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Marcel Hendinant says:

I've been using a mixture of Adolux APG 09 and Spur HRX-3 for my stand development. I like the outcome, but there is fog on the negative. In an attempt to reduce the fog I added borax and ascorbic acid. I have tried it twice and the outcome surprised me a lot. There has not been any development at all. The negative came out completely blank. Clearly something went wrong. I checked and double checked the recipe, but I could not find the error. (I am using the Stephen Schaub's recipe) Any idea what that could have been?
12:01PM, 21 December 2009 PST (permalink)

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Hihnt says:

Maybe something wrong with fixer? I had similar result with a faulty one.
ages ago (permalink)

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Marcel Hendinant says:

No, the fixer is ok. I did a roll afterwards without the borax and ascorbic acid and it came out well.

After I posted the question I continued my search for an answer. It seems that Ascorbic acid requires distilled water instead of tap water.
ages ago (permalink)

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inetjoker says:

Borax will also lower the activity of the developer.
ages ago (permalink)

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real photos have grain says:

Usually acid is used as a stop bath, because it stops any activity of the developer!
ages ago (permalink)

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TheWishy says:

Borax is a mild alkali accelerator, this (in itself) won't stop developer working.
I'm guessing the ascorbic acid has neutralised the (alkali) accelerator, which is basically stopped the development taking place.
ages ago (permalink)

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LeNoirPhotog says:

Yeah you would use potassium bromide in very small amounts to reduce grain. like 0.10 grams as a start. If u use too much you lose speed.

It would also work is to double the concentration and reduce the time in half. That would reduce the grain.

What film you use can effect the dichroic fog made. films like Tmax, Delta, and acros resist this the most.

Something about how the Spur HRX-3 with borax and ascorbic acid neutralized the developer. How did you dilute the Spur HRX-3 and the time used?

Stephen Schaub's recipe is from the book iredescent light: art of stand development By Michael Axel. Which uses very dilute rodinal, xtol, borax, and ascorbic acid. You should get the book its very good for every factor that you should consider for stand development.

You should also get the film developer's cookbook
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
LeNoirPhotog edited this topic ages ago.

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Marcel Hendinant says:

I have a copy of Steve Anchell's book as well as a copy of Michael Axel's book. Looking at the pictures in Michael Axel's book I decided to give it a go; his images are drop dead gorgeous. Being a absolute beginner, the 5L Xtol stock solution is too big to handle. So I tried to find an alternative. Using Google and Steve Anchell's book, I "discovered" HRX-3. It has the same developing agent as Xtol and according to Spur Photo, it shares the same characteristics that made Xtol famous: fine grain and sharp images.

The first few films I tried were all Adox CHS 100. Stand developed using only APG 09 (a rebranded Rodinal clone) I got great tonal range, but grainy and foggy. My second attempt using APG 09 along with HRX-3 gave better results; great tonal range, sharp, less grain but still foggy. I know that Adox CHS 100 is not suited for stand development due to this fog issue, but nevertheless it was in my freezer and therefore something that was readily for hand.

My third and fourth attempt were the blank negs. Those were stand developed using APG 09, HRX-3, borax and ascorbic acid.

Earlier today I did a new attempt. This time I added the borax without the ascorbic acid. These negatives are drying right now. On first sight, the fog seems less than before. But I will be hard to compare them with my previous attempts, everything over here is covered under a white blanket of snow. I compensated for this snow by 1 stop, but nevertheless the shooting conditions were very, very different.

The HRX-3 dilution used was 1:120, that is roughly the standard dilution (1+29) divided by 4. I used 4ml HRX-3 for 500ml working solution. For the developer time calculation, I am using Axel's rule of thumb for the Rodinal part: 1:100 one hour, 1:200 two hours and 1:270 three hours. The solutions up till now used 2.5ml APG 09 for two hours. And I think I will stick to that for the time being.

It is clear now that HRX-3 and ascorbic acid do not work together. I wonder what will happen if I use APG 09, borax and ascorbic acid without HRX-3. Something I will try tomorrow.

