102 print developer storage as working solution

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Lloyd Erlick, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Lloyd Erlick

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    September 27, 2007, from Lloyd Erlick,

    Recently I posted regarding a print developer
    I've been playing with lately: Edwal 102
    (Potassium version).

    On Sept. 19, I made up a working solution of
    102, according to the formula I posted. I
    made a couple of prints that day. After this,
    I stored the developer in a sealed plastic
    bottle, filled nearly to the brim.

    On Sept. 20, I used the developer again, for
    a small number of prints. I stored the
    developer again.

    On Sept. 26, I used the developer to make
    four prints. I had the same negative in the
    enlarger as on Sept. 20, and I used the same
    exposure settings. The prints were visually
    the same on both dates. As usual, I didn't
    perform scientifically exact measurements,
    but the prints looked the same to me.

    All the prints, from fresh developer and week
    old, show very dense blacks and lovely
    tonality in the skin tones. My test picture
    involved a blonde person posed against a
    black background, and the hair worked out
    very nicely.

    Anyway, I'm a little surprised to find a
    developer that keeps a week in the form of a
    partially used working solution. In fact, I'm
    amazed and wondering if this isn't too good
    to be true. Could this be the reason Edmund
    Lowe (who invented this developer) specified
    phosphate in the formula? Is this part of the
    reason it keeps well?

    Edwal 102 (Potassium version) is a very good
    developer for portrait work on warm-tone
    print material. I've been using Ilford
    Warmtone FB paper (Ilford calls it MGW) and
    the results after selenium toning are very

    This actually raises an interesting
    "difficulty" -- Glycin does not keep well in
    dry powder form, and if a working strength
    developer solution will keep well, the length
    of time required to use up the supply of
    Glycin is extended. I bought 250 grams, which
    is starting to look like much too much for
    one time. I've heard there are ways to keep
    Glycin in solution form better than in
    powder, but I've never learned details or
    tried it myself.

    Oh, I just thought of a question for the old
    time experienced crew: would the ancient
    practice of 'sweetening' or 'seasoning' a
    freshly mixed batch of this developer with
    ten or twenty per cent by volume of week-old
    working solution be of any value? I've tried
    this on several occasions with other
    developers, and I have to admit I've never
    seen the benefit.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    website: www.heylloyd.com
    telephone: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Sep 27, 2007
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  2. Something like:
    H20 1l
    P.Sulfite 100g
    TSP 125
    Glycin 25
    P. Bromide 3
    I believe it is Metol that's responsible for
    short tray life.

    Metol-less HQ, Glycin and Phenidone developers
    seem to last longer.

    Phenidone is often kept dissolved in 90+% isoproponol.
    I don't know if this is works with Glycin, I seem
    to remember Patrick Gainer mentioning Propylene Glycol
    as a keeping solvent.

    It is possible that a 1:4 liquid concentrate of
    Glycin and S. Sulfite would keep a long time.

    My guess is the actual ingredients of a bottle
    of Glycin are somewhat variable - in my experience
    it sometimes goes quickly, sometimes it lasts
    for a year.
    TTBOMK this is a practice used for motion picture
    developing where they want to keep the activity
    of the developer constant from the last film
    through a tank of old developer to the first
    film through a tank of fresh developer. Richard
    Knoppow would know: "Knoppow Knows" - does that
    count as nominative determinism?
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Sep 27, 2007
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  3. Evidently some chemicals keep better in solution than in
    powder form. Ammonium thiosulfate, the basic ingredient of
    "rapid" fixers is one. This is why rapid fixer is sold as a
    liquid concentrate rather than a powder. I don't know if
    this is true of Glycin. I think the main reason for the long
    life of your working solution is that it was well protected
    from air in storage. Kodak gives lifetimes for some
    developers when used in tanks with lids as a week, the bag
    should be better depending on what plastic its made of.
    Adding some used developer to fresh can keep its
    performance more uniform. As developer is used it
    accumulates reaction products. Some of these, like Bromide
    and Iodide, come from the film or paper, some are from the
    developing agents. The reaction products are not consistent
    in their effects, for instance, the reaction products of
    Metol are restrainers but those of Hydroquinone are
    accelerators. In general the presence of sulfite tends to
    reduce the effects of these reaction products. Also, in
    developers containing both Metol and Hydroquinone the two
    tend to regenerate each other also reducing the effects of
    the reaction products.
    Although fresh developer can have Bromide added to it to
    act as an anti-fog restrainer the effect may not be quite
    the same as developer which has additional reaction products
    in it. The practice of adding some old developer to fresh
    developer is a way of trying to keep the developer more
    uniform in action.
    Motion picture practice changed over the years. In the
    early days most negative processing, and probably most print
    processing, was carried out in rack-and-tank units mostly by
    hand. As the volume of work became greater some processing
    began to be done in machines. After the introduction of
    photographic sound recording the requirements for processing
    control became very much greater than is needed for the
    picture alone so the use of automatic machine processing
    rapidly became standard practice. Also at about the same
    time (late 1920's) research was begun on replenishing. By
    about the early 1930's systems of replenisment were devised
    to extend the life of the developer and insure uniformity in
    machines. The research continued because early replenishment
    systems were not entirely satisfactory. I don't have numbers
    for the life of processing solutions in current machines but
    its very long. The developer and other solutions in current
    automatic processing machines is not only replenished by the
    addition of more developer but regerated by removing
    dissolved silver and some other chemicals.
    For the most part replenishment of B&W developers for
    home use is not too practical because the volume of use is
    too little. However, simple replenishment according to
    instructions can keep many developers going for very long
    periods of time (over a year). Ideally, the developer
    performance should be tested by sensitometric means but this
    is really necessary only when very critical work is being
    Richard Knoppow, Sep 27, 2007
  4. Lloyd Erlick

