Agfa Neutol

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by UC, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. UC

    UC Guest

    Through a local photo dealer, I have come into possession of some Agfa
    Neutol paper developer in what looks like a 500ml or 1 litre size. The
    fluid in the bottle seems to be dark coloured. Is this normal? The
    dealer does not know how old it is, and he has more of it if I want it.
    I have not used any of it yet, and am wondering if anyone has any
    experience with this product.
    UC, Jan 3, 2006
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  2. UC

    Mike Guest

    Yes, the fluid is a dark orange. The working developer remains orange.

    Nice paper developer. The only thing I don't like about it is that it
    seems to exhaust much quicker than Dektol and Polymax.
    Mike, Jan 3, 2006
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  3. Agfa sold a couple of liquid concentrate developers under the
    Neutol name. The one I've been using is Neutol Plus which has no
    Hydroquinone but rather Ascorbic acid. Its dark yellow and becomes
    brownish orange. In my experience it lasts about as long as Dektol at
    the 1:9 dilution but I may not print as much as Mike. It appears to be
    clean working and does not deposit silver on the tray the way Dektol
    Beware that the yellow color distorts the gray scale of developing
    prints even under an OC safelight.
    Unfortunately, I think its not going to be available after current
    stocks are gone.
    There is also a Neutol developer for blue-black tones and a Neutol
    warm tone developer. I have some of the warm tone developer but haven't
    tried it yet.

    Richard Knoppow
    Richard Knoppow, Jan 4, 2006
  4. UC

    UC Guest

    This bottle says 'Neutal Plus'.

    I can get 6 bottles of it if I want it.
    UC, Jan 4, 2006
  5. UC

    PeterB Guest

    I use this Neutol Plus paper developer exclusively. While I agree that
    it goes off faster in a tray than Dektol, I find that if after a
    session (of say 2-3 hours) that I tip the contents back into an air
    tight container that it lasts ages. I've been using the same mix for
    about 4 x 3 hour sessions spread over a couple of months (say for a
    total of about 35 lots of 8 x 10" prints).
    When putting it back into a container, I top up the last 5-10mL with
    water to exclude the air. (container isn't compressible, and I had
    forgotton to use my glass marbles). BTW depending on the conc. you mix
    up, it will be a medium to dark orange after diluting.

    PeterB, Jan 6, 2006
  6. UC

    Rod Smith Guest

    Maybe not. I've seen some recent posts, some with e-mail from A&O (the
    company that bought up the parts of Agfa that produce chemistry) as
    evidence, claiming that they'll continue producing Rodinal and Neutol WA.
    I've seen nothing explicit about Neutol Plus, but given that A&O plans to
    continue producing other B&W chemistry, the odds for Neutol Plus look
    fairly good. Here are some references:

    Also and FWIW, if the thing you (generally, not just Richard) like about
    Neutol Plus is that it's a phenidone/vitamin C (PC) developer, there are
    several mix-it-yourself PC paper developer formulas, such as E-72 and

    These aren't as convenient as a ready-made liquid concentrate, but they do
    work and they are hydroquinone-free.
    Rod Smith, Jan 6, 2006
  7. Fotospeed are selling a Hydroquinone free print developer called HF3 (liquid
    concentrate) which I beleive also uses an Ascorbic acid derivative and
    should make a suitable alternative.
    Perhaps in the fullness of time Ilford may introduce a similar one. I would
    certainly be interested in a Hydroquinone version of their DD-X film
    developer if ever they consider it.
    Keith Tapscott, Jan 15, 2006
  8. UC

    John Guest

    One thing I don't understand is what do people have a problem with
    hydroquinone ? Ascorbates are nowhere near as stable and capable and
    the toxicity is virtually irrelevant.

    John, Jan 16, 2006
  9. I`m inclined to agree with you John, but Agfa are finished and those who
    like to use Neutol Plus may wish to find a similar print developer.
    As for an Ascorbic acid film developer, a modified version of DD-X may be
    attractive to those who want an alternative to Xtol supplied as a liquid
    As you pointed out, there are concerns of stability as some people have
    reported here of sudden losses of activity with Xtol.
    My regular film developer is D-76 diluted 1+1 and my regular print developer
    is Ilford Multigrade 1+9.
    Keith Tapscott, Jan 16, 2006
  10. UC

    UC Guest

    I have not used this stuff, while I still have some Bromophen mixed to
    use up.

    Both are history?

    I may go back to mixing my own paper developer. I like Gevaert 252.
    UC, Jan 17, 2006

  11. I`ve been thinking along those lines myself. I have bought the following raw
    constituents from Rayco-Chemicals:
    Sodium Hexametaphosphate.
    Metol developing agent.
    Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous.)
    Sodium Carbonate (anhydrous.)
    Potassium Bromide.
    My intention is to make my own Kodak D-163 print developer. I also bought a
    Weigh station WS-500 electronic scale made by ON BALANCE (TM) which can
    weigh up to 500g in 0.1g increments. The unit requires a 9V alkaline battery
    or 9V 300mA Adaptor (optional.) The problem now is calibrating the scales.
    The instructions read as follows:

    1. Press "ON/OFF" to switch the scale on.
    2. Press "UNIT" key for 3 seconds.
    3. Display shows "CAL", then "CAL 0", then "LoAd" and "200g" alternately.
    4. Load 200grams on the platform.
    5. When weight is stable, display shows "LoAd" and "500g" alternatively.
    6. Load 500grams on the platform, display shows "donE", then "500g".
    7. The calibration is completed.
    Then I can place a container (Tray, bag etc) on the platform and press the
    "ZERO" key before weighing the components.

