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  1. #1
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    Rodinal-like developer from Metol

    Mix 40 grams of Metol with 15 grams of sodium sulfite in 1 liter of water. Add 19 grams of sodium hydroxide. Filter, saving the contents of the filter paper. That which passes through the filter is mostly sodium sulfite and sodium sulfate. That which remains is mostly the Metol base. Mix the contents of the filter paper with 750 ml of water and add 85 grams of sodium sulfite. Stir vigorously while adding 19 grams of sodium hydroxide. All or nearly all of the precipitate will dissolve. Bring the volume up to 1 liter. Use as you would Rodinal.

    The result is a solution of a sodium salt of the Metol base and sodium sulfite.

    I also made a batch in which I mixed the 85 grams of sulfite, 40 grams of Metol and 38 grams of hydroxide to make a liter which included the sulfate formed from the H2SO4 of the Metol. It is a little darker in color, but I haven't seen a difference in performance. Sodium sulfate is sometimes used in tropical developers to slow the reaction and minimize swelling of the emulsion, but the amount created here is probably not enough to do that job.
    Gadget Gainer

  2. #2

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    But does it keep as well as Rodinal? pyrometol

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrometol View Post
    But does it keep as well as Rodinal? pyrometol
    Only time will tell. I don't see any reason why it would not keep. If I'm still alive a year from now I'll let you know what it looks like and how well it works. I'll have to squirrel some away so I don't use it. It makes a good print developer also.
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    Hi, Can you tell me if this mixture is concentrate and that to use it, I should mix 1:25 or 1:50 with water? Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggshell View Post
    Hi, Can you tell me if this mixture is concentrate and that to use it, I should mix 1:25 or 1:50 with water? Thanks.
    Yes, it is concentrated, and I would start with the published dilutions and times for Rodinal.
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  6. #6
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    I just finished a test with HP5+. 1 + 50, 8 minutes @ 70 F, agitation 5 seconds/ minute gave better negatives than Rodinal 1 + 25, 8 minutes @ 70 F, same agitation. Better gradations, more shadow detail, no more grain. Next test will be on FP4+.
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  7. #7
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    FP4+ and HP5+ can be processed together if so desired. I used the same time-temperature on both and got identical results. I used box speed with an average reading in my Canon Elan IIe. This batch of developer was made in the middle of January, stored in a clear glass bottle, and is showing no signs of age.
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  8. #8

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    The present formula at 1:50 is:
    Metol base 0.8g/L ,Sodium sulfite 1.7g/L .Sodium hydroxide 0.35g/L.
    GW Crawley ,BJP Jan6 1961 suggested:
    Metol 0.5g/L ,Sodium sulfite 1g/L ,Sodium carbonate 3g/L.
    There is half a page about this,it cannot be summarized here,but notably he appeared impressed with the sharpness of it with the film of that era,Adox KB 17 etc.He noted the working solution had a short shelf life but did not suggest a concentrate.It's possible the present formula might have a better shelf life and be sharp.I wonder if it is known what is the effect of using metol base instead of metol.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Johnson View Post
    The present formula at 1:50 is:
    Metol base 0.8g/L ,Sodium sulfite 1.7g/L .Sodium hydroxide 0.35g/L.
    GW Crawley ,BJP Jan6 1961 suggested:
    Metol 0.5g/L ,Sodium sulfite 1g/L ,Sodium carbonate 3g/L.
    There is half a page about this,it cannot be summarized here,but notably he appeared impressed with the sharpness of it with the film of that era,Adox KB 17 etc.He noted the working solution had a short shelf life but did not suggest a concentrate.It's possible the present formula might have a better shelf life and be sharp.I wonder if it is known what is the effect of using metol base instead of metol.
    As it happens, I made two batches at about the same time, one where I filtered as described and the other where I just left everything in. This is more or less comparable to making one batch with the base and the other with the hydrosulfate. The difference in the long run is just that one has more sodium sulfate in it. I cannot really tell the difference on FP4+. I am quite happy with either one. I would say that if you made up a batch by just mixing metol, sulfite and hydroxide, you would probably not be inclined to ask yourself if it could be better if you got rid of the resulting sulfate.

    There is some obvious tanning with FP4+ and HP5+ which is reputed to be a sign of desirable edge effects. All I can say about that is that I haven't seen any better results from a non-staining single solution developer. Anyway, for 10 grams of metol and a little sulfite and hydroxide you can make a quarter liter to see if I'm lying. (Don't be alarmed. We talk this way in West Virginia.)
    Gadget Gainer

  10. #10

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    Patrick, your earlier version of this developer had 63 g of Metol and 28.6 g of sodium hidroxide. How did you come to this latest version with decreased amount of Metol and increased amount of hidroxide. Is that to avoid a potential problem of crystallization of Metol in presence of its precipitates undissolved? Do you think that the both versions are approximately equal in activity?
    Last edited by Igor Savchenko; 03-11-2007 at 06:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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