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  1. #11

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    So weird, the erroneous information that continues to continue to be put forth on these forums. I would bet that those who say that Amidol has a short tray life have never used it. Or if they used it, used a bad formula. When I mix up Amidol it lasts all day--up to 12 hours--and I have even used it the following morning after having it sit in an open tray all night.

    Yes, there are many Amidol formulas. Most are worthless for modern paper.

    Amidol will work just fine with Benzotriazole. It is the choice for those who want cold-tone prints rather than warm tone prints. As for the amount to use, you will have to experiment. I last did it so long ago that I have forgotten how much I used of a 1% solution.

    Amidol does not stain everything. I think that myth started when, as Jim mentioned, the Chinese Amidol appeared. That Amidol does stain everything.

    When we originally tested the Chinese Amidol it was like the English Amidol. We recommended that the purchaser go to China and test the actual Amidol he was buying. We even arranged for a darkroom there. Sadly, that did not happen. The Chinese switched out the finer Amidol we had tested and gave him the impure stuff. It works, gives great black tones, but it does stain.

    Michael A. Smith

  2. #12

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    Funny this should come up...i work w the chinese amidol quite well...it can stain but on the back...i recently tried some of the formulary amidol and had a staining problem as well...solution is i use an idustrial mesh strainer and extra water trays at the end of the tray line...after making my yest prints i usually top off the amidol so prints dont touch bottom of the tray....

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2
    website down for maintenance!

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
    Amidol does not stain everything. I think that myth started when, as Jim mentioned, the Chinese Amidol appeared. That Amidol does stain everything.
    There is a famous photograph of Edward Weston showing his black fingernails. He used Amidol and refused to use tongs when developing prints. It doesn't matter where the Amidol comes from, get it on your clothes and they are permanently stained. Spill it on the floor same thing. As a solid and as a solution it will stain any material it touches. This caveat does not apply to properly processed prints since the developing agent is washed out before it can stain.

    Amidol is the standard developing agent for nuclear emulsions because it develops the bottom of the emulsion first. When I used it my lab coat was covered with black stains.

    Speaking of Edward Weston, some attribute the neurological problem he suffered in later life to his chronic exposure to Amidol rather than to Parkinson's disease. One should always use appropriate precautions when working with Amidol.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 05-31-2013 at 11:55 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

  4. #14

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    May 2013
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    Wow - a lot of conflicting information regarding benzo and Amidol. Michael insists that it can be used alone, and yet the afformentioned Formulary product sheet clearly conflicts this (http://stores.photoformulary.com/ima...n1/03-0147.pdf), as well as Anchell's book.

    I am seeking a true Bromide paper to try with Amidol. Are there any options out there anymore aside from the Kentmere paper? Any other broader paper recommendations for enlarging with amidol? Good tonality is of paramount concern over image color. Is it worth trying with Seagull with either Fein's or MAS' amidol, my go-to paper with Anscoi 130?

    J

  5. #15

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    Sep 2002
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    652
    The Amidol from Photographers Formulary is the Chinese Amidol, which is why is stains so badly.

    Michael A. Smith

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
    So weird, the erroneous information that continues to continue to be put forth on these forums. I would bet that those who say that Amidol has a short tray life have never used it. Or if they used it, used a bad formula. When I mix up Amidol it lasts all day--up to 12 hours--and I have even used it the following morning after having it sit in an open tray all night.

    Yes, there are many Amidol formulas. Most are worthless for modern paper.

    Amidol will work just fine with Benzotriazole. It is the choice for those who want cold-tone prints rather than warm tone prints. As for the amount to use, you will have to experiment. I last did it so long ago that I have forgotten how much I used of a 1% solution.

    Amidol does not stain everything. I think that myth started when, as Jim mentioned, the Chinese Amidol appeared. That Amidol does stain everything.

    When we originally tested the Chinese Amidol it was like the English Amidol. We recommended that the purchaser go to China and test the actual Amidol he was buying. We even arranged for a darkroom there. Sadly, that did not happen. The Chinese switched out the finer Amidol we had tested and gave him the impure stuff. It works, gives great black tones, but it does stain.

    Michael A. Smith
    I used one of your formulas and the aforementioned Chinese amidol. As stated above, I suspect the impurities in that amidol were the cause of much (if not all) of the staining. They could also have affected the life, although there are many reports from the time of amidol's heyday that suggest a life of about 3 - 4 hours in tray. My experience was in the 4 hour range. I have used practical grade amidol in the distant past for things other than developers, and it was clean and very well behaved.

  7. #17

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    My limited experience with amidol is with the M&P formula. Michael, your formula was written on my darkroom wall until recently, and I painted over it as we were selling the house and I am sure the buyers would not understand.

    Yes, an M&P solution of amidol developer lasts a long time. Over night in the tray, no problem.

    It is no magic potion. But it certainly is different. Blacker.

    The stuff I have was culled from a darkroom garage sale, way pre-chinese, and it does stain fingers and toes and anything else it touches.

    As stated above, the chloro-bromo papers stand up best in amidol. Ektalure is very nice in amidol.

    In any event, about the benzotriazole. It's good to have on hand. As a restrainer, it remains constant in solution, whereas bromide levels build. It is most helpful in lith printing.

  8. #18

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    Blacker?

  9. #19

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    I`ve used Fein`s amidol several times and can say that BZT works in it reducing fog on some old papers. In addition I printed for two days without signs of decay(formula gives evident cold-tones on bromide papers and fat blacks), moreover, after 1 month of shelf life it worked(!!!) only with the loss of d-max. Also developer didn`t stained at all(I used Amidol from 70`th). Unfortunately I have very limited amount of amidol to work more intensive.
    From my experience in some way similar results(cold-tone on bromide papers) from a range of non-amidol developers gives Maxim Muir dev-r.

  10. #20
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    I should mention that the Chinese amidol does have shorter tray life than Artcraft amidol. If you leave it out overnight you can't use it the next morning. 4 hours is maximum tray life for the working solution in my experience. However, I've used the same tray of Artcraft amidol for as long as 3 days and gotten beautiful prints from it.
    Jim

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