Microdol-x / D-25

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Jennifer

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May 23, 2004
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4x5 Format
Hi,
I read with great interest the Microdol-X like formula in the chem recipes.
Anyone use it, and does it "really" work like the real thing from Kodak ?.
D-25...I read it may cause staining, and dichroic fog. Anyone have used it ?.
My film is TXP 320 4x5

On the above mentioned developers, does anyone using them at 1:2 and 1:3
have a suggested, "I know this could vary" time at 68f/20c for "N" development. I would be using a jobo 2500 tank with sheet film reel "Inversion". I know, I know it takes less rotary, but I read a lot of people are using them like this with good results.

Thanks for looking,
Jennifer
 

fschifano

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Jennifer:

Don't know since I use neither D-23 nor Microdol-X, nor the homebrew version of Microdol-X. But I have to ask why would you even consider it. A 4x5 negative is very big and needs very little enlargement to get even 20x24 inch prints. Grain is simply not an issue, so why bother with the hassles of using something like Microdol-X, which will cost you a stop of speed, when something like D-76 will work exceptionally well?
 

tbm

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I process Delta 100 35mm film in Microdol-X diluted 1:3 at 75 degrees for 17 minutes and end up with gorgeous negatives every time. Highly recommended!
 

J. Smith

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Jennifer My films of choice are pan-f plus in medium format and efke 100 in 5x7. My developer of choice is microdol-x 1:3 .I combine inversion with stand dev.and my prints just glow. With efke the temp. is 70, pre soak 2 min., develope with a 5 sec. agitaion then stand for 5 min., 5 sec. agitation per min for 14 min.,then stand for 10 more min.This may seem strange but when printing I usually get what I want out of a #2 filter.The 14 min. time is a 10 % + or - reduction from the recommended time for this temp.
 

J. Smith

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This is from a efke pl100 2x3 neg. (cut film) developed as I said above.The scan is from a 8x10 Ilford multigrade IV print. (Hmmm hope the attatched file comes through)
 

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lee

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Jennifer,

I am a big proponent of Microdol-x in largeformat. I am a proponent of metaborate as a second part of the development also. Basically, I prewet the film for 2 minutes and then into the Microdol-x for 80% of the normal time and then into a 2% solution of Metaborate for 4 minutes. Then off to the fixer. Be sure to give the film about one more stop of exposure to support the shadows. This will help you deal with reciprocity failure but the down-side is you tend to lose another stop of film speed. This process will help when you need a N- type of developmet also.

lee\c
 

Peter Schrager

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efke an mx1:3

Jsmith-do you do multiple sheets when you do stand development?

Peter
 

J. Smith

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Peter,I have done it with trays with mixed results ( one neg. had a line and notch from the neg. sitting on top of it ) . I now use hangers and some tanks that I built to do up to six sheets at a time. John
 

Peter Schrager

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Thanks

Thank John-I gave up hangers and tanks a long time ago but I'm cetainly intrieged by your method and the pic you posted certainly looked great. Thanks for sharing; maybe I'll find myself a cheap tank on epay. I've wanted to try Efke100 for a long time but have not been overwhelmed by the posts that I see.
Strange thing about M/X;used it when I first learned photography over 30 years ago.Always thought it made the worst negs. Recently been using it for Delta 400@1:3.
Regards Peter
 

J. Smith

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Peter , Thanks for the kind words on the pic. My tanks were made from some sheets of acrylic from the hardware store and glued together with silicone .I made five of them for about 25$.It's hard to set a timer for the times I use so I recorded a countdown of minutes on my computer then burned it to CD. So now I can listen to myself drinking coffee and knocking the mike over everytime I develope film. John
 

Nick Zentena

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I use D-23 not D-25 but they're kissing cousins. I can't see how you'd get stain from either. Fog? Not sure about that either. The two are pretty close to D-76. Not exactly but they aren't anything too unusual.
 

gainer

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Nick Zentena said:
I use D-23 not D-25 but they're kissing cousins. I can't see how you'd get stain from either. Fog? Not sure about that either. The two are pretty close to D-76. Not exactly but they aren't anything too unusual.
The stain from D-25 IIRC is due to dichroic fog, which is a problem with some modern films in developers containing ammonium or other thiocyanate. It is due to replating of dissolved silver, I believe. OTH, Imay be thinking of DK-20.

I think modern Microdol-X contains sodium chloride as a halide solvent. You should be able to come pretty close to its properties by adding 50 grams or so of canning (non-iodized) salt or pure sodium chloride per liter of D-25.
 

Tom Hoskinson

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gainer said:
The stain from D-25 IIRC is due to dichroic fog, which is a problem with some modern films in developers containing ammonium or other thiocyanate. It is due to replating of dissolved silver, I believe. OTH, Imay be thinking of DK-20.

I think modern Microdol-X contains sodium chloride as a halide solvent. You should be able to come pretty close to its properties by adding 50 grams or so of canning (non-iodized) salt or pure sodium chloride per liter of D-25.

Yes Pat, I think you had DK-20 in mind. DK-20 contains potassium thiocyanate.

