Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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KennyE
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Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby KennyE » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:45 pm

Momme Andresen's writings are all over the place, as well as those persons that came with him and after him, on the subject of "Rodinal". I want to make an A-B film developer using the following developing agents- 4-Aminophenol HCI and Pyro. These two agents- do well with sodium sulfite. But my concern is will they do better with potassium metabisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, or sodium bisulfite.

I want to start out with 4-Aminophenol HCI 3 grams/Pyro 5 grams combination per 250 ml of solution, with 20 grams of preservative, to start out with; as part A.

So..., should the preservative that I want to use, be a metabisulfite, bisulfite, or just simply sulfite? Most, if not all PMK developers use bisulfite, and if so..., is that a good choice?

Momme Andresen was partial to using potassium metabisulfite in his formulas. Yet his associates were partial to using sodium sulfite.

Part B will be Sodium Metaborate @ 10 grams per 250 ml.

Weigh in with your comments or thoughts..., please.


Thank You and "Happy New Year"



KennyE
Last edited by KennyE on Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Ornello
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Ornello » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:27 pm

This sort of specialized question is probably beyond most of us here.

Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:02 am

Look up the formula for Pyrocat-P and decide from there.
What is it about Pyro developers that you think are worthwhile?

KennyE
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby KennyE » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:49 am

My friend Damon got me into testing Pyro when he sent me copies of his photos, and I told him that I would start testing with it.

Here is a link to some of his photos using PMK

http://www.flickr.com/photos/100055029@ ... 485475513/


Thank You


KennyE

Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:15 am

KennyE wrote:My friend Damon got me into testing Pyro when he sent me copies of his photos, and I told him that I would start testing with it.

Here is a link to some of his photos using PMK

http://www.flickr.com/photos/100055029@ ... 485475513/


Thank You


KennyE
What is it that you found about his prints that you particularly like? I ask because the late Barry Thornton developed a couple of films for me some years ago.
One he did in PMK and the other in his own Di-Xactol developer.

The results were very good to be fair, but nothing that I could see that a good PQ or MQ film developer couldn't do.

A photographer who's prints are on display near to where I live produces excellent quality photos from Ilford Delta 100 & 400 films developed in Ilford DDX.
Some of the photos in the link below are taken on infra-red films.
His B&W prints have outstanding sharpness and tonality. I prefer to judge prints for real rather than on the screen of a computer.

http://www.timrudman.com/

Ornello
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Ornello » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:13 am

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
KennyE wrote:My friend Damon got me into testing Pyro when he sent me copies of his photos, and I told him that I would start testing with it.

Here is a link to some of his photos using PMK

http://www.flickr.com/photos/100055029@ ... 485475513/


Thank You


KennyE
What is it that you found about his prints that you particularly like? I ask because the late Barry Thornton developed a couple of films for me some years ago.
One he did in PMK and the other in his own Di-Xactol developer.

The results were very good to be fair, but nothing that I could see that a good PQ or MQ film developer couldn't do.

A photographer who's prints are on display near to where I live produces excellent quality photos from Ilford Delta 100 & 400 films developed in Ilford DDX.
Some of the photos in the link below are taken on infra-red films.
His B&W prints have outstanding sharpness and tonality. I prefer to judge prints for real rather than on the screen of a computer.

http://www.timrudman.com/

For the small-format (35mm) user), who develops films as a roll (all negatives receiving the same treatment) the use of variable-contrast (VC) paper is a great boon. Staining developers give an image color to the highlights which cannot be seen as density by VC papers, depending on the filter used. Thus, staining developers are best avoided by the small-format user. It is very difficult to beat D-76 1:1.

I was once told by a professional photographer "my negatives are so good I don't need to use filters".

:roll:

Lowell Huff
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Lowell Huff » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:52 am

Hello
There is a considerable difference between the two, Sodium or Potassium Meta bisulfite and Sodium sulfite. The first two are interchangeable with some adjustment for molecular weight difference and the "salt" is a preservative or oxygen scavenger.
Lowell Huff
Clayton Chemical

Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:40 pm

Lowell Huff wrote:Hello
There is a considerable difference between the two, Sodium or Potassium Meta bisulfite and Sodium sulfite. The first two are interchangeable with some adjustment for molecular weight difference and the "salt" is a preservative or oxygen scavenger.
Lowell Huff
Clayton Chemical
Lowell, I have seen some formulas which contain both sulphite and metabisulphite. Is the latter added to control the pH, as a pH buffer or both?

Lowell Huff
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Lowell Huff » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:12 am

Yes Keith, the metabi is for ph control. Most modern formulas do contain both especially in machine processing.

KennyE
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Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby KennyE » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:45 am

Keith, I am impressed by Damon's work, for a person who has not been at this for very long. His use of technical pan and forma 200 with PMK, is good work. And even more so with his floral pictures.

Lowell, thanks for the information on the preservatives. I was thinking of conducting tests with all of them, to see which one that I like the best. Small batch testing is what I had in mind.

