Old Microdol-X cans - decoration or useful?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by cmo, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. cmo

    cmo Member

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    So I got two cans of old Microdol-X here... the old stuff that contains monomethyl-p-aminophenol sulfate. The cans have the batch number S/N 6750-817-1364. In the little data sheet below the plastic cap there are films listed that are gone for a long time: Verichrome Pan, Royal Pan, Tri-X Ortho, Panatomic-X and Infrared 135 (no high speed IR in those days?). Well, at least it does not contain recommendations like 'if swallowed call senator Joseph McCarthy'. :tongue:

    I used Microdol-X in the 80s and loved it.

    What is your verdict? Try it or use the cans as home decoration?
     
  2. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Reference to those films must make the cans around 40+ years old, so I don't think that you're going to get a reliable verdict as to whether it will still work.

    If you want to give-it-a-go with a test film, for "old times sake", why not....you'll still have the empty cans as decoration, and, if you want to keep them long-term as Collectors Items, it may be best to avoid the risk of any remaining contents deteriorating and corroding them.
     
  3. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    I recently mixed up a 600mL packet of Microphen which lists the previous generation of Ilford films which were superceded in the late '80s and early 90s so it was over 20 years old. It mixed up clear (not brown) and clip tested great so I used it on some Delta 3200 not mentioned in the package and it came out perfectly! So mix it up but as always test it before using it.
     
  4. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I find old cans of Kodak developers at estate sales, etc. from time to time. They almost always are still viable. If there are no black flecks or overall brown tone amongst he sodium sulfite and carbonate etc white , you should be fine.

    Sometimes with old developer powders you need to add like 5-10% onto the recommended development time.
    Precise timing is something I fiddle with with every developer, old or new, so this causes me no grief.

    I carefull open old cans from the bottom, so that they can make a nice display as well as being chemically useful to me.
     
  5. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Listing obsolete films doesn't really date the developer package. As of 2002 M-X liquid bottles were still listing times for Panatomic-X and Verichrome Pan. For those times when you buy an old camera at the junk store and find an exposed roll of Verichrome inside...
     
  6. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I have several of the foil lined packages of Microdol-X which my Dad bought in the 70's. I recently mixed one to develop a roll of Minox Agfapan 25 from 1986. Beautiful negatives!
    The film had always been in the freezer so it was fine, and the Microdol-X was white, and mixed clear.
    I'd say use it if you have a special film. I still think it was the best fine grain developer ever.
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have many old cans of developer, GAF, ANSCO, and Kodak, Hyperfin, Polydol, DK50, Normadal, and Acufine, but I have never used old cans of Micorodol. The cans I have opend all seem to work as expected but cannot vouch for Microdaol. I would give a can a try.
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    The developer in Kodak cans was stored under nitrogen. I have some DK-50 that was war surplus from WW2. Still good after 66 years!
     
  9. eSPhotos

    eSPhotos Member

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    I have acquired a half dozen rusty old cans of Microdol-X when my local school closed down their darkroom a few years ago.
    Mine contains p-methylaminophenol sulfate - I have no idea whether this is same as monomethyl-p-aminophenol sulfate. But it may tell which is older .. and mine only lists Royal Pan, Tri-X and Panatomic films.
    Anyway I mixed one can and developed PF4+ and instantly I fell in love with MicX. The developer was in perfect shape.
     
  10. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    They are slightly different names for the same thing. Tradenames for this developing agent are Metol (Agfa), Elon (Kodak), Photol, Genol, and Pictol.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2011
  11. cmo

    cmo Member

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    Thanks, guys, I will give it a try :smile: And then use one can as decoration and the other as a pinhole camera.
     
  12. Monito

    Monito Member

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    Microdol-X 1:3 was my mainstay with Tri-X film at ASA 400. Fine crisp grain. Today's TMax 100 in D-76 1:1 seems to be very roughly the same (I have not made a rigorous comparison), though ISO 100. I'd like to find a really fine grain easily obtainable developer for TMax 100 or Ilford 100 or Fuji 50. I'll have to try Microphen, I think. Ultimately I'd like to get the finest grain I can in 120 film size for anything at ISO 12 or above.
     
  13. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Perceptol is the Ilford version of Microdol X, I have only seen in 1L dry mixes.