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  1. #1
    MikeS's Avatar
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    Developer incorporated paper and Fixer question

    Hi All.

    I have several different Kodak RC papers that are 'developer incorporated', as well as other paper that's not. Just for the heck of it, I figured the paper that has developer in it should develop some form of an image with just an alkaline solution, so I mixed 1.5 teaspoons of sodium hydroxide and 1.5 teaspoons of baking soda into 8oz of water. Once it cooled I exposed a sheet of Polycontrast IIIRC and then put it into the 'developer' expecting a fairly weak image to appear after a minute or so. Wow was I surprised, within 3 seconds a fully developed image appeared on the paper, and leaving it in the alkaline solution longer didn't seem to do anything more for it. I tried making a few more, and they all came out really nice, in fact nicer than the same images I had made earlier on the same paper using a more traditional paper developer (Fuji Korrectol)!

    So my question is this: If all you need to very rapidly develop an image is an alkaline solution with these papers, why bother using a more traditional paper developer?

    The speed that the image came up fully developed has sparked a thought, I have an old stabilization processor here, and as close as I can tell, it puts the paper in either solution (they're designed for Activator, and Stabilizer, so only 2 chemicals) for about 8 seconds, which should be more than enough time for the alkaline solution to develop the image, but what about fixing? Is there any fixer than can completely fix RC paper in 8 seconds? I've been using Kodak C41 fixer mixed 1:4 (one part concentrate, 4 parts water) for both film, and paper, and I usually add some ammonia into it as suggested by Rowland Mowry (sp?) on photo.net as an alkaline fixer, if I mixed it 1:1 instead, would it be able to fix the paper quick enough? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

    -Mike

  2. #2
    edz
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS
    Hi All.

    I have several different Kodak RC papers that are 'developer incorporated', as well as other paper that's not. Just for the heck of it, I figured the paper that has developer in it should develop some form of an image with just an alkaline solution, so I mixed 1.5 teaspoons of sodium hydroxide and 1.5 teaspoons of baking soda into 8oz of water. Once it cooled I exposed a sheet of Polycontrast IIIRC and then put it into the 'developer' expecting a fairly weak image to appear after a minute or so. Wow was I surprised, within 3 seconds a fully developed image appeared on the paper, and leaving it in the alkaline solution longer didn't seem to do anything more for it. I tried making a few more, and they all came out really nice, in fact nicer than the same images I had made earlier on the same paper using a more traditional paper developer (Fuji Korrectol)!

    So my question is this: If all you need to very rapidly develop an image is an alkaline solution with these papers, why bother using a more traditional paper developer?
    You just "discovered" the magic of Tetenal Eukoton--- its 2-5% Potassium Hydroxide. Works great with suitable papers and they are completely developed out in--- as you discovered--- 3 seconds.

    Traditional developers are much milder (so in some ways less problematic to use) and allow for more control but ... Good papers for this magic process were also Agfa's Brovira Speed RC paper. (you have also discovered why it does not really matter what developer you are using with these papers and why developer capacity does not have that much meaning).

    Use a good intermediate wash (or two) and fix in a super-fixer and you can almost literally have "Instant" photographs.. A friend even built a little vertical slot processor for 9x13cm paper ..
    Edward C. Zimmermann
    BSn R&D // http://www.nonmonotonic.net

  3. #3
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    The stabilizer process isn't intended to provide an archival image, but rather a very rapid dry-to-dry access time for things like test prints. As such, it doesn't fix at all; the stabilizer is nothing more than an acid stop that neutralizes the activator and stops development so the print won't instantly turn black when exposed to daylight. It will still print out -- but it takes the usual period of hours to days.

    Rowland Mowrey was working on a super-fixer not long ago that should allow fixing paper in a lot less than a minute -- ordinary rapid fixer fixes RC paper in about one minute, as I recall. You could make something similar by adding certain chemicals to common rapid fixer (though some of the chemicals, like potassium cyanide, aren't compatible with an acidic environment). This super-fixer, however, would have to be applied after the print comes out of the stabilizer -- or else the (alkaline) fixer would need to replace the stabilizer in the processor you have.

    For that matter, you could pretty easily monosoup those papers in a strongly alkaline fixer; possibly a rapid fixer alkalized with sodium carbonate or sodium phosphate would give the rapid action you want without releasing too much ammonia into the air.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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    The second bath used in stabilization processing cannot be a simple stop bath for prints so treated would still darken on exposure to light. The process instead uses a solution of ammonium or sodium thiosulfate. Any undeveloped silver halide in the print is converted to thiosulfate complexes which are no longer sensitive to light. While this process is not archival, the prints are reasonably stable and can always fixed and washed at a later time.

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Mike

    20+ years ago I had an old Ilfoprint processor, given to me. It was generally not known that Ilfospeed would happily process in the machine. I did buy Activator and Stabilizer but quickly made my own activator using Sodium Hydroxide soln with a small addition of Potassium Bromide & Sodium Sulphite, this prevented highlight fogging. I used Ilford Hypam at 1:4 in place of Stabilizer and gave the prints a qick soak in normal strenght Hypam before washing.

    The whole thing worked brilliantly until Ilford reformulated their papers using different developer incorpration.

    Ian

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    Sorry I wrote thiosulfate in my previous port when I meant thiocyanate.

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Gerald

    Stabilisers use Thiocyanates, any Thiosulphates left in an unwashed print would rapidly cause the image to deteriorate certainly in only a few hours.

    Ian

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    That's interesting. So what if you put one of these papers straight into a tray of TF-4?

    I believe Ilford stopped incorporating developer in their RC papers one or two generations back. Which papers out there are still developer incorporated?
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant
    Gerald

    Stabilisers use Thiocyanates, any Thiosulphates left in an unwashed print would rapidly cause the image to deteriorate certainly in only a few hours.

    Ian
    Had you bothered to read my second post you would have seen that I corrected myself. Trying to do too many things at lunch time.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Apologies Gerald but you hadn't actually made the post when I was writing out the correction, I was interrupted by a phone call and as soon as I hit Post Quick Reply I saw you'd already corrected yourself.

    Ian

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