MIXING MICRODOL-X

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Joseph

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I would like to mix Microdol-X from scratch. Has anyone had experiences doing this that they can share?

Steve Anchell's books suggest the following fromula:
1. 750 ml Water at 125 F
2. 5 grams Metol
3. 100 grams Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous
4. 30 grams Sodium Chloride
5. Cold water to make 1 liter

Will this formula match Kodak's packaged Microdol-X?
Thanks, Joseph
 

Dean Williams

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I tried this formula once, and I didn't find that it performed the same as the real thing. Using this formula, the grain is larger than with real Microdol-X. Using the same times as for the Kodak product produced good negs, just not what I expected. This formula is very much like D23 with some salt added. Might as well just use D23 IMO.
See what others have to say, and then decide.
Dean
 

Tom Hoskinson

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Joseph said:
I would like to mix Microdol-X from scratch. Has anyone had experiences doing this that they can share?

Steve Anchell's books suggest the following fromula:
1. 750 ml Water at 125 F
2. 5 grams Metol
3. 100 grams Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous
4. 30 grams Sodium Chloride
5. Cold water to make 1 liter

Will this formula match Kodak's packaged Microdol-X?
Thanks, Joseph


This formulation is substantially different than the one I published in the Apug Chemistry section (with a modification suggested by Patrick Gainer):

"Here is Ronald W. Anderson's Microdol-X substitute formula. This formula was published in the 1973 Dignan Photographic Newsletter.

Microdol-X Substitute

Water-----------------------750. ml
Metol-------------------------7.5 grams
Sodium Sulfite (anhy)--------100 grams
Sodium Bisulfite----------------7.5 grams
Water to make---------------1.0 liter

This formula works fine with the normal developing times given for Microdol-X (both use 1:3 dilution). The results: The same, even to image tone.


Pat Gainer suggests that adding 30 to 50 grams of canning salt or iodine free table salt to this recipe may result in a reduction in granularity without significantly increasing development time.

(there was a url link here which no longer exists) "


Note the increase in the amount of Metol and the addition of 7.5 grams of Sodium Bisulfite which distinguish this formulation from Kodak D23.

This formulation is basically Kodak D-25 with iodine free salt added.
 

tbm

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I use Microdol-X diluted 1:3 almost always pursuant to page 70 of [/I]The Film Developing Cookbook as well as a pro Leica shooter who also does the same and I get amazing tonality and sharpness on every occasion! I love Microdol!
 
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Joseph

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Soium Chloride?

Tom: I had read the APUG Mic-X formula.

1. How is Sodium Chloride (30 grams) different from Sodium Bisulfite
(7.5 grams) for one liter of Mic-X?

2. Does one liter require 7.5 grams of Metol or does 5 grams work OK?

Thanks fo your info.
 
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Joseph said:
I would like to mix Microdol-X from scratch. Has anyone had experiences doing this that they can share?

Steve Anchell's books suggest the following fromula:
1. 750 ml Water at 125 F
2. 5 grams Metol
3. 100 grams Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous
4. 30 grams Sodium Chloride
5. Cold water to make 1 liter

Will this formula match Kodak's packaged Microdol-X?
Thanks, Joseph

I'm currently testing a similar formula (5g Metol, 100g Sulfite, 33g NaCl, 1g Boric acid to 1l solution). First tests with APX100 (11:00min 1+3, 24deg, rotation) gave an CI of 0.64, excellent sharpness and the finest grain I ever had with APX100. I can't compare with Microdol-X, I never tried the stuff. Speed is about 40 ASA, I rate the APX100 64 ASA with D76H 1+1 with a similar CI.

Martin
 

Tom Hoskinson

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Joseph said:
Tom: I had read the APUG Mic-X formula.

1. How is Sodium Chloride (30 grams) different from Sodium Bisulfite
(7.5 grams) for one liter of Mic-X?

2. Does one liter require 7.5 grams of Metol or does 5 grams work OK?

Thanks fo your info.

Joseph, you asked:

1. How is Sodium Chloride (30 grams) different from Sodium Bisulfite
(7.5 grams) for one liter of Mic-X?

Sodium Chloride apparently acts as a weak restrainer in the Gainer version of the formulation. Again, it must be straight sodium chloride - no iodine.

Sodium Bisulfite acts as a developer preservative. It also acts as a pH buffer in combination with the sodium sulfite.

2. Does one liter require 7.5 grams of Metol or does 5 grams work OK?

The Kodak D23 and D25 formulations published by Morgan and Morgan in the 1977 Edition of The Compact Photo Lab Index, both call out 7.5 grams of Metol for 1 liter of stock solution developer.

Either of these developers can be diluted 1:1 or 1:3 to make a one-shot working developer (as can the official Kodak version of Microdol-X).

