Long shelf-life developer for T-Max, Neopan

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Victor Moss, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Victor Moss

    Victor Moss Guest

    Hello,

    I don't shoot enough traditional b/w negatives anymore to warrant
    mixing D-76 or XTol. I am looking for a long shelf-life developer. I
    shoot mostly TMX and Neopan 400 nowadays. I tried using T-Max
    developer, did not like it that much (hard to control highlights). Now
    considering using HC-110. No prior experience on this one. Want to
    know if it works well for the above films and what to expect. Also
    other suggestions are welcome (I don't like the Rodinal grain btw).

    Thanks,

    -Victor
     
    Victor Moss, Jun 9, 2004
    #1
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  2. HC-110 syrup keeps for years. See:
    www.covingtoninnovations.com/hc110

    It acts somewhat like T-Max developer, but less energetic (less prone to
    overdevelopment and grain).


    --
    Clear skies,

    Michael Covington -- www.covingtoninnovations.com
    Author, Astrophotography for the Amateur
    and (new) How to Use a Computerized Telescope
     
    Michael A. Covington, Jun 10, 2004
    #2
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  3. Try Microdol-X, works very well with TMX.
     
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jun 10, 2004
    #3
  4. There are no other developers with better shelf life than HC-110 USA
    concentrate (the European concentrate is less concentrated, and might
    have a shorter shelf life) and Rodinal. They are very similar in some
    ways -- easily diluted directly to working strength immediately prior to
    use, sold as a liquid concentrate, and with large, fanatical, almost
    religious followings -- but the results they produce are very different;
    HC-110 is a "generic" developer that, in high dilutions, becomse
    strongly compensating; it's also very, very active and in stronger
    concentrations develops film very rapidly, and can even be used (in
    Dilution A) as a paper developer (produces a cold tone, in my
    experience). Rodinal is a non-solvent acutance developer, which
    produces larger grain but greatly increased local contrast, which
    equates to perceived sharpness; it becomes compensating much as HC-110
    does, but loses some film speed and develops much more slowly than HC-110.

    The other long shelf life solution is to buy raw chemicals and mix the
    developer yourself -- the simplest form of this is Caffenol: 4 tsp.
    coffee crystals and 2 tsp. washing soda in 8 ounces of water. Don't
    even try to keep it -- there's no preservative, and shelf life of the
    working solution is probably measurable in a handful of hours, but the
    combination of high acutance and stain gives a very interesting, and
    very sharp negative that I like very much, at least from Plus-X and Tri-X.

    --
    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/HomebuiltLathe.htm
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/my7x12.htm

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
     
    Donald Qualls, Jun 10, 2004
    #4
  5. Victor Moss

    hmmph Guest

    Care to elaborate on that one more? Any time/temps to start with for Tri X
    (120)? What the hell is washing soda? I'm 43 and have never heard of any
    such stuff!!!
     
    hmmph, Jun 10, 2004
    #5
  6. Agfa Rodinal Special.I have a mixed batch of stock solution for more than 3
    years (actually mixed it before euro came).N.B.:Don't confuse rodinal
    special with simple rodinal;totally different developers..

    --
    Dimitris Tzortzakakis,Iraklion Crete,Greece
    Analogue technology rules-digital sucks
    http://www.patriko-kreta.com
    dimtzort AT otenet DOT gr the return adress is corrupted
    Warning:all offending emails will be deleted, and the offender/spammer
    will be put on my personal "black list".
     
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Jun 10, 2004
    #6
  7. HC-110 does have a long shelf life. But with TMX, you will get soft
    negatives. It's actually pleasing in some situations, sort dreamlike.
    The shadows are very nice, but overall sharpness is compromised. If
    sharpness is an issue with TMX, try Rodinal. Don't know about Neopan.
     
    lost in space, Jun 10, 2004
    #7
  8. It is sodium carbonate. It is sold with powdered detergents in the grocery
    store. It's another product of Arm & Hammer, along with their more familiar
    sodium bicarbonate.
     
    Michael A. Covington, Jun 10, 2004
    #8
  9. Sodium Carbonate
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Jun 10, 2004
    #9
  10. Victor Moss

    Victor Moss Guest

    That's new! Sure you are not pulling our legs? I am going to try in
    any case. Of course, some starting point time/temperature will be
    necessary.

    Btw, washing soda is Sodium Carbonate, a strong alkali. Not sure if it
    is easily available tho (in US grocery stores). Was popular before
    modern detergents came in. Is there a preferred brand of coffee
    crystals?

    Other than that, HC-110 seems to be what I want.

    Thanks everyone.
     
    Victor Moss, Jun 10, 2004
    #10
  11. Victor Moss

    Victor Moss Guest

    I have been to your site (I am assuming you are the author) prior to
    this post and your site was very useful and informative. So now I get
    to thank you personally!

    Since you also have experience with XTol you may be be the best person
    to answer this. I really like TMX/XTol combination. How would HC-110
    compare to it, wrt grain, sharpness, contrast etc.

    Thanks.
     
    Victor Moss, Jun 10, 2004
    #11
  12. Victor Moss

    Andrew Price Guest

    Have a look at Ilford's Ilfotec DD-X too, if it's available locally.
     
    Andrew Price, Jun 10, 2004
    #12
  13. Yes, I confess to authoring my own web site :) as well as a few
    astrophotography and astronomy books...
    I haven't done a side-by-side test, but based on what I've read, HC-110 will
    give you a bit less speed, about equally fine or almost as fine grain, and a
    great deal more reliability.

