MCM 100 film developer
I was wondering if any of the forum readers have ever tried the film developer MCM 100, which is available from Photographers' Formulary, and the results you have had with various types of black and white films.
You might be better off using Calbe A49 which is a fairly similar but more modern formula, and has an excellent reputation. MCM100 is reported to be less suitable for modern films.
Calbe A49 is a reformulation of the old Agfa A49 Atomal developer
Last edited by Ian Grant; 02-20-2008 at 02:09 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: add info
MCM-100 Film Developer
Originally Posted by rayajko
I have actually found MCM-100 excellent with many films. While very nice results can be found with lower speed films, as you are aware it is know for high speed film use with crystal cubic traditional film. I use it very successfully with TX 120 film and loved its results with the old Agfa APX-400 film— by the way I still have some frozen APX 25, 100, and 400 film!!!
I seldom use a T-Grain film, but this developer should work just fine and most certainly works well with FP-4; Plus-X, Tri-X, HP-5 type films.
So, while I formulate this developer myself, Photo Formulary provides it in kit form and provides a technical data sheet for its use.
This developer is capable of extremely nice tonal gradation, particularly in the mid-tones. While I use PMK and Amidol water bath for much of my large format work, this developer can work with any format size and I use it for really nice results with medium and small format film.
I hope my reply and added comments helps fellow photographers to reconsider this developer for their use or experimentation— sometimes one just wants to switch things up and try something different! Enjoy
Mark, I found an interesting link between Miniature Camera magazine and both Ilford & Johnson's, Henry Russell was a columnist under the pseudonym "Minicam" as well as writing articles in his own name but more importantly his company handled the advertising for Ilford & Jonhsons, as well as photographic equipment distributors..
Meritol (Pyrocatechin/PPD) was a Johnson's developing agent, it was used in a number of Johnson's own proprietary developers unfortunately none of these formulae have ever been published. Johnson's were one of the earliest suppliers of photographic chemicals & developers and their connection with photography goes back to the very beginnings.
It's interesting to see your comments about MCM-100, you'll note I used the term "reported to be less suitable" which was because I've seen many comments about the developer which have always been anecdotal rather than from first hand experience. I found some PPD last week which I didn't realise I had so I'll give this developer a try now Thanks.
Last edited by Ian Grant; 05-07-2009 at 05:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I found this someplace. It's probably similar to the Formulary mix.
MCM-100 film developer (reformulated for modern chemicals)
Water (52C) 750 ml
Sodium sulfite 88 g
p-phenylenediamine 7 g
Pyrocatechin 9 g
Borax 2.3 g
Trisodium phosphate (xtal) 6.9 g
Potassium bromide (10%) 2 ml
WTM 1 l
Presoak film 2 - 3 minutes in a 5% solution of sodium sulfite to remove
antihalation backing. Use running water rise and alkaline fixer.
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That's the same formula as my 1946 & 47 BJP Almanacs, the Sulphite figure is 176gms Crystalline which is equivalent to 88gms Anhydrous.
7gms PPD + 9gms Pyrocatechin is equivalent to 16 gms Johnson's Meritol. It shouldn't need the pre-soak and can be fixed in a normal fixer as long as it's not too acidic. Hypam/Ilford Rapid Fixer would be fine at a ph of 5.3-5.4.
I have the formula for it, I'll dig it out and post it.
Originally Posted by Keith Tapscott.
Meritol 14 g
Metol 2.3 g
Sodium Sulphite 90 gms
Water to 1 litre
14 gms Meritol = 6.13 gms PPD + 7.88 Pyrocatechin
I tried MCM once with less than stellar results; my highlights were out of control. Eventually I used it up as a paper dev and moved back to what I knew worked.
The mistake was probably mine as a PPD dev needs to be "aged" with some dead, exposed film run thru it. I only ran one dead roll thru it and it may never have peaked, so therefore, it probably didn't work well.
My advice, ask the formulary how many dead rolls you should run thru you new batch of MCM to get it click properly; perhaps a frequent use of the stuff here knows.