I, too, use D23 either 1:1 or as the first part of a divided developer. But I don't put metaborate in the regular D23. Should I start? What does it do that metol and s. sulfite don't?
Yes, no need to get paranoid about fixer. I had an opened bottle of Ilford Rapid sitting in a closet for about a year. Temperature ranged from 0°C, or below, in the winter to 40°C+ in the summer. It didn't sulfurise, it didn't have a strange smell and it seemed to work as it should.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
It is officially discouraged, and PE may show up to slap you hard.
Originally Posted by holmburgers
But I did split up packages and mix per-use back in my high school years. I thought that it worked fine. But looking through my old files convinces me that I shouldn't recommend anything that I did back then. It was adequate for yearbook candids, but probably not much more.
A slight digression from the original post, so please excuse us for a moment:
But I don't put metaborate in the regular D23. Should I start? What does it do that metol and s. sulfite don't?
The recipe is in the Ansel Adams book The Negative, which sayeth:
"The most effective two-solution formula that I have found consists of D-23 for solution A (developer), and, for solution B (alkali bath) a 1 percent solution of Kodak Balanced Alkali (Kodalk), or 10 grams per liter. I have not conducted exhaustive tests with current films, but our preliminary data indicate that two-solution development can be effective for supporting shadow values while reducing high-value densities. I include the method here for those who wish to experiment with it. It is important to expose the low values about one zone higher than normal if this procedure is to be used.
The negative is immersed in solution A for 3 to 7 minutes, followed by a 3-minute bath in Solution B, without agitation. In the past, if the film tended to fog, I have added small amounts of a 10 percent solution of potassium bromide solution to the second solution. The strength of the high densities will be controlled primarily by the time the negative is developed in the Solution A; during the immersion in the alkali solution, the developer is soon exhausted in the high densities while its activity continues in the lower values. the Kodalk solution can be made stronger---up to about a 10 percent solution, or 100 grams per liter---and its activity will increase, but with the possibility of increased grain. I advise careful testing before using this process."
Sulfite is a weak alkali, and also a reducing agent; it activates the Elon and protects it from oxidation. Kodalk (metaborate) is somewhat more alkaline, but with a high buffering capacity, so that the effectiveness doesn't change much as the reactions go forward. This two-bath system is reasonably inexpensive, and very flexible---I used it when I was exploring the Zone System. It is an excellent compensating developer, and I would probably still be using it if I hadn't discovered PMK and Pyrocat.
So, technically, we're not adding Kodalk to D-23 (that would have deserved different nomenclature) but rather using D-23 as the first half of a divided developer. There are a number of variants of divided D-23, as I'm sure you know; I think a few of them have both sulfite and metaborate (or some other alkali) in the second bath, and at least one omits most of the sulfite from the first bath.
We now return to your regularly scheduled topic
Digressions are welcome, my questions have been answered. Thanks everyone!
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Hey, quick follow up.
I've settled on PF's TF-5 Archival Fix, which is an ammonium thiosulfate non-hardening rapid fixer. My concern is stop batch contamination, as mentioned in one of the earliest responses with regards to TF-4. Is this a problem? I'd like to continue using an acid stop, not just a water rinse.
UPDATE: Ok, I found the tech sheet... DUH! Apparently it's ok to use with a stop bath.
However, it recommends against using your hands in the solution (with all chem's for that matter). This poses a problem for sheet processing; is it ok to stick my fingers in this stuff? I don't want to use gloves really....
Last edited by holmburgers; 10-25-2010 at 04:05 PM. Click to view previous post history.