i want infectious development - homebrew newbie

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Hello,

I'm a homebrew newbie just starting to poke around with the nuts and bolts. I haven't got a real photo chemistry starter kit put together yet, so I'd like to modify some existing developers rather than start from scratch.

Can I modify a normal paper developer (in my case Sprint Quicksilver, a pyrazolidone-hydroquinone based developer) to cause infectious development? As it is, this is a normal, tame developer with a combination of restrainers, etc. If I add a serious activator like lye or washing soda to give the developer activity a kick, will this get me any closer to infectious development qualities? How much should I add?

I've also got XTOL and Rodinal. Any way to modify these for infectious development? I'd be using them for paper this way, not film.

I got interested in this whole "infectious development" thing while reading about lith printing. I'll eventually check out and mix some of the real lith formulas, but I'm trying to see what I can do with what I've got.

Thanks!
 

Mateo

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Have a look here: http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/LithDev/lithdev.html

You'll notice that most of the formulae include formaldehyde. I've got some nasty stuff in my darkroom but that one I stay away from. Kodad Kodalith Super RT shows up on ebay all the time and the bags in my cupboard are about 10 yrs old and still do just fine. And I should mention that I can smell formaldehyde in that stuff but it's already in the mix.
 

Nick Zentena

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I've been using Kodak D-9. OTOH I haven't gotten very far-) It's only Sodium Bisulite,hydroquine,Pot. Bromide and Sodium hydroxide. I think the Bisulfite in part A is only to keep the solution acidic before you combine the parts. So you you mix it up and combine it right away then I wonder if you can avoid the bisulfite. That's only three chemicals. Two pretty common in any darkroom.

On the issue of formlahdye. It's been used by C-41 workers for years. I'm thinking if the 15 year olds that run some of those labs can handle it safely.

OTOH Why is in the formulas? Just for hardening? Doesn't sound like it would really be needed for paper developer. I let the chemist discuss if it can be left out with no harm.
 

Bob Carnie

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Hi Jarred

I just ran out of champion nova lith which I use for infectious development,
Page 154 Creative Elements by Eddie Ephraums has a formula which I have just tried, not too bad, not the same as Champions , it recommends dilution 1-4 , I think 1-7 is better.
the link that Mateo gave you to unblinking eye is formidable and I am going to try each one of them.
If anyone can give me the breakdown of Champion Nova Lith A-B I would be greatful as this developer works very well for my needs. Trying to buy it out of the UK is now unpractical.
I was told to order 10 cases at $198.00 Canadian (for 5 litre contaners) to get a shipment to Canada. Adding shipping fee's, brokerage fees makes this a $2000.00 plus order. Mixing my own now is the prefered method.
The funny thing about this is Champions headquarters is in Missisauga Ont, not 20 min drive from my shop , I bought this product years ago in 20 litre containers for $114 Canadian. Its wonderful how progress has made our lives so much easier.
 
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Nick Zentena said:
On the issue of formlahdye. It's been used by C-41 workers for years. I'm thinking if the 15 year olds that run some of those labs can handle it safely.

OTOH Why is in the formulas? Just for hardening? Doesn't sound like it would really be needed for paper developer. I let the chemist discuss if it can be left out with no harm.

Well, I spent until the wee hours of the morning researching on the web and getting a photo chemical primer from The Darkroom Cookbook which I bought yesterday. Infectious development is the thing that makes lith printing lith printing. A search for "infectious development" in the google newsgroups will find several good posts by Richard Knoppow explaining the mechanics of this. If you should happen to read this, Richard, thank you.

The basics as I understand them: Metol and phenol developers have reduction products that act as restrainers. These aren't useful for infectious development, however hydroquanine has reduction products that act as accelerants. Therefore, development begets development. In a normal developer, sodium sulfite is used to keep this in check. Sodium sulfite prevents the formation or possibly converts some of these reduction products so you don't get the accelerant. However, when you dilute a developer, the developing properties begin to outrun the sodium sulfite, hence you are more likely to get edge effects (a form of infectious development).

