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  1. #1
    mrred's Avatar
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    Metol and Glycol or Water

    I have grabbed all the ingredients to make Beutler developer. My problem is my scales (electronic) only go to 1g granularity.

    To get a reliable way to measure, I was thinking of making a solution in Glycol or Water for the Metol. How would this effect the Metol.

    Shelf life is a concern as I infrequently make negatives and I can mix up Beutler as needed and when needed.
    Get it right in the camera, the first time...

  2. #2

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    It is a long time since I used Beutler developer but if I recall correctly so long as the solution 'A' and solution 'B' did not come into contact before use, then the life was almost infinite. I had mine made up using distilled water,

  3. #3
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    Hi there,

    Two quick comments:

    Comment 1
    Having tested Beutler, Adams two-bath and Thornton's two-bath I would definitely recommend Thornton's over Beutler and Adams if you are using modern emulsions:

    Thornton's Two Bath
    BATH A
    Metol- 6.5gr
    Soduim Sulfite (Natriumsulfit) - 85 gr
    Water to make 1 liter

    BATH B
    Sodium Metaborate (Natriummetaborat) - 12gr
    Water to make 1 liter

    For Part A, dissolve a little bit of sodium sulfite (1-2 grams) first, then the metol, then the rest of the sodium sulfite. Having your water pre-heated to 30-35C will help (but let it cool to room temperature before using it).
    For Part B, the temperature doesn't really matter, as sodium metaborate is quite soluble.

    Best way of working is make 1L of Part A and 2L of Part2. Use Part A for 15 films and Part B for at least 30 rolls. When kept in dark brown glass bottles it will last ages.

    Comment 2
    Scales accurate to 0.1g are cheap and easy to find (usually listed a Jewelers scales on eBay and mine cost 12€ with free shipping from Hong Kong) and it is worth getting them if you plan to regularly mix chemicals yourself. The other option (with Thornton's two-bath at least) is to go to a flee market and buy yourself a 0.5g weight which you can then use for measuring the Metol (i.e place weight on scale and then add Metol until the scale reads 7g).

    Best of luck and have fun,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  4. #4

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    David covered about everything. You really should just get a scale that can weigh in 0.1 g accuracy. They are very cheap, and available everywhere. The alternative is to get a proper jeweller's scale, or a gun powder scale. They can measure sometimes down to 0.001 g resolution, but are quite a bit more expensive. The lab balances I have looked at are just too expensive, and the difference between 5,9 g and 6,1 g is not really significant for normal photographic purposes. So 0,1 g is fine in that order of weight. For phenidone it becomes problematic, as one typically uses 0,2 g per liter! The answer is to make an alcohol solution and dose accordingly.

    One should never dissolve metol in water without an oxygen scavenger such as sulphite. The metol will promptly oxidise and become inactive. So no, your plan to dilute and to dose from a standard solution in this case cannot be recommended. On the other hand, you can always make up 4 liter of Thornton's stock part A, weighing off 26 g of metol with your current scale. Then your scale error will be +/- insignificant. I am not all that sure about how long that solution will last, but it could be at least six months in a full and leak-tight bottle. Once you start emptying the bottle, it may be shorter. D-76 is closely related in composition, using the same chemicals, so can be used as reference in terms of longevity.

    David's idea of a 0,5 g weight is quite clever. But I don't know whether the reading clicks over at the actual weight i.e. 7 g, or whether it "rounds up", i.e. 6,5 g will already give a reading of 7. The only way to determine that is to use reference weights, or to weigh objects on your scale and on another with higher resolution. For the effort, you might as well buy a jeweller's scale.

  5. #5

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    I agree 100% with buying a cheap electronic jeweler scale from the big auction site. Best money(not much) I have spent in a long time. I also tried something similar with Glycol in a split FX-37 and it didn't work. Well, I did get a very faint image, but that was it. I don't want to hijack here, but David said Thornton's for modern films, but what would you use for say, Foma 100, which isn't really a modern emulsion? I used some Buetler with Fuji Acros and it was really a nice combo, but I didn't see where it gave me anything better than Xtol. JohnW

  6. #6
    AndreasT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Allen View Post
    Hi there,

    Two quick comments:

    Comment 1
    Having tested Beutler, Adams two-bath and Thornton's two-bath I would definitely recommend Thornton's over Beutler and Adams if you are using modern emulsions:

    Thornton's Two Bath
    BATH A
    Metol- 6.5gr
    Soduim Sulfite (Natriumsulfit) - 85 gr
    Water to make 1 liter

    BATH B
    Sodium Metaborate (Natriummetaborat) - 12gr
    Water to make 1 liter

    For Part A, dissolve a little bit of sodium sulfite (1-2 grams) first, then the metol, then the rest of the sodium sulfite. Having your water pre-heated to 30-35C will help (but let it cool to room temperature before using it).
    For Part B, the temperature doesn't really matter, as sodium metaborate is quite soluble.

