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  1. #1
    Bobby Ironsights's Avatar
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    Dektol won't dissolve?

    That's a complaint I've heard a bunch, and it's annoying as frick alright.

    I buy my chemicals in bulk pure and save money and the annoyance of measuring is offset by the ease of mixing, but it also makes the chems dissolve faster.

    The problem is the METOL, the metol is the chemical that doesn't like to dissolve in water that already has any other dissolved salts in it. Unfortunately the metol is one of the developing agents so you HAVE to get it dissolved. It dissolves easily by itself so when you make it at home you just dissolve it first, then add the other chemicals afterwards.

    It's really cheap to make dektol my way. I think 500 grams of metol cost me something like eight dollars? It's hard to remember, as you only use a few grams of metol per liter of paper developer so you can mix hundred of liters per canister of metol.

    Now that I've stopped using the orange bags and gone to mix-it-myself powders, I ignore the "capacity" and "shelf life" of my chemicals (almost all common powdered pure photochemicals last decades) and just mix everything new, every two weeks. I figured out that it's just so cheap, it's not worth my having milky prints every once and awhile, figure out that my Dektol is too old, and then having to mix more up, and try to get it to temperature or more often just pack everything up(I use a bathroom darkroom), or worse yet, end up with nasty negatives.

    It's improved my consistency greatly, and now that I'm good with my kitchen scale, and workflow it only takes about forty minutes to make, measure, and mix a liter of hardening fixer for film, two one liter bottles of non-hardening fixer for prints (makes toning much easier), a liter of D76, a liter of dektol and a liter of stop bath. All of those chemicals together probably cost less than four dollars and half that is the distilled water I use for everything.

    I might have to start mixing more often in the summer, but while I'm busy with school that amount does me just fine.

  2. #2

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    I am getting ready to start mixing my own as well. More out of neccesity though. It has gotten to the point here where I have to drive 30 or 40 minutes to pay high prices or order online and and pay UPS's ransom-like shipping charges. I am thinking just like you though. I have to say I have never had a problem with the Dektol dissolving though.

  3. #3

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    Good Morning, Bobby,

    Strange about the Dektol. In a previous location, I had some difficulty getting D-76 completely dissolved, but Dektol was absolutely no problem. My own highly unscientific conclusion, based on subsequent experience, is that the water characteristics must have played a part in the difficulty with D-76. Dektol, in three different communities with three separate water supplies, has always been a snap to mix.

    Konical

  4. #4
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    That is why I designed Liquidol! Same as Dektol but higher capacity and tray life.

    PE

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Ironsights View Post
    That's a complaint I've heard a bunch, and it's annoying as frick alright.

    I buy my chemicals in bulk pure and save money and the annoyance of measuring is offset by the ease of mixing, but it also makes the chems dissolve faster.

    The problem is the METOL, the metol is the chemical that doesn't like to dissolve in water that already has any other dissolved salts in it. Unfortunately the metol is one of the developing agents so you HAVE to get it dissolved. It dissolves easily by itself so when you make it at home you just dissolve it first, then add the other chemicals afterwards.

    It's really cheap to make dektol my way. I think 500 grams of metol cost me something like eight dollars? It's hard to remember, as you only use a few grams of metol per liter of paper developer so you can mix hundred of liters per canister of metol.

    Now that I've stopped using the orange bags and gone to mix-it-myself powders, I ignore the "capacity" and "shelf life" of my chemicals (almost all common powdered pure photochemicals last decades) and just mix everything new, every two weeks. I figured out that it's just so cheap, it's not worth my having milky prints every once and awhile, figure out that my Dektol is too old, and then having to mix more up, and try to get it to temperature or more often just pack everything up(I use a bathroom darkroom), or worse yet, end up with nasty negatives.

    It's improved my consistency greatly, and now that I'm good with my kitchen scale, and workflow it only takes about forty minutes to make, measure, and mix a liter of hardening fixer for film, two one liter bottles of non-hardening fixer for prints (makes toning much easier), a liter of D76, a liter of dektol and a liter of stop bath. All of those chemicals together probably cost less than four dollars and half that is the distilled water I use for everything.

    I might have to start mixing more often in the summer, but while I'm busy with school that amount does me just fine.
    Metol should dissolve just fine. Is your water hot enough? Kodak says 125 degrees? That's hotter than most home hot water heaters can deliver, especially after sitting a few minutes.

    At that temperature the infamous hard to dissolve phenidone does so rapidly. Ditto benzotriazole.

    Eight dollars for a pound of Metol is either a function of long ago and your memory or a hell of a deal. It runs $30 a pound, generally, nowadays.

    As a tangent, I've just mixed up some Ilford ID-62 as a phenidone replacement for Dektol/D-72. I'm thinking it's in the line of Ethol LPD which has a great reputation for, um, Lasting. I doubled the sulfite based on the experience of another APUG poster. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to test drive it within the week.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    That is why I designed Liquidol! Same as Dektol but higher capacity and tray life.

    PE
    Kodak already have a liquid version of Dektol which is diluted 1+9 instead of the 1+2 dilution recommended for powder form version of Dektol.

  7. #7
    CBG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Ironsights View Post
    It dissolves easily by itself so when you make it at home you just dissolve it first, then add the other chemicals afterwards.
    There's a reason the chemicals are listed in the order they are in the printed formulas. They should be mixed in that order, and will dissolve in that sequence. Metol is listed first in most formulations.

    C

  8. #8

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    bobby,

    add a pinch of sodium sulfite
    before you put elon/ metol in,
    it will change the water's ph
    and allow the metol to dissolve.



    john

  9. #9
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Tapscott. View Post
    Kodak already have a liquid version of Dektol which is diluted 1+9 instead of the 1+2 dilution recommended for powder form version of Dektol.
    As I said, my version has 2x the capacity or shelf life!

    PE

  10. #10
    KenM's Avatar
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    Formula?
    Cheers!

    -klm.

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