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Thread: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

  1. #1

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    Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    I recall that Michael Smith many years ago talked about doing a test using Metol and Hydroquinone to develop some test prints to help see the differences betwen the lower contrast Metol vs. the higher contrast Hydroquinone.

    I thought this would be a fun thing to explore and see for myself because I like tinkering with old film and paper formulas.

    Does anyone have an idea of a Hydroquinone only paper developer formula, meaning how much Hydroquinone to 1 liter of water to perform the test?

    And the same question goes for Metol as well?

    For this simple visual test, the idea is to expose two sheets of paper identically and then develop one in the Metol only developer and the other in the Hydroquinone only developer to be able to visualize the different characteristics of these two well-known developing agents.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    Here you go.http://stores.photoformulary.com/dr-...per-developer/ Dr.Beers developer is a two part paper developer. One part is made of metol and the second part is hydroquinone. You can either use both parts in separate trays or mix various amounts of each to reach the contrast you require.

  3. #3

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    Re: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    Quote Originally Posted by LFLarry View Post
    the differences betwen the lower contrast Metol vs. the higher contrast Hydroquinone.
    This would be useful with old fashion Graded papers, if you had only 2 and 3 grades and wanting 2.5 they you would reduce the 3 contrast in that way.

    If using VC paper you solve contrast with light color, so you are free to use developer to adjust warm-cold tone.

    VC paper is way more flexible than graded, because after general exposure you may burn any area with an specific grade, also you can print split grade, etc.

    Paper developers that can vary/adjust contrast have a problem, one of the developers (the most active) exhausts before than the other, so balance is modified, and contrast varies across the print count.



    I'd suggest you read The Darkroom Cookbook (for example), you'll find interesting information about all that !!

  4. #4

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    Re: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    This is very helpful Andrew. Thank you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Tymon View Post
    Here you go.http://stores.photoformulary.com/dr-...per-developer/ Dr.Beers developer is a two part paper developer. One part is made of metol and the second part is hydroquinone. You can either use both parts in desperate trays or mix various amounts of each to reach the contrast you require.

  5. #5

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    Re: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    Good info Pere, thank you. As mentioned, this is just a test to understand the chemicals better. That is a good reminder to go read the Darkroom Cookbook again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    This would be useful with old fashion Graded papers, if you had only 2 and 3 grades and wanting 2.5 they you would reduce the 3 contrast in that way.

    If using VC paper you solve contrast with light color, so you are free to use developer to adjust warm-cold tone.

    VC paper is way more flexible than graded, because after general exposure you may burn any area with an specific grade, also you can print split grade, etc.

    Paper developers that can vary/adjust contrast have a problem, one of the developers (the most active) exhausts before than the other, so balance is modified, and contrast varies across the print count.



    I'd suggest you read The Darkroom Cookbook (for example), you'll find interesting information about all that !!

  6. #6

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    Re: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    In general, paper developers contain different proportions of both developing agents... Hydroquinone produces contrast that allows the maximum DMax that allows a full black, but metol or phenidone produces fine gradations...

    If a paper developer only contained metol, it would produce an image with details but be very flat with no real blacks... If only hydroquinone, there would be contrasty black areas, but little midtones information...

    So different developers contain different proportions of both to combine these effects...

    Hot tip is most normal developers are well balanced already, but effect can be trimmed a little with dilution... And different formulas or brands are often very close to each other in proportions and in use...

    Just start with one, and keep using it until you get the hang of it...

    Steve K

  7. #7
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    Re: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    I thought Kodak Selectol-Soft was basically metol without hydroquinone. I used it to split paper grades back in the old days (80s)...Dektol being the second developer to bring the blacks in. Looking at some of my 30 to 40 year old prints, I wish I used it more often just to take the edge off a few of the images on Grade 3 Portriga Rapid 111.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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    Re: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    What Pere says is basically true but in practice and experimentation you might find you can even alter things a bit more based on which papers and developers you choose. Printing of step wedges/gray scales will help you really see the subtle differences even though it is a chore.

    Tonality can be affected somewhat by different developers even for VC papers. Ansco 130 1:1 gives a cool-neutral tone when compared to Ethol LPD 1:3 slightly warm gray tone on ilford MGFB Classic and is even more pronounced on Bergger papers. Which in turn can alter color when using selenium or other toners after printing.

    The split filters you choose will affect the tone also depending whether your "vision" for a given scene is more flat or high in contrast. The amount of dark, middle, and light tones also has an impact on appearance on the overall tone.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
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    Re: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    Not helpful...but I still have a few prints from the first generation of Oriental graded paper from years back - developed in Selectol Soft then Dektol. Am convinced that this did more than just "fine tune" contrast...those prints are still stunning to this day. I am privately very sad when I sell these prints, and will vow to keep a few (as with some "old Portriga" prints) as NFS!

  10. #10

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    Re: Hydroquinone & Metol Paper Developers?

    Consider G262
    1:3 @ 25C 4 minutes as starting point. Ilford FB Warmtone paper. Could use higher dilution but dev time will lengthen.
    Addition of very small amount of phenidone solution will speed up the proces and cool off the image.

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