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  1. #1

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    Old Agfa Atomal / Orwo A49 / Calbe A49 questions

    Hi folks,

    I've got another quandary...

    I recently bought a job lot of old Orwo stuff, and in it were a few packets of Orwo A49, made in 1976. I've also previously bought Orwo A49 made in the late 1980s, and I have some modern Calbe A49.

    I was suprised when I opened the 70s Orwo A49 - it contained three packets of chemicals to be dissolved in water. The 80s A49 and the moden Calbe A49 have only two.

    I seem to remember reading that Atomal/A49 was reformulated at some point, because one of the ingredients, HEAP, was no longer available. Is this the reason for the apparent difference between the 70s A49 and the others? Does anyone have an opinion on which is better?

    Finally, how long will stock solutions of each of these keep? Googling suggests anywhere between 1 month and 6 months.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    gorbas's Avatar
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    Hi James, Any ORWO B104 paper developer in your treasure box? It vanished from market around early '80 and was replaced with N120.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by James1 View Post
    I seem to remember reading that Atomal/A49 was reformulated at some point, because one of the ingredients, HEAP, was no longer available. Is this the reason for the apparent difference between the 70s A49 and the others?
    Probably.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. #4

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    Thanks Gerald.

    @gorbas - Unfortunately no, but there is a packet of N120.... I do recall seeing some B104 recently, can't remember where at the moment. Will see if I can find it.

  5. #5
    gorbas's Avatar
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    Hi James, I found in my processing book this instructions for A49. One is from around 1978/79 and other is early '80, maybe 1983?. First A49 come in cardboard box, second was in "aluminum" foil bag. Both are with 2 part bags.
    Thank you for looking for B104!
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    AndreasT's Avatar
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    I had a few packet of GDR Orwo A49 developer. Using it without testing it my negatives were thin, very thin. It was in the day when I started developing film so maybe I did somthing wrong although I doubt it.
    The developer was at least ten years old. Just test it before using.

  7. #7
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    I thought the difference in recipes was a difference in sodium hydroxide amounts.

    Just something bouncing around in ye ole' noggin atm so take it for what it's worth.

  8. #8

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    Thw formua that I have for Atomal uses sodium carbonate as the alkali not sodium hydroxide.

    The developing agent Atomal is hydroxyethyl-o-aminophenol sulfate. It was also used in the May & Baker developer Promicrol. Eventually there was just not enough demand for the chemical and production ceased.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 02-16-2013 at 11:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the info and updates folks. So, looks like my 70s A49 contains HEAP as the developing agent and is the original formulation, and ther 80s stuff is the updated formulation. Andreas' point noted - will certainly test before use.

    I suppose there is no point worrying which is better as I only have enough of the original for 12 films!

    Does anyone have any experience of how long a stock solution of any of this stuff stays usable?
    Last edited by James1; 02-17-2013 at 07:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    I have a couple packs of the Agfa Atomal, suppose it is any good?

    Thanks

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