Time to break the drought...

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Donald Qualls

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As some here might know, it's been a while since I've been able to get into my darkroom -- one thing and another, not really pandemic related, but just that my spare time keeps evaporating.

It's been even longer since I've mixed developer other than by opening a commercially packed bag or bags and pouring the contents into water. I've had many good results back a few years with home-mixed Parodinal, Caffenol variants, and D-23. One exception, I did mix a single tank quantity of Borax-Accelerated D-23, with added benzotriazole, to develop a roll of Verichrome found in a Vest Pocket Kodak (film surely exposed before 1960) -- but I haven't scratch-mixed developers intended to keep longer than same-weekend since I was pushed out of my old darkroom around 2008.

Today, I started to break that drought; I mixed 250 ml of Parodinal concentrate. I used my newly acquired borosilicate beaker set (the 400 ml was conveniently sized) as a mixing vessel, my new Kitchen Tour coffee brewing scale to weigh the ingredients, and a single serving glass bottle upcycled from an 8-pack of club soda as the storage bottle.

I do need to find a better way to hold chemicals on the scale than coffee filters; the sodium hydroxide likes to stick to the paper (fortunately, loss of a tenth of a gram or so isn't a big deal in Parodinal). I hope, tomorrow, to mix up five liters of EcoPro and maybe get time to mix two liters of D-23 and half a liter of DK-25R.
 

Bwbuff

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As some here might know, it's been a while since I've been able to get into my darkroom -- one thing and another, not really pandemic related, but just that my spare time keeps evaporating.

It's been even longer since I've mixed developer other than by opening a commercially packed bag or bags and pouring the contents into water. I've had many good results back a few years with home-mixed Parodinal, Caffenol variants, and D-23. One exception, I did mix a single tank quantity of Borax-Accelerated D-23, with added benzotriazole, to develop a roll of Verichrome found in a Vest Pocket Kodak (film surely exposed before 1960) -- but I haven't scratch-mixed developers intended to keep longer than same-weekend since I was pushed out of my old darkroom around 2008.

Today, I started to break that drought; I mixed 250 ml of Parodinal concentrate. I used my newly acquired borosilicate beaker set (the 400 ml was conveniently sized) as a mixing vessel, my new Kitchen Tour coffee brewing scale to weigh the ingredients, and a single serving glass bottle upcycled from an 8-pack of club soda as the storage bottle.

I do need to find a better way to hold chemicals on the scale than coffee filters; the sodium hydroxide likes to stick to the paper (fortunately, loss of a tenth of a gram or so isn't a big deal in Parodinal). I hope, tomorrow, to mix up five liters of EcoPro and maybe get time to mix two liters of D-23 and half a liter of DK-25R.

Try parchment paper, hope it helps.
 

ags2mikon

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I go into the kitchen when mommy is gone and pinch off a few feet of parchment paper. From there I go into the darkroom and cut it into squares. Works great.
 

redbandit

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As some here might know, it's been a while since I've been able to get into my darkroom -- one thing and another, not really pandemic related, but just that my spare time keeps evaporating.

It's been even longer since I've mixed developer other than by opening a commercially packed bag or bags and pouring the contents into water. I've had many good results back a few years with home-mixed Parodinal, Caffenol variants, and D-23. One exception, I did mix a single tank quantity of Borax-Accelerated D-23, with added benzotriazole, to develop a roll of Verichrome found in a Vest Pocket Kodak (film surely exposed before 1960) -- but I haven't scratch-mixed developers intended to keep longer than same-weekend since I was pushed out of my old darkroom around 2008.

Today, I started to break that drought; I mixed 250 ml of Parodinal concentrate. I used my newly acquired borosilicate beaker set (the 400 ml was conveniently sized) as a mixing vessel, my new Kitchen Tour coffee brewing scale to weigh the ingredients, and a single serving glass bottle upcycled from an 8-pack of club soda as the storage bottle.

I do need to find a better way to hold chemicals on the scale than coffee filters; the sodium hydroxide likes to stick to the paper (fortunately, loss of a tenth of a gram or so isn't a big deal in Parodinal). I hope, tomorrow, to mix up five liters of EcoPro and maybe get time to mix two liters of D-23 and half a liter of DK-25R.

its very easy to get into a drought, very easy, but hard to get out.

