Similarities in MQ developers

Share your black and white print making knowledge or ask for advice.

Moderator: Black & White Moderators

Post Reply
tim.bowman
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:55 am
Location: Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Contact:

Similarities in MQ developers

Post by tim.bowman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:38 am

Recently, I did some comparisons between the various MQ developer recipes listed in the Cookbook. I discovered that, when you rework the formulas to express the quantities in grams per gram of metol, D-72 (Dektol), D-52 (Selectol), and Defender 55-D have the exact same proportions of metol to sulfite to hydroquinone. They only differ in carbonate and bromide.



This means that I should be able to formulate a common-ground stock solution using the lowest common denominator for carbonate and bromide, which I could use to make any one of those three developers by adjusting dilution and adding the appropriate amount of 6% carbonate and 10% bromide solution.



Someone has thought of this before, right? It can't possibly work.



This is the spreadsheet I used to do the calculations. The second tab is where the components are expressed in terms of metol, and the third tab is where I worked out the dilution and additions to match existing developers.



https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing



I thought I'd fly this by the collected experience here before I try it in the real world.



As soon as my liter of D-72 stock runs out, I'm totally trying it, though.

User avatar
sanchell
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:47 am
Location: Oregon
Contact:

Similarities in MQ developers

Post by sanchell » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:33 pm

That sounds exciting, Tim.



It may, or may not, have been done before. I have said from the first article that appeared in Camera & Darkroom magazine, that the purpose of the DCB was to share techniques that might otherwise be lost, and in this case, if it works, that have been found or discovered.



If this does work, let's plan on including it, with attribute to you, in the 5th ed.



Keep everyone posted.
Do it in the Dark,



Steve Anchell

andynguyen
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:45 pm

Similarities in MQ developers

Post by andynguyen » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:01 am

Tim, your observation is right on. & so is your MQFlex formula. Something similar should have been done before. I remember reading somewhere that Patrick Gainer (& many others) had some sort of "base" & they adjust it using carbonate (by tea-spoon) & 10% KBr (using a dropper). I dont see why your approach wouldnt work.



Fwiw, i'm using E-72 formula by Chris Patton & i prefer it to MQ type dev. the tone seems slightly cooler & the black slightly darker. It keeps better, too (judging via color change).



Your suggestion gave me the idea to modify PC dev similarly: start with E-72 core (P,C,Sulfite) and adjust Carbonate & Bromide (or BTZ) seperately. Why? Coz I can get Phenidone & Vit C pretty cheaply while M is slightly expensive (& if you factor in the amount of M vs P it's a game changer). & the Darkroom Cookbook is full of MQ formular, but very few PC paper dev. I wonder why...

tim.bowman
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:55 am
Location: Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Contact:

Similarities in MQ developers

Post by tim.bowman » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:53 pm

Hi Andy, thanks for your reply.



I've gone looking for information on Patrick Gainer's developer base. He's shared a remarkable amount of articles with us. Hopefully I'll find the one you're remembering. In the meantime it's nice to know there's some precedent for my silliness.



The vitamin-C developers are interesting. But I am concentrating on MQ developers just because I have a decent stock of metol and hydroquinone already and I'm trying to keep my darkroom as simple as possible for the time being.



Your post makes me wonder... Can I eliminate the carbonate and bromide entirely if I'm planning to add them to the tray when I dilute? Will the developing agents be okay in the bottle with only some sulfite to protect them?

andynguyen
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:45 pm

Similarities in MQ developers

Post by andynguyen » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:10 pm

Hmmm, if I were you, I'd leave them out entirely & add some metabisulfite as additional preservatives. The carbonate can be added later on as powder. the KBr or BTZ can be added as % solution as you wish. That way you add the exact amount you want, instead of having to subtract the "base" from the result you're trying to create. Dont worry about the metabisulfite lowering the pH. The amount of metabisulfite is small & the carbonate is way more. & you've 1 less solution to make. the most apparent drawback is the heat given out while dissolving carbonate; it might increase the temperature of your developer a little, though i dont think it would matter that much.

tim.bowman
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:55 am
Location: Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Contact:

Re: Similarities in MQ developers

Post by tim.bowman » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:14 am

Last month I finally mixed up some MQ Flex. I've tried it as D-72 for paper negatives and as Defender 55D for prints on Fomatone. It seems to work just fine. I haven't tried D-52 yet.

