sodium metaborate (Kodalk) instead of Borax?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Harry Lime, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    I'm mixing up some divided D76 and was curious if I can substitute sodium metaborate (Kodalk) for Borax in bath 'B'?



    Thanks
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Not directly. Sod. Metab has a higher pH and therefore higher contrast and more grain.
     
  3. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    I see.

    Thanks.
     
  4. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    I don't see why you could not substiture Kodalk for Borax. You might want to experiment with the amount you would need. Kodak did publish the formula for a Kodalk variant of D76 called, you guessed, DK76;

    Water 2.0 liters
    Metol 8.0 grams
    Sodium Sulfite 400 grams
    Hydroquinone 20 grams
    Kodalk 8.0 grams
    Water to 4 liters

    divide by 4 to get the weights etc for 1 liter. This should give you a starting point for the amount of Kodalk. In my book, Elementary Photographic Chemistry by Eastman Kodak, they state using this formula for getting maximum shadow detail with the Panatomic range of films.

    You might get some grain increase but you never know until you try it :smile:

    Have fun

    Mike
     
  5. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I've substituted borax with sodium metaborate and haven't seen a noticeable increase in grain. However, I do reduce the amount of sodium metaborate (usually by 1/3 of the original of borax).
     
  6. Harry Lime

    Harry Lime Member

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    thanks everyone
     
  7. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    I almost always use Kodalk (metaborate) rather than borax in my film developer, even for 400 speed film, with no noticeable increase in grain over borax.

    It's slightly more active, so reduces developing time somewhat, which I like.

    I use teaspoons to measure instead of grams, and 1 tsp. per liter has worked well for me, though I tend to use phenidone and ascorbic acid (Vit. C) rather than metol and sulfite, though I've used metaborate with both with good results.

    For me, with my equipment (yours may be different), I find that if I rate my Delta 400 film at 250, and develop for 6'45" at 70 degrees with agitation once every minute for 5 sec., I get very nice negs with lots of shadow detail, and long tonal scale.

    Larry
     
  8. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    I used sodium metaborate always instead of borax. It helps to shorten the development time and doesn't add to grain noticeably. You can find many formulas online in the forums--some of mine are in the darkroom forum, including those made with Phenidone and Vitamin C rather than metol and hydroquinone.
     
  9. presspass

    presspass Member

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    Using Metaborate as a second bath was championed by the late Barry Thornton, although it was with a D-23 derivative. Anchell also noted that you can use borax, metaborate, and sodium carbonate as second baths, each increasing the grain and contrast. I prefer borax as a second bath when used with straight D-23 and 400 speed 35mm film as it does give less grain. The amounts are not identical, however.