Just a warning for the ECO PRO, if your using that powdered xtol replacement, be very careful with the part b bag. mine, of recent manufacture, was a brick that needed alot of boiling water to dissolve.
 

MTGseattle

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Is photographer's formulary still the go-to for ingredients, or have other sources emerged?
 

Vaughn

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For scale work...I use paper or plastic drinking cups, or the papers that go into muffin tins before you pour in the batter.

But if the amounts are small, how about shot glasses?
 

relistan

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Awesome @Donald Qualls ! Glad you got the time and got started.

I use thrift shop shot glasses on the scale (I think they were under $1 each). Barely any issues with chemicals sticking, they are reusable, and they can hold a fair bit of material. They are pretty light and well within the range of weight the scale can handle.

In use thrift shop metal baby spoons for loading them with powdered chems.
 
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Donald Qualls

Donald Qualls

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I like the shot glass suggestion, with the small change that I have a stack of "teen kegger" red plastic cups in the pantry, similar to what @Vaughn uses. I measured 200 g of sodium sulfite today (for 2 L of D-23 stock); that chemical is fairly dense so it's not a lot of volume, but it was a pretty good size pile on the filter none the less.

I need to get some plastic scoops, too, to use getting powders out of zipper bags (used a 35 mm film can yesterday and today, but that's awkward).

The only chemical I've seen sticking so far is sodium hydroxide, and I don't need that often (only in Parodinal and for the sodium metaborate in-solution production with borax), so a couple of the red cups should last a long time -- and they're big enough to hold that 200 g of sodium sulfite for when I need to mix a fresh batch of D-23.

Is photographer's formulary still the go-to for ingredients, or have other sources emerged?

There's also Artcraft. Also, some of the Formulary offerings can be found on Freestyle or B&H web stores, which helps costs by allowing combining shipping with an order for film, enlarging paper, or commercial chemicals. Or there's Amazon -- over the last couple years I got my current 10 lb bag of sodium sulfite, my small jar of sodium hydroxide (drain opening lye), a bottle of 75% acetic acid, one of 12% hydrogen peroxide, and a quart bottle of propylene glycol through Amazon (various actual sellers, but all the search in one place and very quick shipping). I get borax and sodium carbonate at the grocery store (laundry aisle, 20 Mule Team and Arm & Hammer brands respectively -- used to get Red Devil lye there, too, but last I looked it wasn't there), and of course instant coffee. Vitamin C in tablets can be had there, but I've got ascorbic acid that came from a health supplement store, and sodium ascorbate that I found at Amazon.
 

MTGseattle

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Thank you Donald. That's another advantage of big city living I guess. I can think of 1 local place that keeps some of the "classic" cleaners and such on the shelf.
 

MTGseattle

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Also, food service industry has a huge variety of small containers that could work for portioning of the components. Stainless 2 ounce "sauce cups," melamine mini bowls, all sorts of crap.
 

redbandit

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i believe most states, maybe the federal government stopped the sale of red devil sodium hodroxide on the store shelf maybe 11 years ago.

its a main component for people making Meth at home.
 
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Donald Qualls

Donald Qualls

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I can think of 1 local place that keeps some of the "classic" cleaners and such on the shelf.

When I was in Seattle, I got laundry aisle chemicals at QFC and Fred Meyer, as well as the lye. Of course, that was twenty years ago; there were still at least a couple photography stores open that had commercial developers and a few basic chemicals in stock.
 

mshchem

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Pharmacy should have dose cups, probably would give you a few, maybe. My wife and I fight over the little plastic cups that we get hummus in. These make great weigh boats.

Fancy weighing funnel, cheap knockoffs are available on Ebay, these are useful for small quantities.

F24439_p.eps-650.jpg
 

mshchem

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Speaking of droughts, I am trying to get back in the dry mount and mat groove again. I have prints from 30 years ago, hanging on the wall. I haven't mounted a print in 10 years. I have a nice modest press that I have used a lot and a huge one I got for the hauling that I've never used.

I need to get busy making up developer too. I want to try D96 with some of the Double X.
 
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Donald Qualls

Donald Qualls

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the little plastic cups that we get hummus in.

