Advice on my Two Bath Developer

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relistan

relistan

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@gorbas these are quite interesting results from your testing with the BTTB developer. Very good to know what your bath B is doing here as well. I had no issues with my 2B-1 developer and carryover (PQ developer), even when I tested with by adding 20ml to the bath B, with only a few films. But I suspect that every two bath will eventually have a build-up problem in B. @Alan Johnson that is interesting that if used infrequently enough that all the developing agents in B will oxidize. I guess if it's your main developer, though, this is not going to happen. Thanks for sharing your results, Goran!

As regarding my 2B-6 concentrate experiment... that was a flop. First, when I went to use it today, there was definitely some sulfite floating around in the concentrate. It was stored at about 16C and I think the temperature change was enough to cause some precipitation. I filtered 30ml of it and made up a 300ml bath A from that, leaving some air in the concentrate bottle, but capped. I tested that bath A with a little snipped of film and it did not develop well at all. I then looked back at the concentrate and quite a lot of sulfite was sitting on the bottom of the bottle now! I think because there was some air space in the bottle, it changed the dynamics somehow and let it precipitate out. I should have checked the pH of the Bath A but I didn't at that time. Instead, because I didn't quite believe my result with the clip of film, I shot a couple of frames and attempted to develop them... and got almost blank film and a thin leader.

Theory: having SO much sulfite and metabisulfite in the concentrate introduced many more impurities than the small amount of sulfite I was using before. And at the same time I used only 2ml of HEDP instead of 5ml, when maybe I needed even more. I believe the Fenton reaction got my concentrate. And it got it fast... in a week.

Lesson Learned: Having a concentrate so close to the max solubility point is not workable. First it sucked to get it all dissolved, but then it way too easily precipitates back out. Any temperature drop is also problematic. Not doing that again :smile:

I instead have made up a concentrate in propylene glycol that contains just the developing agents in the ratio that I like. This will enable testing various formulas without having to measure out and mess with measuring more phenidone and ensures that this ratio is the same all the time.
 
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Definitely, using just A or B leads to some loss of speed, but it's not bad at all. Will try this approach with developing a bit contrasty ORWO DP-31 double positive film.

Part A of BT2B is a developer by itself, similar to Kodak D-23. It can give good results if the development time is appropriately increased. Five minutes is too short and hence the underdevelopment you noticed.

Part B is nothing but a diluted version of this developer with a higher PH. If you dilute BT2B Part A 1+9 and add Metaborate to it, it should work as a high definition developer like Beutler provided the development time is adjusted.
 
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Mixing A and B in batches of 2 or 3 liters will be ideal for me, if T2B is my main developer. That way I can use it with 5 reels tank. What also surprised me is how "muddy" bath A was after 8 rolls? It left nice layer of fine gray deposits on filter paper. It was also hard to clean walls of glass bottle from deposits from Bath B. Maybe I need better brush?
So far I used T2B with Kentmere 100, Ilford Pan F, Fuji Acros and Kodak Verichrome (expired in 1969) and Plus X and I'm happy with results.

Hi Goran,

I like your idea of mixing A and B in batches of 2/3 liters as it will go a long way in countering carryover.

The grey deposit you are seeing in Part A could be silver dissolved by the sulphite in Part A. This is a common phenomenon in any multiple-use developer that has high sulphite content.

Metaborate solutions do leave deposits on the walls of glass bottles which is very difficult to clean. But they seem to be benign and as long as you continue to use the bottle to store only metaborate solutions, it should be fine, I think.
 
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This is sort of a side development of this two bath experimentation that I thought is worth sharing.

This mix of ascorbic acid and phenidone used like PC-Glycol in a one bath, works great with just borax! I never had good luck with borax with PC-Glycol. But at this ratio the results are very nice and it's a fast developer with pretty reasonable grain in the test images I ran in it.

This is Fotoimpex CHM 100 (Kentmere) at box speed for 7 mins @20C. It's a little dense, I think 6.5 or 6 mins might be better. But the rendering is very nice IMO and the grain is pretty smooth.

ChamonixAndClock.jpg
 

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Since that's one of my pages, please note that most of the data comes from a Jobo doing rotational agitation with T2B.
 
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gorbas

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That was easy! Thank you Karl! Now my excuses become much thinner! Any recommendation what recipe to try first? This morning I mixed new batch of B for T2B. It's usually time to mix A too but...
Will keep used and "seasoned" B, for a few more tests.
So far, I can not see parts of A being just neutralised in B after "some time". I was not using T2B every day but more like a week apart. Maybe B needs to be much stronger for that to happen?
 
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That was easy! Thank you Karl! Now my excuses become much thinner!

Haha, no problem!

Any recommendation what recipe to try first?

It sounds like the only two bath that we have strong evidence is working well with Phenidone and Ascorbic acid is Relayer's two bath (which he called Diafine-C). I have not tried it, but @Alan Johnson has. https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/diafine-revisited-ascorbate-version.78123/ If you wanted to try one that has a good chance of results, it sounds like that is the one to try.

This morning I mixed new batch of B for T2B. It's usually time to mix A too but...
Will keep used and "seasoned" B, for a few more tests.
So far, I can not see parts of A being just neutralised in B after "some time". I was not using T2B every day but more like a week apart. Maybe B needs to be much stronger for that to happen?

Yes, I think some residual carryover effect will happen in that two bath as well. I bet you can get a few films out of B before it gets too out of hand. Of all the two baths I have messed with, Diafine has some amazing ability to re-use bath B for a long time, at least in my experience. I am not sure what was done to make that possible. The bath B from my 2B-1 (the first one on this thread) has done about 4 rolls and seems to be fine with carryover.

