Kodak D-23 developer

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Kathab

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Hi,
Looking through old photography articles here in the UK, I came across some pretty interesting recommendations for this old Kodak developer. I understand that it is a present day made-up developer from chemicals (which I am not into!).
Does anyone know if there is an equivalent proprietary developer still being made? I am not even sure what the constituent basics of this developer comprise.

Regards Kathab
 

Nick Zentena

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7.5grams of Metol
100 grams of Sodium Sulfite
All for 1 litre of stock developer.

Not much harder then mixing any other developer.
 
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Hi,
Looking through old photography articles here in the UK, I came across some pretty interesting recommendations for this old Kodak developer. I understand that it is a present day made-up developer from chemicals (which I am not into!).
Does anyone know if there is an equivalent proprietary developer still being made? I am not even sure what the constituent basics of this developer comprise.

Regards Kathab
Kathab, if you follow this link, you can buy a back issue of Black & White Photography magazine where D-23 along with D-76H and the Beutler High Definition Developer are compared. All of these are easy to make and you might prefer one of the others. You will need to buy the issue dated `March 2007` (Issue No.70).

http://www.thegmcgroup.com/item--Black-and-White-Photography--1003BW.html
 

gainer

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You can mix 2 level teaspoons of Metol and 4 tablespoons of sodium sulfite in a liter of water and will never know the difference. A standard teaspoon is 5 ml and a tablespoon is 15 ml, just in case we're different over here.
 

gainer

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P.S.
An old (American) recipe was 1 ounce (av) Metol and a pound of sulfite in a gallon of water.
 
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Kathab

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D-23 Developer

Thanks guys for all of your contributions, they were very helpful!

Regards, Kathab
 

PhotoJim

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An old (American) recipe was 1 ounce (av) Metol and a pound of sulfite in a gallon of water.

If you do this, just be sure to use a US gallon of water as it is a lot smaller than a standard Imperial gallon.
 

fhovie

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I was initially concerned about mixing my own chemicals at one time. I thought I would screw it up or poison myself. Now I have fresh chemistry when ever I want it and if I want to try something new, I just go for it. One thing that helped me was getting chemistry from the Formulary - all the ingredients were in seperate pouches. I was mixing my own without buying any extra. It wasn't long before I was buying a lot of plastic jars of chemicals and weighing out what I needed myself. Now use a nice scale with .02g resolution and an electronic chemical stirrer. I have a small microwave in the darkroom to warm liquids if necessary. Fear of mixing my own was completely unfounded and I am quite happy with my inventory of powders for making darkroom magic.
 

Anscojohn

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[if there is an equivalent proprietary developer still being made? I am not even sure what the constituent basics of this developer comprise.

Kathab, In my opinion, D23 is one of the best kept secrets in b/w and I used it almost exclusively for a number of reasons. Especially for 35mm with mixed contrasts on a roll, one can give full development of the weaker negs on a roll without blocking up the more contrasty scenes. The shadow and midtone separation are outstanding. Because I am very frugal (cheap) and do not like wasting water, I mix up a half gallon (av) of D23, and a quart of DK25R, the replenisher. EK says an equal amount of replenisher may be added before problems. I go with half the amount. When the replenisher is gone, I dump the D23.
Despite canards about inconsistency with replenished developers, this has never been a problem with me and D23, perhaps because of the two chemicals only. I use filtered conserved AC run off water for both and they seem to last forever.
I have never bothered with two bath development. I have notes I can post, if you wish, send a PM
Anscojohn, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
 

MikeK

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[if there is an equivalent proprietary developer still being made? I am not even sure what the constituent basics of this developer comprise.

Kathab, In my opinion, D23 is one of the best kept secrets in b/w and I used it almost exclusively for a number of reasons. Especially for 35mm with mixed contrasts on a roll, one can give full development of the weaker negs on a roll without blocking up the more contrasty scenes. The shadow and midtone separation are outstanding. Because I am very frugal (cheap) and do not like wasting water, I mix up a half gallon (av) of D23, and a quart of DK25R, the replenisher. EK says an equal amount of replenisher may be added before problems. I go with half the amount. When the replenisher is gone, I dump the D23.
Despite canards about inconsistency with replenished developers, this has never been a problem with me and D23, perhaps because of the two chemicals only. I use filtered conserved AC run off water for both and they seem to last forever.
I have never bothered with two bath development. I have notes I can post, if you wish, send a PM
Anscojohn, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

There was an interview in View Camera Magazine (early 80's) with Oliver Gagliani and he used a bath of D23 that he kept topping off forever - the sliver content of that developer in his words was very high and he used it for the physical plating effect on the negative - became somewhat self masking. Never heard of his negatives deteriorating - and I have never tried this variation of D23.