So, generally (but not always) a lith type developer is low in sodium sulfite, uses hydroquanine as the primary development agent, and uses a powerful accelerator like sodium hydroxide. Where the heck does formaldehyde come into play? Somewhere (sorry, I don't remember where) I read that the formaldehyde variants in these developers actually react with sodium sulfite to create--you guessed it--sodium hydroxide. So formaldehyde gobbles up a bunch of sodium sulfite to make a low sodium sulfite developer, and at the same time adds a powerful accelerator, sodium hydroxide. I read 2 g/liter or less of sodium sulfite is the goal. I think that statement out of context is pretty useless, though, because of working dilution/stock solution confusion. BTW, acetone can be used in place of formaldehyde. Don't ask me about the replacement quantities--I don't know, but I do know that 82.5 ml of acetone can be used to replace 37.5 g of paraformaldehyde from a note in the fine print of the D-85 recipe at http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Lith/lith.html. Potassium bromide serves as a restrainer. This controls fog and I believe in concentrated solutions like were intended for film it might inhibit some of the infectious development. But, again, I think dilution helps to facilitate the infectious development qualities.

I read last night that you in fact can get some lith qualities by adding sodium hydroxide to a normal MQ/PQ developer and diluting. From my understanding of things, I would bet you can get infectious development started this way, but the M/P component of these developers will probably reduce contrast and may change the behavior of highlights. Also, a normal paper developer has a bunch of sodium sulfite. Simple sodium hydroxide won't help this, but adding formaldehyde or acetone might gobble up the sodium sulfite. I'll be experimenting soon and I'll get back to you. ;-)
 

Ole

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As far as I know acetone - or other ketones/aldehydes - have two functions in lith developers: They are strongly alkaline, so act as added alkali. They also act as hardener, which is a good thing with the high pH of lith developers. There used to be developers where acetone was the only alkali!
I think most of the recipes were made for lith film, which certainly needs hardener. For lith printing we dilute the developers to the point where I believe the acetone has no effect at all.

So if somebody wants to experiment, try any recipe from unblinkingeye or Tim's book, leaving out the acetone. If it doesn't work, add it and let me know; then we'll both have learned something :D
 

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Mark
I have two books by Tim Rudman, toning and Master Printing Course. Don,t see any A B developers in either. Maybe you could lead me in the right direction??
 

DKT

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formaldehyde---I think if I had the choice to mix up a lith developer, I'd leave it out. It's a no brainer actually--it's nasty crap. I've worked in labs with it in the stabilizer, and was glad when Kodak reformulated it out of E6 stabilizer and into the pre-bleach instead. The hazard communication plans for workplace safety with stabilizer etc, is pretty intense. There's a lab in the system I work for, that had an E6 Stabilizer spill that required a Hazmat cleanup crew, and wound up costing a couple of thousand of bucks before it was all said & done....I used alot of Kodalith A/B when we had our stat camera and even under a vent hood, the stuff could be bothersome. There was just something about it--very similar to E6 color dev. B--even under the right ventilation and all that, it's just nasty stuff.

I have lith printed with Kodalith A/B though, diluted way down and it works pretty good. If you can find the old liquid Kodalith A/B----I suggest checking out surplus lots--the liquid stuff lasts forever as the stock concentrate.
 

dancqu

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Very good. For more information search Google Groups for, hydroquinone
semiquinone quinone. Dan
 

Nick Zentena

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I asked on the Alt mailing list about formaldehyde. If I'm understanding right it binds up most of the sulfite but leaves enough free to protect the developer from going off too quickly. OTOH it seems you can leave it out and just use much less sulfite.

The idea of using acetone instead was brought up but was challenged. I'll leave that to the people that understand chemistry.
 

dancqu

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Nick Zentena said:
I asked on the Alt mailing list about formaldehyde. If I'm understanding right it binds up most of the sulfite but leaves enough free to protect the developer from going off too quickly. OTOH it seems you can leave it out and just use much less sulfite.

That's all true. See my first post this thread dealing with hydorquinone
semiquinone and quinone.

