Edwal Ultra Black

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Flotsam

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Is anyone else using this paper developer? I'd like to compare notes.

I did some testing last night with Ilford MG RC and MG IV FB. This is just a first test with a single neg but it appeared that I could back off a half a grade over the same print souped in Dektol and still get a solid D-Max while seeing a slightly expanded range in the lighter tones. In other words, the shadows printed like a 2 1/2 while the highlights printed like a 2. I'm looking forward to trying it with a wider variety negs.

I tested using a 1:11 dilution and a 2 1/2 minute developing time at around 70ºf.
 

photomc

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Neal, I have just started testing with this paper developer myself. Also, using the 1+7 dil. with development times around 1 1/2 to 2 minutes at 70f. I really like the tones I'm getting with it so far, but have only used it on about 3 different negatives. It has all been with on Ilford MG IV RC and FB.

Some of the original prints of the same negs were done using Edwal Platinum II which I plan to use later on some Ilford WT FB (have already done some preliminary work on one negative).
 

bmac

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I used it a couple of times, really liked the look of it with Forte Polywarmtone fiber. The problem I had is that it made me really really sick. I must have been allergic to something in it. Stopped using it, have been using Ilford PQ universial ever since.
 

photomc

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Be interested to hear, I tried to use what was left over from the stock today and it had already gone bad...mixed it 1:7 and could hardly get any image at all after 3 minutes, it had been much quiker (1.5 to 2 minutes). Bottle was half full and was opened about 5 weeks ago. This would be a drawback for me, since there could be weeks between sessions.

Anyone else have these types of problems? With other paper developers - how do you work around this issue?
 

lee

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Dektol is a pretty long lived paper developer. Comes as a powder and you supply the water and elbow grease to mix it. With Edwal's you are buying their water and their mixing plus it don't last as long. A gallon of stock Dektol will last a long time mixed at 1:2 and longer if mixed 1:3. There is some talk that anything weaker will cause the dmax to not be as strong. Personally I have used Dektol 1:5 for 5 minutes and did not think the print was comprimised in any way.

I mix Defender 55 from the Darkroom Cookbook and I like it very much. I don't get the green tint with the warmtone papers that I see sometimes with Dektol. The green is removed with Selenium toner anyway.

lee\c
 

Ole

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I've been using the same batch of Ansco 130 1:1 for a month now - last I tried it was still going strong. I'll try it again in ten days time...
 

Doug Bennett

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Yup, Ole is right: if it's a long lasting working solution that you want, Ansco 130 is it. I had a batch that may have been 6 months old; looked like Coca-Cola, but worked just fine. I dumped it out because...... well, I'm not sure why; it just seemed like it must be bad.

Besides that, it's a fine developer. It is a warm tone developer, however, and does seem to get a bit warmer as the working solution ages. Some say that it produces a slightly warmer image on neutral tone papers, but if it does, I can't see it. Good stuff, and I like to support Photographers Formulary!

As to Ultra Black: tried it once, wasn't impressed. To be fair, one bottle is not a fair test, but.... I also may go weeks between printing sessions, so a long life working solution is a huge plus.
 

Cheryl Jacobs

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For what it's worth, I use Ultra Black exclusively. Love the range, love the deep blacks. I print at least every few days, so the short life isn't an issue for me, but I can see where it would be for some. I haven't found anything else that produces such rich results on warmtone paper.
 

Leon

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where can I get Ultra Black from in the uk (or a mix-it-yourself formula?). I have seen some prints recently made in it and they were gorgeous, but i have never seen the stuff on sale, or a recipe for it ....
 

Poco

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Isn't Ansco 130 the same thing as D76 with Glycin added? The formulas seem to be pretty much identical, otherwise.
 

Jim Chinn

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Poco,

If you mean Dektol, instead of D76, the only difference is Ansco 130 uses less Metol and has the Glycin added.
 

Poco

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Jim,

No WONDER I was getting crappy results!!!

...yes, I meant Dektol. :surprised:ops:
 
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Flotsam

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I did another session using Ultra Black last night with a wider variety of negs. I am trying it because I want to get more snap in my shadows without going to additional toning steps. I have to say that it gives a noticable improvement in that area. I am liking it so far.

Mike,
That is of definite interest to me. This sh...ahem...stuff is pretty expensive next to Dektol and I haven't been printing all that frequently. I gave my bottle of stock solution a poot of butane as suggested by various arsonists :smile: here on APUG to displace the air in the bottle. Hopefully this will extend it's usable life. I'll let you know how it works out.

On the topic of paper developer shelf-life: I split a gallon bag of Dektol powder into sizes to make indivdual quarts and bagged them in zip-lock bags. I was amazed at how quickly the powder discolored in these air tight bags. When mixed it is the color of strong tea. I'm going to try it again using a vacuum bagger/sealer and see if that works any better.

Cheryl,
Would you mind telling me the dilution, dev. time and paper that you are using?
 

BobF

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Flotsam - as one of the now reformed arsonist I can now recommend using dustoff or other similar products instead of butane. They seem to be absorbed into the developer but don't react with it. In other words dust off works as well as butane unless you want to light a cigarette.
 
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I saw somewhere that someone (Ctein?) compared Ultra Black and Dektol and found them equal.

Jorge O
 
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Flotsam

Flotsam

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I don't know, Jorge. I didn't do any densitometry but in my subjective observations comparing the two I'm seeing a definite difference. As I said, print the same negative a half a grade down and I see snappy shadows along with smoother mid tones.
The image even comes up in the tray differently. Too bad it would be pointless to post my test prints.
 

photomc

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Neal, please keep me posted on how the how the gas works out. I really like this stuff as well, however in all fairness, haven't tried Dektol either. One possibility I was considering, was to separate into smaller bottles with no air. The bottle I was using was one of the larger qt. bottles, which as you pointed out = this stuff ain't cheap, and was 1/2 full (or 1/2 empty for those that see things that way!!) and was opened on 11/9. Had some Ilford Universal sitting around for 6 months that held up much better.

Does anyone have any experience splitting chemicals into smaller qty's/containers? Seems like we did this quite a bit when I worked in a medical lab( you know it's funny, got out of that field because it became to automated...missed the science of the older process, kinda like darkroom work).
 
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Mike

Its considered good practice to split developers in filled to the brim smaller bottles for keeping purposes.
Use glass ones (beer?) and well capped for maximum keep.

Jorge O
 

Leon

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so no source for Edwal Ultra black in Europe or uk then?
 

photomc

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Jorge O, thanks for the input - thought that was correct, but could not find the reference - then thought it was something I dreamed up. I would guess glass over plastic because it is not as permeable?
 

photomc

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Update from session using Edwal Ultra Black today. Started a darkroom session and printed a few 8x10's then took a break and started up again developer went south after about 4 hours in the tray and around 8-10 8x10's. Have some Dektol that I plan to use after I use up the current bottle of UB, should be in a week or so. Forgot to mention, dil. was 1+10 (or 1:11).
 
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