    I don`t suppose anyone knows where I could buy an accurate 200 gram and 500
    gram weights in the UK?
    Keith Tapscott, Jan 17, 2006
  12. UC

    UC Guest

    I use an ancient Ohaus.

    Good enough for 1/2 gram accuracy.

    I mix at least one gallon of everything, so I multiply the gram amounts
    by 3.785
    UC, Jan 17, 2006
  13. UC

    Peter Irwin Guest

    If banks in the UK still count coins by weighing them then
    coins should be pretty accurate in aggregate even if they show
    small sample to sample variations.

    25 small 50p coins should weigh 200g.
    40 20p coins should weigh 200g
    100 20p coins should weigh 500g.

    The Royal Mint has historically been very good in this regard.
    In Canada, the RCM has been messing around with coin weights
    in the last few years so you need to sort by date in order to
    trust the weight of coins. If banks in the UK still weigh coins
    than you should still be able to trust groups of coins as weights.

    Bronze UK coinage weighs 55 grains (3.564 grams) per p. in case
    you need Imperial weights.

    Peter Irwin, Jan 17, 2006
  14. UC

    UC Guest

    Try e-bay searching for 'Ohaus'.

    UC, Jan 17, 2006
  15. UC

    UC Guest

    UC, Jan 17, 2006
  16. Do you mean a Hydroquinone _free_ version of DDX? DDX
    is essentially a liquid concentrate version of Microphen. It
    is similar to other Phenidone based concentrate developers
    like Kodak T-Max.
    Kodak Xtol is a Phenidone and Ascorbic acid developer.
    Unfortunately, it seems to have a short term failure
    problem. Kodak denies this but I've experienced it with the
    5 liter size.
    Richard Knoppow, Jan 17, 2006
  17. Bromophen seems to be alive and well. Ilford has a
    published formula for a developer which is eseentially the
    same, although probably not identical to the packaged stuff.

    Ilford ID-62 (Stock Solution)

    Water (at 125F or 52C) 750.0 ml
    Sodium Sulfite, dessicated 50.0 grams
    Hydroquinone 12.0 grams
    Sodium Carbonate, anhydrous 60.0 grams
    Phenidone 0.5 grams
    Potassium Bromide 2.0 grams
    Benzotriazole 0.2 grams
    Water to make 1.0 liter

    For paper dilute 1 part stock to 2 parts water.

    Those familiar with Kodak D-72 (essentially the same as
    Dektol) will recognize that this is a very similar developer
    using Phenidone instead of Metol. It has similar
    characteristics to the Metol and Hydroquinone developer but
    tends to produce more neutral tones. It is a useful
    developer for those with a Metol sensitivity.
    Richard Knoppow, Jan 17, 2006
  18. UC

    UC Guest

    I am aware of these formulae. I was talking about the packaged product
    Bromophen. It seems to have excellent keeping properties, showing no
    discoloration or loss of potency over long periods of storage in stock

    I have not yet tried the Neutol Plus.

    My personal favorite formulae are 54-D (Defender/duPont) and G252
    UC, Jan 18, 2006
  19. FWIW, Defender 54D is exactly identical to Kodak D-73. These
    developers are somewhat more active than D-72/Dektol and
    were intended to produce blue-black tones on photofinishing
    paper. Those who want cold tones on neutral tone paper
    should give this formula a try.
    Several of the Defender formulas are indentical to Kodak
    ones. Kodak seems to have kept Defender alive for quite a
    while perhaps because Defender helped to protect Kodak
    against anti-trust action.
    A unique Defender developer which I used a long time ago
    when it was available packaged, is 55D. This has no exact
    equivalent. It is a general purpose developer, a little less
    active and more warm toned than Dektol. The basic formula
    has quite a bit of Potassium bromide in it and Defender
    recommended adding even more than specified below for warmer

    Defender 55D Portrait Paper Developer (Stock Solution)

    Water (at 125F or 52C) 500.0 ml
    Metol 2.5 grams
    Sodium sulfite, dessicated 37.5 grams
    Hydroquinone 10.0 grams
    Sodium Carbonate, dessicated 37.5 grams
    Potassium Bromide 4.0 to 13.0 grams
    Water to make 1.0 liter

    For use dilute 1 part stock to 2 parts water.

    Exposure should be timed so that development is complete in
    1-1/2 to 2 minutes.
    Shorter development yields warmer tones, longer development
    cooler tones.
    Richard Knoppow, Jan 18, 2006
  20. UC

    UC Guest

    I have several old volumes of the Photo Lab Index and a volume called
    Photographic Facts and Formulas by Wall, ed 1972.

    I have every formula known to man. I have tried many of these paper
    formulas, back in the 70's, and found little difference. I even used
    amidol on Velour Black. Alrhough many people swear it's special, I
    found almost no difference with amidol, though I never saw anything
    better. I did like 54-D and G252 the best, hiwever, on duPont

    I always believed that any benefit to amidol was simply that it was not
    suppressed much by bromide, a property that phenidone shares, and for
    that reason I recently began to use Bromophen, a phenidone-based
    UC, Jan 18, 2006
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