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  1. #1

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    P-phenylene Diamine

    Hi,

    I bought some P-phenylene Diamine from Photographers Formulary last week (in anticipation of Harvey's 777 developer tests). It arrived early this week, looking like moon rocks in the plastic jar. Big hunks of rock with one of them being near clear!. Is this correct? Does this stuff need to be ground down to use? I have never seen this material before and I am not sure what to expect.

    Any help would be appreciated. I wrote to PF a couple days ago explaining what I received, but have got no answer. It would be nice to get this project started.

    tim in san jose

  2. #2
    Helen B's Avatar
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    Tim,

    I made up some Formulary MCM-100 a couple of months ago, and the PPD looked exactly like you described. The instructions suggested dissolving it in water at 125° F/52° C, which is what happened. I would say that grinding PPD was not a good idea for health reasons, and it is not necessary anyway.

    Here's what the Formulary instructions say about cleaning up:
    "Clean the work area very carefully using soap and water or with a 1% solution of hydrochloric acid (about 3 ml of concentrated acid per 100 ml of water). The hydrochloric acid converts the p-phenylenediamine to a water soluble salt making the compound easier to remove."

    I'll be interested to hear how your 777 tests go. www.pofig.net has a formula for a PPD-glycin dev (S-3) which I'd like to try sometime (though I'm not sure why). Have you ever tried the commercial 777 from Bluegrass?

    Best,
    Helen

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter
    Hi,

    I bought some P-phenylene Diamine from Photographers Formulary last week (in anticipation of Harvey's 777 developer tests). It arrived early this week, looking like moon rocks in the plastic jar. Big hunks of rock with one of them being near clear!. Is this correct? Does this stuff need to be ground down to use? I have never seen this material before and I am not sure what to expect.

    Any help would be appreciated. I wrote to PF a couple days ago explaining what I received, but have got no answer. It would be nice to get this project started.

    tim in san jose
    Tim, If you haven't read the Unblinking Eye article on 777, do so.

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Harvey/harvey.html

    Para-phenyline-diamine is described as slightly soluble in water, alkaline solutions and sulfite solutions. Try dissolving the 7 grams in 100 - 200ml of 125F water - if the chunks don't dissolve well (and it may take a while), you will need to grind them up (mortar & pestle). Watch out, the stuff is toxic. Use gloves. See page 23 of The Darkroom Cookbook.

    When mixing the 777 developer, the 7 grams of Metol should be dissolved first - add a pinch of sulfite to 500 - 600ml 125F water, then the Metol with constant stirring. After the Metol is dissolved, add the rest of the sodium sulfite.

    Mix in the 100 - 200ml of Para-phenyline-diamine solution you made in the first step.

    The 7 grams of Glycin should be dissolved last.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  4. #4

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    Thanks all so far. OK, so it's suppose to look like this. I am wondering how you measure out a chunk of rock 7g in weight exactly. I guess I'll mix and match and put together as best I can, then adjust all other weights to match. I is an engineer and can do simple math.

    I have printed out the unblinking eye article and will take many precautions for my safety. I have heard this is nasty stuff in dry form.

    tim in san jose

  5. #5
    Helen B's Avatar
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    I'd like to re-iterate: the last thing you want to be doing is grinding dry PPD if you can avoid it. Use a Paterson-type stirrer (the type with a flat bottom to permit grinding) and break up the lumps under water if necessary. I found that I didn't need to do that with the PPD I received from the Formulary.

    With any dry chemical it should be remembered that the particles that are going to go into your lungs are invisible. You can't see respirable dust. Respirable dust settles very very slowly. Grinding lumps when wet, as opposed to when immersed, does not prevent the creation of airborne respirable particles.

    Best,
    Helen

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter
    Hi,

    I bought some P-phenylene Diamine from Photographers Formulary last week (in anticipation of Harvey's 777 developer tests).
    I certainly want to avoid raining on anyone's parade, but I feel compelled to point out that BPI says that the 777 formula posted on Ed Buffaloe's website is wrong. BPI's price is pretty dear (although again, to be fair, you get years worth of developer in a 4 gallon case, which costs <$60 including shipping), but I consider 400TMax developed in 777 to be the closest thing we'll find to the Photographic Philosopher's Stone.

    Over the years I've tried D-76 (who hasn't?), HC110, Microdol-X, TMax RS (which is really just D-76 with a different label), D-23, DK-50, FG-7, Rodinal, PMK, ABC pyro, Pyrocat HD, Windisch Catechol, FX-1, FX-2, TFX-2, TD-3 for Tech Pan, WD2D, WD2D+ and Rollo Pyro. I consider 777 an unfair advantage over any of them, when used with 400TMax, the best B&W film manufactured today.

    If you want to effortlessly make negatives which will easily produce glowing prints, BPI's product represents the better part of valor. Do yourself a favor and don't screw around. I don't know if the BPI formula is the original Defender 777 or not, but it's so good that I don't really care. In any case, since it's still available and according to BPI in constantly heavy demand, why experiment? They'll continue to manufacture it as long as we continue to buy it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    I certainly want to avoid raining on anyone's parade, but I feel compelled to point out that BPI says that the 777 formula posted on Ed Buffaloe's website is wrong.
    Interesting, is there any data from controlled comparative testing to support this claim?
    Tom Hoskinson
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  8. #8

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    hi tom ...

    i called the folks up at bluegrass a few years ago and asked them about the developer. they told me that it contains no glycine, and said the forumula on "that website is way off"

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian
    hi tom ...

    i called the folks up at bluegrass a few years ago and asked them about the developer. they told me that it contains no glycine, and said the forumula on "that website is way off"
    Hi John,

    So - no data, just a couple of hard-to-verify statements. Interesting!
    Tom Hoskinson
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
    Hi John,

    So - no data, just a couple of hard-to-verify statements. Interesting!

    yup, its just what they told me. who knows if it is true or not ...

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