    --
    Clear skies,

    Michael Covington -- www.covingtoninnovations.com
    Author, Astrophotography for the Amateur
    and (new) How to Use a Computerized Telescope
     
    Michael A. Covington, Jun 11, 2004
    #13
  14. Go to the laundry aisle of your local supermarket, and you should find
    old fashioned paperboard boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax and Arm and Hammer
    Super Washing Soda, almost side by side. It's sold as a laundry
    additive; it increases the activity of many detergents by raising the pH
    of the wash water, and can also directly work on food oils, since
    alkaline environments encourage saponification (conversion to soap) of
    oils and fats.

    A $3 box is enough to alkalize a couple hundred batches of Caffenol.

    I've used Caffenol personally only on 35 mm Tri-X (both old TX and new
    400TX -- I see no difference, at least in this developer). I let the
    developer stand for about ten minutes after mixing is complete, in order
    to let the microbubbles from the soda float out (if suspended, they can
    deposit on the film surface and are almost impossible to dislodge with
    agitation). I then develop for 30 minutes at 72 F, compensating by five
    minutes more at 68 F -- agitation continuous first minute, then five
    inversion (about ten seconds) per minute. Yes, it's a long time to
    stand there and agitate every minute, but I haven't tested reduced
    agitation.

    You can also make a low contrast developer suitable for document films
    like Tech Pan and microfilm by halving the coffee, but keeping the soda
    the same; Kodak Imagelink HQ microfilm at EI 50 requires about 20
    minutes, Agfa Copex Rapid at EI 100 about 30 minutes; Tech Pan would
    probably take the same time as Imagelink HQ, give or take. Tonality
    with these films is similar to HC-110 Dilution G at similar times,
    shadow speed also similar; grain is invisible both ways with the
    equipment available to me, and Caffenol gives significantly better acutance.

    Oh, and for 120, you'll need a double batch of Caffenol to cover the film.

    --
    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/HomebuiltLathe.htm
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/my7x12.htm

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
     
    Donald Qualls, Jun 11, 2004
    #14
  15. I am absolutely not pulling your collective legs. I've got three rolls
    of 35 mm developed in Caffenol, and posted links in another thread a few
    days ago to a number of my photographs, developed in Caffenol, that are
    posted on photo.net -- if you go there, search for my name (Qualls), and
    look in my portfolio, most of the newer B&W images are Tri-X in
    Caffenol, and those are clearly marked as to developer.

    Folgers is the brand I implied from the "coffee crystals" in the
    original recipe (published by Roger K. Bunting in, IIRC, Photographic
    Techniques about 1996); I use Fred Meyer brand (Kroger markets probably
    carry the same stuff with a different label), which comes in a bottle
    the same shape as Folgers and has crystals identical in appearance.
    Other brands of instant coffee may require adjustment of the amount of
    coffee -- both because of varying density (more or less actual coffee in
    a teaspoon) and because of varying amounts of the developing agent(s),
    suspected to be caffeic acid and/or chlorogenic acid.

    Washing soda is available in all three of the local supermarkets I visit
    regularly (Fred Meyer, a Kroger-owned chain, Safeway, part of Von's, and
    Top Foods, a Haggen scion), in the laundry section. Recent discussions
    seem to have concluded that it's most likely the decahydrate form of
    sodium carbonate (in case you have the lab variety, you will need to
    compensate the amount if you have monohydrate or anhydrous). I haven't
    seen White King soap flakes in many years (we actually used soap flakes
    and washing soda for laundry when I was a kid, around 1970), but both
    borax and washing soda are still right there.

    --
    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/HomebuiltLathe.htm
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/my7x12.htm

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
     
    Donald Qualls, Jun 11, 2004
    #15
  16. Victor Moss

    Dan Quinn Guest

    RE: (Victor Moss) wrote
    A long shelf-life fixer is plain old unadulterated sodium
    thiosulfate. It will last years. When needed mix a spoonfull or
    two in the amount of solution called for.
    I use fixer very dilute one-shot. For Pan F 22.5 grams penta or
    15 grams anhydrous will do. Faster films will likely need a
    little more. Fresh fix each roll and no more returning
    used fix to the bottle. Dan
     
    Dan Quinn, Jun 11, 2004
    #16
  17. Victor Moss

    John McGraw Guest

    He's pulling out collective legs. No connoisseur in his right mind
    would add washing soda. Yuck! Bad Face! Shivers! Gaud, how disgusting.
    This is the cooking channel? Right?
     
    John McGraw, Jun 19, 2004
    #17
  18. Well, I'm not suggesting that you drink it -- but it won't develop film
    unless it's alkaline...

    --
    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/HomebuiltLathe.htm
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages http://silent1.home.netcom.com/my7x12.htm

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
     
    Donald Qualls, Jun 19, 2004
    #18
  19. Victor Moss

    Cam-Com Guest

    Is a stop-bath needed after cafenol? Is the fixing solution a
    traditional one?
     
    Cam-Com, Jun 20, 2004
    #19
  20. Victor Moss

    Lloyd Erlick Guest


    jun2004 from Lloyd Erlick,

    Hi, Dan. When you do that, do you also add a bit of sodium
    sulfite? Or is it useless in this context because the fixer
    will not be used long enough for it to deteriorate???

    How long would you estimate the lifespan of a
    sodium-thiosulfate-only fixer? It wouldn't be measured in
    minutes, I presume? My only concern is that I'd be preparing
    it in advance, and then making it wait for the rest of the
    process to be completed.

    regards,
    --le

    ________________________________
    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    voice: 416-686-0326
    email:
    net: www.heylloyd.com
    ________________________________
     
    Lloyd Erlick, Jun 20, 2004
    #20
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