Replenish, how to do?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by marciofs, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. marciofs

    marciofs Member

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    So... I have heard about people using the same chemicals for about 10 yeas by replenish it.

    I would like to learn how to do it. :D
     
  2. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Various developers have replenishers available from the manufacturer, or are replenished by fresh developer of a specific volume for each roll or sheet developed. I understand -- and here I too have questions -- that replenishers are often similar in formulation to but not identical to the actual developer, because a developer that is being replenished will have, over time, changed somewhat chemically from having absorbed by-products of the developing process. One hears of bromide build-up for example. I, perhaps like you, would like to understand how one would go about making a replenisher from a known developer formula. So, for example, if I were mixing up D-76 at home from chemicals, how would I formulate a D-76 developer.

    Not trying to hijack your thread, but I think our questions are essentially the same. If not, please ignore me and help marciofs!
     
  3. marciofs

    marciofs Member

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    Good question Trask. I am curious to know as well.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Xtol is one that is real easy to do.

    Make up a batch of stock, 5 liters.

    Split that into 2 containers.

    1- The working solution; I used a leftover 1.75 liter bottle. This bottle gets topped off, no air space under the lid.

    2- The stock solution; I used a leftover "wine box" for this.

    Time to do the math. For each 36 exposure roll (or 8x10 sheet, 80 square inches) you need 70ml of fresh stock Xtol to replenish. for a 24 exposure roll which is 2/3's of a 36 exposure roll; 70 x 2/3 = ~47ml. For one sheet of 4x5 film, 20 square inches, you only need ~18ml, for 12 4x5 sheets (240 sq. in.) you would need 70 x (240/80) = 210ml.

    Do the math, then measure off that amount of fresh stock and set it aside for a moment

    Next, measure out what you need from the working solution bottle to fill your developing tank or tray. (The size of the tank or tray doesn't matter in the replenishment math.)

    Start developing.

    While the working solution is working, pour the fresh stock you measured into the working solution storage bottle.

    When done developing pour the used working solution back into the working solution storage bottle until the bottle is topped. Discard the rest.

    Your working solution is now replenished.

    The only oddball time is when you start a fresh working solution batch. It needs "seasoning". During the seasoning time, maybe the first dozen rolls, instead of using the full 70ml replenishment just top off the working solution bottle to keep it full. During this period you will need to slightly extend development as you move from stock times to your final replenished times (its easier than it sounds). Once seasoned you start fully replenishing and it becomes stable and can be maintained indefinitely. There is no limit on how long this can be maintained.

    On occasion you may want to filter the working solution. Coffee filters will do the job. I also used a funnel with a screen when putting the used working solution back in storage.
     
  5. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    D-76 & D76R replenisher are well known formulas.

    D-76 developer; (also known as Ilford ID-11)

    Metol 2g
    Sodium sulphite, anhydrous 100g
    Hydroquinone 5g
    Borax 2g
    Water to make 1 litre.

    D-76R replenisher; (also known as ID-11R)

    Metol 3g
    Sodium sulphite, anhydrous 100g
    Hydroquinone 7.5g
    Borax 20g
    Water to make 1 litre.

    The packaged products from Kodak and Ilford may differ from the original formula given above.
     
  6. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Xtol is a good example of a replenishable developer.

    Another replenishable developer that gets overlooked is Ilford Ilfotec DD.
     
  7. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    Hi, the easiest way to do this is to buy chemicals where a replenisher is commercially available, and then follow the directions.

    You would ideally have some sort of processing reference - industry uses pre-exposed "process control strips" from the manufacturer - if you find that your reference is getting "weak" (such as a thinner negative) then you would increase your replenisher rate, and vice versa.

    You should probably find someone's already-formulated version, then just use it. Otherwise, to be blunt about it, you don't have the knowledge to formulate one yourself.

    The general principles for making a developer replenisher are these: you have a set of specifications for the developing (tank) solution. For example, the developing agent should be at x grams per liter, and the preservative at y grams per liter, the by-products, such as bromide, should be at z grams per liter, and that there is an aim pH, held stable with some sort of pH buffering system. When you develop film, these are all changed by various amounts, mainly depending on how much silver is developed (clear film puts almost no demand on the developer, and nearly black film will overpower just about any sort of replenisher). So if you know what an average amount of development is, in terms of silver molecules, you could in principle estimate how much developing agent is used up, and how much by-product is released. The replenishment rate should be enough to dilute the by-products back to the nominal aim value, and whatever replenisher volume you add should contain enough developing agent to restore the aim value for that. You would probably need to experiment to find out how much preservative is used up in your system, as well as the pH shift, then build these two things into your replenisher formula. And perhaps an adjustment to counteract evaporation.

    These are the general principles, you would also need ways to do some sort of chemical analysis on your solution so that you know what formula adjustments need to be made. Once you standardize on a formula, the normal method of controlling variations is to simply raise or lower the replenishment rate as needed (based on processing of test strips).

    A further comment: some developers are very sensitive to the development byproducts, so these are finicky. Others are not too sensitive, so have a lot of leeway for error.

    I've worked with this sort of thing quite a bit in industry, but mainly for color neg and print materials. I'm glad to answer questions, but there's never seemed to be too much interest here. I imagine most people's processing volumes are too low to be worth much extra work.

    ps: either Mark's Xtol method or the formulas from Keith are probably good starting places. You might note that the standard D76 developer contains no bromide, so it can't really be "properly" replenished - no amount of replenishment will reduce the byproducts bock down to zero, so you expect that developing activity would be a bit lower in a replenished system. In essence, you are redefining the D-76 tank solution formula to always contain some moderate level of bromide.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  8. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I love replenished XTOL

    Yes it is. I use a wine box for the replenisher too. I use a 2 liter working solution bottle. I find my working solution becomes tired before using up the replenisher. I also have to add more time with subsiquent rolls or more than 70ml per 80sq inches after 2/3 into using my replenisher. I don't think you can over replenish since the working solution is the same strength as the replenisher.
     
