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  1. #1

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    P-C-Soda and Fomapan 100: first try

    Hello friends,

    I got a story to tell. Well, my standart B/W material is Fomapan 100 in 120 format, and I used R09 Foma Rodinal with it - 1:60, 11 min. I decided to give a try to phenidone-ascorbate developer to see if the result will be more pleasing (I won't say I was unhappy with my Rodinal, on the contrary - I am just looking for new feelings ). The formula I chose was perhaps one from the simplest - 2g ascorbic acid, 2 ml 1% Phenidone in 100% isopropanol, 5g sodium carbonate in 1 liter of deionized water. pH of a ready developer was about 10.65 at 20 C. The first look on the film pleased me - the grain is very fine, and the gradation was okay.

    My first trials with pieces of 35mm Fomapan 100 exposed as 20 DIN with tungsten lamps showed the optimum time about 5 minutes... but on my first 120 roll I got a heavy underdevelopment (almost no footage numbers visible). When I increased the time to 7:30 min, it was better, though still too weak. Next time I will try 10 min.

    The concentration of ascorbate seems to be the limiting factor, but the initial development speed is, on my opinion, a bit much too high - I used my old two-spiral Soviet standart tank (300 ml), and the sky on my negs showed strong non-uniformity and banding due to rising level of developer... maybe the film requires some presoaking in water before development? Next time I just prefilled the tank and put the loaded reel right in, so there were no bands.

    Did anyone else try to develop FOMA films in Gainer type developers - I would be very interested to hear about their results?

    Zhenya

  2. #2

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    Some help I hope

    I have not used Fomapan films and I can not help you there. I have used a lot of Gainer's Vitamin C developer. it is capable, I believe, in offering good service at minimal cost and problems on a very wide variety of B&W films. At three time the concentration of ingedients to water it serves very nicely as a good quality, lost cost paper developer.

    Ther are 2 sources that come to my mind and could be contributing factors in your problem. 1). The developer contains no preservative..sulphite... and once all the ingredients are mixed together will have poor shelf life...mix it fresh as you need it or seperate the formula into Vitamin C + Phenidone + 1/2 the water in on stock..call it part A if you want...put the alklai+1/2 water onto a second stock solution..call it part B. Mix equal parts at the time of development. ES HAY NO PROBLEMA..not a bit.

    2). Phenidone can be a problem with shelf life. How long was it stored at the supplier, how was it stored, Was dark glass used and kept away from light? And of course these same considerations apply once you have acquired it. For myself my normal practice is to use the Metol version of Gainer's fine developer. At a concentration of 2G per liter of working solution it is not normally a problem as far as being an irritant is concerned;However, once a person has become sensitized to Metol, resulting in an allergy, any amount is very much to avoided and dangerous.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    In my original formula, I used 1 tsp of ascorbic acid which tanslates to 4 grams / liter.

    Sulfite ain't worth a darn for preserving ascorbate developers. Mix it fresh or make a stock solution in propylene glycol or glycerine. The phenidone keeps a long time in glycol or glycerine also. Glycerine is quite viscous, but not too bad if you warm it a bit before you measure.

    Without water, air has little effect on many developing agents, as you have probably noticed from keeping them as dry powder. Even there, the water in the atmoshere is what makes it possible for the oxygen to work on most developers (not all, I think).
    Gadget Gainer

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    Ther are 2 sources that come to my mind and could be contributing factors in your problem. 1). The developer contains no preservative
    2). Phenidone can be a problem with shelf life.
    I seriously doubt that the shelf life of the reagents used is so important - the developer works even faster that I have expected I mix it that way: 300 ml of 5 g/l Na2CO3 solution + 0.6 ml 1% phenidone in isopropylic alcohol + 0.6 g ascorbic acid, right before use. In this way, the ascorbate is a preservative by itself.

    The Phenidone I use was made apparently in early 80s in USSR, I got some 2 kg or even more, it gives a solution with yellow-reddish tinge. I tried to use it without any purification and re-cristallyzed from methanol - no differences, absolutely.

  5. #5

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    They're really not kidding about the short shelf life once mixed. We're talking hours. As long as you keep that in mind, this is really great stuff. They're's a bunch of things written about it in here in the developer section. I use it all the time.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by eumenius
    Hello friends,

    ...Did anyone else try to develop FOMA films in Gainer type developers - I would be very interested to hear about their results?

    Zhenya
    Yes, and they work very well indeed. The version I am currently using employs a concentrate made of Metol and Ascorbic Acid dissolved in triethanolamine (TEA). The shelf life of this concentrate should be very long (i.e., years). The recipe is posted in the APUG Chemistry recipes. Phenidone TEA also works well (Gainer's PC-TEA).

    My (dry powder) Phenidone was manufactured by Ilford in the early 1970's and is still fully potent.

    In my experience, the best solvents (and preservatives) for liquid concentrates containing Phenidone are the glycols, glycerine and triethanolamine (TEA). No water in these concentrates, of course, until the working solution is prepared.
    Tom Hoskinson
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