P-phenylene Diamine

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by k_jupiter, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Hi,

    I bought some P-phenylene Diamine from Photographers Formulary last week (in anticipation of Harvey's 777 developer tests). It arrived early this week, looking like moon rocks in the plastic jar. Big hunks of rock with one of them being near clear!. Is this correct? Does this stuff need to be ground down to use? I have never seen this material before and I am not sure what to expect.

    Any help would be appreciated. I wrote to PF a couple days ago explaining what I received, but have got no answer. It would be nice to get this project started.

    tim in san jose
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Tim,

    I made up some Formulary MCM-100 a couple of months ago, and the PPD looked exactly like you described. The instructions suggested dissolving it in water at 125° F/52° C, which is what happened. I would say that grinding PPD was not a good idea for health reasons, and it is not necessary anyway.

    Here's what the Formulary instructions say about cleaning up:
    "Clean the work area very carefully using soap and water or with a 1% solution of hydrochloric acid (about 3 ml of concentrated acid per 100 ml of water). The hydrochloric acid converts the p-phenylenediamine to a water soluble salt making the compound easier to remove."

    I'll be interested to hear how your 777 tests go. www.pofig.net has a formula for a PPD-glycin dev (S-3) which I'd like to try sometime (though I'm not sure why). Have you ever tried the commercial 777 from Bluegrass?

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Tim, If you haven't read the Unblinking Eye article on 777, do so.

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Harvey/harvey.html

    Para-phenyline-diamine is described as slightly soluble in water, alkaline solutions and sulfite solutions. Try dissolving the 7 grams in 100 - 200ml of 125F water - if the chunks don't dissolve well (and it may take a while), you will need to grind them up (mortar & pestle). Watch out, the stuff is toxic. Use gloves. See page 23 of The Darkroom Cookbook.

    When mixing the 777 developer, the 7 grams of Metol should be dissolved first - add a pinch of sulfite to 500 - 600ml 125F water, then the Metol with constant stirring. After the Metol is dissolved, add the rest of the sodium sulfite.

    Mix in the 100 - 200ml of Para-phenyline-diamine solution you made in the first step.

    The 7 grams of Glycin should be dissolved last.
     
  4. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Thanks all so far. OK, so it's suppose to look like this. I am wondering how you measure out a chunk of rock 7g in weight exactly. I guess I'll mix and match and put together as best I can, then adjust all other weights to match. I is an engineer and can do simple math. :wink:

    I have printed out the unblinking eye article and will take many precautions for my safety. I have heard this is nasty stuff in dry form.

    tim in san jose
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I'd like to re-iterate: the last thing you want to be doing is grinding dry PPD if you can avoid it. Use a Paterson-type stirrer (the type with a flat bottom to permit grinding) and break up the lumps under water if necessary. I found that I didn't need to do that with the PPD I received from the Formulary.

    With any dry chemical it should be remembered that the particles that are going to go into your lungs are invisible. You can't see respirable dust. Respirable dust settles very very slowly. Grinding lumps when wet, as opposed to when immersed, does not prevent the creation of airborne respirable particles.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I certainly want to avoid raining on anyone's parade, but I feel compelled to point out that BPI says that the 777 formula posted on Ed Buffaloe's website is wrong. BPI's price is pretty dear (although again, to be fair, you get years worth of developer in a 4 gallon case, which costs <$60 including shipping), but I consider 400TMax developed in 777 to be the closest thing we'll find to the Photographic Philosopher's Stone.

    Over the years I've tried D-76 (who hasn't?), HC110, Microdol-X, TMax RS (which is really just D-76 with a different label), D-23, DK-50, FG-7, Rodinal, PMK, ABC pyro, Pyrocat HD, Windisch Catechol, FX-1, FX-2, TFX-2, TD-3 for Tech Pan, WD2D, WD2D+ and Rollo Pyro. I consider 777 an unfair advantage over any of them, when used with 400TMax, the best B&W film manufactured today.

    If you want to effortlessly make negatives which will easily produce glowing prints, BPI's product represents the better part of valor. Do yourself a favor and don't screw around. I don't know if the BPI formula is the original Defender 777 or not, but it's so good that I don't really care. In any case, since it's still available and according to BPI in constantly heavy demand, why experiment? They'll continue to manufacture it as long as we continue to buy it.
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Interesting, is there any data from controlled comparative testing to support this claim?
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi tom ...

    i called the folks up at bluegrass a few years ago and asked them about the developer. they told me that it contains no glycine, and said the forumula on "that website is way off" :smile:
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hi John,

    So - no data, just a couple of hard-to-verify statements. Interesting!
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    yup, its just what they told me. who knows if it is true or not ... :smile:
     
  11. Dr.Kollig

    Dr.Kollig Member

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    Never the less, 777 formula from unblinkingeye works great for me on HP5+. I used N,N-Diethyl-Phenylendiamin-Sulfat from Merck in that formula, it is a fine slightly off-white powder. Just the Glycine is very expensive....

    Thru the years I used a fake formula of Calbe A 49, which turned to be a fake formula of May&Baker Promicrol and it still works well with 400 speed films, using
    6 g N,N-Diethyl-Phenylendiamin, 1.2 g Glycine, 100 g Na-sulfite, 12 g Na-Carbonat
    The combination Phenylendiamin/Glycin seems to reduce grainsize on old style emulsions to improve resolution.
     
