Useful stock solutions

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by gainer, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    For what it is worth, it is handy to keep various chemicals in stock solutions as is done in most chemical laboratories. I'm keeping amidol, phenidone, ascorbic acid, pyrogallol, hydroquinone and catechiol in propylene glycol. The amidol and phenidone are in 1% solutions, 1 gram/ 100 ml, and the others are in 10% solutions. Amidol keeps in glycol solution, as does phenidone and the others. I can mix and match for experimental purposes, but it is convenient as well when I have become staid in my concoctions. (If that ever happens.)

    The chemicals that are dangerous, including amidol, pyro, catechol and hydroquinone, are also safer IMHO in the gkycol solution than in powder that can become airborne while measuring. Mixing once is better than mixing for each use. You can buy amidol 10 grams at a time to make a liter of solution. I have found amidol to be in some ways a good substitute for phenidone, but every time I open the container of dry powder, I worry. Of course, I can still spill the solution, but there's less chance of it getting into the air than the powder, especially when it is in glycol. Some of these things might be safer with the extra viscosity of glycerin instead of glycol.

    As usual, these materials dissolve easier in hot glycol, but it need not be as hot as I once thought.
     
  2. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes Pat, I dissolved my stock of amidol in propylene glycol about a year ago. It is still going strong.

    I have stock solutions of all my other developing agents as well. I didn't have any luck dissolving glycin in propylene glycol (or in other glycols and alcohols), but it dissolved just fine in TEA.
     
  3. MikeS

    MikeS Member

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Newport, TN
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Help me with the math!

    Hi.

    As some of you might remember, a while back I screwed up, and ended up with 2lbs of Metol/hydroquinone mixed together. Since it's basically 1lb of Metal and 1lb of hydroquinone, the only problem comes from the fact that with mixed powders you can never be sure that any given measure of it is going to truly be 50/50.

    With this thought in mind I've been thinking, if I could mix them up into a stock solution I should be ok. After looking in the PLI the only formulas I found that use the same amount of the 2 are either DK-50 or DK60a (both actually very similar developers), both of which use Kodalk (sodium metaborate) as their alkali. If I'm remembering correctly (something I'm never really sure of), the pH of Kodalk and the pH of TEA are very close, so I was thinking that if I mixed up the 2 into some TEA that I could basically have a concentrated version of DK-50 (and LOTS of it!). The formula for DK-50 calls for 2.5g of metol and 2.5g of hydroquinone, and 10g of kodalk per liter so the question is: Into how much TEA would I need to dissolve the 2lbs of powdered chemicals I have here?

    The other chemicals in the DK-50 formula are potassium bromide 0.5g/l and sodium sulfite 30g/l and I know that kbr will dissolve into TEA, but will sodium sulfite? I'd probably just add the sodium sulfite when I mix up the working solution, simply because to add enough to make the formula correct would be expensive to buy at one shot. Along the same lines, how would using that formula without the sulfite at all work?

    I have a gallon of TEA here, would the 2 lbs dissolve into that? Or am I going to have to get more? Thanks for any help anyone can give me, I'm so confused over trying to figure it out that it's made my head spin!

    -Mike
     
  4. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    First off, you won't need the sulfite unless you plan on keeping a working solution for a long time. If you don't believe me, you can always add some sulfite directly to a working solution for comparison.

    You will be able to dissolve 1 lb of hydroquinone in a gallon, but chances are that not all the metol will dissolve. Whatever does dissolve will still make a fine developer. If TEA is the solvent, try diluting 1 part with 50 parts of water and using it about like you would D 76 1:1.
     
  5. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Well, I goofed a little. I tested my advice on a small scale with 10 grams each of M and Q and TEA to make 125 ml. The M and Q both dissolved and seem to be staying in solution as it cools. The solution is a clear, red-brown color. What I forgot is that for the maximum synergy between metol and hydroquinone, one needs a modicum of sulfite. Without it, MQ is a staining developer, and is much less active. You need add only 1/2 teaspoon of anhydrous sodium sulfite to 1 liter of the working solution make it act like D-76.

    One of the problems with TEA as the solvent is the viscosity of the cold solution. You may want to thin it somewhat with propylene glycol or keep it in a warm place.
     
  6. MikeS

    MikeS Member

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Newport, TN
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Well, I would adding some Edwal Liquid Orthazite (which has sodium sulfite & benzotriazole, I believe it either IS the old BB Compound, or is very similar) to the working solution be good enough? If so, I figure the benzotriazole can basically replace the kbr in the DK-50 formula and everything should be fine.

    That hasn't been a problem so far, I keep it on a high shelf where the air is much warmer :smile:

    -Mike
     
  7. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,110
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I think I read somewhere that the sulphite in Orthazite is there to assist in the dissolution of the benzotriazole, and given that you don't need much benzotriazole, you would be adding a quite small amount compared to the amount of sulphite (usually) needed in a developer.
     
  8. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    The amount of sulfite needed for synergism between metol and hydroquinone is not enough to produce fuzzy grain, and not even enough to produce coarse grain, but it is probably more than would be in an average dose of Orthazite. That 1/2 teaspoon amounts to about 3 grams per liter of working solution. I would lay off adding the Orthazite until you see if you really need it.
     
  9. MikeS

    MikeS Member

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Newport, TN
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Ok, I understand that sulfite isn't needed, but in say the DK-50 formula, doesn't it do more than act as preservative?

    If I'm doing the math correctly, I now have a solution that is 12.5% Metol and 12.5% Hydroquinone, and if I'm also correct, to make a solution that has 2.5g/l of both chemicals (obviously it has to be both) I would add 20ml per liter, does that sound right? Thanks!

    -Mike
     
  10. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Yes, that amounts to about 1+50. The role of sulfite in many developers is qualitatively known but not always quantitatively optimized. I know it may not seem that I did a lot of optimization, what with using teaspoons, but in fact, I have not found a sharp optimum for any one quality. Developer activity, sharpness, grain size, grain structure and in some cases staining properties all may be affected by sulfite content. In the case of MQ developers, no sulfite produces a staining developer. You may or may not like the color of the stain, but it is something you can play with. It takes very little sulfite to maximixe the activity and reduce or eliminate the stain. With a concentrated stock solution and one-shot working solution, preservation beyond, say, an hour is hardly ever required.

    At any rate, with the stock containing only M, Q and TEA, you have the flexibility of choice among working solutions with many different properties, some of which are mutually exclusive, but it will only take 20 ml of the stock solution to try each of them.

    I think you will find the variation of grain and gradation with change of sulfite content to be not what you might expect. Have fun.
     
  11. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You missed Beer's 5. It may do you for a Dektol type. If
    interested I'll post the formula. Dan
     
  12. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    You can always use the 50-50 mix as a basis and add more of either to change the ratio. This means buying another bunch of hydroquinone and making a TEA stock solution of it alone, because I seriously doubt you will find much use if any for a developer solution with more M than Q. Alternatively, you could just keep the powder on hand and add it directly to the working solution. I prefer the liquid stock solution which only has to be weighed once, and if you get a pre-weighed quantity you don't have to weigh it at all. Ain't I lazy?
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    There's always Beer's 1, 2, 3, and 4. Beer's 1 = Ansco 120.
    Any number Beer's would likely do well as a compensating film
    developer; Ansco 120/Beer's 1 being similar to Beutlers and
    FX-1. I've used the three on film and paper and believe
    the results good. For those who process the
    N +/- way, pick the correct Beer's.

    Actually I think a good job can be done mixing the two
    powders. Store the mix in several amber Boston Rounds
    equipped with Polyseal or Polycone caps. With film or
    paper test each bottle as it is freshly mixed. I think
    very good consistency will be found bottle to
    bottle. Your supply of 50-50 will last for
    many years. Dan
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    He has already mixed the two powders and is worried about the consistency of the powder mixture from one gram or ounce to another. If it is all dissolved in TEA, it will be uniform, accurately measurable by volume, and usable in a wide variety of developer types, although some may not be exactly the same as any published formula. The TEA solution will retain its character for a very long time.
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I've checked my metol and hydroquinone and found
    them similar. I believe he will be able to mix them in
    a very consistent manner.

    TEA is not FREE. How many liters or gallons of TEA
    do you think might be needed to dissolve that two pounds
    of 50 - 50? Dan
     
  17. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    One gallon. It will make about 189 liters of working solution for film. Add about 5 grams of sodium sulfite per liter to the working solution to get full synergism. He said he already had a galllon of TEA.
     
  18. MikeS

    MikeS Member

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Newport, TN
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dan:

    I screwed up a while back, and ended up with 2 lbs of powdered metol/hydroquinone mixed together. Because powder mixed isn't consistent (if I measured out 2g of it, would it really be 1g metol and 1g hydroquinone each time?), so I dissolved the 2lbs into a gallon of TEA that I already had here (now I only have less than a quart of TEA left :sad: ) and so now with it I can make lots and lots of developer! I figure that I can use it to make DK-50 fairly easily, as I believe that TEA and Kodalk (the alkali in DK-50) have a very similar pH all I need to add is sulfite and Kbr, and I can vary those to try different effects! I think I now can make about 50 gallons of a DK-50 like developer, and adding that to the 50 gallons worth of DK-50 I was just given last month by a friend getting out of developing I think I'm set for life!

    My biggest problem now is the fact that I prefer PC-TEA or AC-TEA (PC-TEA with amidol replacing the phenidone) much more than DK-50! Oh well, so it goes.

    -Mike
     
  19. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    You can use it up faster if you make a stronger working solution and use it on paper. For paper, you may want to add some carbonate. If you get too much base fog, add a little bromide.

