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Old 12th January 2020, 08:58 AM
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Default What DIY paper developer for long tray life ?

Hello all, what paper developers can I make at home that have a long working life? I am happy with Ilford PQ with Ilford RC Multigrade Papers but I would like to make my own developer. Please describe if your home made developer gives neutral, cool or warm tones or if the formula can be modified to give warmer/cooler tones.
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Old 12th January 2020, 09:52 AM
Lostlabours Lostlabours is offline
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Make ID-62 which is essentially similar to PQ Universal, instead of using the published formula mix it as a concentrate, see the link.

I use ID-78 in the same way it's the warm-tone variant originally sld in powder form. It's very close to Ilford Warmtone developer, I've been mixing this for years as a concentrate.

Ian
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Old 12th January 2020, 10:14 AM
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Thank you Ian that is just what I have been looking for.
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Old 12th January 2020, 11:56 AM
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Interesting that the ID-62 formula for the concentrated stock solution, varies both in amounts and chemicals used, when compared to the straight concentrate. But if it works, who is to complain?

I used to make all my own developers at the end of the 1970's when I was a teenager and just starting out, as there was only a very limited and costly range available locally.

Most recently, I have dipped my toe in again, with the first print developer made up being Kodak D72. I especially liked the way the formula has been offered in a 'teaspoon formula', so no scales are even required.

https://www.afterness.com/kod_d72.html

I've only used it once so far, in an open tray (as I usually use a Nova slot processor, which I will be trying it in next) so don't know its what its working life is, past an hour, which I did.

One thing that I noted though, was that it gave consistent results over an hour, even though the original temperature had dropped from 20C to about 15C, with the prints given the same time in the developer throughout the printing session.

I highly recommend it after using it and it will be interesting to see how it holds out in longer sessions. On top of that, it's quick and easy to make, so it's well worth a try, especially if you have the basic chemicals to hand already!

Terry S
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Old 12th January 2020, 01:02 PM
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If you calculate what's in a litre of working solution there's no difference between the published formula and the concentrated version.

The concentrate version is based on Ilford data in Patents, there's no variation in the ratios of the chemicals relative to each other except the substitution of Potassium Carbonate and Sodium Hydroxide for the Sodium Carbonate. This is because of the poorer solubility of Sodium Carbonate.which hinders increased concentration.

The concentrated version has a longer shelf life which is useful and takes the same time to mix, less storage space etc. PQ developers have a better shelf and tray life than MQ.

Ian
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Old 12th January 2020, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry S View Post
Interesting that the ID-62 formula for the concentrated stock solution, varies both in amounts and chemicals used, when compared to the straight concentrate. But if it works, who is to complain?

I used to make all my own developers at the end of the 1970's when I was a teenager and just starting out, as there was only a very limited and costly range available locally.

Most recently, I have dipped my toe in again, with the first print developer made up being Kodak D72. I especially liked the way the formula has been offered in a 'teaspoon formula', so no scales are even required.

https://www.afterness.com/kod_d72.html

I've only used it once so far, in an open tray (as I usually use a Nova slot processor, which I will be trying it in next) so don't know its what its working life is, past an hour, which I did.

One thing that I noted though, was that it gave consistent results over an hour, even though the original temperature had dropped from 20C to about 15C, with the prints given the same time in the developer throughout the printing session.

I highly recommend it after using it and it will be interesting to see how it holds out in longer sessions. On top of that, it's quick and easy to make, so it's well worth a try, especially if you have the basic chemicals to hand already!

Terry S
I have found this formula on the net giving the sod. Sulphite as 45g desiccated your ref. Shows sod. Sulphite 45g anhydrous which is correct?
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Old 12th January 2020, 02:03 PM
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I have found this formula on the net giving the sod. Sulphite as 45g desiccated your ref. Shows sod. Sulphite 45g anhydrous which is correct?
Anhydrous is the dame as Dessicated.

Ian
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Old 12th January 2020, 03:07 PM
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There was a developer sold under the Photospeed name that was reputed to have a longer life than a PQ developer or Ilford Multigrade. It is of the type used by a minilab with adequate replenishment which might suit your task.

I used it in a NOVA processor and it was still active after 2 weeks then suddenly overnight it went dark brown. I don't know if it is still available but if you speak to the likes of AG Photographic or Firstcall they may be able to throw more light on the working life.

I have just had a look on the Firscall site and I think the developer I was thinking about was:- Fotospeed PD5 Universal Paper Developer

Last edited by John King; 12th January 2020 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 12th January 2020, 03:42 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John King View Post
There was a developer sold under the Photospeed name that was reputed to have a longer life than a PQ developer or Ilford Multigrade. It is of the type used by a minilab with adequate replenishment which might suit your task.

I used it in a NOVA processor and it was still active after 2 weeks then suddenly overnight it went dark brown.
Personally John, if ilford's MG developer in my Nova processor only lasted 2 weeks, then I'd be quite miffed!

I have used Ilford's multigrade developer in my Nova for years now, diluted at 1+9 and replenishing as required.

I'm what one might call 'an occasional printer' and I manage to get into the darkroom every two to three weeks for a session, on average. Sometimes half an hour, sometimes up to three hours.

Now the Nova is a godsend, as startup and cleanup at the end of a session is minimal, so I am able to do the rather short sessions when limited for time, but want to get into the darkroom.

And this is where Ilford's MG dev comes into its own. I would say that I change it for totally new fresh every two to three MONTHS. As I've said I do the replenishment as required, but I can definitely not see any drop of quality from my chemicals, even after these lengths of time.

When the dev starts to change colour and the tones in a regular test strip start to end in a grey tone and not a good black, is the time I change the solution.

The throughput in the fixer is kept on a white board and that is changed way before the amount that Ilford say can be put through a litre for example.

Terry S
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Old 12th January 2020, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry S View Post
Personally John, if ilford's MG developer in my Nova processor only lasted 2 weeks, then I'd be quite miffed!

Terry S
I was not MG developer I used in the NOVA, but the Fotospeed one that is designed for use in a minilab.

I was warned by Ilford themselves that the MG (at the time) was not designed to be used in a deep tank or other replenishment system. I asked around and was pointed to the Fotospeed chemical I have referred to. This was several years ago and have never used it again. My tried and test way is in a dish and that's the way I will continue. A darkroom worker has far more control with forcing development in lighter areas or restraining it if it becomes to active in the shadows. With a deep tank this is impossible.
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