  12. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Nobody's parade is being rained on. I suspect neither formula is the exact duplicate of 777. I have no reason to believe Bluegrasse's is any better or worse than what I am going to do. If you add up the amount spent on PF's chemicals to make 7 litres of 777, it's more than the 4 gallon commercial version.

    But... it's what I am going to try. Why experiment? Cause that's what I do.

    I have used about half the developers you have listed, and like most of them.

    Some of us do things the hard way because we like it that way. The formula given is very close to other old glycin based formulas so it must be close to something that might work. We might just have to call it Buffaloe's 777.

    tim in san jose
     
  13. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Dupont defender.

    I have a booklet published in 1946 by Dupont called "Dupont defender formula book" while it does not have the formula for 777 it does have a p-phenylene diamine/glycin formula called defender 5-D. If anybody wants it I will post it here.
     
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  15. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Please post the Defender 5-D formula, Jorge. I'll add it to my collection.
     
  16. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Gere goes:

    Water (125 ºF/52 ºC) 750 ml
    Sodium Sulfite desiccated (I suppose this means anhydorus) 90 gr
    p-phenylene diamine base (Not hydrochloride) 10 gr
    Glycin 2 gr
    add water to make 1 liter.

    dissolve in this order, ppda and glycin are hard to dissolve so start with warm water as stated

    Fine grain developer

    use full strenght. exposure requires about 50% to 100% additional exposure to keep shadow detail.

    For a gamma of 0.7 develop for 25 to 30 minutes at 68 ºF with ocasional agitation.

    Of course if you want the formula used by Bluegrass you can look it up here..

    http://www.nationalacademyofphotography.org/misc-dev.html
     
  17. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Thanks for the formula, Jorge.

    BTW, the URL you gave for the "Bluegrass" Formula gets you to:

    1. The Bluegrass website where you can email them about buying their developer (which they say does not contain Glycine and is definitly not the same as Ed Buffaloe's 777.
    2. The Unblinking Eye site where you can read the article "Remembering 777" by Fred De Van with additional comments by Ted Kaufman, Larry Price and Ed Buffaloe. This article contains the formula for Ed Buffaloe's 777.
     
  18. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    It is actually Harvey's 777 formula the one used by Fred and Ed in his site. At the time of the article I was helping Ted develop a Glycin/PPD developer and this is the reason he got involved in this article, but he seems to have disappear.

    If I remember correctly Fred De Van mentioned in a photo.net thread that he had worked with someone who had developed or figured out the Defender formula, but I could be wrong, it has been a couple of years since then. From what I remember 777 did have glycin as an active ingredient, of course Dupont never released the formula, so it is anybodies guess whether the Bluegrass formula is really the original 777 or just another formulation much like Harvey's 777.
     
  19. garryl

    garryl Member

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    I remember at the time of the thread if the caller ,to Bluegrass, said Glycine or Glycin.
    They are different chemicals. I also wonderer how one individual would go through 4 gallons of developer. They produce for commerical clients and are obviously thinking in terms of deep tanks. It will be interesting to see your results. BTW, have you seen the (PDF) file of an original 777 instructions sheet posted on web?

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Harvey/777RefChart.pdf
     
  20. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Well, now I am confused. The booklet shows the developer as Harvey's panthermic 777 developer, which is the same name of the formula used in Ed's site. Yet, Bluegrass say it is not the original formula.....yet, Fred De Van is a very experienced photographer who actually used the original 777 developer and recommends the formula in Ed's site......somebody has to be fibbing here...:smile:
     
  21. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes, I picked up on that to. Unfortunately, photographic Glycin is often spelled (or misspelled) Glycine. If the substance really is Glycine (the medical stuff), it will not work as a reducing agent.

    Is Bluegrass being that sneaky? Nahh - well maybe not.

    I recently tested some suspected Glycin of uncertain orgin in a Glycin only developer recipe (Agfa 8) and found that it indeed behaved like Glycin. Then just to be double sure, I ran a sample through the mass spectrometer. Glycin!
     
  22. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Does he? Read it carefully. Fred says, "It seems like you have it." Then a little later on he says, "None of us had any interest in making it ourselves, but what was in it was a constant question." That sounds to me like they never really knew what was in it exactly. He never states that he's used Ed's formula, although he does mention that he started with Defender 5-D.

    In any case, the Bluegrass stuff is terrific developer, whatever's in it. You can't go wrong with it. It does behave to me as if it has glycin in it. The closest I've come with any other developer is FX-2, which has those 'glycin grays' and is a good stand developer.

    Let us know how your negatives print, Tim. Who knows? Maybe you'll improve on it.
     
  23. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Those attributes are shared by Agfa 8 and diluted Ansco 130 (1:20).
     
  24. garryl

    garryl Member

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  25. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yes, seen those before - the Classic Pan 400 looks like...well, Classic Pan 400.

    Sure would like to see some comparative test data...
     
  26. garryl

    garryl Member

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    so would I. But at 4 gallons a shipment, I don't think it will be me. }:^)>