Today I did what Microsoft calls, "Eating your own dog-food." I developed an important roll in my own developer. Here's the latest concentrate:

Propylene glycol ......................... 23 ml
Sodium metaborate (4 mol) ....... 4.7 g
Ascorbic acid ............................. 6.5 g
Phenidone ................................. 0.05 g
Propylene glycol to make .......... 30 ml

Compared to earlier formulas, I boosted metaborate and ascorbic acid to improve buffering in order to make the developer more tolerant of errors in measurement of sodium sulfite. To make 1 liter of working solution, first mix 30 ml (45 grams) of sodium sulfite into the water. Then add 30 ml of concentrate. As a convenience, the dev requires the same volume of sulfite and concentrate (30 ml/L each), so you need to draw only one fill-line on your little beaker. pH is 8.15 to 8.17. Time at 20C is about 1.9 times XTOL's time.

I was frugal and mixed only 200 ml of solution, the bare minimum for a SS tank, and developed one roll of TMY-2 (Tmax-400). The results are best described as "strong": Leader-density is 3.0 to 3.15, and edge-markings are a little denser than XTOL's. In my past experience, developing a full roll (36-shots) resulted in lower density than in test-strips. This dev broke that rule: The roll is just as dense, or a little denser. Perhaps this is due to the strong buffering.

By the way, I pre-washed the roll, and I always pre-wash test-strips. I discovered in March that TMY-2 gives me higher density when I pre-wash it. You can find discussion of this in older threads.

The event was a wedding, and I noticed two men in the parking lot fixing a van:


And here's a full-resolution crop of the neg-scan:


The grain is plenty fine. As I saw in test-strips, this dev looks like XTOL. So I'm getting close. The formula above needs a tweak or two, and much more testing. Comments are welcome as always. A question that I'm not entirely confident about is whether it's worth boosting the buffering as I did. Or is that just a waste of chemistry?

Mark Overton