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Pawlowski6132
27-Dec-2010, 22:49
So, what does it take to make this? Why do we have to get this from China? If I know some chemistry majors, can I just ask them to make it???

I'm only half kidding. We no the formula is (NH2)2 C6 OH 2HCL.

What does it take to make this?

Daniel Stone
27-Dec-2010, 23:00
idk, but you don't have to get it from china.

artcraft sells the english stuff. lot more expensive though, much cleaner, and doesn't need to be endlessly strained through coffee filters and cheesecloth to filter out the crap

-Dan

Pawlowski6132
27-Dec-2010, 23:02
idk, but you don't have to get it from china.

artcraft sells the english stuff. lot more expensive though, much cleaner, and doesn't need to be endlessly strained through coffee filters and cheesecloth to filter out the crap

-Dan

Thanx Dan. Actually, I have 2lbs I just started working through. It's from Photoformulary. It's grey with very minimal "chunking." Does anyone know where they get it from?

Daniel Stone
27-Dec-2010, 23:05
I've heard that keeping in a black, light-tight bag helps to reduce discoloration, and oxidization of it over time. Black bag can be from a paper package really, just light tight.

but I'm just about to start using it myself, just quoting what other people have written, not from personal experience.

-Dan

John Bowen
28-Dec-2010, 05:41
I recall reading that amidol was a byproduct of oil refining. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

Steve Hamley
28-Dec-2010, 06:54
I did some on line research a while back, and the precursor chemical seemed to have every adjective a chemical could have: toxic, explosive, flammable, poisonous, etc. Though once you got past making your lab a superfund site or blowing yourself up, actually making the amidol isn't that hard it seemed.

I was wondering about making a more pure amidol, which is supposed to be a white or off white, rather than the darkly colored stuff which seems to have either nickel (green) or iron (red/pink) impurities which require more washing to remove from prints. The chemist I talked to speculated that acquiring adequately pure precursor chemicals might be the issue, or that the amidol was picking up iron or nickel from the processing equipment.

But amidol isn't that expensive per batch of developer, so if cost is why you want to make your own, it's probably not cost effective to make it.

Cheers, Steve

CG
28-Dec-2010, 10:44
I've heard that keeping in a black, light-tight bag helps to reduce discoloration, and oxidization of it over time ... I wonder if putting your powdered amidol in the freezer would be helpful. Lower temperatures seem to retard chemical reactions. I am assuming that the degradation of developing agents - oxidation I assume - is exactly such a reaction. If freezing the amidol would be a good thing, then allowing plenty of time for the container to come to room temp when using some would be critical, since cold powder would get condensation on it, and probably degrade faster.

Jan Pedersen
28-Dec-2010, 11:16
Glycin seems to like it in the freezer, i have a bottle that is at least 2 years old and the Glycin is still as white as when i bought it.

Amidol may similarly like it cold but i don't think it will make any difference.
Even kept at room temperature i believe it can survive for many years and it will still work fine.

Drew Wiley
28-Dec-2010, 11:57
Amidol keeps well if it remains totally dry. Don't store it in the sink room. One of the primary manufacturers of it is Spectrum chemical. Formulary is a reliable source
for good quality amidol. I was told by a previous distributor that photographic grade
actually needs to be higher quality than medical grade! (It's used for other things too). It's a powerful developer, so one doesn't need much per session. A bit of citric
acid will keep it from oxidizing during use.

Merg Ross
28-Dec-2010, 11:57
I have a friend, a retired professional chemist, who made Amidol for Brett Weston many years ago.

As to keeping properties, my Amidol supply, purchased in the 1950's from G. Gennert, is still working fine. I would not be concerned about a change in color. This particular supply is black, and is contained in one pound brown glass bottles on a darkroom shelf. G. Gennert went out of business in 1921, so my supply is at least 90 years old. One trip through a coffee filter, and good to go.

restukey
30-Dec-2010, 23:14
I've bought several different varieties over the years. My last purchase was most likely 15yrs ago. I always thought the greyish fluffy powder worked the best. It was remarkably inconsistent amongst the same negatives and paper. Somewhat frustrating, but when it did work, outstanding. I always thought the inconsistency had to do with water quality in my area. I had seen the water turn the hypo clearing agent for film into a snow scene shortly after mixing on occasion.

About its lifespan in trays, it seems to keep longer in the trays if you simply cover the tray and limit its exposure to fresh oxygen. I thought much longer.

Glycin was another chemical that I liked. I've been cleaning out the darkroom, as it has sat unused for many years now. The Glycin with outstanding keeping qualitied didn't last in its containers over the years. Turned colors and absorbed moisture, I threw it out. The amidol looked fairly familar or useable after close to two decades.

I never thought the brand that claimed purity worked any better. It was very whitish in color and more expensive. I also had some that was given to me that was a darker crystaline like sheen, not fluffy and gray. Not my favorite either. I still have a couple bottles from a company called Zone V. They were not to be confused with Zone VI the camera and paper maker. Most likely both companies are defunct?

Jim Galli
31-Dec-2010, 00:21
I have a couple of pounds of the Chinese stuff. After it finally got here and people were dis-appointed with the quality it got real cheap. Un-deterred, I bought a lifetime supply of diatomaceous earth on Ebay and simply strain it through that before I use it for processing.

But while we're at it, would somebody please cook up a formula to turn my wifes platinum jewelry into sodium chloroplatinate please, and how about that palladium on all those used up scratchy CD's?? I'd like to recycle some of that if I could.

John Bowen
31-Dec-2010, 05:57
If you take your vehicle to Toponah, make sure you don't leave your catalytic converter behind.....

