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ShannonG
16-Feb-2015, 20:13
Hi maybe I'm going about this the wrong way, and I am aware of replenisher (which I don't have right now). But i do have Metol crystals. I understand that Dektol is Metol dev. Can one just add a measurement of water and Metol mixture to the existing mix of Dektol? Or can one dissolve Metol crystals into a mix of h20 and Dektol. (mine are always 1:2 for my 11X14 trays that's 500ml of stock dektol to 1000ml of h2o)

1-a -So can I add metol crystals to my 1:2 mix or does the metol need to be dissolved in h2o first?
1-b- how many grams of crystals to the mix?
1-b-how many grams to how many ml of h2o to be added to my 1:2 mix?
2-or should I just dump it and make new dektol?
3-should I just buy replenisher?

I have a lot of Metol laying around and am just wondering if i can use it in this way. I'm not proficient in making my own dev yet although I do have all the chemistry and the book The photographers cook book. So eventually I'll be making the whole Dev. from scratch, but not there yet.
I hope this all makes sense, thanks for any help.
S

ic-racer
16-Feb-2015, 20:18
I just throw it out when it goes bad.

Oren Grad
16-Feb-2015, 20:50
this: 2-or should I just dump it and make new dektol?

Doremus Scudder
17-Feb-2015, 05:06
First, you should be aware that Dektol has two developing agents: Metol and hydroquinone (sometimes abbreviated "MQ"). Metol alone makes a softer-working print developer. You can't just replenish Dektol by adding Metol. Dektol replenisher has other chemicals (bromide, sulfite and another developing agent) in it besides Metol.

Second, unless you are printing lots of prints day-in and day-out, it is almost always more economical to use Dektol "one-session." Mix what you need from the stock for one session and discard it after use. If you cover your tray, you may be able to get two days out of your working solution, if you haven't used it to capacity the first day and if you've protected it well from oxidation. Usually, however, one day/session is the rule.

Kodak's conservative capacity recommendations for a working solution of Dektol (1+2 dilution) is 32 8x10 sheets per quart (liter). That's about one ounce of working solution per 8x10 print. You can use this as a basis for figuring out how much to mix for a given session so you don't waste developer. Many find Dektol's capacity higher, but for best results, and since Dektol is inexpensive, err on the side of conservatism. Developer is a lot cheaper than paper.

If you want to use your Metol, you can make a softer-working developer from it. FWIW, I use graded papers and often use Dektol or a similar "normal-contrast" developer in tandem with a softer-working developer to achieve intermediate contrast grades (not so important if you use VC paper).

A formula would be:

Kodak D-165 (Ilford ID-3)
Water 125 F (52 C) 750 ml
Elon (Metol) 6 g
Sodium Sulfite Anhydrous 25 g
Sodium Carbonate Anhydrous 37 g
Potassium Bromide 1 g
Cool water to make 1 liter

Dilute 1:1 for somewhat low contrast and 1:2 for "soft" images.

Note that you still need a preservative (sodium sulfite) an alkaline activator (sodium carbonate) and a restrainer (potassium bromide) to formulate a decent developer. Metol and water won't do the job.

Best,

Doremus

Kirk Gittings
17-Feb-2015, 08:55
When printing an edition from one negative I think it is important to maintain some consistency in the strength and activity of the developer. What I do seems to work. First you need to maintain a constant room temperature then I calculate how much developer is being absorbed by each sheet and replace it with fresh from a sealed bottle of working strength developer.

Drew Wiley
17-Feb-2015, 11:14
Why on earth would anyone even want to gamble replenishing a developer as cheap and easy to mix as Dektol? And once you start mixing your own developers, you might discover something you like better than Dektol. So no, it doesn't make sense.

Taija71A
17-Feb-2015, 14:23
__

Shannon... I know that this isn't what you were asking.
--
But (along with Drew)...

I too 'suggest' that you start Mixing your own Print Developers.
(*Something other than Dektol).
--
After all... Don't your Prints Deserve the Very BEST? :D
--
Best regards,

-Tim.
_________

Harold_4074
17-Feb-2015, 14:33
A minor point, but possibly worth mentioning: as the developer is exhausted, reaction products accumulate, and merely adding more developing agent does not remove them. Eventually, this will affect contrast and image color. A few film developers do (used to?) call for putting the appropriate amount of replenisher into the storage bottle, refilling it with used developer, and discarding the rest. This is roughly comparable to what Kirk Gittings describes.

Kirk Gittings
17-Feb-2015, 14:48
Understand I am doing this to maintain a constant level of activity and energy so I can run a bunch of identical prints say 10-12. I doubt I ever come close to really exhausting the developer. This was in responce to a density "drift" I encountered when trying to do a set of identical prints.

