I wanted to try a custom formulation of the ever popular D-76/ID-11 formula for myself that differs slightly from the bog-standard formula.
The formula is as follows:
Sodium Hexametaphosphate or Sodium Tripolyphosphate (Optional) 1-2g/litre.
Metol/Elon = 2g
Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous) = 85g
Hydroquinone = 5g
Sodium Metabisulphite = 3.5g
Sodium Metaborate = 4g
water to make 1 litre of stock solution.
The balance of Metol and Hydroquinone is the same as the classic D-76/ID-11 and D-76d formulas, while the balance of the two sulphites and the Sodium Metaborate are from the Kodak XTol patent.
I was interested in the comment on page 46 (FDC-Book) where Geoffrey Crawley mentioned that the older Ilford films gave better results in developers based on a metaborate system.
I`m not sure if there are any benefits to this formula over the standard one, but I have been pleased with the results with Ilford HP5+ which is all I`ve tried it with so far. The times for regular D-76/ID-11 should provide a good starting point.
Keith, if you haven't yet done so, take a look at:
D-76 Type Film Developers, by Ryuji Suzuki
Everything is analog - even digital :D
I looked at the information written by Ryuji a long time ago Tom.
Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
It`s an interesting article.
Combining metaborate and metabisulfite will make same results as using borax and sulfite if you adjust the agents' quantities and the resulting pH. So, it's just a matter of convenience to choose which agents to use.
I've also looked at the description of FX-7 and compared it to FX-4. I see much more significant change in the bromide content and that's more significant than the difference between borax and metaborate. I haven't made up the solution to compare the pH, but I bet FX-7 has higher pH as well. I'm not sure what the point of FX-7 is.
Last edited by Ryuji; 04-16-2007 at 01:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I didn`t pay much attention to the differences between FX-4 and FX-7, now that you`ve pointed it out, there is a difference in the weight of sulphite and potassium bromide.
Originally Posted by Ryuji
The main thing that caught my eye as I said in my original post, was the comment that the old Ilford films performed better in developers with a Metaborate system. I also used the same balance of Sodium Sulphite, Sodium Metabisulphite and Sodium Metaborate as that used in the Xtol formula on page 49 after reading the comment on page 50 that the Xtol developer was highly buffered. It seemed logical that the MQ developer that I mixed would also be well buffered too.
Have I wasted my time with this formula? I`ve had good results with it so far, so it would be disapointing if my efforts were in vain.
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I'm not sure if you wasted your time or not. It was at least for your learning experience, although I could tell you just the same thing if we got to talk before :-)
If your formula makes any different result from standard D-76, it must be due to difference in pH and different sulfite concentration.
Firstly, I don't see any reason why Crawley said metaborate worked better than borax. He might have just meant higher pH. If the pH is adjusted to the same point by NaOH, both borax and metaborate make chemically identical solution. Don't believe the word "highly buffered" etc. alone, as they are relative terms.
Last edited by Sean; 05-07-2007 at 11:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.
So if the pH of what I made is the same as the standard formula, then no actual advantage and perhaps an unnecessary addition/change of two components?
Originally Posted by Ryuji
Still, it was part of the fun and as you say, part of the learning process, so no harm done because of a personal experiment.
Thanks for the constructive comments.
Last edited by Keith Tapscott.; 06-02-2007 at 01:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The Boric Anhydride Myth.
Since posting this recipe, I have done some research into the MSDS that I have for the commercially sold `Kodak` D-76 and I have also discussed the MSDS with a photo-chemist. The MSDS is as follows:
Weight % - Component - ( CAS Registry Number).
85-90 Sodium Sulphite (007757-83-7)
1-5 Hydroquinone (000123-31-9)
1-5 Sodium Tetraborate (001330-43-4)
1-5 Bis (4-hydroxy-N-methylanilinium) sulphate (000055-55-0)
< 1 Boric Anhydride (001303-86-2)
< 1 Pentasodium (carboxylatomethyl) iminobis (ethylenenitrilo) tetraacetate
Weight of concentrate = approximately 110 grams/litre.
From the book "Modern Photographic Processing" by Grant Haist, Volume 1:
Borate Alkali's: "Borax,Na2B4O7.10H2O, is the common name for sodium tetraborate, an alkaline compound used in the preparation of low-contrast, fine-grain developers. Borax may be written (NaBO2)2.B2O3, which shows the boric anhydride that limits the alkalinity possible from borax.
Borax acts as a buffer; that is, it maintains a reservoir of alkali but delivers only small quantities of hydroxyl ions at any one time. The alkalinity is maintained relatively unchanged until all of the borax has been neutralised."
It has been mentioned in some threads, that the Eastman Kodak D-76 packaged developer may be closer to D-76d, however, this doesn`t seem to be the case according to the description of borax in Haist`s book and it is probably very close, if not identical to the ORIGINAL formula as published over many, many decades. I wonder if anyone has conducted any test to compare the pH of the commercial EK product with the scratch mixed developer when stored over several weeks or months?
Last edited by Keith Tapscott.; 06-07-2008 at 03:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Having experimented with several D-76 derivatives including D-76d and D-76H, I have decided that I can not improve on the `ORIGINAL` formula.
I now make up 500ml of stock of the `standard` formula at a time as I need it and use it within 24-48 hours of mixing for optimum consistency.
I find that I prefer the results when the developer is diluted 1+1.
observation about qualities
You beat the tonal range, and probably the conservation more than 6 moths in a full bottle, is quite different from the original... 100 grs of sulfite is like a lorry, hard to move, the developing speed is lower compared when you work stock... haven`t you beat d-76 ? i think you have done something different (other cuestion is 1+1 dilution)... with greater possibilities. I am not according at all with the opinion of R. Suzuky based in my own expirience, i am not chemist but i like, concerning to kodalk qualities, the tonal scale and the preservation when you change the alcali e.g. Carbonates or borax, most of the times, is clearly better, it`s easy to take a photo of apple and see the differences, e.g Dk-50 1+1 or 1+2... and T grain film (Curiously this is a new and modern film/emulsion and kodalk work excelent). You have found another way in the D-76 world.
Last edited by martellsv; 11-21-2013 at 08:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.