight of these two developing agents and their activity are different some adjustment in the amount would have to be made.
     
  16. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

    Messages:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Shooter:
    35mm Pan
    Yes, James, Blast form the past! I grow up with ORWO films & chemicals and I like that little book. Unfortunately do not remember how i got it??
    If you need something specific from it, please ask!

    Goran
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,030
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You need to substitute the Hydroxyethyl-o-aminophenol sulfate with something like CD 4 to achieve the fine grain associated with Atomal.

    This is similar in many ways to Johnsons Meritol another ultra fine grain developng agent which is formed by combining Paraphenylene diamine with Pyrocathechin (Catechol.

    Ian
     
  18. James1

    James1 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingd
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    @Ian - interesting. I'm sure one of my reformulated packets of A49 stated one of the sachets contained CD1. That perhaps is the case for modern Calbe A49, but I don't have access to the MSDS to check.

    @gorbas - thanks. Would love a copy of the whole book :smile: so not practical - but as mentioned, if anyone reading this knows of one for sale, I would be interested!
     
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,899
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Calbe do not list their classic b&w developers any longer.
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,030
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Calbe do use CD-1 N,N-Diethyl-1,4-phenylendiammoniumsulphate in the re-frormulated version A49, it would be better than the CD 4 I suggested.

    This type of developer hasn't been fully explored and there's many possibilities.

    Ian
     
  21. piu58

    piu58 Member

    Messages:
    793
    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Location:
    Leipzig, Ger
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    A49 prevents building up too much density at some rather contrasty working films. I like it for aerial films like Rollei Retro 80 or Superpan 200.
     
  22. James1

    James1 Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingd
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sounds excellent. And does the stock solution last for a reasonable length of time (in closed bottles)?
     
  23. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

    Messages:
    724
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It might explain why I got very good results with medium speed films like Plus-X but no so good with Tri-X. It might also comes form my development time... I need to investigate further. BTW, I use the ADOX version which should be pretty similar the the Calbe version.
     
  24. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

    Messages:
    724
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't find the stock solution to last very long. 4 weeks, maybe 5... In fact, I store my exposed rolls until I get enough to use a full bottle of developer (1+1 dilution).
     
  25. piu58

    piu58 Member

    Messages:
    793
    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Location:
    Leipzig, Ger
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have used the stock solution over a period of 2...3 months without any degradation. For 1+1 dilution I filled small bottles which remained unopened until I use them. They last even longer, more than half a year.
     
  26. piu58

    piu58 Member

    Messages:
    793
    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Location:
    Leipzig, Ger
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It is the same stuff.