An interesting experiment might be to add 1g of ascorbic acid and 2g of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the T2B bath A. You might get away with a straight borax bath B like that. Of course without a chelating agent in A it might not last long.
 
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I decided to compare my previous attempt at a two bath concentrate to FX-55 which is a 2-part concentrate single bath developer. It appears to me that if we allow development in A (the plan) then massively reducing the sulfite in A will still produce a nice developer. I will attempt to make something more like FX-55 but with the ratios of developing agents that I have been using. Interestingly, because of the way FX-55 is structured, I think my glycol-based concentrate I made up might work pretty well for this. As usual with this well-plowed territory it seems there are no totally new ideas :smile: So in this scenario, A is made up of two separate concentrates and B is just Borax.
 
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Once again I find myself exhuming the cold dead corpse of a topic that has been mercifully bereft of life for the last eight years, and I feel obliged to begin my comment with an apology for said unfortunate fact, so here goes: pray pardon the necrophilia. And now for the actual issue at hand.

I am planning to cautiously join the ranks of the mix-your-own-developer crowd. I would ideally like to reconstruct the Agfa CNS chemistry to do something about those Agfacolor rolls occupying half the bottom shelf of my fridge, but that's irrelevant to this comment—a project for the distant future once I've got the basics down pat.

Thus, I intend to begin with Thornton's 2-bath, and the crux of the matter is as follows: I can source all the ingredients locally, and cheaply enough. The only thing I'm uncertain about is that the original recipe for Bath B calls for sodium metaborate, and the closest the reagent shop has on offer is sodium perborate-4-hydrate. Would that do the trick as a substitute, and, if so, would I have to modify the amount? The original recipe calls for 12 g for Bath B.
 

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In order to make 1.0g sodium metaborate tetrahydrate, mix 0.692g borax and 0.145g sodium hydroxide. When dissolved in water, these two make solutions of identical composition.

If accurate measurement is doubtful, I suggest erring on slightly insufficient sodium hydroxide so that you would have a mixture of sodium metaborate and a little borax. Borax alone could be used as a Bath_B but it's not as alkaline.
 
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A small update here. I had a bottle of 2B-4 bath A that I mixed April 11, 2021 sitting on the shelf. It was stored in a PET bottle with almost no air in it, in a brown shopping bag, on a shelf where the room is lit by weak sunlight. pH was 6.8 when stored. My meter is broken now so can't tell now, but looks similar on paper test strip.

There were what appears to be crystals or mould spoors in the liquid. I thought at first it was phenidone crystals and I attempted to crush them, but they were mushy under the stirrer, and did not go back into solution, so guessing mould.

However, the developer was still able to darken down film, albeit more slowly. As you can see the bottle is still clear, not yellowed. It was more weakly able to develop film, so some loss definitely has occurred.

This is interesting, I am posting only because it might be interesting to attempt to preserve an ascorbic acid developer in acidic conditions, probably a little more acidic than 2B-4.

Repeating here the formula for this A bath for purposes of clarity about what was bottled.

2B-4 Bath A:
  • Water — 700ml
  • Sodium sulfite — 35g
  • Phenidone — 0.5g
  • Ascorbic acid — 12g
  • Potassium Bromide — 0.2g
  • HEDP/Etidronic Acid ("Fotoplex 2") — 5ml
  • Water to 1L
 

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This is interesting, I am posting only because it might be interesting to attempt to preserve an ascorbic acid developer in acidic conditions, probably a little more acidic than 2B-4.

That of course is a time-honored method for preserving two-part developers.
However, I remember reading that the acidic environment is not effective for preserving ascorbate developers. Maybe it was a Ryuji Suzuki article. I'll have a look at my downloaded articles, maybe there's something there.
 

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There are some comments here:

 
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That of course is a time-honored method for preserving two-part developers.
However, I remember reading that the acidic environment is not effective for preserving ascorbate developers. Maybe it was a Ryuji Suzuki article. I'll have a look at my downloaded articles, maybe there's something there.

Thanks, yes, though acidic first baths in a two bath developers don’t work very well in general. (Actually Ryuji mentioned that in your link). The only reason 2B-4 worked was because of the carryover 20ml of bath A. Which also ruins bath B as discussed earlier in this thread.

Anyway, I thought that this was interesting in the context that 2B-4 is an ascorbic acid developer and being acidic has somewhat preserved it over nearly two years. With tap water. I did use etidronic acid but that’s not even very effective with ascorbic acid. So I think there might be something more to it. At least it’s a data point that may be of future note.
 
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Thanks, yes, though acidic first baths in a two bath developers don’t work very well in general. (Actually Ryuji mentioned that in your link). The only reason 2B-4 worked was because of the carryover 20ml of bath A. Which also ruins bath B as discussed earlier in this thread.

Anyway, I thought that this was interesting in the context that 2B-4 is an ascorbic acid developer and being acidic has somewhat preserved it over nearly two years. With tap water. I did use etidronic acid but that’s not even very effective with ascorbic acid. So I think there might be something more to it. At least it’s a data point that may be of future note.

Using tap water and only HEDPA as a chelating agent will give you a white flocculant precipitate that kinda looks like biological growth. HEDPA freaks out around calcium ions and forms insoluble complexes. That's why in every color developer where it's included, it is usually done alongside DTPA, NTA, or some aminopolycarboxylic derivative like AMTP.
 
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