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Thread: PC-TEA 1:100

  1. #1

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    PC-TEA 1:100

    With T-max 100 I develop for 22min 68F, agitated 30s then 2 inversions/min.(All times for 500 ml tank) Gives finer grain than 1:50,high resolution,suitable for sunny landcsapes at EI 64 and for portraits(no Mackie lines). Higher acutance than Xtol 1:3 IMO. Acros 18min and Delta 100 20min I found also good, slightly more grain.Care, not possible IMO to make hot TEA completely risk free.

    My tests with T-max 100 show the 1:100 dilution gives finer grain (similar to D76 1:1) than the 1:50.The pH has been reported to be 1:50-9.07 , 1:100-9.01.As these are similar I cannot explain the finer grain with the 1:100.

    Any other PC-TEA comments?

  2. #2

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    Agitation with 1:500 pctea

    Jay
    With 1:500 dilution of pc tea are you only agitatating at the beginning of the process or intermittantly, say every 15 minutes. And if were talking about a roll of 120 or 36 exposure 35mm how much solution have you been using ? I presume you are using temperature of 70 F. I find that that Delta 100 closely matches FP4+ in developing times and temps.. Have you found this to be so in extremely dilute PC tea?

    I must say that this seems quite inexpensive.

    Michael

  3. #3
    gainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Johnson
    With Care, not possible IMO to make hot TEA completely risk free.

    My tests with T-max 100 show the 1:100 dilution gives finer grain (similar to D76 1:1) than the 1:50.The pH has been reported to be 1:50-9.07 , 1:100-9.01.As these are similar I cannot explain the finer grain with the 1:100.

    Any other PC-TEA comments?
    I am going to let you in on a secret. I debated about revealing this for quite a while. It is not necessary to heat the TEA any more than necessary to reduce its viscosity. Lukewarm will do. Let's say you want to make a liter of PC-TEA stock. Take 100 grams ascorbic or erythorbic acid, 2 grams phenidone, and 100 ml water. Mix them and heat until dissolved to form a clear solution. Immediately add enough lukewarm TEA to make a liter. It will dissolve directly with a little stirring. Thus you are heating water, not the TEA, no more dangerously than when you make tea to drink.

    I have tested this mixture two ways. A drop of the concentrate on a snip of film in room light will not blacken the film in 2 minutes. 100 ml of the stock left standing two days in an open 1/4 liter measuring cup was still as active as when first mixed. This brings me to believe that the stock with this small amount of water will last as long as needed. Of course, if you are diluting it 1:500, you will probably only need to make 100 ml at a time.

    I really didn't think it would work at that dilution, but then I never thought of leaving it for an hour. Are you sure there is not something else in your water? Coffee grounds, maybe?
    Gadget Gainer

  4. #4
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    P.S.: This method leaves the stock solution much less colored. It also works with ascorbic acid, phenidone and glycol. It will not work as well for mixing TEA or glycol and hydroquinone as the same amount of hot water makes a paste with hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is very soluble in alcohol, so I plan to try using alcohol to do the same trick.
    Gadget Gainer

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    Jay,thanks, I will try the 1:200 for 1 hour with some Pan F. I wonder if this will make light lines round dark objects in the print.

    Patrick,thanks for details of the low temperature method of making PC-TEA. I will make 200ml by this method and see if it lasts a few months,that would be OK.

  6. #6
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    I have since learned that I can get by with 7.5 ml hot water per 10 g ascorbic acid. At some temperature it makes a clear solution to which you can add the lukewarm TEA. I have a feeling that the first thing that happens when the TEA meets the hot water solution is the formation of some compound that is like an analog of sodium ascorbate. I don't really care as long as it works.
    Gadget Gainer

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    Hi Alan.

    I'm a big fan of PC-TEA. It is extremely versatile, and convenient. Try it with FP4+ at 1:500 for 1 hour.

    Jay
    While I'd never deny anyone their pleasure, you guys must have a lot more patience for film developing than I do. I look for formulas that are going to shorten my development time to the maximum while still giving me the fine grain and high acutance I want. I hate standing there for a long time watching the timer go around and inverting every 30 seconds, even if "Car Talk" or "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" is on NPR. I recognize that I am easily bored, however, and that other people have a lot higher boredom quotient than I do. This is no criticism; just a personal confession.

