I had some experience with D-23 1:1 in the very beginning of my B&W activity. I found that it's a nice developer for TMX, really nice: the film were with almost invisible grain and a bit soft, very nice results in portraiting. Then I gave it up because I prefer to have negs with more strength, just matter of taste.
I also decided life was too short to get into mixing chemicals myself.
Then, one day, I ordered some paper from a well known British supplier (I won't say which one ;-)
At the time they were struggling with a very inefficient ordering system and kept screwing up mail orders. Instead of my paper I recieve a huge box with half a dozen chemicals in the bottom. I rang and complained, they apologised and sent the correct box - and told me to keep the chemicals as their value was about the same as the return cost.
So... I thought I may as well try seeing what I could do with them. It had mostly Hydroquinone, Sulphite and Carbonate so had to buy some Metol, but then had enough chemicals to mix many gallons of different developers.
I was hooked! It is really very easy to do and with just four or five chemicals you can mix a huge range of both film and paper developers and the raw chemicals keep for a very long time - in some cases indefinately.
Mixing simple stuff like D23 is no harder than mixing D-76 / ID11 or any other powder developer, plus you can mix any quantity you like and do any of the mods and variants, too.
I heartily recommend it!
But, if you are still not convinced about mixing D23, Barry Thornton in his book 'Elements' recommends using Ilford Perceptol diluted 1:3 to give a similar effect. Not the same, of course, Perceptol is a very different developer to D23 and usually relies on solvent effect to give very fine grain, but well diluted the solvent effect is reduced and you are left with the soft working aspects, thus it is in some ways similar to D23. I have used Perceptol 1:3 a lot and always found it worked well for me.
Last edited by steven_e007; 05-30-2007 at 05:16 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Microdol -X and Perceptol, are very similar to each other - (and to Kodak D 23 - plus some sodium chloride).
Originally Posted by steven_e007
Thus: Water, Metol, Sodium Sulfite and Sodium Chloride.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
And let the sodium chloride not be iodized table salt. That sold for canning is usually specified as non-iodized. Iodine is a better restrainer I think than bromine. "Kosher" does not guarantee pure sodium chloride. It means that it is fit for human consumption, and I do not know what else it might be fit for, but I'm sure photography is not first in mind.
The classic D-76 has 2 grams of borax and 100 grams of sodium
Originally Posted by Maine-iac
sulfite. Borax has a lower ph than that of sodium sulfite. So, if ph
is the sole factor offered by borax in accelerating the metol it
is no accelerator. If anything it de-accelerates.
I'm quite sure the borax function is ph stabilization. It is known
that D-76 suffers from ph shifts as it is used and ages. Fresh the
ph of D-76 should measure slightly less than that of D-23. Dan
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According to Anchell, Borax has a ph of 9.5, while sulfite has a ph of 8.0.
Originally Posted by dancqu
Zonal Pro Gamma plus developer at 1:20 will pull a neg range similar to D-23.
Sulfite, still ph 8.0. I read that years ago and put the book
Originally Posted by jim appleyard
back on it's book store rack. From suppliers of the chemical
you'll find the ph varies but runs ph 10 give or take some
little. That 9.5 is high for borax, more nearly 9.2.
My own tests confirm the higher sulfite ph. Dan
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Originally Posted by Joe Lipka
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Some Kosher salt I've used, not for photographic purposes, has had something called yellow prussiate of soda or tetrasodium hexacyanoferrate incorporated into the mix to prevent caking. I don't think that this will have any effect if used to compound a Microdol-X like developer. The bond between iron and cyanide is strong, though it will dissociate and release hydrogen cyanide gas in hot or concentrated acid and upon prolonged exposure to sunlight. Since developers are alkaline in nature and not used in direct sunlight, it would probably be ok. If the stuff is ok for human consumption, I would not worry at all about the release of hydrogen cyanide. Stomach contents are highly acidic, and I haven't heard of anyone dying from cyanide poisoning because they used Kosher salt.
Originally Posted by gainer