    The solution you have is quite flexible. While adding phenidone to an MQ developer is not always a good idea because P and M are sometimes antagonistic, amidol and metol get along OK, and the activity of an MQ developer can be increased by adding a very small amount of amidol. Amidol keeps well dissolved in TEA. A 1% solution is handy to have around. A little of that can be used to doctor up PMK as well.

    If you want to concoct a developer using amidol and either hydroquinone or ascorbic acid from the start, the ratio may be 1 part of amidol to 80 or more parts of the other. You still need sulfite with hydroquinone unless you want a staining developer, but not with ascorbic acid, with which you cannot get a staining developer.
     
  20. MikeS

    MikeS Member

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Newport, TN
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I tried this, and it worked great. I used 20ml of the concentrate with a teaspoon of sulfite, and a teaspoon of carbonate in it mixed into 250ml of water, and it made a fairly fast working print developer (tonight I'm going to try half as much concentrate)

    I keep a 1% solution of Amidol in PG just for making PMK+ already, hadn't thought about adding a similar proportion of amidol to an MQ developer!

    I had mixed up what I called AC-TEA where I basically used the same amount of Amidol as I would have used Phenidone in PC-TEA, and it makes a really nice non-staining developer.

    Tonight I tried a test. I shot 6 sheets of J&C 400 film, I developed 2 of them in 20ml/l with nothing else added, for 11 minutes, and got a couple of very thin (but I think printable) negatives that if they have any stain on them, I can't see it (but that's not to say it's not there). I developed 2 of them in 20ml/l + 1 tsp Sulfite (my teaspoons average between 9.1g and 9.5g of Sulfite) and also developed them for 11 minutes. This test was done with a fresh batch of developer as the original batch went into the tank a dark brown, came out dark black!) These negatives came out pretty good, but with lots of base fog. Next I took the developer, and added 2 more tsp of Sulfite, along with 5ml of 10% Kbr effectively making DK-50. I developed the last 2 in this for 8 minutes, and they came out the best of the bunch, with about the same density (by eye) as the second batch, possibly more, and very little base fog!

    What I need to test now is doing a couple more, with only 1 tsp of Sulfite, but adding the Kbr as well, and see how those come out. Would adding 2 more tsp of Sulfite make the developer faster working?

    Along similar lines, will Sulfite dissolve in PG or TEA? The reason I ask is that along with my gallon of MQ mix I also have about another 50 gallons worth of genuine Kodak DK-50 (most of it in cans to make 5 gallons, some in 1 gallon packets) and was wondering if I was to mix them up (say the 1 gallon packets, as the cans can last a long time as they are, but I worry about the life of the packets) in 250ml of PG, then to use it I could dilute it 1+3 to have normal stock strength, would that work?

    -Mike
     
  21. dancqu

    dancqu Member

    Messages:
    3,676
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Willamette V
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    There you have it Beer's 5. Very nearly a Dektol I'd say.
    Exactly a Beer's 5, likely not, as the ratios of sulfite
    and carbonate are not likely the same.

    Yes, try half and perhaps half again. Allow 3 or 5
    minutes for good blacks, make note and you've my
    secret for one-shot print developer. Dan
     
  22. hka

    hka Member

    Messages:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I made this weekend some concentrated stock solution of Metol and Phenidone following the above instructions quiete and easy to do. My question; is it possible to do the same for Borax. The reason I'am asking this is because I made mostly small badges of D-76H (max. 1 liter) and it is more convenience to measure 25 ml of a concentrated 10% Metol stock solution than 2.5 grams of Metol powder. If this can be done with also the Borax it makes life much easier.
    Or is there some brilliant idea to combine these two in one single stock solution?? And wil the Sodium Sulfite dissolve in the water with the syrup of Metol/Borax?
    And how to make with what - glycol or TEA or a combination of...?
     
  23. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Borax is very soluble in glycerin (glycerol), if that's any help. About 50%. That's about 10 times its solubility in water. I have't figured out yet what to do with that info.
     
  24. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

    Messages:
    757
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Washougal, W
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A Borax/ glycerin solution makes it much easier to add a small amount of borax to PC-TEA developer. Trying to dissolve dry borax into TEA takes just a few hours short of forever, but glycerin makes a tedious task simple.

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com
     
  25. haryanto

    haryanto Member

    Messages:
    168
    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I dissolves cathecol in glycol 10% solutions, after read in somewhere in this forum, that's almost a year now, that solutions still in same color when i mix it, but i compared to my pyrocatMC in glycol more brownish than in plain water after several weeks, is that my Pyrocat MC still useable?
     
  26. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,725
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    I'm off to the dungeon to see if PC-Borax in glycerin is usable. The P and the C are both soluble in glycerin. Perhaps just enough TEA to neutralize the C?