Drew Wiley
31-Dec-2010, 12:24
A couple years ago several recyclers around the Bay were specializing in cat converters. Mine got taken off the truck. So many were being taken that the nearest
Toyota dealer ordered a whole cargo container of them, but that entire thing got stolen off their lot too! When the gangs were finally broken up and sent to prison, several thousand pilfered converters were still in their storage yards. Maybe this is
like the drug trade - we should blame the addicts, like platinum printers! Of course,
we should likewise blame the behavior of chimney sweeps on carbon printers, and
the occasional theft of silverware at garge sales on the addictions of silver printers
like me. It's only a matter of time, given the statistics of supply and demand, that
someone will invent a printing technique using cannabis smoke. They probably already have!

Michael A. Smith
31-Dec-2010, 16:06
Merg (and others),

The G. Gennert Amidol was comes from England and was put into the bottles in 1906. I found it in 1975 and bought 50 pounds of it—for $6/pound! Unfortunately, I could not afford more, so I told Brett Weston about it and he bought all that remained, which was far less than 50 pounds. You must have gotten the Amidol from Brett. I am now down to the last bottle and it will be gone by the end of this winter. This Amidol is black--well oxidized. That makes absolutely no difference of any sort whatsoever in terms of how it develops prints. Over the years, just to compare, I have used small amounts of other, newer, lighter-colored, fresh Amidol, but I always come back to preferring the 100 year old stuff. If anyone doubts it is any good, you are always welcome to come see my prints.

Since the "Chinese" Amidol came to the USA, the Formularly Amidol is, or was in any case, the "Chinese" Amidol.

Photographers get so, what are the words, unnecessarily compulsive, about materials. I have kept my 100-year old Amidol in the darkroom, which, from time to time has a high moisture content, and from time to time, I noticed loose caps on the Amidol bottles. Result of this poor storage: no difference of any sort whatsoever.

For use: Amidol, in the formula I use--a formula I developed after a lot of experimenting, and one good for making contact prints--will last all day (all day can be up to, say, 12 hours) in a tray--no need to cover it at all. I have even left it overnight in a tray, but covered, after a full day of work, and found it to be even better the next morning, although the useful life at that point was only about 5 or 6 sheets of paper.

I have mentioned this before, but many years ago I knew a fellow who was a student at RIT, whom the teachers there thought was the best printer they had ever encountered. He did mostly dye transfer printing and was a technical genius. I asked him about using Amidol and he said that when he used it, he first put about 8 fully exposed pieces of paper through it so that it would "get sludgy" before he started to print.

Michael A. Smith

Merg Ross
31-Dec-2010, 16:59
Merg (and others),

The G. Gennert Amidol was comes from England and was put into the bottles in 1906. I found it in 1975 and bought 50 pounds of it—for $6/pound! Unfortunately, I could not afford more, so I told Brett Weston about it and he bought all that remained, which was far less than 50 pounds. You must have gotten the Amidol from Brett. I am now down to the last bottle and it will be gone by the end of this winter. This Amidol is black--well oxidized. That makes absolutely no difference of any sort whatsoever in terms of how it develops prints. Over the years, just to compare, I have used small amounts of other, newer, lighter-colored, fresh Amidol, but I always come back to preferring the 100 year old stuff. If anyone doubts it is any good, you are always welcome to come see my prints.

Michael A. Smith

Hi Michael,

Actually, my supply came from the joint purchase Brett and my dad made. I had thought it was earlier than 1975, but doesn't really matter with stuff this old. I have always told people that the black Amidol is fine, just as you have found. As to storage, it has been in one of our darkrooms since purchase in the original bottles and wrappers.

Best to you and Paula for 2011!

Merg

Cor
3-Jan-2011, 12:34
But while we're at it, would somebody please cook up a formula to turn my wifes platinum jewelry into sodium chloroplatinate please,


First solute it in Aqua Regia, and than..you'll run the risk of a divorce perhaps?

Seriously though, I made my own platinum solution from platinum electrophoresis electrodes,not something for your kitchen table, Aqua Regia is to serious to mess around with, as well as the nitrous fumes..nasty without a fume hood, to say the least..

Best,

Cor

sergiob
10-Jan-2011, 18:56
I am really interested in getting amidol but I can't seem to find somebody who ships it overseas. All use ground shipping only. Any advice on suppliers would be appreciated.

John Bowen
10-Jan-2011, 19:57
I am really interested in getting amidol but I can't seem to find somebody who ships it overseas. All use ground shipping only. Any advice on suppliers would be appreciated.

You don't say where you are, but the stuff Artcraft sells originates in the UK

Daniel Stone
11-Jan-2011, 00:56
John,

his website says Bogotá, Colombia

-Dan

Roy Hammans
12-Jan-2011, 07:09
It is indeed easy to get hold of in the UK. The main stockists of raw chemicals, Silverprint (http://www.silverprint.co.uk/ProductByGroup.asp?PrGrp=49), sell it.

I haven't bought from them yet as I still have a supply from way back, but I thought I'd share this image of my packs with you as it shows how packaging design has diminished in style over the years - even if the Amidol hasn't!

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5007/5349217404_a024ce70a8.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fraxinus/5349217404/)
Amidol (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fraxinus/5349217404/) by Fraxinus (http://www.flickr.com/people/fraxinus/), on Flickr

restukey
12-Jan-2011, 22:22
Kind of plain old "science" on the left and the "mad science" bottle on the right.

Vlad Soare
13-Jan-2011, 04:35
Silverprint don't ship any chemical outside UK. None. Not even a harmless little cyanotype kit, let alone amidol.