Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,205   Posts: 1,531,761   Online: 969
      
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    England
    Shooter
    Med. Format RF
    Posts
    534
    Images
    105

    Nearest thing to Amidol/Catechol?

    I've just finished developing using Moersch's two-bath Amidol/Catechol paper developer and I love the tonality that this combination creates, particularly with Adox Polywarmtone FB paper. The blacks are deep but the best part is the smooth transition from mid-tones to highlights and the extended dynamic range.

    There're just a couple of issues:

    I've been reading about the health hazards of Amidol and it's scared the life out of me.

    The Moersch two-bath pack is mighty expensive and there's only enough to create two batches of the stuff and each batch only lasts 2-3 days in an air-tight container.

    Is there another developer or combination of developers that are safer, easy to get hold of and somewhat less expensive but which produce similar results to Amidol/Catechol? I've read that Dektol can produce similar results to Amidol on certain papers. Is this the case and does anyone know which papers?

    Thanks for your help

    Barry

  2. #2
    Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Ventura, Ca
    Shooter
    ULarge Format
    Posts
    1,778
    Images
    107
    Barry, Try Donald Millers formula for PPPD developer. It is a pyo developer and is very nice with Azo, Kentmere Bromide, Forte Polygrade and the J&C polywarmtone. You have to mix it from scratch but it gives very good tonal gradation. I use it as my standard paper developer. You can adjust the warmth by increasing the Bromide in the mix. The formula is on one of the old posts. Just use caution with the dry powders and you should have no problems. It is very cost effective.

    Jim

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,879
    Images
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fitzgerald View Post
    Barry, Try Donald Millers formula for PPPD developer. It is a pyo developer and is very nice with Azo, Kentmere Bromide, Forte Polygrade and the J&C polywarmtone. You have to mix it from scratch but it gives very good tonal gradation. I use it as my standard paper developer. You can adjust the warmth by increasing the Bromide in the mix. The formula is on one of the old posts. Just use caution with the dry powders and you should have no problems. It is very cost effective.

    Jim
    Barry, you can find the latest version of Don Miller's PPPD formulation here:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/2...highlight=PPPD

    Don't breathe the dry powders and/or dust from Pyrogallol or Pyrocatechol, they are mucous membrane irritants. Once these chems are in solution, they are not a problem. Get yourself a filter/respirator mask.

    Working under a vented chemical hood, I made up stock solutions of Pyrogallol, Pyrocatechol and Phenidone all dissolved in Propylene Glycol. I've also made stock solutions of Amidol and Metol using Pat Gainer's method.

    These stock concentrates allow me to mix a lot of different developers while minimizing any handling of dry chems.
    Last edited by Tom Hoskinson; 02-18-2007 at 04:39 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo
    Tom Hoskinson
    ______________________________

    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  4. #4
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas, USA
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    2,895
    Images
    63
    I'll put in a third nod for PPPD. Its active enough that a water bath can be used to reduce contrast on graded papers. You can also vary the ratio of catechol and pyrogallol as long as you keep the combined amount of the two at 20 grams. For example, if you want a colder tone, try 15 grams of catechol with 5 grams of pyrogallol.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  5. #5
    jovo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,084
    Images
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by bwakel View Post
    Is there another developer or combination of developers that are safer, easy to get hold of and somewhat less expensive but which produce similar results to Amidol/Catechol?
    Is there someone or several people who could help you 'blind test' the results of prints made in other developers? I know it's heresy here, but the Amidol prints I've seen, though excellent, don't blow me away in the least compared to other prints made with other developers. See if it really makes a difference. Test the reality against what may be the myth.
    John Voss

    My Blog

  6. #6
    JBrunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    6,780
    There are some hold that Ansco 130 is the nearest thing to Amidol, giving the near the same performance, but unfortunately not as controllable with graded papers, as it doesn't really respond to a water bath.

    It does, however, keep really well, so is less hassle, and has excellent blacks and great micro contrast in the highlights depending of course, on the paper, and tends to be a neutral factor in toning prints, again following the paper attributes.

    It is an easy first choice developer for VC fiber.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 02-18-2007 at 08:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Joyce, WA
    Shooter
    Plastic Cameras
    Posts
    994
    Yeah, ansco 130 is excellent. You can two-bath with 120 for more contrast control w/ graded papers.

  8. #8
    Ole
    Ole is offline
    Ole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Bergen, Norway
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    9,281
    Blog Entries
    1
    Images
    31
    I don't think there is any one "replacement" for the Moersch two-bath Amidol/Cathecol developer.

    I have used Ansco 130 and many other developers, but to even begin to get close you absolutely need a two-bath developer - one very very soft and one very hard. I just haven't found anything even remotely close.

    So in my case I'll be experimenting a bit to see if I can make an ultra-soft developer with the Amidol I have. I have a couple of super-hard negatives which I think would print nicely on grade -1, if there were such a thing...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #9
    fhovie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Port Hueneme, California - USA
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    1,247
    Images
    92
    Amidol really shines when used with silver chloride papers. For rc prints it is likely no better than PC-TEA or D-72. I only use it on AZO - and whatever the new M&P substitute will be. ALL darkroom chems need to be treated with respect - but not feared - you DO pump your own gas? It contains MBTE? There are a lot of toxins we deal with each day that make photo chems look tame. Just be careful ... Nitrile gloves and dust mask - work well ventilated.

    Different paper developers influence tone, contrast and highlight control. Amidol is king for some of these - if you like COLD Tones and water bath highlight control. Amidol makes great blacks. I have found that PC-TEA is also a great paper developer for the following reasons - It makes great blacks - It is almost safe enough to drink made from vitamin C. And it is really inexpensive compared with Amidol of Ansco 130. - Glycin is also expensive. Varying the chemistry can change the tonality a little - I go for the cold tones initially - Selinium toning warms things up for Forte papers. You can go nuts with developers - I have settled on 2 for paper - Amidol and PC-TEA. So far, other developers just don't warrant the trouble or expense for me.
    My photos are always without all that distracting color ...

  10. #10
    dwross's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Oregon Coast
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    799
    I have good luck with Defender 55-D Professional Portrait Developer ( from "The Darkroom Cookbook", Stephen Anchell) with 14 g KBR and 30 ml 2% benzotriazole, finished with a light selenium toning.



 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin