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Mix Your Own Darkroom Chemicals from Popular Photography September 1981
Mix Your Own Darkroom Chemicals from Popular Photography September 1981
MYO Darkroom Chemicals
Published by yuneeks
12th June 2015
Default Mix Your Own Darkroom Chemicals from Popular Photography September 1981

Here's another article I dug up while browsing old photography magazines in Google Books. I am posting the original source at the bottom, and the recipes before that, for educational purposes only.

Six useful formulas
Formula books usually give quantities to make one liter of any solution; but one liter is seldom the amount a photographer wants to have on hand. I’ve translated these formulas into the quantities I normally mix for use, figuring that if they’re convenient amount for me, they may also be for you.
It’s tedious and unnecessary to spell out everything in full detail at every mention, so these formulas are written in short form. Here’s a list of the terms used and what they stand for:
Metol is the same as Kodak Elon.
Sulfite is sodium sulfite, anhydrous (or dessicated).
Carbonate is sodium carbonate, monohydrated.
Bromide is potassium bromide, anhydrous.
Hypo is sodium thiosulfate, pentahydrated (or prismatic).
Alum is potassium alum.
WTM means, add enough cold water to bring the solution up to the volume given.
g means grams.
ml means milliliters (equal to cc or cubic centimeters), 1,000 ml = 1,000 cc = one liter.

Kodak D-72 paper developer
D-72 is the father of Kodak’s standard ready-mixed paper developer, Dektol. Of the two, I slightly prefer D-72; it seems to last longer in the bottle and the tray. The formula I use is an old one; the D-72 now published by Kodak uses more carbonate and bromide than this one. Since the old form works beautifully, I see no need to change it.

To make 4 liters of D-72
Water, 50 C/125 F = 3 liters
Metol = 12 g
Sulfite = 180 g
Hydroquinone = 50 g
Carbonate = 270 g
Bromide = 7 ½ g
WTM = 4 liters
For use, dilute 1 + 2 (one part stock developer plus two parts water); normal development time for prints, two to five minutes.

Ansco 120 paper developer
This is a splendid, low-contrast print developer. It’s “soft” because it only has metol – no hydroquinone. On many enlarging papers it yields prints about one grade softer than D-72 or Dektol. It can be mixed with D-72 or Dektol to get a developer of intermediate contrast.

To make 4 liters of Ansco 120
Water, 50 C/125 F = 3 liters
Metol = 50 g
Sulfite = 150 g
Carbonate = 150 g
Bromide = 7 ½ g
WTM = 4 liters

For use, dilute 1 + 2; normal development for prints, two to five minutes.

Kodak stop bath SB-1
This is all the stop bath most photographers need. For simpler measurement, I’ve rounded Kodak’s 48 ml of acetic acid per liter of water to 50 ml. Mix it in the tank or tray just before use: it only takes a few seconds.

To make 2, 100 ml of SB-1 stop bath
Water = 2 liters
Acetic acid 28 percent = 100 ml

To make less or more, just halve or double these amounts. 2, 100 ml is enough stop bath for about 40 8 x 10 in. prints or rolls of 120 or 35-mm film.
To use, drain the film or print for the last 10 seconds of development time, then put it in the stop bath for five to 30 seconds with agitation. Drain again before putting the film or print in the fixer. Use the stop bath for one work session and discard.
To make 28-percent acetic acid from glacial acetic acid, add three parts of glacial acetic acid to eight parts of water. Handle with care in well ventilated space; glacial acetic acid can cause severe skin burns and gives off powerful, choking fumes.
There is a safety rule for diluting strong acids: never add water to acid, because the violent reaction that follows can splash acid in your face; always add acid to water.

Kodak F-6 acid hardening fixer
This nearly odorless variation on the Kodak F-5 formula washes out fiber-base prints more readily than F-5 or it’s premixed equivalent, Kodak Fixer. That’s why I use F-6 for my regular print fixer.
I use it as a two-bath fixer – four liters per bath – so it’s convenient to mix F-6 eight liters at a time.

To make 8 liters of F-6 fixer
Water, 50 C/125 F = 6 liters
Hypo = 2 liters by volume
Sulfite = 120 g
Acetic acid 28 percent = 380 ml
Sodium metaborate = 120 g
Alum = 120 g
WTM = 8 liters

Use the fixer in two stages. Three to five minutes in “hypo one” removes most of the unused silver salts, and three to five minutes in “hypo two” finishes the job and makes the hypo-silver complexes in the paper soluble so they can be washed out. Two-bath fixing greatly extends fixer life.
Capacity, 100 8x10-in. prints per four liter bath. After 100 8x10s, discard “hypo one” and use the ex-“hypo two” as “hypo one” for the next 100 8x10s, along with the brand-new “hypo two.”

A Kodak research washing-aid
From the 1956 research paper by J. I. Crabtree and R. W. Henn, this formula has since been published by Dignan Photographic, and also by Zone V, Inc., by whose permission I use it here. I’ve converted it to four liters and to standard mixing procedure. Apparently, this formula is similar to Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent; the same treatment times are suggested.

To make ½ liter HT-2 residual hypo test
Water = 375 ml
Silver nitrate = 3.25 g
WTM = 500 ml

To use: Film: after fixing, rinse for one minute, then treat in washing aid for one minute. Prints: after fixing, rinse one minute, then treat in washing aid for three minutes. (Based on general experience with washing aids, I suggest increasing these rinse and treatment times by two to five times.) Four liters of washing-aid should treat up to 100 8x10 prints if they have been well rinsed first.

Kodak HT-2 residual hypo test
This is published as a one-liter formula, but no one normally needs that much HT-2, so I’ve cut the amounts in half. This should be enough for years.

To make 4 liters of washing aid
Water = 3 liters
Sodium sulfite = 80 g
Sodium bisulfite = 8 g
WTM = 4 liters

Put a small amount in a small brown glass bottle with a dropper cap, and keep the rest refrigerated for future reference. You only need one drop per hypo test.
To use: Fix an unexposed sheet of paper along with your prints, and put it through the washing aid and into the wash along with the prints.
When you think the prints might be washed – say, after 30 minutes – cut a small sample from this test sheet and put the rest back in the wash.
Blot surface water drops off the emulsion side of the sample and put one drop of HT-2 solution on it. Do this in subdued light – avoid strong light. After two minutes, blot off the drop and inspect the sample.
A brown or yellow stain means that the wash is far from complete and the paper still contains much too much hypo. A pale beige stain means you’re getting somewhere but haven’t arrived yet. When there is no stain at all, or the faintest visible stain, the wash is “fair” and may be good: then wash the prints for another half hour for luck.
This does not guarantee “archival” prints: silver nitrate won’t register small quantities of hypo and other chemicals which can, in time, cause stains and fading. It means that you’ve made a good try. (We do not yet have either an archival standard for prints or a critical test that can assure us of a complete wash.)

"Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm. (DA, THHGTTG)
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