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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    PC-TEA represents excellent economy, ease of
    use, and consistency of results, because it is a single solution, and
    with a given dilution, every working solution is identical to
    every other working solution, within a batch of concentrate.
    I make it up in 1 liter batches ...
    How much concentrate do you mix at one time? How do you
    store and meter it out? Do you use glass bottles and an eye
    dropper? Is A large bottle containing the total of the
    concentrate "good to the last drop" Dan

  2. #12

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    PC-Tea

    Thanks to Mr. Gainer and everyone else here on this thread. On Monday I'l go and get the chemicals to try this out for myself. Will be happy to report back on this. Thanks!
    Peter

  3. #13
    Maine-iac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peters
    Maine-iac- Hello-you got my interest perked up to try your one solution formula. I do alot of processing with 4x5 so your developer has the ability to save me quite a bit of money; but time is money too.Mixing up the 5 Liter packages of Xtol in a pail is very quick and easy for me and it will do a good amount of 4x5 mixed 1:1. Since I'm trying this to replace Xtol my question is as follows:
    1. I use the Xtol at a 1:1 dilution
    2. Will my negatives fairly replicate in your formula as a stock?
    3. Have you ever tried to dilute the developer or is it not neccessary AND OR are the results that good there is no reson to bother diluting?
    4. How many negatives/4x5/ per liter of working solution?
    I realize I need to do my own experimenting and come to my own conclusions. Your input is appreciated. Thanks beforehand and thanks for an interesting thread
    Regards Peter

    Hi Peter,

    Sorry I wasn't online for the past day or so; since I'm a clergyman, Sunday is a heavy workday for me.

    RE: your questions.

    1. My formula above is a full strength solution; no need to dilute.

    2. Not sure exactly what you mean by "will my negs fairly replicate in your formula as a stock." If you mean, will this formula give comparable results as Xtol, I can only say that since I've never used Xtol, I can't compare the two.

    3. See #1

    4. I've done as many as six 4X5 negs or four rolls of 120 in a liter of developer without exhausting it. I'd guess you might get 8 sheets or 6 rolls of 120 if you tried, but I've never tried, so can only vouch for 6 sheets.

    The PC-TEA formula recommended by Gainer and others works very well. It's just a lot more bother to mix up since you have to heat the TEA to get the Phenidone and Vitamin C to dissolve. I have nothing against it, except that I'm lazy enough to want something that mixes quickly, easily, and doesn't have me running up and down the stairs from my darkroom to the kitchen. Making a stock solution of just the Phenidone in either 90% alcohol or Propylene Glycol, and then throwing in the Vitamin C and activator at the time I'm ready to develop is just easier in my opinion, and the results are equally good.

    I just shot a couple rolls of 6X7 Fuji Neopan on Friday, developed and made a few prints Friday afternoon and the grain was so fine I had trouble focusing with my 25X Scoponet grain magnifer. Can't ask for much more than that.

    Larry

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Appel
    Pat Gainers' article in the march/april issue of Photo techniques.
    I take it this is No.2, 2004? I just looked on the PT website at back-issues and they don't mention the article...

  5. #15

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    He skips the "running up and down the stairs" routine. Dan

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    Larry, how is making a stock solution in glycol easier than making one in TEA? It takes exactly the same amount of time and trouble to make up a TEA solution as it does a glycol solution, unles I'm missing something, but the TEA solution is complete, needing only water to make a working solution. I don't understand the convenience that you claim for a glycol solution, to which the alkali is added separately.

    Jay
    You're right, of course. You have to heat the glycol as you do the TEA, thus making the stock just as time-consuming to mix, and that's the reason I only have used the glycol to experiment with single solution developers that contain all ingredients--developing agents and activators.

    This is also why I most frequently and normally simply use 90% alcohol, mixed in 100 ml batches with a gram of Phenidone. This doesn't have to be heated, is enough for 25 rolls of 120 film (more actually, but I use it as a one-shot in a two-roll tank), and lasts with no decrease in potency for at least as long as I need it to to use it up.

    When I'm developing, it's a liter of water, a half tsp. Vitamin C, a whole tsp of metaborate or carbonate, and 4 ml Phenidone stock. Takes 2-3 minutes, doesn't demand heating ingredients, measuring dilutions, etc. I'm naturally lazy, and since I get great printable negs with long scale and fine grain, why bother with something more, well, bothersome? I can mix AND develop in the same amount of time I would have just to develop using TEA (unless I use a 1:25 or 1:30 dilution instead of the recommended 1:50, which shortens the time from 9-10 minutes to my preferred 7 or so). Believe me, I have nothing against TEA. It's a fine developing activator. And I've got nearly a full quart that's sitting on my shelf unused after my experiments with it. Since my first attempts produced an oderiferous result, and others report no such effect, I conclude that I overheated it (though it worked well), and may try it again sometime while monitoring the temperature more closely. Or maybe not. I really couldn't see any real gain in the negs I got from it over what I've been using for several years now.

    Larry

  7. #17

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    You and Larry have me yearning for TANK processing.
    Don't mix anything, don't take any time. Just drop in the film. Dan

  8. #18
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    Thanks for the clarification, Jay. That was the way I used TEA also, and I agree that simply filling a syringe is faster at the actual developing stage. But to get your PC-TEA concentrate, you have to heat the TEA first to dissolve the Phenidone/ascorbic acid.

    I think we're talking about differences of seconds, not many minutes here, and therefore, it's really just a matter of habit and preference. I have a whole gallon of non-toxic antifreeze (100% propylene glycol) to use up, so I'll probably use it for my Phenidone/ascorbic stock and continue using washing soda or Kodalk as the activator.

    As I said, I haven't seen in my negs evidence that TEA is a superior alkaline to metaborate or carbonate.

    Larry

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    Larry,

    You don't heat your glycol to dissolve your ascorbic acid and phenidone?

    Jay
    Yep, I do, but no use in throwing out a gallon of good glycol. I had to buy the gallon (which I got cheap from an auto parts store that was discontinuing the propylene variety of glycol because despite its non-toxicity before it goes into the car, it apparently comes out more toxic than ethylene glycol, or so I was told. Also, it didn't give me the odor that TEA did (whether or not that was the result of my overheating it). This gallon will probably last me till I retire at least and maybe beyond.

    Besides, I only rarely practice what I preach; consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds (who was it said that?).

    Larry

  10. #20
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    I think that BS about the propylene glycol becoming more poisonous than the ethylene is propaganda. I would like to hear from a professional chemist about the veracity of that statement.
    Gadget Gainer

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