Vitamin-C film developer
I am planing to use Vit-c for paper developer. For film Microdol-X, I would like to use Vit-c for film, but am worried about the "sudden Death" like Xtol can have. I seen where just Vit-c and carbonate will work. So it comes down to this.
1 - How reliable, no sudden death
2 - formula that will give results of Microdol-X 1:3
3 - Consistent results
4 - NO Metol - Hydroquinone - Lye - Pyro, well you get the idea
So what's your thoughts....
If you make up your developer fresh for each batch [Easy enough if you make your own] then you shouldn't have to worry about sudden death. But I'd look for a developer that worked the way I wanted not one that avoided a list of chemicals. Why are you avoiding metol?
I'm not sure, but I don't think Vit. C will develop film on it's own. I think you will have to throw in metol, etc., to make a superadditive dev. Perhaps Patrick Gainer will spot this and comment.
Vitamin C will not develop film well on its own -- it needs another developing agent as well. For most of us using Patrick Gainer's Vitamin C formulas, that other developing agent is phenidone, although some people use a metol-Vitamin C formula instead.
Originally Posted by Jennifer
Quite possibly the simplest of Patrick's Vitamin C developers to compound is as follows (this is a working-strength solution that should be used immediately):
Warm water .... 250 ml
Ascorbic acid .... 2 g
Phenidone 1% .... 2 ml
Sodium carbonate .... 5 g
Water to make .... 1 L
The "Phenidone 1%" is a 1% solution of phenidone in isopropyl alcohol. I use a formula equivalent to this and develop HP5+ for about 7' at 21C.
There are a whole bunch of different variations on this formula that involve dissolving the ascorbic acid and phenidone in propylene glycol (PG) or triethanolamine (TEA) for longer keeping and that use different bases as the accelerator. The PG version is what I currently use and my existing batch has lasted for over a year with no signs of deterioration. TEA acts similarly and also acts as an accelerator so no sodium carbonate need be added.
This is not an ultra-fine-grain developer (at least in the form I have posted) but the grain is fine enough, but tight and extremely crisp. It's almost like a finer-grained Rodinal (if I can be so bold!)
Jordan, that sounds hopeful. I wonder what would make it a bit finer grain,
with those qualitys ?. One thing is developing time, longer would be better, for doing "N-" times. Diluting ?. Capacity of developer per ltr ?. Questions, questions. Perhaps Mr. Gainer could give some more insights.
On the chemical list...."HQ" is bad stuff, and it would not surprise me if it makes it to a EPA hit list in the future. I'm more, in my older age bothered by chemical things in general, and if ?, I could get the same results with a non-metol developer, all the better. I'm just trying to think ahead, that's scarey, and use non-hazmat formulas, or store bought things that are less toxic. I'm not a enviromental nut, but it's better for us, the animals, plants.
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Phenidone is less toxic than metol, though allergies cannot always be predicted. An amount of phenidone is equivalent to about 10 times that amount of metol, so not only is it less likely to be allergenic but there is much less of it.
I doubt hydroquinone will make it to such a list. It is a valuable chemical in medical laboratories and other worthwhile uses. It will not leap out and grab you, so if you don't rub it on your body or eat it or inhale it, you can join the rest of us who have used it for years, 65 in my case, without harm. Well, some might disagree whose brains run on a different track, but I trace that to my parents, who were not photograpers.
Vitamin C or its common isomer isoascorbic acid have some advantages. They do not need sulfite to activate the synergism with phenidone or metol. Here again, sulfite is not such a bad thing for health as we use it, but I have found that for many photographic purposes the less the better. Personally, I think it's fun to be able to get most of what you need to develop film at a grocery store an/or a hardware store, and get high quality negatives as well.
Long development times to high contrast are a good source of graniness. I have not found grain from my formulas to be any worse than from D-76. I have to enlarge HP5+ more than 10 times to see the grain with reading glasses.
Look at it this way: how much could it cost to try it for yourself? What you don't use, you can eat as vitamin C and use in your laundry. 10 grams of phenidone will last a very long time, and other formulas use it as well.
Jennifer, If you dilute PC-TEA 1:10 or 1:15 it does a good job developing paper. This developer can be replenished, if needed, by adding a little Ascorbic Acid.
Originally Posted by jdef
BTW, I recommend Trader Joe's pure food grade Ascorbic Acid (about $6.00 a pound).
The image color can be modified (warmer)by adding about a gram of potassium bromide (KBr) to the working developer. KBr will also reduce the activity of the developer.
The image color can be modified (colder) by adding .2% Benzotriazole solution to the working developer. Try adding 10 ml of the .2% Benzo solution per liter of working developer as a starting point. This will also reduce the activity of the developer.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
Now if you want scary, look at the contents of bottles of such things as hair dye (p-phenylene diamine), dandruff medicine, wart remover, etc. Don't forget laundry detergents.
If you add 0.2g of potassium bromide to the above stock solution you will reduce B+F significantly without altering developer activity.
Originally Posted by jdef
We alternative printers just abhor any unnecessary density because it adds so much time to our printing.
Let's go over this in small words for the benefit of my finals week-addled brain.
Originally Posted by Jordan
Where can one buy phenidone?
How does one measure out 2ml? A pipette?
Is the 2ml of the 1% solution or is it 2ml of phenidone in an unspecified amount of isopropyl?
Will EtOH work? We always have some high-test rum hanging out here it seems.