Sodium Ascorbate

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by ATIPPETT, Jul 10, 2003.


    ATIPPETT Guest

    I have come across references to adding Sodium Ascrobate to film developer.
    Can some one give me some idea on just what results from this addition?

    Alan Tippett
    San Jose, CA
    ATIPPETT, Jul 10, 2003
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  2. I haven't tried a Google search but think it would find
    quite a lot. Search both the web and the
    Ascorbic acid or Sodium ascorbate (they are not the same)
    is a developing agent. In some ways it acts similarly to
    Hydroquinone, that is it forms superadditive combinations
    with other developers, particularly Metol and Phenidone.
    Ascorbic acid or Sodium ascorbate is much less toxic than
    Hydroquinone and has been used to replace it in some
    developers. It can not be directly substituted for
    Hydroquinone but the formulas are rather similar. Several
    developers use combinations of Ascorbic acid with other
    agents. Xtol employs it with a form of Phenidone, Ilford
    Ilfosol-S combines it with Metol.
    Properly formulated ascorbic acid developers, especially
    those which combine it with some form of Phenidone, appear
    to have some advantages in speed and fine grain qualities.
    One drawback of Ascorbic acid is that it is sensitive to
    free iron. When developers using it are mixed with water
    with excessive Iron it can result in short life and sudden
    failure of the developer. This problem has been reported as
    happening with both Xtol and Ilfosol. Keeping this in mind
    Ascorbic acid is not a magic developer.
    There are those who recommend adding Ascorbic Acid to
    Rodinal but I've never tried this personally.
    Ascorbic acid has been known as a reducing agent
    (developer) for many decades but until the last decade or so
    its use was confined to experimental rather than practical
    Its relative environmental friendliness has made it
    popular in recent times.
    Richard Knoppow, Jul 10, 2003
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  3. Your film will not be as likely to get scurvey.
    Jean-David Beyer, Jul 10, 2003

    Paul Butzi Guest

    When I process 35mm film, it often curls when it drys. My diagnosis
    was rickets, but adding vitamin D to the developer did not help.
    Should I have added it at some other point in the process (say, as a
    final soak?)

    Paul Butzi, Jul 10, 2003
  5. Actually, breaking open a Vitamin E capsule and rubbing on the oil as
    the water dries off is the best way to keep the skin of the film supple.

    Francis A. Miniter
    Francis A. Miniter, Jul 10, 2003
  6. Best to stay away from that whole vitamin ricket -- only after your
    money, don't you know.

    Just expose your film to more sunshine and it will be fine.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jul 10, 2003
  7. Well, Vitamin D is fat soluble, so you might be better off doing it in a
    developer such as D-8 which is highly alkalyne and might dissolve it
    better than a weak base such as Xtol or something like that. But since
    few photo baths are fatty, it is probably best to buy film with the
    vitamin D incorporated in the emulsion.
    Jean-David Beyer, Jul 11, 2003

    Jorge Omar Guest

    I've added SA to HC-110.
    There is undoubtedly an increase of activity - one can use 50% less
    HC-110 soup to develop a roll of film in the same time or shorter
    times for the same dillution and contrast.

    But I cannot state this improves HC-110 (grain, acutance, etc), since
    I have not tested it enough; first impression is no.

    Jorge Omar, Jul 11, 2003
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