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  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    stumped with this film developer

    At a flea market I recently bought two quart cans of AUTOFINE developer replenisher. The label says 'contents: sodium sulfite and hydroquinone'. Although I bought the replenisher, there was also, of course, an AUTOFINE developer, both manufactured by ACUFINE, INC.

    Does anyone know if HQ is the only developer component in these (dev and/or replenisher)?

    Does anyone know the formulas (or a semblance thereof)?

    Does anyone know the development times (Massive development chart apparently not massive enough to include these)?

    Finally, does anyone know the formula for Microdol-X (or an accurate approximation)? - David Lyga

  2. #2

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    The exact formula for Microdol (Perceptol is assumed to be very similar if not identical) is proprietary, but is generally assumed to be:

    5g/L Metol
    100g/L Sodium Sulfite
    ~30g/L Sodium Chloride

    Microdol-X contained at least one additional ingredient - an anti-silvering/anti-plating agent which may or may not improve sharpness by inhibiting physical development. The ingredient is a trade secret. Anchell/Troop guess at it being a relatively weak agent, while others claim it is a Mercaptan. Who knows? PE does. But he can't disclose it.

    I can't help with your Autofine questions, other than to say it is unlikely Hydroquinone is the only developing agent unless it is a highly alkaline developer, otherwise it wouldn't work.

  3. #3
    Rick A's Avatar
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    David
    According to my Photo Lab Index, it is a long scale, ultra-fine grain, maximum acutance film developer, for all films at manufacturers rated film speeds. I could scan the pages and email them to you with dev times and agitation.
    Rick A
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    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  4. #4
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Thank you both. Rick, that would be most appreciated: david33x@yahoo.com

    Michael: am I to assume that, at least in the 1970s, manufacturers did not have to list all ingredients? Metol might be in this Autofine but NOT have to be expressed on the label? - David Lyga

  5. #5

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    I'm not an expert in safety labeling requirements. There are probably differing requirements depending on the country where it is sold/marketed, and perhaps standards have changed over the years.

    In general though, you can't necessarily figure out all the compounds in a developer by looking at MSDS sheets etc. Some chemicals may not be present in high enough concentrations to require disclosure, some agents are proprietary, there are differing levels/thresholds of toxicity etc etc.

    If Autofine is a fine grain, general purpose developer containing Hydroquinone and Sulfite, it likely also contains a primary developing agent such as Phenidone or Metol and an additional alkali system. It may also be more complex than that.

    The best person to ask about historical formulas is probably Ian Grant.

    The phrase "ultra-fine grain, maximum acutance" is always worth a laugh though. It's either one or the other, or something in between. It can't be both.

  6. #6

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    Autofine was designed for machine processing by photofinishers. It contained phenidone and was similar to Acufine. It did not use Metol which would have to appear on the label since it is an allergen
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

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  7. #7
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Ah, thank you Gerald. I knew HQ could not do it alone.

    And, Michael, I asked about the extra ingredient because someone else told me that in the 70s (only then?) ALL ingredients did not have to be listed. And, yes, I did think that Microdol-X was along the lines of D-23 (just metol). - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 04-08-2013 at 03:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    There may be more than one way of naming an orgainic compound. Manufacturers often used a more esoteric name on the label to confuse people. Hydroquinone would become 1,4-dihydroxybenzene, paraminophenol became 4-hydroxyaniline.

    In addition to Acufine, Diafine, and Autofine Bauman also made Acu-1 and Printofine. Acu-1 was a single shot version of Acufine and Printofine was a paper developer.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 04-08-2013 at 06:36 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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    stumped with this film developer

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    The exact formula for Microdol (Perceptol is assumed to be very similar if not identical) is proprietary, but is generally assumed to be:

    5g/L Metol
    100g/L Sodium Sulfite
    ~30g/L Sodium Chloride

    Microdol-X contained at least one additional ingredient - an anti-silvering/anti-plating agent which may or may not improve sharpness by inhibiting physical development. The ingredient is a trade secret. Anchell/Troop guess at it being a relatively weak agent, while others claim it is a Mercaptan. Who knows? PE does. But he can't disclose it.

    I can't help with your Autofine questions, other than to say it is unlikely Hydroquinone is the only developing agent unless it is a highly alkaline developer, otherwise it wouldn't work.
    Forgive my ignorance, but can't PE disclose stuff if they stopped making it?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  10. #10
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    Forgive my ignorance, but can't PE disclose stuff if they stopped making it?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    Just because they stopped making it doesn't mean the details are no longer proprietary information. There have been other cases though, where a manufacturer stopped making a product and then disclosed the details so that users could keep using it. A case in point is that when Paterson stopped making Acutol-S, they disclosed the recipe as the Crawley developer, FX-15.

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