If I shoot TMX or TMY I usually develop in D23 1:1

Mike
 
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Ferrania R33

Another variant of D-23 is Ferrania R33 which uses just 5g/litre of Metol.
This formula is also used as the fore-bath in the Leitz/Stoeckler`s two-bath developer.
 

Anscojohn

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There was an interview in View Camera Magazine (early 80's) with Oliver Gagliani and he used a bath of D23 that he kept topping off forever - the sliver content of that developer in his words was very high and he used it for the physical plating effect on the negative - became somewhat self masking. Never heard of his negatives deteriorating - and I have never tried this variation of D23.

If I shoot TMX or TMY I usually develop in D23 1:1

Mike

The photochemists tell us that the metol begins to oxidize as soon as D23 is used one time. I have never had a problem. Last year, I actually found a bottle I had mixed up in 1994 which got "buried" way back under the darkroom sink. It was still clear. Just for kicks, I did acouple of tests and it seemed to be just perfect. As I said, I do not use tap water--rather filtered AC water. I do not know if that helps promote the consistency I have encountered.
Another aspect--by diluting DK25R, one has a ready made clone for Beutler's as well.

Anscojohn, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
 

Maine-iac

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You can mix 2 level teaspoons of Metol and 4 tablespoons of sodium sulfite in a liter of water and will never know the difference. A standard teaspoon is 5 ml and a tablespoon is 15 ml, just in case we're different over here.

I went back to make a reprint for a charity auction from an old 4X5 neg (FP4+) from the 80's. It's always been one of my favorite negs, and when I dug it out of its sleeve, I read the label that said I had developed it in D-23C. I haven't used that for years, but remembered my half-assed, mostly ignorant experiment adding Ascorbic Acid (Vitmain C) to D-23 to see what it would do.

The result was really beautiful negs with a faster time than D-23 alone (AA being superadditive with Metol). I may have to dig that out again and try it with some of the modern T-grain films that I use now, or it may revive my interest in FP4+. The grain was very fine, the tonal range and depth was wonderful.

I can't remember how much C I added to the D-23, but I'm sure it's written down somewhere in my box of formulas. It wasn't much--probably something like 1/2 tsp per liter.

Ah, the things we did in our misspent youth!

Larry
 

Maine-iac

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Wouldn't that sort of make it D-76 like?

Not really, but sorta. D-76 has borax as an accelerator, and the pH is considerably different from a Metol/Sulfite stand-alone mix like D-23.

By adding the Ascorbic Acid, the solution didn't become more alkaline; the AA interacts with the Metol in a superadditive fashion (Gainer, Ryuji, Dancu, et. al, will no doubt correct my chemical ignorance--I was an English major after all!).

My first experiment resulted in way overdeveloped negs, because I was still trying them at the same time as plain D-23. After some futzing around with the amount of AA and adjusting the time, I really got great negs.

Larry
 

Joe Lipka

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I loved using D-23 and used it for a number of years as my only developer. I employed the two bath version which worked quite well for pt/pd printing.

Ed Buffaloe of unblinkingeye.com and I did some articles on the variations for this developer.

Here's the link to the article. Explore the site too, it has a lot of information and links to alt process sites.

http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/DD-23/dd-23.html
 

gainer

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The sulfite in D-23 keeps the Metol products of oxidation from retarding development, apparently by forming a sulphonate. Ascorbic acid has a similar result by a different reaction. It restores the Metol while forming an acidic product. In D-23, the Metol is eventually used up, and in the ascorbic acid version the pH eventually goes too far down. In both cases, bromide accumulates which for some "seasons" the developer so that a portion of an old batch is kept when a new batch is made.

It is not easy to tell the difference sometimes between the regeneration of Metol, the modification of its oxidation products and true superadditivity. Regeneration is part of most explanations of superadditivity. If pH is kept constant and below the value where ascorbic acid is a developer, the effects on development by Metol of sulfite or a molar equivalent of ascorbic acid are indistinguishable in the short run. Then the ascorbic acid is acting more as an antioxidant than as a developing agent. It is complicated enough that it can take the fun out of picture making if you dwell on it too much.
 

dancqu

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It is not easy to tell the difference sometimes between the
regeneration of Metol, the modification of its oxidation
products and true superadditivity.

It is complicated enough that it can take the fun out of
picture making if you dwell on it too much.

