View Full Version : A real formula

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ADOX Fotoimpex
05-23-2007, 03:17 PM

you can use ADOLUX just like any other liquid emulsion for your first experiments in glass plate coatings. Basically the products out donīt differ much. But they are not really intended for the use in cameras. The liquid emulsions on the market today are used to make positive prints of already existing negatives and are sensitized up to about 560nm.
This means they are orthochromatic (blind for red light) in order to be used under a red safelight and will reproduce anything red as black in the positive.
Also they are rather slow and need long exposure times.
The other problem is to get the emulsion to stick to the glass evenly.
In this matter ADOLUX will not differ much from other emulsions but you need to sub your glass plates first. Recipes for such a preparation coating should be available on the site you mentioned, else Photo Engineer can probably shake a formulary for a subbing layer right out his sleeve. I could look something up for you otherwise.

Cheers from Berlin,


Photo Engineer
05-23-2007, 03:49 PM

Good comments.

A subbing layer is not normally needed, but one goes like this.

10% gelatin 100 grams
4 ml 5% chrome alum stock solution (stock is 10% chrome alum)
5 ml Everclear (95% ethyl alcohol)
1 drop 10% thymol in iso-propyl alcohol.

This should give a good subbing layer for you coated using normal plate methods.

If it is too thick, just dilute with distilled water in steps until the desired viscosity is reached.


11-13-2008, 03:43 PM
If one could get they're grubby little hands on Gold Chloride, (there is some of questionable origin on Ebay) and I understand, from a wiki article that sodium hypo and sodium thiosulphate are the same chemical, what concentrations of these would you use of these. Since the formula calls for about .77 Mol of silver, and I read in another post that sensitizers should be 1 - 10 mg per Mol of silver, do we use (assuming the high end of that scale) about 4 mg of AuCl and 4mg of Na-Hypo (pardon the chemical contraction) or 7.7 mg of each?

Also, I have seen other recipes that call for potassium Dichromate as a sensitizing agent. (unblinking eye.com) To my knowledge this only hardens gelatin when exposed to UV, which I would think help contrast, not increase sensitivity, and since it takes so long for the UV to harden the gelatin w/ K2Cr2O7, I dont seehow it would be of much use.

Lastly Does the hypo and AuCl sensitize down to red, or just into green?


Photo Engineer
11-13-2008, 04:32 PM
Silver halide is sensitized by adding thiosulfate at 1 - 100 grams / mole of silver present. Unfortunately, this level is based on grain size (surface area actually) and therefore unless you have electron micrographs you have to determine it by trial and error.

Gold is used a 1 part of gold salt / 3 parts of thiosulfate.

Don't use Dichromate.


11-13-2008, 05:10 PM

Just realized that the thiosulphate and and AuCl is for not for spectral sensitization - sorry for the stupid question.

Kirk Keyes
11-13-2008, 07:19 PM
If one could get they're grubby little hands on Gold Chloride, (there is some of questionable origin on Ebay)

Go back to eBay, and buy from CJ Chemical or Salt Lake Metals. I've bought gold chloride and silver nitrate from both and they deleiver good product.

Or, try Photographers Formulary.

It's not so hard...

11-14-2008, 09:59 PM
Stay away from Pro-Blenders L.L.C.on Ebay. Their silver nitrate will be cloudy in distilled water. When ammonium hydroxide is added it will be clear, but pink.

Kirk Keyes
11-14-2008, 10:57 PM
Pink - that's pretty. I think that means there's manganese (pink at first, but it should turn brown on standing) or cobalt (was it blue for a little and then turned pink?).

The silver nitrate I bought from Salt Lake Metals was water clear with dissolved in water, and it turned a very, very pale blue when complexed with ammonium hydroxide. Probably a bit of copper... which PE will tell us is a no-no... ACS and AR grade are allowed 2 ppm copper in silver nitrate.

I suspect there was a bit more in the SLM silver nitrate I had, but I' guessing it was not much, as it was only blue with hydroxide and I only noticed the color when I poured it into a container so that it was more than a couple inches deep.

11-15-2008, 11:34 AM
Hi PE,
I tried to make this formula, the full batch,not scaled down.
Upon chilling to 33 degrees F, the batch was very soft, realy too soft for noodling. I used Formulary gelatin,and formulary Br and I. The only suspect component was the silver nitrate, which I have mentioned above. But 30g of gelatin in 1.5 liters of water is only 2% gelatin. Then you call for an adjustment to 5-10% gelatin. Something is not right,is it me?

