Suggestions for a local source for ascorbic acid?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jstraw, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I just got my Artcraft order and realized I forgot to order my ascorbic acid. What sort of vendors might I check with locally for it? Can I just grind up vitamin c tablets or are they adulterated with things I'd want to avoid?
     
  2. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    I found it at a good price at a local vitamin store. Pretty expensive at General Nutrition.

    Seven dollars for, uh, um, a half pound?
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Health food stores, probably...but you might also check with your local drug store/pharmastist.

    Vaughn
     
  4. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    There are many kinds of Vit. C. I would do a thorough search hear before grinding up Vit. C tablets. Pat Gainer is a frequent user of "Vit. C" devs and can tell you more than I can, and while those tablets that you swallow for your health may "work", you may not be devving your film to its greatest potential.
     
  5. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Now Foods http://www.nowfoods.com 100% USP ascorbic acid powder. About $12 for 1lb, $25/3lb, search on Amazon. The company has wide retail distribution, but not all stores may carry it.

    Tablets will contain a whole lot of other stuff. The other stuff may or may not get in the way: at a minimum figure cellulose, gums, sugars, starches, talc, silicon and or titanium oxide, glycol, coloring, and eye of newt.
     
  6. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Thanks, I'll call the pharmacy, the health food store and GNC.
     
  7. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    That's about it. You can add www.chemistrystore.com to your list of reliable and quick suppliers of most things we use. If erythorbic acid is cheaper, you can use it in place of ascorbic in developers, but not as vitamin. It is d-ascorbic axid, the mirror image (isomer) of the vitamin l-ascorbic acid. Kodak uses it in XTOL. Also called Isoascorbic acid.
     
  8. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    Try the food aisles of your local grocery store or supermarket. Vitamin C is used for baking bread and for bottling and preserving. Here it is sold both with the flour-and-bakery goods, and among the packets of spices and bicarb.
     
  9. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Great tips folks, thanks!
     
  10. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    While you can use Vit. C for developing, it may leave a precipitate. This leads me to believe that by not dissolving completely, your dev isn't as efficient as it could be.

    Go with Pat Gainer's suggestions.
     
  11. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    You will probably be ok with Vitamin C powder as long as it specifies ascorbic acid. Dehydroascorbic acid is also Vitamin C to the body but is not the form we want. The pills that say they contain ascorbic acid have binder, probably starch. Whatever it is does not seem to interfere with the chemical effects but might leave precipitates. Even if they are not harmful, they are not desirable. Anthing like that gives me the feeling that it might be a sign that something is in my developer that I don't want to be there. Call it paranoia or just being cautious.

    Technical grade ascorbic acid or its isomer erythorbic acid are equivalent for photo use.
     
  12. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Filtering your dev mixture before using would be a good idea!
     
  13. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I found pure crystaline ascorbic acid at a health food store. I think it was ~$10 for a half pound jar. Leaves no precipitate.
     
  14. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Well, I found pure crystalline ascorbic acid at a health food store too but from there on, it's been a disaster. I've ruined a good quantity of TEA trying to dissolve the darned stuff. When I worked from a kit from Artcraft for my 510 Pyro it went smooth as can be. Now all I have is two quantities of TEA with ascorbic gunk at the bottom and no idea what to do now. Any suggestions?
     
  15. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    If you have a Trader Joe's store near you, they sell Ascorbic Acid for $9.99 a pound. It can be found in the vitamin section.

    Mike
     
  16. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Taste the crysrals. It might be sodium ascorbate, which is near neutral pH. If it's the acid, your tongue will know. If it's the ascorbate, forget trying to dissolve it in either glycol or TEA.

    What brand name is on the Vitamin C? At some places you can get the acid or the sodium salt or the calcium salt.
     
  17. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    It's ascorbic acid. I don't know what the issue is but that's not it.
     
  18. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Let's go to the beginning. What was your recipe?
    Where did you get the TEA, and what grade is it?
    Did you warm the TEA?
    Do you think most, some or hardly any of the ascorbic acid dissolved?
    Did you try making a working solution from the clear part of what you got and running a snip test to see if it developed?

    Contrast vs C/P ratio at constant development time changes very little for C/P > 40. Thus, if you can dissolve 1 gram of phenidone and 40 grams or more of ascorbic acid in TEA, you should be able to find a dilution of that solution that will develop your film in a reasonable time.

    Another solution is PC dissolved in propylene glycol, used as A, and TEA or almost any other alkali as B in a 2-part developer.
     
  19. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    The recipe published in the articles section here.

    It's whatever Artcraft sells.


    Yes

    Some.

    When the ascorbic acid refused to go into solution, I decided not to waste any pyrogallol or phenidone.

    I'm unfamiliar with the term "C/P." I already have working times for 510-Pyro...if I could just make some.

    Using an alternative staining developer (one that I can buy...hello Photographer's Formulary!) and abandoning 510-Pyro is probably just around the corner.
     
  20. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Ratio of vitamin C (ascorbic acid form in this case) to Phenidone.

    Lee
     
  21. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I guess I screwed up. I thought you were trying to make PC-TEA from the discussion. If you want the pyrogallol color, you can follow the instructions for Pyrocat MC but use 2/3 the amount of pyrogallol in place of the catechol and use TEA for all the solvent instead of glycol. You will not approach the solubility limit of ascorbic acid in TEA. If you want the flexibility of a 2-solution developer, make Pyrocat MC with 2/3 the amount of pyrogallol in place of the catechol and use any B solution you want to try.
     
  22. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I like 510-Pyro. I'm sure there are other staining developers I'd like as well or better. That's not really important at the moment, as I don't know why I seem to be incapable of dissolving 5g of ascorbic acid in 75ml of TEA. In any case, I'm not really inclined to change horses right now. If I were it would be because I'm flummoxed by mixing my own developers and would switch to something that came already mixed. If anyone has any idea why I'm failing to dissolve the ascorbic acid, I'd welcome advice.
     
  23. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I agree, 5 g of ascorbic acid should dissolve easily in 75 ml of TEA or propylene glycol or even glycerol. I guess you could find out if the problem is in the ascorbic acid by trying to dissolve it in glycerol from the drug store. Warm it as you would the TEA because it also is quite viscous.
     
  24. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Thanks, Pat. I might give that a try but frankly I'm so frustrated that I'm thinking of spending my energy on doing film speed and dev time tests with Pyrocat MC from PF.

    Or maybe I could contact Mike Barger since he's a 510 guy and local to me.
     
  25. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I think you will find the Pyrocat MC quite good. At first, it may seem that the stain is not there, but that is because there is little overall stain.