And then there is selectivity. Am I the only one who has
come across that term with respect to developing agents?
Has it never been discussed? Hydroquinone is the only agent
I've encountered characterized as being selective. I suspect
some other agents are also. Metol is an example where
it displays lower EIs when used at low ph. Perhaps it's
selectivity is masked at a more usual working ph. Dan
 

efreddi

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I had some experience with D-23 1:1 in the very beginning of my B&W activity. I found that it's a nice developer for TMX, really nice: the film were with almost invisible grain and a bit soft, very nice results in portraiting. Then I gave it up because I prefer to have negs with more strength, just matter of taste.
Regs


Elia
 

steven_e007

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I also decided life was too short to get into mixing chemicals myself.

Then, one day, I ordered some paper from a well known British supplier (I won't say which one ;-)
At the time they were struggling with a very inefficient ordering system and kept screwing up mail orders. Instead of my paper I recieve a huge box with half a dozen chemicals in the bottom. I rang and complained, they apologised and sent the correct box - and told me to keep the chemicals as their value was about the same as the return cost.

So... I thought I may as well try seeing what I could do with them. It had mostly Hydroquinone, Sulphite and Carbonate so had to buy some Metol, but then had enough chemicals to mix many gallons of different developers.

I was hooked! It is really very easy to do and with just four or five chemicals you can mix a huge range of both film and paper developers and the raw chemicals keep for a very long time - in some cases indefinately.

Mixing simple stuff like D23 is no harder than mixing D-76 / ID11 or any other powder developer, plus you can mix any quantity you like and do any of the mods and variants, too.

I heartily recommend it!

But, if you are still not convinced about mixing D23, Barry Thornton in his book 'Elements' recommends using Ilford Perceptol diluted 1:3 to give a similar effect. Not the same, of course, Perceptol is a very different developer to D23 and usually relies on solvent effect to give very fine grain, but well diluted the solvent effect is reduced and you are left with the soft working aspects, thus it is in some ways similar to D23. I have used Perceptol 1:3 a lot and always found it worked well for me.


Steve
 
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Tom Hoskinson

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I also decided life was too short to get into mixing chemicals myself.

Then, one day, I ordered some paper from a well known British supplier (I won't say which one ;-)
At the time they were struggling with a very inefficient ordering system and kept screwing up mail orders. Instead of my paper I recieve a huge box with half a dozen chemicals in the bottom. I rang and complained, they apologised and sent the correct box - and told me to keep the chemicals as their value was about the same as the return cost.

So... I thought I may as well try seeing what I could do with them. It had mostly Hydroquinone, Sulphite and Carbonate so had to buy some Metol, but then had enough chemicals to mix many gallons of different developers.

I was hooked! It is really very easy to do and with just four or five chemicals you can mix a huge range of both film and paper developers and the raw chemicals keep for a very long time - in some cases indefinately.

Mixing simple stuff like D23 is no harder than mixing D-76 / ID11 or any other powder developer, plus you can mix any quantity you like and do any of the mods and variants, too.

I heartily recommend it!

But, if you are still not convinced about mixing D23, Barry Thornton in his book 'Elements' recommends using Ilford Perceptol diluted 1:3 to give a similar effect. Not the same, of course, Perceptol is a very different developer to D23 and usually relies on solvent effect to give very fine grain, but well diluted the solvent effect is reduced and you are left with the soft working aspects, thus it is in some ways similar to D23. I have used Perceptol 1:3 a lot and always found it worked well for me.


Steve

Microdol -X and Perceptol, are very similar to each other - (and to Kodak D 23 - plus some sodium chloride).

Thus: Water, Metol, Sodium Sulfite and Sodium Chloride.
 

gainer

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And let the sodium chloride not be iodized table salt. That sold for canning is usually specified as non-iodized. Iodine is a better restrainer I think than bromine. "Kosher" does not guarantee pure sodium chloride. It means that it is fit for human consumption, and I do not know what else it might be fit for, but I'm sure photography is not first in mind.
 

dancqu

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D-76 has borax as an accelerator, and the pH is considerably
different from a Metol/Sulfite stand-alone mix like D-23.

The classic D-76 has 2 grams of borax and 100 grams of sodium
sulfite. Borax has a lower ph than that of sodium sulfite. So, if ph
is the sole factor offered by borax in accelerating the metol it
is no accelerator. If anything it de-accelerates.

I'm quite sure the borax function is ph stabilization. It is known
that D-76 suffers from ph shifts as it is used and ages. Fresh the
ph of D-76 should measure slightly less than that of D-23. Dan
 
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