SURVEY: Edwal 12 Users' Experience

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by df cardwell, May 6, 2008.

  1. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Here is an invitation to folks who have had success using Edwal 12 to share their experience here.

    It’s a developer I was introduced to by an old timer when I was a very young photographer. For 40 years, I’ve used it as a limited, but special, tool in the darkroom.

    But. There is a fog of hearsay, recycled gossip, and magical thinking that discourages photographers who might benefit from it's use to avoid it.

    So, please post with tales of your success with Edwal 12, your technique, its limitations, and how you modify the basic formula.

    WHAT isn’t really necessary is to quote recycled legend about the stuff. If you haven’t used it, give us a chance.

    Gracias.


    .
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

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    DF,
    Why don't you go first? I've never used it, but am interested in knowing why I might want to.
     
  3. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I had rotten luck with it. In fact, I had rotten luck with three devs I made with PPD; Edwal 12, one of the Sease formulas and 777. I kept getting burned-out highlights no matter how little I agitated or how much I cut back on the time. Eventually, I gave up on PPD. Some folks swear by the stuff, but I couldn't seem to get it to work.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    PPD developers went out of fashion as emulsions changed, and more stable formulae appeared for commercial use based on PPD & Meritol (Meto/Pyrocatechin) instead of Glycin, or like Crawley's FX-10 and Calbe's A49 (Atomal replacement) use Hydroquinone and CD2 or similar colour developing agent.

    Ian
     
  5. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Thanks Jim.

    Dr. Lowe wrote a good deal about his work,
    much like Crawley, and gave some context for their application.

    Edwal 12 was compounded for the Midwest, Lowe was from Chicago. Shooting on overcast days is STILL a reality near the Great Lakes.

    In the '30s and '40s, it was common to work to a much higher CI than we would ever consider.

    Lowe specified a range of glycin that would work in the developer, in case you wanted to raise or lower the highlights. The standard formulation is 5 grams, and I believe that is how Photographers Formulary prepares it.

    Lowe said you could go up to 10 grams, and as low as 2.

    I use 2.5 grams, and with TMY, I get an S shaped curve with these values:

    Zone II: 0.1 --- Zone V: 0.6 - 0.7 ---- Zone VII: 1.1 - 1.20

    The look is very much like TXP, and I use it to shoot portraits in flat lighting. It seems to function like D76, whose normal times are a good place to begin with E12. As I use it, it seems that it IS D76, but whose highlights land at a greater density.

    Much 'wisdom' has been lost over the several decades. Lowe explained the function of PPD was NOT to develop the image, but to 'energize' the metol and glycin to function normally, but at a much lower pH.

    The way the film granularity is rendered isn't my big concern, but -to me- it is very acute, and much finer. It is NOT a solvent developer, and not at all like Microdol X.

    E-12 is my N+1 developer. Mid-tone placement remains normal, and I can expose as if I were using my normal developer. The hint I would offer for using E-12 would be to use Zone V and Zone VII to determine your exposure and development time.

    Dr. Sease's developers provided Lowe the foundation for his work on E10, 12, and 20.

    As for 777, that is another story. I have a stack of writing by Harvey,
    and will share it... later. The suggestion for using Harvey's 777, though, based on HIS intention, and my own experience, is to reduce the EI by half of what it would be for you in D76. And develop to a higher CI than you find normal: print on a softer paper. The aesthetics of the '30s were differnt than today !

    Time for some coffee.
     
  6. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I use Edwal 12 as my basic 35mm developer for several years. As noted by others Edwal is high contrast, PF describes it as brilliant. I find that I do need to season fresh Edwal 12 with a couple of rolls, I keep a 1/2 gallon on hand, 32 oz working and 32 oz for replenser, I discard and replace 100mm for each roll of 35mm. I kept my last tank going for 2 years, but then did not shoot any 35mm for a while and after sitting for 7 or 8 months I had to start with a fresh batch. I shoot in the Desert Southwest, although the desert is very bright in the summer it is also low contrast due to reflected light, which works well with Edwal 12. I expose for the high lights and let the developer hold the shadow details. Edwal 12 has tight grain and is very sharp. TMax 400, HP 5 and Forma Pan 400 all seem to work well, TMax 100 not so well, and I dont like Tmax or Delta 3200 at all. I agree that Edwal 12 is not a general propose developer and is not one that I would use if I did live in the desert.
     
  7. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Paul

    Are you using the standard formula ?

    Edwal 12
    Water, distilled 900ml
    Metol 6 grams
    Sulfite 90 grams
    PPD 10 grams
    Glycin 5 grams
    Water, to make 1 liter
     
  8. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I get mine from PF and it seems to be the standard formula.
     
  9. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I wonder what this dev would be if we left the PPD out of it??? Could be interesting.

    BTW DF, glad to see you're visiting APUG again.
     
  10. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Thanks, Jim... Glad to be back to the stinky old darkroom !

    Dr. Lowe formulated Edwal 10 as a mid '30s variation on D-76,
    suggesting that he approached E-12 as a D-76 variation as well.

    Edwal 10

    Water 900ml
    Metol 5 grams
    Sulphite 100 grams
    Glycin 5 grams
    Borax 10 grams
    Water to make 1 liter


    Since many of us, myself included, use D-76 to maximize shadow detail while holding the highlights, Edwal 10 might be a good N+1 developer.