Oh, nice. My partner has a bunch of those, bought for something related to the reef aquariums. I'll make off with half a dozen, more compact in the darkroom than the big red cups and they should be big enough to hold 100 g of sulfite, at least.

I was going to order in a few plastic scoops like the ones in the Raisin Bran ads from the "two scoops of raisins" era to use for getting powders out of bags, those dose cups would be cool, but I don't need the pass-through handle.
 

mshchem

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Oh, nice. My partner has a bunch of those, bought for something related to the reef aquariums. I'll make off with half a dozen, more compact in the darkroom than the big red cups and they should be big enough to hold 100 g of sulfite, at least.

I was going to order in a few plastic scoops like the ones in the Raisin Bran ads from the "two scoops of raisins" era to use for getting powders out of bags, those dose cups would be cool, but I don't need the pass-through handle.

I have a couple of the scoops like you mention. They work great for weighing sulfite, hypo crystals etc. There's a lab tool that is referred to as a Scoopula, a cross between a spatula and a scoop.
These days there's treasure in trash, detergent scoops, all kinds of single use plastic that will serve well, and it's FREE!
Happy weighing 😊
 

Tim Stapp

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"I don't need the pass-through handle."

Possible to add a dowel rod to act as a handle and block the pass through handle?
 
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Donald Qualls

Donald Qualls

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@relistan While this is true, my beaker set will take on that task. And unless the chemicals involve strong acids or bases, or solvents like acetone (unlikely, other than sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid) the little sample cups or 35 mm film cans can do the job as well.

I do need to stop by the Big Box store and get a can of root killer for drains -- that's pure copper sulfate. In an acidic solution, that makes the first step of a two-step bleach I want to try (copper sulfate followed by ammonium hydroxide is supposed to dissolve image silver without affecting undeveloped silver bromide and iodide). The bleach is less toxic than dichromate and won't soften gelatin like permanganate.
 

relistan

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@relistan While this is true, my beaker set will take on that task. And unless the chemicals involve strong acids or bases, or solvents like acetone (unlikely, other than sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid) the little sample cups or 35 mm film cans can do the job as well.
Just a recommendation, obviously do as you like. But it's hard to do an experiment with 20ml of solution in a beaker.

I do need to stop by the Big Box store and get a can of root killer for drains -- that's pure copper sulfate. In an acidic solution, that makes the first step of a two-step bleach I want to try (copper sulfate followed by ammonium hydroxide is supposed to dissolve image silver without affecting undeveloped silver bromide and iodide). The bleach is less toxic than dichromate and won't soften gelatin like permanganate.

Yes, I tried this bleach and it works well. @Raghu Kuvempunagar has used it a lot, to good advantage. There were concerns voiced on that thread about explosive material building up if you were to run a lot of films through the same ammonia solution without replacing it. I imagine that takes a fair bit of film. Otherwise it's good.
 
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Donald Qualls

Donald Qualls

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But it's hard to do an experiment with 20ml of solution in a beaker.

Less hard if it's a 50 ml beaker, though -- and that's in the "film can" class anyway.
 
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Donald Qualls

Donald Qualls

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Today I developed with developer mixed last weekend. Specifically, I had a roll of .EDU Ultra 400 (= Fomapan 400) that's been sitting in the tank since it came loose from the cassette spool at the end of the roll in my Kiev 2 a couple months ago. I mixed Parodinal at 1:50 -- 6 ml concentrate in 300 ml of working solution -- and developed for 16:30 (=> 15:00 due to warm darkroom) with agitation first 30 seconds, then five inversions ever third minute. One minute in indicator stop bath, and my timer app crashed between the second and third agitation of what was to be 4:00 in rapid fixer (not critical, clearing time tested before starting was around one minute).

Negatives look normal; fog in the rebates is quite visible, but I never got Parodinal to produce low fog. I'm also pleased to note that exposure looks consistent and frame spacing, while not perfect, shows no large gaps or overlaps (this is the first Kiev 35 mm I've managed to acquire with both shutter and film advance working well).

It'll still be a while before I can post scans, as my desktop computer (the one that can run Vuescan) is still waiting on a motherboard coming from China.

As with California, one storm doesn't break the drought -- but it's a start.
 
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