Jay, thanks for the formula. I live in Singapore and would probably have to mail order these chemicals. Would you have any suggestions on where to get them? Also, any chance that customs would think they would be used for nefarious purposes?
Originally Posted by jdef
Ascorbic acid is Vitamin C, although not all vitamin C is sold in the acid form. It should not be on anyone's list of dangerous chemicals.
Triethanolamine may be looked upon with suspicion as some explosives have the tri- prefix, like trinitroglycerine, trinitrotoluene, etc. It is used in some personal higeine products. You may see it listed as an ingredient in many places where you might not expect it.
A satisfactory stock solution may be made by using propylene glycol as solvent in place of the TEA and adding an alkali to the working solution. Some are using sodium carbonate, others are using a mixture of borax and carbonate. I get good results from the glycol stock diluted 1+50 with water with 1 teaspoon of sodium carbonate and one teaspoon of borax per liter added.
You're in Minnesota, so it shouldn't take long to get chemicals from the Photographer's Formulary (Google them -- they are in Montana), who sell everything you will need. Phenidone is a solid and is used in such small quantities in these developers that it is easier to make up a dilute stock solution in alcohol (it has limited water solubility) and prepare working solutions from that. In this case 2ml means 2ml of a 1% stock solution of as high a concentration of alcohol as you can get. Use a syringe or volumetric pipette to measure it. Don't use rum -- use neat isopropanol from the drugstore.
Originally Posted by zenrhino
As Patrick and others mention, you can also make up the phenidone and ascorbic acid in a single stock solution at higher concentrations in propylene glycol or triethanolamine, in which case the stock solution will last a LONG time. With triethanolamine all you have to do is dilute it and go because the solvent is a strong enough base to activate the developing agents. With propylene glycol stock solutions you add the activator of your choice. The latter method is what I currently use -- I dilute the propylene glycol stock 1+50 in water to which I add 5g/L of sodium carbonate. This simple developer works well.
There are many, many permutations of Patrick's developers, differing mostly in the nature of the activator and what the stock solution/s is/are made up in. Search here and photo.net and you will be inundated with options.
Thanks Jay! I hope to be able to try PC-TEA soon. I've heard many great things about it.
I'll probably start off with the smallest quantities sold, since it looks like the formula needs so little of each chemical.
I want to second most of what has been said in response to Jennifer's questions. Will just add a tip or two.
I have used with great success, a simple Gainer-inspired formula.
For Delta 400 or Fuji Neopan 400:
1/2 tsp. Vit. C powder (from any health food store, even if it has rose hips, makes no diffference)
1 tsp. Kodalk (sodium metaborate)
4 ml. 1% Phenidone (1 g Phenidone dissolved in 90% alcohol, available in any supermarket or drugstore)
1 liter of water
Develop for about 6-7 minutes at 70 F. (experiment to find your right time/film speed)
For Delta 100 or Fuji ACROS 100, substitute Sodium Carbonate (Arm & Hammer Washing soda) for the Sodium Metaborate to increase the activity and keep the development times relatively the same. Otherwise, the metaborate will work fine, but times will increase to about 9-10 minutes for the slower film.
I mix this up fresh each time (except for the Phenidone/alcohol stock). It takes hardly any more time to throw in the Vitamin C and metaborate than it does to measure and dilute a stock solution.
I get very fine grain with this formula--so fine I can barely focus with my grain focuser when printing.
You can use Propylene glycol (available at Formulary or Chemistry Store online) as a preservative for the Phenidone/Vitamin C and make a stock solution. It apparently will preserve the Phenidone longer than alcohol, but I've never had a problem with the alcohol.
Drugstores all sell a 5 ml plastic dropper for measuring medicine and giving it to babies. They cost $1-2 and work fine for measuring out the Phenidone stock.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
To get results closer to the Microdol you're used to, you may want to use Larry's formula above but substitute 2 tbsps sodium sulfite for the metaborate. That's for 1l of water, BTW. You can mix it up just before using it.
A lot of people will say that the sulfite is unnecessary, expensive, etches the grains, reduces speed, sharpness etc. etc. They may be right. I'm just saying that you may prefer the look the sulfite gives.