And, to round off, I came across Fomadon Excel. A developer that looks very simular to Xtol but with a 1L stock solution. The experimenting continues...
ages ago (permalink)

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LeNoirPhotog says:

I use Fomadon Excel. Its works exactly like xtol.

HRX-3 doesnt have the same developing agents as Xtol

HRX-3 is a PQ developer (phenidone and hydroquinone).

Xtol is a ascorbic acid developer. There is also a form of phenidone present.

Xtol, DDX, and HRX-3 share almost the same visual characteristics.

You may want to check out apug.org. They are more chemical knowledgeable than the people on flickr.

You should work on the rodinal-HRX-3 mixture more. It sounds interesting.

The rodinal, borax, ascorbic acid mix has been tested and discussed in the bottom of this article. unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Rodinal/rodinal.html

You may want to play with sodium ascorbate instead of ascorbic acid.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
LeNoirPhotog edited this topic ages ago.

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Marcel Hendinant says:

Ah, there is the rub! I have checked it using Anchell's book and you're right.

I've ordered Fomadon Excel. Once it arrives the experimentation continues.
ages ago (permalink)

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titrisol says:

Well, you need to neutralize the acids before development of the pH will become too low.
To neutralize the ascorbic acid dissolve some bicarbonate (bakng soda) until the fizzing stops before adding the prepared developers.
ages ago (permalink)

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LeNoirPhotog says:

yeah that makes it into sodium ascorbate. 2 parts ascorbic acid to 1 part bicarbonate.
ages ago (permalink)

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Marcel Hendinant says:

Just to make sure I'm getting the point. Baking soda over borax?
ages ago (permalink)

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titrisol says:

baking soda over vitamin C/ascorbic acid
SideNOte: If you have a sausage making store close by ask if they have sodium ERYTHORBATE, it is the optical isomer if ascorbate and it is generally cheaper. Humans can not metabolize it, but it works on silver

over borax I'm not sure it'll help, even though you can use Kodalk or make a buffer with borax and caustic soda instead of borax

check the article in unblinkingeye
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
titrisol edited this topic ages ago.

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LeNoirPhotog says:

Here is kind of a summary:

Borax helps with the grain and prevents fog in the in the clear part of the film in the Rodinal+sodium ascorbate mixture.

Ascorbic acid acts as a developer and fairly mild solvent.

Baking soda turns ascorbic acid into sodium ascorbate ( ph balanced and less fog)

Fellow the Rodinal/xtol+ascorbic acid+borax mixture for stand

subtituting ascorbic acid for sodium ascorbate may reduce fog in the film base.

On a side note:
Rodinal (1:50)+sodium ascorbate+borax mixture from the article I posted is for film speed higher than 200 ISO. The times for the mixture are 20% greater than that for Rodinal 1:25
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
LeNoirPhotog edited this topic ages ago.

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titrisol says:

IMHO HP5 does great in Rodinal 1+50 + ascorbate
Fo+Base never bothered me
ages ago (permalink)

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LeNoirPhotog says:

The base responds different depending on the film so it may not show much. traditional films tend to show more than T-grain styled films. People also have different taste of what acceptable base is.
ages ago (permalink)

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LeNoirPhotog says:

a link from apug that may help
www.apug.org/forums/forum37/67067-effect-ascorbic-acid-fi...
ages ago (permalink)

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Marek Warunkiewicz says:

Yesterday I tried the Michael Axel recipe accurately, well maybe not so much, since there were two things that were unclear in his "recipe". Borax - I have 10 mole Borax and the real amount of Xtol is not clearly, at least to me, identified. He says on page 45 "I mixed one part of Extol developer (final mixture) to four parts water." In the recipe he says "200 ml - Extol developer". OK. So when he says "final mixture" does he mean first mix 1:1 which seems to be the "final mixture", then mix 1:4 or mix 1:4 straight from the stock solution?