I have always used all three of these developers as 1:3 one-shot dilutions (the equivalent of 2.5 grams/liter of Metol) with good results.

With regard to diluting the 5 gram version 1:1 or 1:3, try it and see if it works for you.
 

psvensson

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I thought a silver sequestrant was necessary if you add NaCl to the developer? I believe I've read that the "X" in Microdol-X refers to that secret ingredient. I certainly got dichroic fog when I added salt to a phenidone/ascorbic developer.
 

Tom Hoskinson

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I see nothing to indicate that a silver sequestrant is necessary when you add NaCl to this metol/sulfite formulation. Phenidone/ascorbic is a different animal.

Perhaps Pat Gainer will chime in on this.
 

Tom Hoskinson

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I forgot to mention, someone ran an FTIR Spectroscopic analysis on Microdol X and posted the results. The constituent ingredients were the same as Kodak D25 plus NaCl and Calgon.
 

mobtown_4x5

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I was told you can tweak the formula- more salt= more "fine grain" (grain dissovling) effect... can anyone confirm this...
 

gainer

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The NaCl is a very weak restrainer. Its main use in fine grain developers is as a silver halide solvent. Remember, the first fixer for photo emulsions was brine. You don't want iodized salt because iodine is a stronger restrainer than bromine IIRC. You may be able to find the article "Salt to Taste" in the Photo Techniques back issues at www.phototechmag.com.
 

skahde

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There seem to be more Microdol-(X) substitutes out there than you can shake a stick at.

All approaches seem to take something like D23 (with more or less Metol) and to either add a restrainer (i.e. solvent action NaCl, KBr) or lower the pH (add bisulfite, boric acid or the alike) and thereby increase time of development and in turn solvent action of the sulfite or just do both. Besides the exact quantities used all aproaches seem to be pretty similar.

The formula quoted by Anchel and Troop may not be identical to Microdol-X but there has been information dripping out of Ilford indicating that the formula is darn close if not identical to Perceptol. In my view it can be seen as the the basic approach to the problem.

Stefan
 

psvensson

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Tom Hoskinson said:
I see nothing to indicate that a silver sequestrant is necessary when you add NaCl to this metol/sulfite formulation. Phenidone/ascorbic is a different animal.


From a post by Richard Knoppow on http://www.binbooks.com/books/photo/i/l/5DDE6AE25C

Reportedly, Microdol-X contains a similar
sequestering agent for silver although it doesn't show up on the MSDS.
It may be either non-hazardous or present in too small an amount to
require inclusion in the MSDS. The story I was told is that this
substance is the difference between Microdol-X and the old Microdol.
The purpose here being to eliminate dichroic fog, which is a very thin
deposit of very finely devided silver (colloidal silver) on the
surface of the film.
 

psvensson

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I wonder if the Calgon is the silver sequestrant Knoppow is referring to. I got some interesting results when I added kosher salt to a Gainer-type brew of phendione, ascorbic acid and carbonate. The grains were small and very well defined little dots. Didn't look like a sulfite-free developer or a sulfite developer. Unfortunately, results were inconsistent and I had dichroic fog, so I abandoned the formula. But Calgon is readily available, so it's worth a shot.
 

Ian Grant

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Joseph said:
Tom: I had read the APUG Mic-X formula.

1. How is Sodium Chloride (30 grams) different from Sodium Bisulfite
(7.5 grams) for one liter of Mic-X?

2. Does one liter require 7.5 grams of Metol or does 5 grams work OK?

Thanks fo your info.

I Know this is an old thread but as it's just been linked to:

The Sodium Chloride is added as a mild silver solvent. Many years ago Iford published a leaflet suggesting adding Ammonium Chloride to certain of their developers to obtain finer grain but at the expense of a speed loss. It was published in:
ILFORD TECHNICAL INFORMATION SHEET P10
FINE GRAIN DEVELOPMENT

It's the same principal as the addition of additional Bromide to a warm tone print developers is to reduce the grain size in the print.

You can see that the amount of Sodium Chloride is high at 30gms per litre but it probably has a less side affects with regard to loss of shadow details etc.
 
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psvensson

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Now that it's back from the dead, I might as well chime in that I've been experimenting some with a developer that has a lot of sodium chloride and no sulfite. It needs Calgon to prevent dichroic fog. I'll post more details when I've tried it a bit more.
 

Ian Grant

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psvensson said:
Now that it's back from the dead, I might as well chime in that I've been experimenting some with a developer that has a lot of sodium chloride and no sulfite. It needs Calgon to prevent dichroic fog. I'll post more details when I've tried it a bit more.

Stick as much calgon in as you like it's not really the answer to dichroic fog.
 

psvensson

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Then why do I get dichroic fog with no Calgon, a little bit with 1 ml of Calgon, and none with 2 ml of Calgon? Done this a number of times. Have you tried?
 
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