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Thread: Color of Ansco/PF 130

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Color of Ansco/PF 130

    Just mixed my third batch in 5 years of Formulary 130 paper developer (Ansco 130). The very first batch I ever made was a very light tea color - 1 liter kit 2016. Second batch was 8 liters and was a medium tea color in 2018 and it has darkened with age but still tea color. This last batch is 2 liters and it is almost the color of a cola.

    What color should it be?
    I have read that it functions normally even if diluted working solution is kept for a couple of months and turns dark. Just not sure it should start out that way.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  2. #2

    Re: Color of Ansco/PF 130

    If the glycin gets old that will happen. If the image comes up in the usual time (hard to tell if submerged in the dark 130 though) then it is working OK. Keep your spare well sealed glycin in the freezer.

  3. #3

    Re: Color of Ansco/PF 130

    I used to mix Ansco 130 in 5000 ml batches with glycin bought fresh from the formulary then stored in 500ml containers filled up to the top. It will keep for a long time stored this way.
    If the glycin is fresh it will be white and the mixed developer will be a very light tea color. I only bought enough for the batch I was going to make because if I tried to save money by buying a large amount , it would oxidize and turn gray rendering it useless. If you buy glycin and it’s not pure white, change your supplier.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    1,171

    Re: Color of Ansco/PF 130

    I keep my glycin in the original black plastic bag (from Photo Formulary) with as much air as possible pushed out, then held closed with a rubber band. This "package" then goes into a freezer Zip Lock bag, again with as much air as possible removed. Then, it goes into a freezer. I've worked out of and had the same bag for a few years without issue. The powder is still as white as the day I bought it.

  5. #5

    Re: Color of Ansco/PF 130

    That’s a good idea, when my dark room is back up and working I will give it a try. 130 is a very nice tool to have in ones pocket.

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
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    Re: Color of Ansco/PF 130

    Glycin powder itself goes from a slightly yellowish off-white when new, to greater degrees of tan, to mocha brown, to a deeper chocolate color, and then finally to almost black as it progressively oxidizes. The staining effect on your prints will also progressively change, at a certain point affecting just the highlights, and eventually staining the paper entirely. So you can fine tune your desired effect by the color of the glycin powder itself. For me, once it goes deep chocolate, its worthless. So I try to use up any thawed powder within six months. My strategy is to have three separate 100g bottles of powder on hand, one on the darkroom shelf, the other two completely sealed in the freezer until needed.

  7. #7

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    Re: Color of Ansco/PF 130

    the Glycin was tan-ish and the kit was at least 8 months old plus however long it sat on PF's shelf, so my bad for not mixing it right away. I dilute the stock 1:2 most of the time so if the developer is still active I will be able to see through it. I have some Ethol LPD as backup.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  8. #8
    multi format
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    Re: Color of Ansco/PF 130

    Quote Originally Posted by esearing View Post
    the Glycin was tan-ish and the kit was at least 8 months old plus however long it sat on PF's shelf, so my bad for not mixing it right away. I dilute the stock 1:2 most of the time so if the developer is still active I will be able to see through it. I have some Ethol LPD as backup.
    sorry to hear of your troubles. I've used a130 for more than 20 years off / on and never heard of the PF shipping out old product. my poor guess is it was most likely during the 8 months at your place the Glycin got dark, the PF makes a fresh batch of Glycin every 2 weeks. they are the last place that still manufacturers the chemical and its a time consuming process. Maybe covid changed things but I don't think they would be. in the habit of selling substandard / old chemistry.
    enjoy your coffee

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Color of Ansco/PF 130

    Yes, it's always a very light, fresh color when I get it from PF. But even back when I obtained in from a local dealer for Spectrum Chemical, it was at very pale tan, so relatively fresh. And they told me that photo grade glycin and amidol actually need to be purer and fresher than medical grade! - the assumption being that anything used for a pharmaceutical application was going to be further refined anyway, and just a component or intervening step in a more complex product chain.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    St. Simons Island, Georgia
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    Re: Color of Ansco/PF 130

    Don Cardwell insisted on the old APUG that the failure of glycin due to age and tanning was an internet myth. He said he used old, dark glycin and it worked as well as new.

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