I added the Ascorbic Acid and the Borax, all in distilled water. I even used distilled water for both the initial water bath and the developer. NOTHING came out on the Acros! Not even frame numbers and the film came out a light magenta base. Acros is fairly clear. I had two rolls in the tank, shot at two different times, specifically done for testing. I also shot a couple of other rolls those days, developed them normally in HC110 which turned out OK. I used one liter of developer for the two rolls. The response I got from Mr. Axel was to a question about volume of developer per roll. Was it to use just enough to cover the roll or more or more. After a few emails his response was that the whole point was to exhaust the developer and use only the amount needed to cover the film.

So I am at a loss as to why it did not work. I used the same film, same recipe as Mr. Axel and nothing came out. It's not like there are a lot of variables. Even with the 1:300 Rodinal, something should have come out. So if it works for him, why not for me?
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Marek Warunkiewicz edited this topic ages ago.

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LeNoirPhotog says:

He means add 200ml of straight xtol.
10 mole Borax works fine.
What kind of asorbic acid did you use?

I really dont understand why it didnt work?
ages ago (permalink)

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zeissfilm says:

Hello, and thanks to Marek for pointing me to this thread. What is obvious, just by looking at this thread (even if you don't have my book) is the number of variables. When I get questions about the formulas, it is almost always someone new to stand development who is trying to mix up the most complex formula you can get. Frankly, you CAN be very happy with simply using nothing more than Rodinal 1:200 for 2 hours with a film like Acros, Plus X, TMax 100, etc.

I highly recommend you start with the most simple recipe (above), nail it, then start adding ascorbic acid or borax, if you feel you need to. With Acros, I seldom use anything but the diluted Rodinal formula. If I use something like Rollei Retro, or something with a traditional emulsion, then I'll start adding in ascorbic acid and borax (as needed!). The Xtol is a bit more advanced, and ALL of the formulas take some calibration for your setup (from camera, to light meter, to development process, etc.).

I buy my chemicals from a number of sources, but certainly SilverGrain and Digital Truth are excellent resources in the USA. Thanks to those who bought my book on Blurb.com. I know of many people who are successfully doing stand development. But like any scientific process, eliminate too many variables to start, and you will be much further ahead. As I mention in the book, my goal isn't to be the end-all, be-all formula for stand development, but to give you a jumping in point to get started. I am constantly experimenting with new films, developers, and techniques, and have a blast with it. If you REALLY want to play armchair chemist, try out the GSD-10 formula in the book too.

Axel
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
zeissfilm edited this topic ages ago.

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LeNoirPhotog says:

GSD-10 is really great stuff and has a good stock life. Its simple to mix if you had basic experience with photo chemicals. I wish people knew more knew about it. I really dont know the difference between GSD-1and GSD-10 qualities but since more people use GSD-10 I just stick with that mix.

I second the idea of keeping it simple first.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
LeNoirPhotog edited this topic ages ago.

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Marek Warunkiewicz says:

I am going into the darkroom just now and will try a number of variables.

I have had success with Acros in stand development with HC 110 at 1:200 and 1:300. I like the Xtol concept and think that it should work better.

So why the Ascorbic Acid and Borax? I see LeNoir Photog's response to this, thanks!

My Ascorbic Acid and Borax was bought from Alphachem and is fresh, just purchased last week. They are a big chemical supplier here in Toronto.

I still don't understand why it did not work. I've been around chemistry and understand what variables are. But the whole point of chemical formulas and experimentation is repeatability. One person posits an idea, another repeats it to see if it is true and works. If so, and more people do it, it becomes a proven thing. So with all the same elements, why is this happening? Is it in the mixing method? The amount of Xtol? Those are the only variables I can see that are possibly different.

The formula I used is:
• 800 ML Distilled Water
• 3 ML Rodinol
• 200 ML Xtol Developer *see note below
• 1.25 grams Borax
• 10 grams Asorbic Acid

* I used a ~1:5 mixture. This may be where the error occurred. Axel says on page 45 "I used a diluted Extol mixture as the base to which I added the Rodinal concentrate. ..... I mixed one part of Extol developer (final mixture) to four parts water." In the recipe he says "200 ml - Extol developer". OK. So I put in a 1:4 mixture from a 1:1 mixture. If it is straight Xtol as LeNoirPhotog said then I don't understand why the directions on Page 45.

