Hi, the "starter chemicals" are most likely bromide ion and a tiny bit of iodide ion (from NaBr or KI), among other things. They may not show up on MSD sheets because of the low concentrations. I'm just guessing that they're in Part B to explain the otherwise odd mix ratio.
Hydroxylamine sulfate (HAS) is generally considered to be part of a preservative package. It seems desirable to have it in some sort of balance with other preservatives; this is the basis of my wild guess as to why the Part C is also reduced somewhat (the assumption is that other preservative components are in Part C). I don't know the mechanisms, or have any real basis for saying this, though (at least that I recall); it's more of a hunch, or perhaps better said, a "wild guess."
Regarding "seasoning," a general rule of thumb is that two tank-turnovers is pretty near being fully seasoned. So if you had a 1-gal processing tank, this would mean running 2 gallons of replenisher through it. It takes longer than you might think, but unless you're really trying to keep your control plots screwed down tight, who cares? If you were to set up for high output, almost like a factory production line, then it would be important, but otherwise, maybe not.
Learning to interpret problems via control strips can be almost an art, and can be much more complicated than learning how to mix chemicals and develop film. There are example charts in the Z manuals, but I never found them to be too useful past a rudimentary level. If you trust them explicitly, you might, for example, have an over-replenished system (too much developer activity) but finding a match to a Z-manual example chart might imply that your temperature is too high, or that your mix was too concentrated. You have to be careful not to read in more precision than is really there.
If you want to understand what the control strips are actually showing, a good way to start is to study "characteristic curves" of film a bit. Then imagine the control chart as showing a couple of exposure points on those curves.
Last edited by Mr Bill; 08-04-2013 at 11:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.