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Thread: Clayton P20 Plus paper developer

  1. #1

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    Clayton P20 Plus paper developer

    Is anyone using Clayton P20 Plus? I recently got a bottle of P20 Plus paper developer to try out but have strange things going on. To start with, the bottle says it's highly concentrated but recommends a mix of one part developer to 4 parts water. This seems very strong to me and I know that the older P20 developer was 1:7, and other developers I'm used to is 1:9. Then when trying to develop my prints, the developer seems to work faster the longer the print is in the tray. Nothing much is visible for the first minute or so, then the image starts to come up, but if I leave the print in the tray too long, the whole print turns dark very quickly. I tried putting unexposed paper in the developer - at 90 seconds the paper started to show signs of a little gray tone, but at 2 minutes, the paper was all much darker gray.


    I've never had this problem before. I was able to get a couple of decent prints in my session, but that's only because I apparently pulled the paper out of the tray at just the right time. At this point, this developer isn't working consistently enough to keep using it. Am I doing something wrong here?

    Note that I've also sent a note into Clayton to see what they say.

  2. #2

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    Re: Clayton P20 Plus paper developer

    i believe i always used p-20 at 1+9 and up to 1+15 to slow development

  3. #3

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    Re: Clayton P20 Plus paper developer

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Dozer View Post
    Nothing much is visible for the first minute or so, then the image starts to come up, but if I leave the print in the tray too long, the whole print turns dark very quickly. I tried putting unexposed paper in the developer - at 90 seconds the paper started to show signs of a little gray tone, but at 2 minutes, the paper was all much darker gray.
    1: Fresh paper?
    2: Paper stored under proper conditions, away from heat sources or chemical foggants etc?
    3: Have you performed a safelight safety test?
    Sounds like the paper is fogged, to be honest.

    To be sure, cross-check with another paper developer and the same paper; if unexposed paper remains white for a few minutes on the other developer, you'll have it nailed down to the developer and you can exclude problems with the paper/fogging.

  4. #4

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    Re: Clayton P20 Plus paper developer

    I think I got things figured out. Did some testing tonight and it looks like 2 boxes of paper have gone bad on me (one Kentmere and one Adox). The Ilford is still working fine. All of my paper has always been stored the same at room temperature and away from light/chemicals. Never had paper go bad like that before so i wasn't prepared for the weird things going on yesterday. Strange that it happened to two separate boxes of paper. The development process wouldn't stop it's action and it just kept developing and getting darker until it went into the fix.

  5. #5

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    Re: Clayton P20 Plus paper developer

    Two boxes of paper going bad at the same time and apparently quite suddenly & severely sounds like too much of a coincidence to be honest. I suspect there's something more going on and some further investigation is necessary. How old are those papers, and what papers are they exactly? I'm saying this because IF the Kentmere & Adox happen to be neutral tone emulsions/bromide papers and IF the Ilford happens to be warmtone, and IF you happen to have a safe light problem, it's quite plausible that the Kentmere & the Adox are giving problems while the Ilford isn't.

  6. #6

    Re: Clayton P20 Plus paper developer

    I once had a box of Adox go bad on me. I thought it was user error but in retrospect I realized I got a bad box of of paper
    had you used it prior to this printing session....
    the kentmere if it was VC paper could have just gone off...paper is how old now?

  7. #7

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    Re: Clayton P20 Plus paper developer

    Both boxes of paper are about 3 years old, but have not been stored any differently than the Ilford paper. All is fiber based. The Ilford is warm tone and the Adox MCC 110 and Kentmere Fineprint are not. Incidentally, I also tried Oriental warm tone as well as Foma cold tone and neither had problems.

    I checked with the people at Clayton and they said it might be my water. I have a water purification system that is not a traditional water softener - it "softens" the water differently and the result (sodium ions) may have an effect. I checked the water and it was low in PH but higher in alkalinity.

    I'm not throwing in the towel yet on the Kentmere and Adox. Next is to mix with distilled water and see if that changes anything. Note that I've never had problems with the water here in the desert before but with the new water purification system here in our new house, perhaps that is causing problems.

    The test I did last night was to just throw unexposed paper into the developer and see if anything happened. Both the Kentmere and Adox showed signs of graying after about 90 seconds in the developer.

  8. #8

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    Re: Clayton P20 Plus paper developer

    Just to add - I had used both boxes of paper before and it worked fine about 3 years ago.

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