    The grain structure is very much like D-76 if you use a dilution of 1+5 ~ 1+7. Where D-76 might let brights run to gray, E10 will keep them perking along, like Rodinal.

    The biggest difference between 10 and 12 ? Finer grain with 12. If you don't want to mess with PPD, and know D76 pretty well, E10 is worth a try.
     
  11. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Yep. I'm pretty sure I weighed a kit a few years ago and it used 5 grams of glycin.
     
  12. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Has anyone tired any of the Champlin formulas? I did buy a scale a few weeks ago and tired Champlin 9, very disappointing.
     
  13. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    DF, thanks!
     
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  15. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Lowe discussed many of the mainstream and off-beat formulas in his "(What you should know about) DEVELOPERS Fine Grain and Otherwise", Camera Craft, 1939. Ansel Adams used it as a reference work in his first series of text books. Two Champlin formulas were evaluated, 15 & 16. Champlin's approach was discussed in Lowe's sympathetic and calm manner, "Some of the chemical theories expounded are rather unorthodox, and the author states a number of his own opinions as if they were proven facts. This, together with some unusually optimistic claims as to the merits of the Champlin formulas, has tended to discredit Mr. Champlin's among serious photographers."

    One of the difficulties of appreciating vintage formulas, including well known and well used developers today, is the absence of a measured and competent evaluation from their own time, and the methods and standards use to make those evaluations.

    Champlin's work, however exciting his writing and our own eagerness to believe, tends to not stand up to 21st century standards. Not surprising, many of our APUG contributors have better labs than Champlin, Harvey,and many others could have dreamt of. Perversely, the best work of the pre-war era seems to have been overlooked, while the sketchy, dodgy, and bizarre has survived.

    Anybody else have Lowe's book ?
     
  16. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    "Champlin's work, however exciting his writing and our own eagerness to believe, tends to not stand up to 21st century standards. Not surprising, many of our APUG contributors have better labs than Champlin, Harvey,and many others could have dreamt of. Perversely, the best work of the pre-war era seems to have been overlooked, while the sketchy, dodgy, and bizarre has survived. "

    Well said. Your formula for E-10 jogged my memory a bit and I found a copy of it in my filing stash. This formula, from darkroompro.com, calls for:
    glycin 15g
    sulfite 70g
    all others the same

    What made me think about this dev was the dev time of 1 hour, yes, 1 hour at a 1+10 dilution!

    I'll try to find the link.

    Sorry, link is no more.

    DF, do you have times & dilutions for E-10?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2008
  17. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Jim

    I think a starting place would be to dilute E10 1+3
    and develop as if it were D-76H 1+1.

    D-76H 1+1
    Metol 1.25
    Sulfite 50.
    Borax 1


    Edwal 10 1+3
    Metol 1.25
    Sulfite 25.
    Glycin 1.25
    Borax 2.5


    What do you think ?

    I KNOW it won't blow up !
    (will it ?)

    don
     
  18. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Thanks. Last I knew, D-76H times were the same as D-76, so I'll use those.
    It's only film and were all so rich these days...

    If you don't here from me again, it blew up.
     
  19. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    I have been meaning to acquire a copy of that book for the better part of eighteen months...

    There are 4 copies available on Abebooks at the moment - ranging from about $25 to $100 - has the book ever been reprinted since 1939? I think I will try and see if I can get hold of a copy by inter-library loan - there must be a library somewhere in the UK that has a copy...

    I should add that your reduced agitation techniques have proved very useful, and work brilliantly well with both Rodinal and Aculux 3.

    I will update this when I locate a copy of Lowe's book!

    Lachlan

    P.S. I did a quick COPAC search (all the academic libraries in the UK) and it turned up a lone copy in the National Library of Scotland.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2008
  20. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Hi Lachlan

    Watcha up to ?

    Those agitation techniques aren't mine... but a bunch of real old timers would be happy they work for you !
     
  21. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Here are my film development times for well seasoned edwal 12, 75 degrees
    3 inversions to start then 1 inversion every 30 seconds:

    Tmax 100 rated 125 5.5 mints
    Tmax 400 rated 400 6.5 mints
    TriX rated 650 4.5 mints
    Neopan 400 rated 400 4.5 mints
    Forma Action Pan 400 rated 320 5 mints.
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Just been reading Lowe's Patents, interesting stuff.

    Ian
     
  23. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Any info on edwal 20?
     
  24. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I am glad you started thisthread. In my youth E12 was one of my favorite developers, as was Panthermic 777.

    E-12 may be my answer for the contrast needed to produce albumen prints in ULF.

    I used 777 exclusively while in pharmacy school. I had to give my roo mate money for the movies so I could darken the room and develop and print. 777 was the easiest for me to keeep and use since I had absolutely no temperature control.

    Think I'll mix up some 12 and give it a try with Efke 100.

    Jim
     
  25. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Checking my ancient memory bank.

    Is PPD Potassium phosphate dibasic?

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Maybe, it's difficult to say.

    The developers are all listed as Example 1, 2, 3 etc I recognise one or two but I need to stick them in my database then I can easily cross reference them.

    I've done the same with all the Ilford developers mentioned in Patents and they are extremely intersting.

    Ian