    Best way of working is make 1L of Part A and 2L of Part2. Use Part A for 15 films and Part B for at least 30 rolls. When kept in dark brown glass bottles it will last ages.

    Comment 2
    Scales accurate to 0.1g are cheap and easy to find (usually listed a Jewelers scales on eBay and mine cost 12€ with free shipping from Hong Kong) and it is worth getting them if you plan to regularly mix chemicals yourself. The other option (with Thornton's two-bath at least) is to go to a flee market and buy yourself a 0.5g weight which you can then use for measuring the Metol (i.e place weight on scale and then add Metol until the scale reads 7g).

    Best of luck and have fun,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
    David why would you recommend Thornton's two-bath over the Beutler Formular?

  7. #7
    David Allen's Avatar
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    I am one of those people who never believes what he reads (not so true generally but very true when presented with 'facts' regarding photography) so I always test things myself. Thornton stated:

    The Stoëckler formula is very soft working and gives very fine grain. With today’s thin emulsion films which do not ‘soak up’ as much of either Bath A or Bath B, thus resulting in less development activity, it can be too soft. Beware, too, of the second bath’s very mild alkali’s losing effectiveness. You may need to refresh it with extra borax from time to time. You do not need special photographic chemical grade for this. The anhydrous type freely available from High Street pharmacists will be fine. The Ansel Adams formula is quite "robust", and you should beware too high a contrast on roll film – cut times if necessary. My own formula is somewhere in between for contrast, has extra acutance, and does not suffer the second bath exhaustion to which the Stoëckler mix is prone. You should get at least 15 roll films through my formula, and more if you then refresh the second bath with more sodium metaborate.

    After my tests I found that his comments were accurate. It is really amazing how much difference the odd gram of Metol can make (hence my earlier comments about buying accurate scales). Also, Thornton's has less Sodium Sulphite which, in my opinion made it appear a little sharper.

    The reason that I referred to modern emulsions was that I have only used tabular films for so many years now (moved over about 1 year after they were launched) so I have no experience with 'older' type films. I have friends who use 'older' films from Adox and who also happily use Thornton's two bath but I can't comment further because I do not use these types of film.

    In the final reckoning each photographer must decide (preferably by testing) what suits them.

    For my work, I tend to gravitate to scenes with rich shadows and general overall contrast (please visit my website if you want to see what kind of work I do). I have found that, for the past 10+ years, Ilford Delta 400 rated at iso200 and exposing deep shadows that I wish to retain detail on Zone III developed in Thornton's two bath for 5 minutes in each bath gives me the results that I want - every single time.

    Of course it depends on what you like to photograph and how you like your prints to look. I prefer prints that look contrasty but, in fact, have a full range of tones. I find that my negatives have full shadow detail (which I may or may not retain), bright mid-tones and and highlights that always retain detail (which I may or may not retain). I never meter the highlights because I know that Thornton's two bath will retain them for me.

    Hope this helps,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  8. #8
    mrred's Avatar
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    My take on all this is we are off track, although useful and appreciated information. For the record I am mostly shooting orwo and thus fits into the thin emulsions category. I am looking at the high acutanse .

    Will metol survive when mixed with distilled water or glycol?
    Get it right in the camera, the first time...

  9. #9
    mrred's Avatar
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    And I am an idiot for not reading all the replies...... I guess I did get my answer after all.
    Get it right in the camera, the first time...

  10. #10
    David Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrred View Post
    My take on all this is we are off track, although useful and appreciated information. For the record I am mostly shooting orwo and thus fits into the thin emulsions category. I am looking at the high acutanse .

    Will metol survive when mixed with distilled water or glycol?
    No - it requires Soduim Sulfite to both dissolve properly and remain active as a developer.

    If acutance is your goal then you should be using Geoffey Crawley's FX-1 developer (which I used to use years ago for certain commercial jobs where acutance was of primary importance) which all of the people I know believe to be a great advance (due to the effect of the Iodide) on the Beutler formula.

    FX-1 formula is:

    STOCK A
    900 ml distilled water
    5g Metol
    50g Sodium Sulfite (anhy)
    Potassium Iodide Solution, 0.001%
    Distilled water to make up to 1L

    STOCK B
    900 ml distilled water
    25g Sodium Carbonate (anhy)
    Potassium Iodide Solution, 0.001%
    Distilled water to make up to 1L

    MIXING WORKING DEVELOPER
    100ml Stock A
    100ml Stock B
    800ml Distilled Water

    1 agitation every minute with development time between 12 - 16 minutes.

    David
    www.dsallen.de

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