bromophen trouble
Old 05-21-2019   #1
Pherdinand
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bromophen trouble

hey.
A bit frustrated here. I have the feeling i keep testing stuff ad infinitum in my darkroom and not gettin anywhere.
I tried bromophen last night. It's according to Ilford a good developer for bringing out "warmest tones" from their mgfb warmtone paper.
Well, it is barely warmer if at all, than the other devs i tried (moersch ecoxxxx and amaloco 2002 extrabromax, both described as neutral to cold).
What's goin on?
Or am i too blind to see subtle warm blacks and so my scale is simply off?
Am i expecting sepia where it's only a 254 black 1 brown?

Or am i doing something wrong?

One thing, i noticed my 1+3 working solution bromophen develops fb paper fully in a bare 1.5 minutes, i can see almost no difference from 1 min to 1.5min (certainly no difference in warmth; a very small difference in shadows going darker). 2 min makes no difference anymore.
The temp is about 24C not 20C, as my small darkroom in the attic cannot be brought down lower and i dont have water baths for paper dev trays (for film dev i can control the water temp but for a few hours prinitng session the dev bath starts and stays at "room temp". I expect this speeds up development. But it shouldn't cool the image tone, right?

Furthermorea second issue, some (a lot) of my older but much liked paper like agfa record rapid which behaves OK-ish in Moersch and clean white in Amaloco, gets slightly foggy gray in bromophen. So it seems (my) bromophen is way too active compared with other developers at the same temperature.
I can fight the fogginess back by keeping dev time below 1'30" but that reduces consistency, changes the graytones, and the warmth is still nowhere.

How come?

Is there some magic in 1+5 or higher dilutions that i should try, as i read here and there it works too? Or should i start pouring KBr into the bromophene? or what
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Old 05-21-2019   #2
Erik van Straten
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Mirko Böddecker, CEO of ADOX FOTOWERKE GMBH, told on this occasion (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4-WLDm-e8A0) that Ilford paper will allways deliver the same results, regardless of how it is chemically treated. Your experience confirms this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpNIKGN9Fas

I suggest to try Bromophen on Adox MCC 110 paper.

I remember that long ago, in the 1970's, Bromophen was used in the photography department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Most used paper was Agfa Brovira. The tones that Bromophen delivered, were bluish rather than brownish.

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Old 05-21-2019   #3
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I've had a similar experience with Ilford MG FBWT developed in Ilford ID-78 (despite making this developer using potassium carbonate instead of sodium carbonate which is supposed to promote warm tones). Any extra warm tone is very subtle. I have read that there is a tendency for WT papers to be less warm as they age on the shelf before use, and where i live turnover is slow so the paper that I buy might be oldish. I'm happy with the warmish tone but as for developers enhancing it, no luck.


Toning seems to be the answer but unless you're careful it's easy to overdo it unless you really want a brown or sepia print.
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Old 05-21-2019   #4
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As Erik commented, the Ilford papers hardly change in different developers.

Try Adox, and especially the Foma warmtone papers.

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Old 05-21-2019   #5
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I'm using Fomatone 131 for Lith printing, and it's much warmer than I expected.
I still need to dial-in the dilution and toner selection, but this might be a suitable paper for you.
Also, it seems to dry flatter than the Ilford FB papers I've used in the past.
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Old 05-22-2019   #6
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thanks guys. food for thought.
Yes the MGFB warmtone i have is an older box, it's the one with the pink "window" on the label, not the pink "sidebar" which afaik is an older edition. Not fogged or no other issues but maybe it goes less brown indeed with age. Gets gray with age haha don't we all.

I have no Foma nor Adox paper at the moment but will keep it in mind.

In the meanwhile if anyone has experience with Bromophen and MGFB warmtone i am still listening!
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Old 05-22-2019   #7
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According to the msds, Bromophen contains Phenidone and Hydroquinone which is typical of warm tone developers. It doesn't list any restrainers.

If you want warmer tones, you need to dilute the developer from what you are using now. The other trick is to overexpose and underdevelop by snatching the print. This lessens contrast but gives the warmest tones. You could add KBr as well. Or do all of that which is what you will probably have to do. The main goal is to keep the grain size small which is what gives the warm tones. Keep in mind that to achieve really warm tones the developer may have to be dilute enough and have enough restrainer that your developing time could exceed 6 minutes.

I suppose the real question is what are you looking for? You say you are testing stuff and not getting anywhere. Where are you trying to get?
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Old 05-22-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
According to the msds, Bromophen contains Phenidone and Hydroquinone which is typical of warm tone developers. It doesn't list any restrainers.

If you want warmer tones, you need to dilute the developer from what you are using now. The other trick is to overexpose and underdevelop by snatching the print. This lessens contrast but gives the warmest tones. You could add KBr as well. Or do all of that which is what you will probably have to do. The main goal is to keep the grain size small which is what gives the warm tones. Keep in mind that to achieve really warm tones the developer may have to be dilute enough and have enough restrainer that your developing time could exceed 6 minutes.

I suppose the real question is what are you looking for? You say you are testing stuff and not getting anywhere. Where are you trying to get?
thanks for the ideas. I am going to try adding KBr. Also further diluting, tho i am not a fan of snatching early as contrast drop and reproducibility drop is not what i am looking for (won't get proper blacks with overexposure and underdevelopment i think).