  9. smithdoor

    smithdoor Member

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    I have use replenisher in the past work great if you do a lot of work but still I only use it for 6 month max.
    The other way just increase the time for developing I was using digital to long and do not info this one any more.

    Dave

     
  10. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    One should always season their system to their experience.

    Seasoned developer does require more time to get the same contrast as compared to fresh stock. Starting numbers are provided in Kodak's Xtol tech pub.

    Rather than the working system failing though, I think that the stock/replenisher ages and becomes less active over time. I know it may offend some who lean to the frugal edge of life, but if processing volumes are small and the stock isn't getting used up every 4-6 months, the "weak" unused stock solution may need to be discarded and a fresh batch made and put into service.

    The fix for this is shooting more film of course. :whistling:
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    That is what I do. I have never had a problem with it and I am really satisfied with the results.

    Replenished XTOL lasts for years.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  12. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Xtol in my experience is very long lasting replenished. Years. My stabilized seasoned replenished numbers are just about +20% in development time, and my replenishment rates are 60ml per 36 exp roll. Remarkably stable.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    One really useful advantage of using replenished developer is that your developer is always at room temperature. I just adjust development time as room temperature varies.

    I'm currently using HC-110 (dilution E) in a replenishment regime. When my bottle of HC-110 replenisher is gone, I expect I'll continue the experiments on using HC-110 as its own replenisher that are documented here on APUG.

    If I had the space and didn't have as much HC-110 as I do, I would most likely be using X-Tol or T-Max RS (which is another good option).
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    How do I replenish? With a glass of dry wine or a Bombay Gin Martini.

    Sex is not a bad way to go either.
     
  16. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    marciofs, read Kodak's publications. They are very clear, and also explain the pros and cons related to replenished development. See Kodak's XTOL technical publication for specific instructions on how to run replenished XTOL. For a more general discussion about replenishment, see the section on replenishment in the following publication:

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/o3/o3.pdf
     
  17. marciofs

    marciofs Member

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    Thank you very much.

    I didn't understand how to do it, maybe because English is not my tong language, but I will check this PDF to see if I get how to do it.
    I actually use Ilfotec HC.

    Thank you.
     
  18. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    You, sir, are entirely correct -- no way I could properly formulate a replenisher, now that you've helped explain the obstacles. I was rather hoping that there some sort of "replenisher for dummies" method that would tell me to use 60% of whatever metol there might be in the developer, 48% of the HQ, 50% of the borax, etc. Kind of like making pancakes from the recipe on the back of the Aunt Jemima box. No so simple, it seems. I do like the simplicity of the Xtol regime, as it involves just using the developer itself as the replenisher, but I rather doubt that the developer-as-replenisher applies broadly to all developers.
     
  19. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Other than cost savings, film processed in seasoned, replenished developer looks better to me.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    +1
     
  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    I have experience with replenishing two developers: Kodak Xtol and Edwal Developer 12 (commercially available from Photographers' Formulary as simply 'Developer 12').

    Both are incredibly nice developers and I have about six years of combined experience with them. The Xtol batch I used was active and stable for the five years I used it. The only thing you have to worry about is that if you don't develop any film for a couple of weeks, replenish the working solutions with about 70-100ml anyway.

    After my divorce I went through a period of creativity problems, and didn't shoot/develop any film for about five months. I also didn't replenish the Xtol. It just sat in its container in the basement. Then one fine day I decided to end the spell and run some film. I mixed some fresh Xtol, replenished my 2 liter working solution with 300ml fresh Xtol, and I ran a roll through it, and it came out EXACTLY as the last time I had used it. Is that incredible or what?

    Today I shoot way less film than I used to, so I have moved to developing film using a 2-bath method, but some day when I have more time for photography I'll probably do replenished developers again. Super sharp, fine grain negatives that I get better tonality in my prints from than stock or dilute developer.

    Just try it, and have some fun. It's an amazingly economical way to process film too!
     
  22. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    It is incredible! Thanks for the tip Thomas. I'll give it a try after not running film for a while in my XTOL. I'm really busy and I shoot in spurts.
     
  23. Buggs

    Buggs Member

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    An even easier replenishment scheme is with Ansco 130 for prints. I usually just top off my bottle of working solution with fresh 1:1 stock. Works for me. :smile:

    tim
     
  24. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    My experience mirrors Thomas's. No matter how old or funky the Xtol looks, ya have to try it. This last time I did some in Xtol I shook up the sediments, then filtered it thru heavy Chemex filter. Did a 250ml straight fresh Xtol top up replenishment, ran a test and bingo, same time and temp same awesome fine grain, great contrast and tones. I think my current batch is at least 3 years old at this point, 2 or 3. I think it gets better with age.
     
  25. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    A major bugaboo with MQ developers and their replenishment is bromide buildup. This effectively limits the number of times a system can be replenished unless a large volume of the developer (say 1/3 of the volume) is dumped periodically in order to bring the bromide level down. PQ or PA developers are less sensitive to bromide buildup and make a better choice for a replenishment system. I use the term Phenidone to include its several variants such as Phenidone B and the Dimezones.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2013
  26. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Ilford DD can be replenished too. The technical data can be downloaded from Ilford's website and I am sure that Simon Galley can help with advice for replenishment.