The silver solvent in D-23, D-25 and Microdol-X is sodium sulfite. It is conceivable that these developers (used undiluted and possibly reused, especially with high speed films) could become contaminated with collodial silver and might cause dichroic fog problems.

I've personally never seen a dichroic fog problem with these developers, but I've always used them as one-shot developers diluted 1:3.

The current Kodak Microdol-X Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), lists the developer's ingredients as Metol, Sodium Sulfite, Boric Anhydride (i.e. Boric Acid), Sodium Chloride and Sodium Hexametaphosphate (Calgon).

Is there a minute quantity (below the 1% MSDS radar screen) of pixie dust in the current Microdol-X mix that Kodak hasn't listed?? I doubt it, but If properly motivated I could take a look with a mass spectrometer.
 

gainer

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Yes, I looked it up after I posted. The major difference between D-23 and D-25 seems to be some bisulfite in the D-25 which reduces pH, probably to give the sulfite longer to work as a solvent.
 

Peter Schrager

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Chemicals

Mr. Noise-why don't you open up th e yellow pages and look under chemical wholesalers. I buy my stuff locally. No shipping charge and it's way cheaper than the Formulary. You live in Cali. I'm sure you can find someone close to you.
Regards Peter
 
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Jennifer

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May 23, 2004
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4x5 Format
Hi,
Well many responses. Heres a question...Kodak says (1) ltr of working developer will develop (2) rolls/160 sq in film. Thats (8) 4x5 sheets. My tank takes 1500ml, but only holds (6) sheets. 1:3 (1)ltr contains 250ml of stock.
I wonder if a 1:4 dilution could be done, as there would be 300ml of stock and only (6)sheets. Any thoughts on this ?.

Still looking for TXP 4x5 users with aprox time for "n" development.

Thanks much,

Jennifer

P.S mail order chemicals try TECHCHEM
They have a web site and
are real good to deal with.
 

J. Smith

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Large Format
Jennifer, Just for fun I developed Two sheets of 2x3 efke pl-100 in 500 ml. of microdol-x 1+5. It was a stand development for 70 min. One neg. was of a high contrast scene and came out fairly dense and the other was low contrast and came out a bit thin . I never printed them but they both would have printed well I think. All I can say is experiment with some of the film that you use but in a smaller format with a smaller tank and work up from there.
 

fhovie

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Since I started using Mytol (XTOL homebrew) I no longer use Microdol X - Mytol gives full film speed and easily as fine grain. Also - ascorbate is easier on the skin and the chimicals are not expensive.
 
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Jennifer

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May 23, 2004
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Shooter
4x5 Format
Hi,
Well there is some hope to more than 1:3 . I'll have to give it a go. I can't try a smaller format tho, 4x5 is all I have :smile:

Jennifer


Next time at your local photo place...ask if they have digital film developer...
 

J. Smith

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Nov 27, 2004
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Large Format
Jennifer, Just a thought. If you have access to a 120 tank and ss. reel you can cut a exposed pc. of 4x5 film down to 2 3/16 x 3 3/16 ( maybe longer ) then 'stand' it in the reel ( 2 3/16 will be small enough to fit inside the reel without winding, 3 3/16 is long enough to keep it from falling over once inside the tank. To cut the film just make a template from cardboard that a pair of scissors can follow in the dark " watch those fingers!". This might save you some film and chemicals and you can match your dev. technics to your big tank.
 

Nick Zentena

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Jennifer said:
Hi,
Well many responses. Heres a question...Kodak says (1) ltr of working developer will develop (2) rolls/160 sq in film. Thats (8) 4x5 sheets.

Which formula is this? Kodak numbers seem to stay on the safe side of things. You might want to compare Ilfords numbers for ID-11 and Kodaks for D-76. It's widely believed that the two developers are the same.

For D-23 I use 25ml of stock per 4x5 sheet. D-25 should be safe at that level to. With the developer then made up to 1:3
 

aldevo

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Yup - there is magic pixie dust in Microdol-X in the form of a benzophone compund that acts as an anti-silvering agent. This is designed to suppress some of the solvent action that would otherwise cost you even more film speed and possibly induce dichroic fog.
 

Tom Stanworth

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fschifano said:
Jennifer:

Don't know since I use neither D-23 nor Microdol-X, nor the homebrew version of Microdol-X. But I have to ask why would you even consider it. A 4x5 negative is very big and needs very little enlargement to get even 20x24 inch prints. Grain is simply not an issue, so why bother with the hassles of using something like Microdol-X, which will cost you a stop of speed, when something like D-76 will work exceptionally well?

I can think why. Grain is a personal thing. Personally, I find the grain from 400 speed films such as HP5 in ID11 right on the border of acceptability (for me ) at 16x20 enlargement from 5x4, esp if the subject has lots of smooth sky tones etc. I have also found that films with crisp grains structures can handle solvent devs like perceptol really well, in that you get a good reduction of grain, yet still have resonable acutance. In some respects this is preferable to, for example a slower T grain film in an acutance developer, which has a very different look. If I was committed to a 400 film, becasue of its 'look', a solvent dev would be my first call for those big enlargements, where grain had to be as discreet as possible. I tend to either like no grain or obvious crisp grain. I often dont like that inbetween speckle...

Tom
 
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