stumped with this film developer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by David Lyga, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    At a flea market I recently bought two quart cans of AUTOFINE developer replenisher. The label says 'contents: sodium sulfite and hydroquinone'. Although I bought the replenisher, there was also, of course, an AUTOFINE developer, both manufactured by ACUFINE, INC.

    Does anyone know if HQ is the only developer component in these (dev and/or replenisher)?

    Does anyone know the formulas (or a semblance thereof)?

    Does anyone know the development times (Massive development chart apparently not massive enough to include these)?

    Finally, does anyone know the formula for Microdol-X (or an accurate approximation)? - David Lyga
     
  2. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    The exact formula for Microdol (Perceptol is assumed to be very similar if not identical) is proprietary, but is generally assumed to be:

    5g/L Metol
    100g/L Sodium Sulfite
    ~30g/L Sodium Chloride

    Microdol-X contained at least one additional ingredient - an anti-silvering/anti-plating agent which may or may not improve sharpness by inhibiting physical development. The ingredient is a trade secret. Anchell/Troop guess at it being a relatively weak agent, while others claim it is a Mercaptan. Who knows? PE does. But he can't disclose it.

    I can't help with your Autofine questions, other than to say it is unlikely Hydroquinone is the only developing agent unless it is a highly alkaline developer, otherwise it wouldn't work.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    David
    According to my Photo Lab Index, it is a long scale, ultra-fine grain, maximum acutance film developer, for all films at manufacturers rated film speeds. I could scan the pages and email them to you with dev times and agitation.
     
  4. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Thank you both. Rick, that would be most appreciated: david33x@yahoo.com

    Michael: am I to assume that, at least in the 1970s, manufacturers did not have to list all ingredients? Metol might be in this Autofine but NOT have to be expressed on the label? - David Lyga
     
  5. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I'm not an expert in safety labeling requirements. There are probably differing requirements depending on the country where it is sold/marketed, and perhaps standards have changed over the years.

    In general though, you can't necessarily figure out all the compounds in a developer by looking at MSDS sheets etc. Some chemicals may not be present in high enough concentrations to require disclosure, some agents are proprietary, there are differing levels/thresholds of toxicity etc etc.

    If Autofine is a fine grain, general purpose developer containing Hydroquinone and Sulfite, it likely also contains a primary developing agent such as Phenidone or Metol and an additional alkali system. It may also be more complex than that.

    The best person to ask about historical formulas is probably Ian Grant.

    The phrase "ultra-fine grain, maximum acutance" is always worth a laugh though. It's either one or the other, or something in between. It can't be both.
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Autofine was designed for machine processing by photofinishers. It contained phenidone and was similar to Acufine. It did not use Metol which would have to appear on the label since it is an allergen
     
  7. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Ah, thank you Gerald. I knew HQ could not do it alone.

    And, Michael, I asked about the extra ingredient because someone else told me that in the 70s (only then?) ALL ingredients did not have to be listed. And, yes, I did think that Microdol-X was along the lines of D-23 (just metol). - David Lyga
     
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  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There may be more than one way of naming an orgainic compound. Manufacturers often used a more esoteric name on the label to confuse people. Hydroquinone would become 1,4-dihydroxybenzene, paraminophenol became 4-hydroxyaniline.

    In addition to Acufine, Diafine, and Autofine Bauman also made Acu-1 and Printofine. Acu-1 was a single shot version of Acufine and Printofine was a paper developer.
     
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  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Forgive my ignorance, but can't PE disclose stuff if they stopped making it?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Just because they stopped making it doesn't mean the details are no longer proprietary information. There have been other cases though, where a manufacturer stopped making a product and then disclosed the details so that users could keep using it. A case in point is that when Paterson stopped making Acutol-S, they disclosed the recipe as the Crawley developer, FX-15.
     
  11. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    PE has already discussed this matter directly to my own inquiries of about 6 weeks ago. He does not know, because he CAN'T know what the "secret" proprietary ingredient is. Kodak did not manufacture it--they bought it as a proprietary compound from a third party manufacturer. Coca cola syrup is an analogy. You can buy soda water and Coke syrup and compound it all day long at McDonalds, but McDonalds does not know what's in the syrup. If PE knew, I'm sure he would have told us, unless he's bound for life on Kodak trade secrets, which is understandable.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you learn something confidential through your employment you cannot disclose it unless you have express consent to do so.

    It doesn't matter if the employer is no longer using the information - they still own it.

    The employee can never disclose the information without consent because the information doesn't belong to the employee. Even if the employer is dissolved or goes into bankruptcy, the employee cannot disclose it.
     
  13. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    or it could have been written on a piece of paper and accidentally misplaced :wink: haha


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Funny you say that. PE has said he had the name of the compound written on a piece of paper. As others have stated, the information belongs to Kodak so he could not disclose it.

    I wouldn't worry about it anyway, Stone. Microdol-X was not a magical developer.
     
  15. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    Was magical to me. 35mmTX + Microdol 1:3 = Panatomic X without the tripod. Well, pretty close. Good stuff.
     
  16. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Definitely good stuff, don't get me wrong. For a while I used a lot of Perceptol (which is either identical or nearly the same as Microdol) with TMX and Ilford Delta 100. One of the nice things about these D23-based developers is how dead consistent they are. The long development times at the 1+3 dilution (especially with TMX) also helped consistency.
     
  17. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Microdol-X may have contained a chemical to prevent sludging. This is a common problem with high solvent developers with re-use.
     
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  18. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    Interesting that Microdol-X's true formula is not available. It makes me wonder how Freestyle can in good conscience sell their knockoff, LegacyPro Mic-X as a replacement for Microdol-X.

    Maybe they know something we don't? If they don't know the formula, how can they produce a substitute?