But Lowell, one of my concerns is the amount of preservative to use. Most PMK style developers use a mere 20 grams of sodium bisulfite. I am lending towards 25-35 grams of potassium metabisulfite for starters and 50 grams for starters, if I use sodium sulfite. What is your take on that position?

Thank You

KennyE

Keith Tapscott.
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Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:30 am

KennyE wrote:Keith, I am impressed by Damon's work, for a person who has not been at this for very long. His use of technical pan and forma 200 with PMK, is good work. And even more so with his floral pictures.

Lowell, thanks for the information on the preservatives. I was thinking of conducting tests with all of them, to see which one that I like the best. Small batch testing is what I had in mind.

But Lowell, one of my concerns is the amount of preservative to use. Most PMK style developers use a mere 20 grams of sodium bisulfite. I am lending towards 25-35 grams of potassium metabisulfite for starters and 50 grams for starters, if I use sodium sulfite. What is your take on that position?

Thank You

KennyE
Kenny, I am sure that your friend's photos are of good quality. Getting good negatives is more about getting the exposure and developing right rather than the use of some sort of magic potion.
Pyro does not keep well in alkaline conditions, hence why metabisulphite or bisulphite ( both are acidic) is usually used as the preservative and not sulphite which is mildly alkaline. Jay De Fehr's 510-Pyro being an exception.

I still say that carefully formulated MQ and PQ film developers are just as good as any exotic formula. Even developers where Metol alone (Ilford Perceptol & Kodak Microdol-X) produce fine-grain and high resolution, albeit at the loss of some film speed.

Ornello
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Ornello » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:32 am

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
KennyE wrote:Keith, I am impressed by Damon's work, for a person who has not been at this for very long. His use of technical pan and forma 200 with PMK, is good work. And even more so with his floral pictures.

Lowell, thanks for the information on the preservatives. I was thinking of conducting tests with all of them, to see which one that I like the best. Small batch testing is what I had in mind.

But Lowell, one of my concerns is the amount of preservative to use. Most PMK style developers use a mere 20 grams of sodium bisulfite. I am lending towards 25-35 grams of potassium metabisulfite for starters and 50 grams for starters, if I use sodium sulfite. What is your take on that position?

Thank You

KennyE
Kenny, I am sure that your friend's photos are of good quality. Getting good negatives is more about getting the exposure and developing right rather than the use of some sort of magic potion.
Pyro does not keep well in alkaline conditions, hence why metabisulphite or bisulphite ( both are acidic) is usually used as the preservative and not sulphite which is mildly alkaline. Jay De Fehr's 510-Pyro being an exception.

I still say that carefully formulated MQ and PQ film developers are just as good as any exotic formula. Even developers where Metol alone (Ilford Perceptol & Kodak Microdol-X) produce fine-grain and high resolution, albeit at the loss of some film speed.
I second this. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by using exotic formulas. I should know, because I have tried many of them over the years. The only developer that stood out from the rest was Acutol, and it is gone now. D-76 1:1 is an excellent compromise developer providing compensation, sharpness, and fine grain. Ilford Microphen is also good if you want a bit more shadow detail.

Lowell Huff
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Lowell Huff » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:08 am

Because i have nothing else to do this AM (1-3-14), I reviewed my four largest selling, in volume, developers. In the powder and print developers, we use the "salt" to protect the HQ, in the high concentrate, high pH, liquid developers, we use all meta and no salt. It is there for pH buffering.
Years ago, when working and learning from John Taylor, our photochemist, he taught me that the key to a very good developer, especially with modern film emulsions, was focusing on the restrainers and accelorators to provide the widest latitude and shape of the standard curve. So speed, contrast, and or number of steps in the curve are what is relavent to good development. In my opinion, the amount or useage of the "salt or acid" is of low philosophical and scientific value other than the balance added to the formula.
Lowell Huff
Clayton Chemical

Ornello
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Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby Ornello » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:33 pm

Lowell Huff wrote:Because i have nothing else to do this AM (1-3-14), I reviewed my four largest selling, in volume, developers. In the powder and print developers, we use the "salt" to protect the HQ, in the high concentrate, high pH, liquid developers, we use all meta and no salt. It is there for pH buffering.
Years ago, when working and learning from John Taylor, our photochemist, he taught me that the key to a very good developer, especially with modern film emulsions, was focusing on the restrainers and accelorators to provide the widest latitude and shape of the standard curve. So speed, contrast, and or number of steps in the curve are what is relavent to good development. In my opinion, the amount or useage of the "salt or acid" is of low philosophical and scientific value other than the balance added to the formula.
Lowell Huff
Clayton Chemical

Although I have not used it in ages, I think that Microphen 1:1 or 1:2 or even 1:3 is a very promising approach.

KennyE
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 6:49 am
Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Which "Salt or Pot ash" to use

Postby KennyE » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:54 pm

I have looked at all the possibilities and have decided to use "Potassium Metabisulfite".

I will post the formulas and test after April of this year.

Thank You

KennyE


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