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  1. #1

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    bringing color chemistry up to temp...is this safe?

    I was looking at color chemistry kits on b+h and someone in a review mentioned bringing the developer up to temp by microwaving it. While that would be very convenient I wonder if it is safe to do it that way? Can you destroy the developer by heating up too much? Boiling water baths work but take forever so if the microwave can do the trick that will make color development much easier.

  2. #2
    Rudeofus's Avatar
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    I have made it my personal rule that photochemistry does not mix with kitchenware. Some compounds in color developer are quite problematic and with heating you always create vapour. Unless you have a dedicated microwave for this I would strictly advise against heating your chems that way. Note, that the microwave will heat your chems unevenly, so you may end up with areas where your chems are much hotter than they should get while other areas are still cool. Remember, you can't stir in a microwave!

    The way I have been heating my color chemistry without any of these problems can be described quickly:
    1. Grab a bucket big enough to hold the bottles you store your color chemistry in
    2. Fill it with hot water (50-60°C) from the tap
    3. Put the bottles with your color chemistry into the bucket, make sure the water level stays a few cm below the liquid level inside your bottles, otherwise they might float and tip over.
    4. Open the bottle with the first solution you are going to use and put the thermometer in
    5. Wait until it shows the desired temperature and start processing
    6. Leave the other bottles in the bucket for another 1-2 minutes, then take them out and dump the water from the bucket
    7. During these 1-2 minutes they will gain some higher temperature, and by the time you need them they will have cooled back down a bit. Since the temperature of the second (and possibly third) bath is much less critical you should be fine without further adjustments.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  3. #3

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    Instead of a bucket, you could also use hard shelled cooler, since they are insulated and may hold the heat a little better.

  4. #4
    bvy
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    Rudeofus' method is precisely my own method. The hottest water from my tap is about 120F. It takes about ten minutes to bring 500ml of developer (and other chemicals) from room temperature (65F to 70F) to processing temperature (101F). During that time, I'm also conditioning my Paterson tank in a Playmate cooler filled with hot water, since I don't prewash.

  5. #5

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    I use a microwave all the time. But I don't use the same microwave for food -- not very often at least!

  6. #6

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    Thank you for all the responses. It sounds like the hot tap water is the best. It seemed to take a lot longer than 10 min..perhaps I didn't have the water level high enough in my container. I like the cooler option as well..

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    If the time seems too long, walk away for a while and come back, you may well find you then have a cooling problem instead of a heating problem.

    Or, set up the water bath at 1-2 degrees higher than your target then go do something else for 15 minutes or so, you'll likely need to fine-tune the method, but it may beat standing there watching things.

  8. #8
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    I've used gas stoves and a double boiling arrangement when I was young and impatient. Heats up fast, and guarantees I won't scorch things that don't need to be scorched.
    --Nicholas Andre

  9. #9
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    I will admit that I've used the microwave, and say that I did not cause a problem. I will also admit that it was likely not one of my smarter moments. Simply a convenience.


    A much better solution was a $32 double hot plate from WalMart and two thrift store stock pots.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #10

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    I have a Jobo color processor and I'm very happy with it. If I want to heat faster, I can boil hot water and mix it with the cooler water and bring the water bath up very quickly.

    If I want it to be really fast, I can heat hot water with my coffee maker, or heat the cold water in microwave.

    But I never over-heat chemicals. The color chemicals are toxic... No microwave at all! The fume can kill you!
    A photo amateur
    Sinar P2/F2/Nikon F100/Bronica ETRSi/GS/Saunders 4550XLG/Jobo CPP2/CPE+/Colorline 7000

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