Several months ago I compounded a lith developer with no intention
of doing so. I was experimenting with a hydroquinone print developer.
I let the paper develop eight minutes and while doing so I saw that
development was progressing in an unusuall way. WOW, LOOK AT
THAT! That print is being LITH processed!

Just to be sure I had reinvented lith printing, I gave what was available
on the WWW some carefull reading. I put several more prints through
to further assure myself.

I had glanced at some published lith formulas and had no intention
of compounding any. I have found since two or three published
formulas which contain no formaldehyde and work
with S. carbonate. Dan
 
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dancqu--out of curiosity, how did you stumble into making a lith developer--what was your approximate formula?

The reason I'm asking is I'm looking for simple ways to get a lith type developer for lith printing. I haven't yet done the experimenting that I should, but currently I'm thinking that if you add acetone/formaldehyde to a normal MQ/PQ developer, you should get the "infectious development" quality. I'm also considering extremely simple developer possibilities such as ascorbic acid plus an accelerator like sodium hydroxide. This should exhibit infectious development, but I don't know if it will need a restrainer (unfortunately I have yet to buy potassium bromide).

Additionally--it would be good to know many different ways to get infectious development for different qualities. I only know about hydroquinone (or the replacement, ascorbic acid) giving infectious development. Are there any other reducing agents that do this?
 

dancqu

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jarred_mccaffrey said:
dancqu--out of curiosity, how did you stumble into making a lith developer--what was your approximate formula?

The reason I'm asking is I'm looking for simple ways to get a lith type developer for lith printing. I haven't yet done the experimenting that I should, but currently I'm thinking that if you add acetone/formaldehyde to a normal MQ/PQ developer, you should get the "infectious development" quality. I'm also considering extremely simple developer possibilities such as ascorbic acid plus an accelerator like sodium hydroxide. This should exhibit infectious development, but I don't know if it will need a restrainer (unfortunately I have yet to buy potassium bromide).

I did not "stumble". I experiment. One of my hydroquinone concoctions,
I later confirmed, was indeed a lith developer.

Wall's Normal Hydroquinone. Search for that on Google. I,ve just now found
that formula in a listing of lith formulas at that site. Perhaps a few have
used it. Keep in mind that when it is used for prints it is much diluted.
Given it's composition I'd think it would be used one-shot for paper.

M/Q and P/Q lith developers should likely be made by working
backwards; start with a lith developer such as Wall's and add
M or Q. I have it in mind to do just that.

I've never heard of anything but hydroquinone suggested for lith
developing. I do not think there is any other chemical which will
exhibit the 'lith' result. Be sure to read the material at Google
Groups which I mentioned in an earlier post. Dan
 

ggriffi

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Bob, I think here is where you want to look. I too, thought it was in the "Printers" book.

Dead Link Removed

g


Bob Carnie said:
Mark
I have two books by Tim Rudman, toning and Master Printing Course. Don,t see any A B developers in either. Maybe you could lead me in the right direction??
 

Gerald Koch

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Ole said:
As far as I know acetone - or other ketones/aldehydes - have two functions in lith developers: They are strongly alkaline, so act as added alkali.
By themselves acetone and aldehydes are not strongly alkaline. However these chemicals do react with sulfite ion to to generate hydroxide ions which are alkaline in sufficient quantities.

The second function and is to keep the concentration of sulfite ion very low in the developer, not to harden the emulsion. Infectious development can only occur under such a condition. The sulfite - acetone addition product acts as a reservoir for sulfite ions supplying more as they are used up while maintaining their actual concentration low.

Lith developers are intended for high contrast and usually contain only hydroquinone as the developing agent. The presence of another agent like Phenidone will actually lower the contrast. It is better to either use a commercial lith developer or mix one from scratch rather than try to adapt something else.

BTW, someone recently used the term "infectious development" incorrectly on APUG implying that it was a way to increase film sensitivity. THIS IS NOT CORRECT. I pointed out the mistake on the thread but by then it was too late. Sadly what appears on the web becomes gospel no matter whether it is correct or not.
 
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