Peter De Smidt
17-Feb-2015, 15:02
Traditionally, replentisher is developer without the restrainer, in this case potassium bromide. Developing paper adds PB to the solution. Thus, there's no reason to add more. With small amounts this is unlikely to make any difference.

Harold_4074
17-Feb-2015, 15:34
I seem to recall that typical film developer replenishers have a lower ratio of bromide to developing agent than their parent developer, partly because the chemical reactions which reduce the silver halide to metal release bromide/iodide/chloride into the bath, and the formulation of the replenisher takes this into account.

Replacing the drag-out by printing paper with fresh developer will at least partly compensate for the reaction produce build up, and I suspect that the modern developer-incorporated papers are less sensitive to the reaction byproducts anyway. Years ago, I would sometimes use saved Dektol working solution for mixing with stock to produce a distinctly warm-tone developer. The last time I tried this, it didn't work, and adding good bit of potassium bromide didn't do much either.

Harold_4074
17-Feb-2015, 15:36
Peter,

Your post went up while I was composing my last: we must be right, since we agree!

:)

ShannonG
17-Feb-2015, 19:29
Thank you all for the information. For my current print run I just dumped the old Dektol out and made new dektol the next day to make sure that the development is consistent, so problem solved for now.
But in reading your comments I'm convinced its time for me to start making my own developer from scratch. I have all the supplies and tools needed. but with even 32 years of darkroom time under my belt this step is a big one for me and I'm a little nervous. But your right i just gotta suck it up and dive in. I'm sure once i get a hang of it ill regret not doing it sooner. Thanks for the encouragement, I'll have more questions. thanks again
S

BetterSense
17-Feb-2015, 19:56
Adams addresses the issue of developer exhaustion with his factorial development technique, which he seemed pretty proud of in The Print. Have you tried that?

Doremus Scudder
18-Feb-2015, 03:45
Understand I am doing this to maintain a constant level of activity and energy so I can run a bunch of identical prints say 10-12. I doubt I ever come close to really exhausting the developer. This was in response to a density "drift" I encountered when trying to do a set of identical prints.

Kirk,

I'd be interested what developer, at what stage of development (i.e., how many prints/volume) and how severe the "density drift" you observed was. Most developers are formulated to maintain a rather consistent level of activity until they are mostly exhausted. I've run many more than 12 prints through a lot of developers without me noticing any apparent loss of activity. Maybe I'm not paying enough attention...

ShannonG,

Dektol is a great developer. Many expert printers use it with no qualms. Sure there are other options out there with other characteristics, but don't think you have to change developers because Dektol is somehow inferior (something that seemed to be implied on one of the above posts). Mixing your own Dektol is pretty simple: Kodak D-72 is the home-brew version (missing some fancy coatings and sequestering agents, but otherwise giving the same results). If you want to experiment with softer working or warm-tone developers, there are lots of options. That said, I use maybe three print developers that I'm happy with and just stick with them. If I were to change, it would be for a specific reason.

FWIW, mixing your own developer is fairly easy. You will need, however, a quality scale and appropriate mixing graduates. Of course, general safety and good chemical-handling practices should be used.

Best,

Doremus

Bruce Barlow
18-Feb-2015, 04:35
When I tested developers long ago, Dektol was near the top, exceeded consistenly only by Fine Art VersaPrint (still available from Formulary). It was by far the most cost-effective. Yeah, it's colder-tone and a little green, but toning cures the green.

I dump it. It's not worth the mental exercise for me to do otherwise.

Drew Wiley
18-Feb-2015, 11:19
A convenient halfway house approach to testing various developers is to simply order pre-measured kits from a place like Photographers Formulary. They include
precise instructions. Then, if you want more economy of scale, they offer bigger kits as well as bulk chemicals. I personally don't care much for the way Dektol
responds to most modern VC papers. I used it more with yesteryear's graded papers, which are now close to extinction.

Taija71A
18-Feb-2015, 17:06
... But in reading your comments I'm convinced its time for me to start making my own developer from scratch. I have all the supplies and tools needed. but with even 32 years of darkroom time under my belt this step is a big one for me and I'm a little nervous. But your right i just gotta suck it up and dive in. I'm sure once i get a hang of it ill regret not doing it sooner. Thanks for the encouragement, I'll have more questions. thanks again S
___

Shannon... Excellent decision! :)
You can definitely do it... And will hopefully find the experience -- Very rewarding!
--
Therefore, please find the URL below for a good Article... On this very Subject.
The article is old... But still well worth reading and educating oneself.
--

Paper Developer Properties and Characteristics.

http://www.jackspcs.com/pitone.htm

Enjoy!
--
Best regards,

-Tim.
_________

BetterSense
18-Feb-2015, 18:00
With RC VC papers I use I have had some luck controlling the tone by carrying over a lot of well-well-used dektol, just adding enough fresh to boost the activity for a session.