Friday, April 1, 2011

Sals 13 - my "triX developer"?

I have been developing a lot of C41 film in my experimental SALS developer
(see another post for recipe and details)
This is film #7 developed in the same bottle of 1 litre mix.

Nice dense grain gives me that old TriX feeling, also sharpness is there, and this is a Kodak MAX 400, ISO 400 C41 film. Picture taken with my "new" Pentax SF10, lens Tamron Aspherical AF 28-80mm

Picture data as above.

This was film #/ in the same 1 litre brew, recipe SALS13, pH13 initially.
Kodak MAX 400, developed 11 min @ 20C, normal agitation 4 inversions/minute.

Since these negatives came out with a noticeable fogging, I think KBr should have been higher, this recipe needs more work, probably a mix with sodium ascorbate and tylenol, with double KBr is in order.


  1. Now that's what I call grain! Conventional wisdom says that ascorbate alone will be foggy but with at the right pH and restrainer it might work out well. My understanding is that potassium bromide works best at lower pH levels while benzotriazole works best at high pH levels so you may want to try that if it's available to you. If you're going to try tylenol + ascorbate you might want to bring the pH down. If you keep it low enough it will not activate the ascorbate (causing fog) but will activate the super-additive pair (p-aminophenol/ascorbate).

    Nice work!

  2. Had a brainfart moment there, the film in question was NOT Kodak Gold 200, it was a roll of Kodak MAX 400, an ISO 400, C41 color negative film that was gifted to me in the Pentax SLR body I recently found for a song on Ebay. On the film was 2 pictures of the seller - I wonder if he will be happy to learn i developed it in B&W - with GRAIN?

    I see this grain-in-abundance as a combined effect of this being a 400 ISO film and high pH 13 in the original brew, the pH has come down by now, it's around ph 11,7 to pH 12,0 by now, I will measure it with a re-calibrated pHmeter.

    Your suggestion is exactly what I wanted to try, I had pH12 at first in this brew, it was not sucessful (I will publish a few frames from the earlier films here). What I intend to try is pH bring down the ascorbate a little and introduce 2 gram Tylenol (4 tablets crushed and dissolved separately in the pH12 mix, filtered).

    Whats your ides 6 comments on this?

  3. I think adding the tylenol will work and I suspect it may work too well! The tylenol should convert to p-aminophenol at that pH given some time and make a very active developer. I suspect you will have issues with fog caused by the ascorbate so either lowering the pH further or possibly using a restrainer would help. You're essentially heading towards TCB but from the other end. Instead of starting with p-aminophenol and adding ascorbate, you're starting with ascorbate then adding p-aminophenol. I suspect the net result to be similar. This is a super-additive pair and what's interesting is that experimentation has shown that ascorbate has more an impact on development than the supposed developing agent itself (p-aminophenol in this case). I learned that ascorbate/phenidone ratio is a happy medium at 40:1 and going to 80:1 shows a 25% increase in activity. Using metol at 4:1 (10x that of phenidone) shows similar characteristics. I also learned that p-aminophenol can be used in similar proportions to metol so a 4:1 ratio should work well, 8:1 would significantly increase activity, and anything above that would maximize the activity. I also just learned that p-aminophenol takes some time to make. My initial time for TCB used 2 hours but I realized throgh a happy accident that leaving it for 12 hours significantly increased activity (more than double) which shows that the conversion did not complete. I am currently preparing another batch and will wait 72 hours (based on instructions from parodinal). In your case you may not see much difference right away but there should be an obvious increase in activity in 12 hours at least.

    What may work well for you is that you're processing C-41 film that in my experience needs more activity than regular B&W film to achieve similar results. I'm curious to know what happens.

  4. In essence what you say is I need les than 2 gram Tylenol for 10 gram of Ascorbate?

    And the 24 hour plus waiting period suits me fine. I probaly had that effect from this first test-mix as well, my 3rd attempt a little more that 24 hours after mixing came up with far more activity than the first fresh-mixed test indicated...

  5. 2g of tylenol + 10g ascorbate will put you in the "normal" working range. The bigger question I think is finding a suitable pH.

  6. If I base this on the SALS 12 diuscussed earlier, pH will most definitel√ły be well below that I plan on adding 4 may 6 g citric acid per liter also, all ordinary stuff that can be bought in a regular store....

  7. I will measure and report pH as I go along also, after adding Tylenol, we'll se if the pH lowers itself noticeably after 24 - 36 hours if a reaction takes place we should be able to observe that.

  8. I think the high pH in the mix for these pictures above here, is the other major cause for the graininess, ther other being the film itself, 400 ISO color film isnt reputed to be high-definition....