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    Phosphate. The TSP or your TPP has a very high ph; above
    by some measure that of S or P carbonate. I'm quite sure it is
    specified because it will speed the processing of prints. As for
    it's acting as an preservation agent I think that not possible. It
    is as fully oxidized as any carbonate. In fact do to the high ph
    of it's solutions it would be reasonable to expect a higher
    rate of oxidation.

    Likely the same print results could be obtained using P. carbonate
    with longer development times. I've tested D-23 against Ansco 120
    with same print results. Ansco 120 is a carbonated metol sulfite
    developer while D-23 has only sulfite as activator.

    I do not know why Glycin behaves as it does;
    good wet poor dry. If I can think of something
    convincing I'll pass it along. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Sep 28, 2007
  5. Lloyd Erlick

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    On Fri, 28 Sep 2007 03:57:24 -0700,

    September 28, 2007, from Lloyd Erlick,

    Well, that's interesting. I can omit the
    carbonate from my 120 developer and see no
    difference in prits? Hmm. There must be some
    catch. Lower capacity?

    Lloyd Erlick, Sep 28, 2007
  6. It may affect maximum black and will certainly affect
    contrast. Print developers are made active both to make them
    fast and because prints are developed to the maximum
    contrast and density the emulsion is capable of. Negative
    film is usually developed to a considerably lower contrast
    and maximum density than the emulsion is capable of.
    TSP is certainly more alkaline than Carbonates but I
    rather think its used in developers at least partly because
    its a sequestering agent for dissolved minerals in the
    water. This is what makes it an effecient cleaning agent.
    I have seen formulas for negative developers containing
    some TSP for machine processing of motion picture film so it
    can be used in low contrast developers.
    I agreew with Dan Quin that there is probably little or
    no effect on developer life but I am not an expert chemist
    so there could be some effect I've never heard of.
    Richard Knoppow, Sep 28, 2007
  7. Lloyd Erlick

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    Max black and contrast twixt a D-23 and Ansco 120
    processed print are same. My formula D-23 is 8 grams
    metol and 80 grams sodium sulfite, water to make 1 liter.
    The working strength was 1:1, volume 1/8 liter and as
    much as 8 minutes in the developer. The Ansco 120
    was used at a 1:11 dilution, 1/8 liter, one-shot;
    perhaps 3 minutes.

    So a sulfited only metol developer will produce a same
    print as a carbonated metol sulfite developer. What's so
    unexpected of that given the amount of additional time it
    takes to do it? I'm not saying it's practicle.

    I'm only pointing out to Mr. Erlick that he could substitute
    potassium carbonate for the potassium phosphate. As with
    the sulfite powered D-23 and carbonate powered Ansco 120
    he could expect identical results. And it might be practicle.
    All we are talking about is the activation ph; the lower the
    longer the processing.
    Do not confuse TSP or TPP with the metaphosphates;
    the Calgon type phosphates. Neither TSP or TPP poses
    any complexing properties.
    Film or paper, pull it soon enough and the contrast
    will be low. Give a film plenty of exposure and as with
    paper, with enough time in the developer it will produce
    maximum black. Many film developers make good print
    developers. To speed them add a little carbonate. I think
    Kodak's D-78 may make a good Glycin print developer.
    Sodium sulfite, Glycin, and Sodium carbonate; 3 and
    3 and 6 grams in that order. Water to make one liter.
    Gotta try that myself one day. I'll leave the dilution
    to the reader. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Sep 30, 2007
  8. Lloyd Erlick

    Joe Guest

    Freeze the powder. I have glycin in my freezer from 19 months ago and
    it looked good as new this week.
    Joe, Oct 25, 2007
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