So here is what I am going to try today and tomorrow.

1 – No Ascorbic Acid or Borax, but with Xtol mixed 1:4 from the final 5 litre solution.
2 – No Ascorbic Acid or Borax, but with 200 ml Xtol straight from the final 5 litre solution.
3 – Just Borax
4 – Ascorbic acid mixed first with Sodium Bicarbonate which will turn it into Sodium Ascorbate.

Number 4 comes from an article "Appreciating Rodinal" by Ed Buffaloe on unblinkingeye.com. He says "A lot of photographers add sulfite to Rodinal to reduce the grain -- a practice I always thought defeated the purpose of using Rodinal to begin with. Patrick Gainer writes: “It turns out that 4 g/l sodium ascorbate does a lot of good added to 1:50 Rodinal. A lot better than 100 g/l of sulfite.” Those who are searching for a fine-grain version of Rodinal should give this a try. (Please note: you should add sodium ascorbate, not ascorbic acid, because ascorbic acid will radically reduce the alkalinity of the Rodinal solution. Ascorbic acid is easily converted to sodium ascorbate by the addition of baking soda (in the ratio of the molecular weight of the acid over the bicarbinate, which is 176/84--approximately 2 parts acid to 1 part bicarbonate) or sodium hydroxide (in the ratio of the molecular weight of the acid to the hydroxide, which is 176/40, or 4 parts acid to 1.1 parts sodium hydroxide) . If you use the baking soda, add it to the ascorbic acid in a little water and let the fizzing subside before adding it to the working solution.)"

In terms of GSD-10, what is the specific mixing method LeNoirPhotog mentions?

Thanks for the lively and informative discussion!
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
Marek Warunkiewicz edited this topic ages ago.

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LeNoirPhotog says:

Its mentioned in the book iredescent light.
* Distilled water 750ml
* sodium sulfite 50g
* Sodium carbonate 75g
* Glycin 10g
* Distilled water to 1 liter

expose traditional films 2/3rd higher (400 would be 640) and T-grain style film is a full stop (400 would be 800) It wont look pushed.

Most films in the 50-400 speed are done around 20-30mins. double the time to push the film. (Tmax 400 at 1600 would be 60mins.)

The blog on the developer and times is here. gsd-10.blogspot.com/
ages ago (permalink)

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Marek Warunkiewicz says:

Thanks, LeNoirPhotog! Will try this, hopefully soon. Time to get some Glycin.
ages ago (permalink)

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Marek Warunkiewicz says:

LeNoirPhotog, the question was also meant to ask if there are specific mixing instructions.Like in my long post above to make Sodium Ascorbate...
ages ago (permalink)

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Marcel Hendinant says:

Please bear in mind that English is not my first language, so perhaps I am wrong, but regarding the Xtol mixture as described on page 45, I think that you have to use 200 ml of the Xtol stock solution. The 800ml distilled water makes it a 1 part Xtol to 4 parts water solution. Please correct me if I am wrong.
ages ago (permalink)

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Marek Warunkiewicz says:

That makes sense, but it is confusing. A good editor would have cought that. Thanks, you are probably right.
ages ago (permalink)

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LeNoirPhotog says:

make sure you mix GSD-10 in that order or the solution wont work. The solution is at room temperature. That will be the Stock solution. Then you dilute 1:10
ages ago (permalink)

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Marcel Hendinant says:

I just finished my first roll using APG 09, HRX-3, borox, ascorbic acid and baking soda and it seems that I managed to stand develop Adox CHS 100 with less fog. The negs are still drying, so it is hard to judge but on first sight the fog is considerable reduced. Looking forward to scan and see the tonal range I'm getting.
ages ago (permalink)