Happily, it seems to be keeping well, too.

Here's my cheat-sheet with mixing and dilution instructions:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hSY ... sp=sharing

User avatar
perfesserkev
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:05 am
Location: Denver
Contact:

Re: Similarities in MQ developers

Post by perfesserkev » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:59 am

Super cool Tim! I am interested in playing with it. Thanks for sharing your recipes.
"You compose, you decompose." -- Ernst Haas

tim.bowman
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:55 am
Location: Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Contact:

Re: Similarities in MQ developers

Post by tim.bowman » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:39 am

If you do try it, perfesserkev, please let me know how it goes. I struggled to find simple directions for mixing tray-strength. And now that I've used it a few times, I'm sorely tempted to do some rounding-off, even though I would deviate from the original formulas.

I'm curious to hear how other printers feel about it.

User avatar
sanchell
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:47 am
Location: Oregon
Contact:

Re: Similarities in MQ developers

Post by sanchell » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:08 am

Thank you for sharing this. Keep us posted on your findings.
Do it in the Dark,



Steve Anchell

tim.bowman
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:55 am
Location: Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Contact:

Re: Similarities in MQ developers

Post by tim.bowman » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:54 am

I've been through two batches now and it seems to work well. It keeps just as well as Dektol.

Just last night I mixed a batch with absolutely no carbonate or bromide in the stock, thinking that way I can get maximum flexibility when adding them later. I'm curious to see if it keeps okay with only the metol, hydroquinone, and sodium sulfite to preserve it.

User avatar
sanchell
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:47 am
Location: Oregon
Contact:

Re: Similarities in MQ developers

Post by sanchell » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:30 am

Thank you for keeping everyone updated on this.
Do it in the Dark,



Steve Anchell

tim.bowman
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:55 am
Location: Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Contact:

Re: Similarities in MQ developers

Post by tim.bowman » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:33 am

It turns out this flexible MQ developer things is a way deeper rabbit-hole than I expected.

This last batch of MQ without restrainer or accelerator got me to thinking... The Cookbook has a formula for divided D-23 which is pretty simple -- just put the carbonate in a separate tray. Could I do the same to D-72?

Turns out it works. Sort of.

I made up one tray with just the metol, sulfite, hydroquinone, and bromide, and another with only the carbonate. I tested three papers. Two minutes in each tray, then stop and fix like normal.

Arista RC (on the left in the top photo) gave pretty poor dmax and was pretty mottled. My guess is that the emulsion isn't thick enough to drink up much developer. It seems to have some interesting edge effects happening in the darks though, which leads me to wonder if divided development would be useful for paper negatives.

Unibrom, singleweight, grade 2 (center) gave better dmax, but still not quite what this paper is capable of. The edge effects are here too, and if this was a negative, I'd guess it would keep some detail in the hilights, even though they are getting compressed way out there on the shoulder.

Ilford MGFB, matte (right) was a surprise. I guess it soaked up enough developer that it could make almost the same dmax as in normal development. Don't be fooled by the short scale of this one. I exposed it with the equivalent of a grade 5-ish filter. (I'm using a homemade LED multicontrast head.)

So, I don't think I'll be making any prints with this formula, but the contrast reduction and edge effects make it really interesting for paper negatives. Even the crappy RC paper could be interesting for that goopy wet plate look without having to store collodion or cover your workspace with silver nitrate stains!

For those of you who have experience with divided development, what recommendations can you give for reducing the contrast further and/or increasing the dmax?
2017-06-09 10.02.48.jpg
2017-06-09 10.02.48.jpg (48.78 KiB) Viewed 296 times
2017-06-08 22.09.31.jpg
2017-06-08 22.09.31.jpg (35.78 KiB) Viewed 296 times

Post Reply