Photo Engineer
11-15-2008, 03:22 PM
You! Sorry Bill. I have mad this over and over and over and it works. You made it in class. Sorry.


11-15-2008, 04:40 PM
Dear PE,
I don't mean to beat a dead hourse, I realy don't! But I am cornfused! When you wrote "Adjust gelatin leval to desired 5-10%"
You are saying : add more gelatin? Dry or in solution?
Perhaps I did make this in class. But I have never seen such an anemic emulsion befor. By anemic, I mean soft at 33F.

Photo Engineer
11-15-2008, 04:50 PM
Well, Bill, under normal conditions, you should have a 5 - 10% solution of gelatin. If it takes solid gelatin, then that is what you have to add, but if not you can use up to 20% gelatin. If you use solid gelatin then heat the emulsion to 40 deg C and hold with the solid gelatin with stirring for about 1/2 hour. That will melt the gelatin and then you refilter.

IDK how you washed it. Noodle washing dilutes emulsion. You were going to use Jim Browning's formula last I read. That is a noodle wash. So, if this is too dilute by either method, you are doing something wrong.


Photo Engineer
11-15-2008, 07:32 PM
Please note in the OP that I suggest adjusting the gelatin to 5 - 10%. This can be done before or after the wash. It depends on method of wash and on the amount of dilution given to the original pot by the amount of ammonia used. I used household ammonia in one case and it was too dilute to set. I used 28% ammonia and it was just fine.

There are precise notes on this formula given to my workshop students in their notes.


11-15-2008, 07:37 PM
Thanks...now I see why film is expensive...actually, when I read the instructions above, it is remarkable that film is as inexpensive as it is. I can only imagine how difficult it is to mass produce an emulsion to exacting standards over and over again....can you tell us, briefly, how Kodak manages to make a film like TMY to such exacting standards in darkness? Thanks.


Photo Engineer
11-15-2008, 08:16 PM

Emulsions are now made in huge batches by using automated equipment. Everything is controlled to the precise flow rate, temperature, time, and mixing rate (rpms and combined flows as well as adjusting turbulence during mixing). This is done under dim red light and sometimes with IR goggles.

Coating is done at precise rates in flow and throughput of support with carefully regulated chemicals.

The chemistry used involves up to 9,000 ingredients or more in one color film, all of which are tested for impurities before use, and the final products are tested at every stage of the operation. The emulsion is tested before coating and the coating is tested after the emulsion is dry.

I could go on, but only Kodak, Fuj and Ilford have the rigid specs for this fully worked out. All other companies use less rigorous methods. The one exception is the remnant of Agfa. Agfa once had the same standards and the remaining Agfa operations have been able to maintain most all of them.


Kirk Keyes
11-16-2008, 12:04 AM
You made it in class.

Bill - the formula at the start of this thread is very close to what we made in class. I looked in the handout, and as I measured out all the chemicals we used, I can tell you we made the 4x Scale of the Silver Bromoiodide VHS emulsion. It's almost exactly what's posted here - we used a bit more silver in the class - look in your class formulas handout to see how much.

The other difference between here and class is we let the one from class ripen longer than 2 hours. And we used phthalated gelatin so we could do an isowash on the emulsion in class.

From the couple emulsions I've made, I'd suggest swelling the gelatin with a little water (try about 1 part water to 1 part gelatin) before adding it to bring the gelatin up to the 8% or so conc. The times I've added dry gelatin, it seems like it just takes longer to get it to dissolve into the pot than when I swelled it with a little water.


11-16-2008, 11:06 AM
Thanks PE and Kirk,
The reason for my making the emulsion from this thread was that I wanted to start with a "bair-bones" emulsion for optimization of of sensitizers and hardener. Yes, I can and will do that with any emulsion formula. This one just "looked" very easy. I misinterpreted.
Thanks again,

Photo Engineer
11-16-2008, 11:17 AM

About 150+ grams of dry gelatin added any way you wish will bring the emulsion up to about the percentage you want. It is easy to calculate from the figures.


11-16-2008, 05:48 PM
Thanks...thousands of ingredients, all tested for impurities...rather impressive I think. Did you omit some of the other manufacturers for cause, e.g., Adox, Foma, Bergger, etc.? Are the "less rigorous standards" reflected in the quality of the film? There have been occasional statements here and elsewhere about the problems with some of these films. Indeed, I know of several well known photographers who gave up using Bergger film because of the quality of the film.

Photo Engineer
11-16-2008, 06:07 PM
I know how high the quality standards are of the companies I have mentioned. IDK about the others and so cannot comment. Except, as we see here on APUG there apparently are problems.