    My Delta-400/PCM (Phenidone, Ascorbic, Metaborate) combo gives me 6 1/2 minutes at 70 F, and I can enlarge my 120 negs to the largest size I ever print and still barely see the grain. With ACROS, I substitute carbonate for the metaborate to shorten the time to 7 1/2 minutes (the metaborate formula takes 9 1/2) and get superb sharpness and no grain at all that's visible in an 11X14. I wouldn't want to go much shorter than these times because of the risk of uneven development, but for the life of me, I really don't understand the need for longer development times. I know there are plenty out there who would argue with me that one can reach the ultimate in acutance or edge-adjacency effect, etc., with long times, but who's looking at this stuff with a microscope? I rarely print bigger than 16 X 20, and most of the time am happy with 11 X 14 or 8 X 10, and at those sizes I get all the sharpness and fine grain I can handle.

    Larry

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maine-iac
    While I'd never deny anyone their pleasure, you guys must have a lot more patience for film developing than I do. I look for formulas that are going to shorten my development time to the maximum while still giving me the fine grain and high acutance I want. I hate standing there for a long time watching the timer go around and inverting every 30 seconds, even if "Car Talk" or "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" is on NPR. I recognize that I am easily bored, however, and that other people have a lot higher boredom quotient than I do. This is no criticism; just a personal confession.

    My Delta-400/PCM (Phenidone, Ascorbic, Metaborate) combo gives me 6 1/2 minutes at 70 F, and I can enlarge my 120 negs to the largest size I ever print and still barely see the grain. With ACROS, I substitute carbonate for the metaborate to shorten the time to 7 1/2 minutes (the metaborate formula takes 9 1/2) and get superb sharpness and no grain at all that's visible in an 11X14. I wouldn't want to go much shorter than these times because of the risk of uneven development, but for the life of me, I really don't understand the need for longer development times. I know there are plenty out there who would argue with me that one can reach the ultimate in acutance or edge-adjacency effect, etc., with long times, but who's looking at this stuff with a microscope? I rarely print bigger than 16 X 20, and most of the time am happy with 11 X 14 or 8 X 10, and at those sizes I get all the sharpness and fine grain I can handle.

    Larry
    I'm with you on that. I don't always trust stand development and don't much like watching the clock for agitation. I am considering making an agitator out of an old child's phonograph, if I can find the phonograph. I use PC-TEA at 1+50 in the summer when 75 F is easier to get than 70 and use 8 minutes for normal contrast. 1+25 is still economical. I also use PC-Glycol and either Kodalk or carbonate as split stock with a wide range of contrast and developing times available. The Kodalk I use is the same as for PMK and the carbonate is the same as for Pyrocat HD. That way I don't have to keep too many bottles around. I do keep a lot, but that is because I do a lot of experimenting and hate to throw anything away. Once in a while, I looK at a bottle that I didn't label because I was sure I would never forget what is in it and wonder what is in it. That I can throw away.
    Gadget Gainer

  9. #9

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    Larry,

    You refer to the use of 120 film and I can believe that you obtain excellent results with your developers at 11x14 with this format.But I am using 35mm film and trying to approach the same standard so the grains have to be that much smaller,hence the PC-TEA 1:100 and this needs the long time.I have a cup of coffee.And I like the grains sharp so no sulfite for me either.

    Alan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Johnson
    Larry,

    You refer to the use of 120 film and I can believe that you obtain excellent results with your developers at 11x14 with this format.But I am using 35mm film and trying to approach the same standard so the grains have to be that much smaller,hence the PC-TEA 1:100 and this needs the long time.I have a cup of coffee.And I like the grains sharp so no sulfite for me either.

    Alan
    Though the spirit doesn't move me very often, I do occasionally shoot the odd roll of 35mm Delta. My PCM formula works great with it, and I do get very fine, sharp grain. Not, to be sure, the equivalent of the 120 film-- there really isn't any substitute for negative size, not even Tech Pan which I used to shoot a lot in 35mm. Even when the resolution holds, the tonal qualities are just not the same. It's why I eventually gave up on 35, despite the fact that I cut my photographic teeth on a brace of Leica M-3's and Summicrons. (Come to think of it, my early Leica period may explain why I favor the Fuji 645 and 67 rangefinders now. They're just big Leicas, and I use them, especially the 645's in much the same way for "street shooting" on-the-go photography.)

    Larry

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