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LeNoirPhotog says:

for some reason its stated that more than two developer agents isnt advised. That mix has four.
ages ago (permalink)

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Marcel Hendinant says:

And with good reason! You'll have a hard time predicting the outcome, due to the number of variables. For me the fun was to see if I could reduce the fog using borax and ascorbic acid. Now that I succeeded in doing so, I do not think I will continue to use this recipe. Nevertheless, I had a good time experimenting.
ages ago (permalink)

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titrisol says:

Ascorbic Acid and Borax reduce the pH of the solution, and as such both the paraaminophenol (Rodinal) and Xtol (Ascorbate + phenidone) developers become less active and lead to little/no development. Thus you need to regulate the pH to be above 8.5 (IIRC)
Neutralizing the ascorbic acid as recommended in Ed Buffaloe's article is a good measure, do that first, then add the borax, then the Rodinal.

I do not see why adding more ascorbate to Xtol which already has it as developer agent.
Xtol + Rodinal should give a 3 developer agent mix which is quite powerful but which I have not tested.
ages ago (permalink)

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Marek Warunkiewicz says:

Hi all! OK, I did an experiment, will post a side-by-side of the negs later today or tonight. Mr. Axel's formula for Rodinal/Xtol worked great. It was my confusion with regards to the amount of Xtol and its dilution. I tried the same formula but without the Ascorbic Acid and got over-developed negs with a lot of fog. The images on the negs developed according to the formula look great. They were shot at 1 p.m. with intense sun and deep shadows. I get details both in the highlights and shadows. Will post the prints as well. So, Mr. Axel, my apologies for doubting the formula. But if you ever decide to reprint, let me do some editing... ;-) so that idiots like me can understand better. Next stop...GSD-10.
ages ago (permalink)

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Marcel Hendinant says:

With the risk of violating the group's rules, it is my suggestion to discuss all GSD-10 issues in a separate thread. Since GSD-10 is no Rodinal clone, I've taken the liberty to start such a thread in a different group.

Your GSD-10 experiences?
ages ago (permalink)

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Marcel Hendinant says:

@Marek Warunkiewicz, looking forward to your images! Did you use 200ml Xtol stock solution with 800ml water?
ages ago (permalink)

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Marek Warunkiewicz says:

Yup, that's the one. 200:800. I found that the best neg seems to be the one that is one stop over the f16 rule one. It's a bit dense, but will check on it when I get back to the studio. Did like what I saw. Hopefully, will get to print in the next day or so. Have you seen any results from this in flat lighting conditions? Mr. Axel mentions he uses it in his cloudy, rainy place of residence, Oregon. I like those kind of days so hope this will work well as well.
ages ago (permalink)

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Marcel Hendinant says:

The Xtol alternative (Fomadon Excel) should arrive within a few days. Looking forward to try it myself. Thanks for the update!
ages ago (permalink)

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Marek Warunkiewicz says:

I've looked at the negs closely yesterday and made one print - lack of time. I will post some scans of the negs tomorrow. The print, and negs upon closer inspection with a loupe, seem soft. It's like there is a dark halo around things. Not my equipment - Hassleblad with a 50mm lens. I am going to do something tomorrow. I am going to take 4 rolls of film of the same objects by switching backs. I will then develop in the following:

1) Xtol/Rodinal/Ascorbic/Borax
2) Pyro
3) HC 110 - 1:11 - exposed/developed according to Zone System
4) GSD-10 (if I can find Glycin tomorrow) or if not.... any recommendations?

I am trying to avoid the tediousness of Zone System measurements, development etc.
ages ago (permalink)

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LeNoirPhotog says:

photoformulary is where I get my glycin from
ages ago (permalink)

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athiril says:

OP:

You have likely lowered the pH of the developer to a point where the restrainng effect of borax combined with that has no effect on developing anymore.

Ascorbic Acid is.. acidic.. lowers pH

You probably want to convert it to potassium or sodium ascorbate before hand with potassium or sodium carbonate.

Or add something to raise the pH back to where it was.
ages ago (permalink)

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