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  1. #1

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    Amidol/Propylene Glycol and Azo: Initial results

    On June 21, 04, I mixed a stock solution of Amidol in Propylene Glycol. Yesterday (July 25, 04) I used the Amidol stock solution to prepare 1 liter of Michael Smith's Amidol formulation for Azo paper.

    I developed a total of 20 8x10 Azo prints over a period of 5 hours. Development time was 1 minute plus or minus 5 sec at 70F (digitally timed). The developer activity was unchanged from print 1 through print 20.

    Print exposure times ranged from 16 seconds to 35 seconds.

    I was printing on the latest manufacturing lot of contrast grade 2 Azo. The Amidol developer produced a contrast grade result that was between grade 1 and grade 1.5, in my opinion.

    The end result was a very nice set of work prints with excellent micro-tonality. The only other prints that come close (in my 4 print developer comparison with these negatives) are the prints I developed in Ansco 130.

    To be completely fair, I am going to give PPPD another chance - I may have added the wrong quantity of restrainer to it. I got low contrast prints that lacked "snap." The PPPD prints looked pretty good until I compared them to the Ansco 130 prints and the Amidol prints.

    I tried PPPD without the restrainer just to see what would happen and I got very warm toned prints with red tones in the dmax but good "snap."
    Tom Hoskinson
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
    On June 21, 04, I mixed a stock solution of Amidol in Propylene Glycol. Yesterday (July 25, 04) I used the Amidol stock solution to prepare 1 liter of Michael Smith's Amidol formulation for Azo paper.
    Tom,

    This is very interesting and sounds much more convenient than having to mix the developer from scratch for every printing session.

    Did you give directions in another message on how prepare this mix? If not I think many of us would be very interested in exactly how you did this. I have personally found some a case where having the popylene glycol too hot breaks down the chemical and don't want to risk that.



    Sandy

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanking
    Tom,

    This is very interesting and sounds much more convenient than having to mix the developer from scratch for every printing session.

    Did you give directions in another message on how prepare this mix? If not I think many of us would be very interested in exactly how you did this. I have personally found some a case where having the popylene glycol too hot breaks down the chemical and don't want to risk that.



    Sandy
    Sandy, I believe that 8 grams of Amidol will dissolve in about 200ml of propylene glycol at 170F (or lower). As you will see below, I actually raised the temperature of the Amidol/PG solution to 270F in the process of trying to get the whole 8 grams of Amidol into solution in 150ml of PG. The elevated temperature does not appear to have affected the activity of the reagent over my 1 month "life test."

    I will be mixing another (larger) batch of Amidol/PG stock solution this week and will post the results. Again, I will do this under a vented hood and will start with room temperature polyethylene glycol (~70F) for safety reasons.


    Before trying propylene glycol as an Amidol solvent, I tried mixing 8 grams of Amidol in about 130ml of Methanol at room temperature. I estimate that about 5 grams of the 8 went into solution. The resulting solution was blue/violet in color. I did not life test this mixture.

    Here is a quote from my June posting on Amidol/PG on the Chemistry thread in the Azo Forum:

    "I also tried dissolving 8 grams of Amidol in 150ml of Propylene Glycol (PG). I put 150ml of PG in a 300ml Pyrex beaker, dropped in a teflon coated stirring magnet and poured in 8 grams of Amidol. Some of the Amidol slowly went into solution at room temperature (dark blue solution color). I increased the temperature with continuous magnetic stirring (under a vented chemical hood). Most of the Amidol dissolved by the time the solution reached 170 deg. F. I continued heating and stirring until the solution reached 270 deg. F. I could see that there was still some undissolved residue at that temperature. I slowly cooled the solution and decanted it into a bottle. There was about a gram (estimated) of undissolved material left in the beaker. I added 30ml of methanol to this residue, stirred and it dissolved (violet color). I added this to the PG mix (now a indigo color)and saw no color change. I will watch this solution for changes (color, activity, etc)."
    Tom Hoskinson
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    Anyone try dissolving the Amidol in TEA for a simple one-solution/single agent paper developer?
    I kicked the idea around, but Amidol likes a slightly acidic environment so from that perspective, TEA didn't seem like the best choice.

    Also, I have some safety/toxicity concerns with mixing Amidol and TEA. Evolution of toxic fumes is one potential problem. Also, TEA is easily absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  5. #5

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    Now that Amidol prints have dried, they are definitely warmer in tone and lower in contrast than the corresponding prints developed in Ansco 130, Gainer PC-TEA and PPPD:

    MS Amidol - Contrast Grade 1.5, warm brown/black tones

    Ansco 130 - Contrast Grade 2.5, cold Blue/Black tones

    Gainer PC-TEA plus Benzotriazole - Contrast Grade 2, cold Black tones

    PPPD plus KBr and Benzotriazole - Contrast Grade 1.75, cold Brown/Black tones

    Depending on the subject matter, I found that I preferred the Amidol and Ansco 130 prints over the PC-TEA and PPPD prints. However, I owe PPPD another chance since I'm sure I fouled up when I added the restrainer.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  6. #6
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    Hi Tom, have you ever tried Rodinal with AZO? I've heard very conflicting stories, some saying it's a no go, and some saying it made their best prints yet..

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean
    Hi Tom, have you ever tried Rodinal with AZO? I've heard very conflicting stories, some saying it's a no go, and some saying it made their best prints yet..
    No, but there's no reason not to try it. I always have a jug of Rodinal on hand. The last story I read about Rodinal/Azo described the result as "chalk and soot."

    PC-TEA was designed as a film developer and it produced good results with Azo - but not very close to the Amidol results - or the Ansco 130.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  8. #8
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    It's interesting that you got warmer tones from Amidol than 130. I got cold tones from Michael's amidol formula (using distilled water) - and warmer tones with 130 (the kit from Photographers Formulary.) I wonder if the glycol is the variable, or something else.

    I tried Rodinal with Azo a couple of times. The first time, I used a dilution of 1:20, I believe, and thought the results were soot and chalk. Later, I tried 1:10 and liked the results better. Someone on this forum was using Rodinal with good results. Maybe he'll jump in.
    juan

  9. #9
    juan's Avatar
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    Not yet, Jay. Unfortunately my boss thinks I need to be doing some extra work at the job that pays for film, paper and chemicals.
    j

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by juan
    I Someone on this forum was using Rodinal with good results. Maybe he'll jump in.
    juan
    Juan,
    I have done a little (key word, Little) work using Rodinal on Ilford MGIV and MGWT diluted 1:10. The print is posted in the Experimental gallery, it preformed the way I wanted - was trying from a warm print that would tone well in Viradon and that is what it did. Not sure the negative I picked was the best one, but it had more of an old processed feel to the print. Have not had time to try printing with more contrast or other dilutions, but the print has a very different look to it.
    Mike C

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