What i am trying to get is simply warmtones out of "warmtone"designated ilford paper or on agfa's record rapid, what i got instead was fog on the record rapid (and no change on ilford). i have not tried yet benzotriazole because what i read everywhere is that it shifts tones to colder.
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Old 05-22-2019   #9
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Are you opposed to toning to tweak image color?
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Old 05-22-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pherdinand View Post
thanks for the ideas. I am going to try adding KBr. Also further diluting, tho i am not a fan of snatching early as contrast drop and reproducibility drop is not what i am looking for (won't get proper blacks with overexposure and underdevelopment i think).

What i am trying to get is simply warmtones out of "warmtone"designated ilford paper or on agfa's record rapid, what i got instead was fog on the record rapid (and no change on ilford). i have not tried yet benzotriazole because what i read everywhere is that it shifts tones to colder.
Are you able to mix your own developers?
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Old 05-22-2019   #11
john_s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
According to the msds, Bromophen contains Phenidone and Hydroquinone which is typical of warm tone developers. It doesn't list any restrainers.
........

MSDS docs list only what they have to list. In the Australian MSDS for Bromophen, bromide and benzotriazole are both mentioned.
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Old 05-22-2019   #12
Steve M.
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It's possible that the Australian formula is different than the US formula, or that different countries have different ideas on what's hazardous or potentially toxic. MSD sheets are required by law to list all hazardous or potentially toxic ingredients in a product. I was part of a team that compiled and analyzed the data for OSHA to reset and improve the PEL standards in the US. Newer and older formulas of products may exist on shelves at the same time as well.
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Old 05-23-2019   #13
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Toning would be a next step, i plan to get to know what i can get out of my stuff before going there. I am also not sure i want to do any toning as my makeshift small darkroom is stuffy and smelly enough. So, while i am not hardcore opposed to it, let's say i am not ready for it
Similar to mixing my own developer. Also nowadays it is less easy to get chemicals just around the corner (i could get them all on ebay i guess just like i did with kbr and benzotriazole). But the idea is the same. I don't think i am better than the photochemistry engineers at ilford or kodak or... If they made a developer i should be able to get good results with that, without mixing my own...right?!
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Old 05-23-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pherdinand View Post
Toning would be a next step, i plan to get to know what i can get out of my stuff before going there. I am also not sure i want to do any toning as my makeshift small darkroom is stuffy and smelly enough. So, while i am not hardcore opposed to it, let's say i am not ready for it
If you stick with Ilford Warmtone you’ll need to tone to substantially increase the warmness of tone. It won’t shift in any different developer. I tried everything after Forte Polywarmtone went out of production. You can shift it a little with the very warmest developers, diluted, restrained and temperature manipulated, but nowhere near as much as many other papers. Ilford formulated it that way deliberately, probably at least in part to try to avoid the greens a lot of warmtone papers showed in Dektol. It’s easier to use a different paper.

But if you find something, let us know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pherdinand View Post
Similar to mixing my own developer. Also nowadays it is less easy to get chemicals just around the corner (i could get them all on ebay i guess just like i did with kbr and benzotriazole). But the idea is the same. I don't think i am better than the photochemistry engineers at ilford or kodak or... If they made a developer i should be able to get good results with that, without mixing my own...right?!
Sure, but now that silver gelatin is an alternative process, the range from manufacturers is limited. So sometimes you need to dyi.

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Old 05-23-2019   #15
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-thanks Marty.
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Old 05-23-2019   #16
PRJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pherdinand View Post
Toning would be a next step, i plan to get to know what i can get out of my stuff before going there. I am also not sure i want to do any toning as my makeshift small darkroom is stuffy and smelly enough. So, while i am not hardcore opposed to it, let's say i am not ready for it
Similar to mixing my own developer. Also nowadays it is less easy to get chemicals just around the corner (i could get them all on ebay i guess just like i did with kbr and benzotriazole). But the idea is the same. I don't think i am better than the photochemistry engineers at ilford or kodak or... If they made a developer i should be able to get good results with that, without mixing my own...right?!
Depends what you want. Manufacturers make developers for the majority of people. Doesn't sound like what you want qualifies...

If you really want a warm tone developer, get some Hydroquinone, Sodium Sulfite and Sodium Carbonate. A really dilute Hydroquinone only developer will give you the warmest tones.

Sodium Carbonate can be found in most supermarkets as Washing Soda. Sodium Sulfite can be found in pool supply places (as can the carbonate). Usually Sulfite is sold as a chlorine reducer.

Potassium Carbonate makes for warmer tones, but it is going to be harder to find.

I've always used Neutol WA for warm tones, but I don't go for super warm since I tone everything.

By the way, you aren't going to get super warm tones and deep blacks unless you tone the print.

You might want to point to an example of what you are looking for. Kind of hard to hit a target you can't see.
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Old 05-23-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
It's possible that the Australian formula is different than the US formula, or that different countries have different ideas on what's hazardous or potentially toxic. MSD sheets are required by law to list all hazardous or potentially toxic ingredients in a product. I was part of a team that compiled and analyzed the data for OSHA to reset and improve the PEL standards in the US. Newer and older formulas of products may exist on shelves at the same time as well.

My guess is that the Australian rules require more information about the ingredients that are in small quantities. I have come to this conclusion after looking at quite a lot of them over the years. Examples include phenidone not being in some USA MSDSs but being listed in the Australian ones for the same product.
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