Tuesday, June 28, 2011


It seems we have some sort of "in-thing" movements in our little world of ascorbate developers.

All of a sudden there is an explosion of posts about the latest *thing*, and all of a sudden everyone agrees that we have the Solution........

For a long time noone paid much attention to fog, most people was amazed over the fact that Caffenol worked at all, and people overlooked the fact that underdeveloped images without contrast was not such a great achievement, & preferred to talk about artistic values instead.....

When ascorbic acid was introduced, and especially Reinhold's improved, more concentrated formula was introduced, we had a developer every bit as good as commercial products, and pretty son fog levels and developer fog was a theme.

KBr of potassium bromide was quickly introduced as a solution. KBr is indeed the classical restrainer & anti-foggant in photograpic developer formulae.

I wrote a little about cirtic acid as an alternative :

Citric acid is said to work as an anti-foggant solely by lowering the pH levels, a look at this article will raise some suspicion over that, my puublished calculations show very little effect on the total pH in the mix (except for low concentration CC-L), and since citric acid works very well as an anti-foggant at roughly double the weight added compared to KBr, I personally think the action from citric acid is a little more involved than some quarters think.

KBr on the other hand seems to work quite straightforward : in solution KBr is dissociated into K+ and Br- ions.  In the film emulsion we have silver HALIDES, that is silver salts from bromide, iodide and chloride (fluoride is generally not used, since it is very active). In modern times silver bromide is used more thjan the others, because it is more sensitive to light, originally silver chloride was used, and that is much less light sensitive.

Now during development silver ions, Ag+ is redusced to metallic silvers and deposited in the emulsion as silver grains (clumped together), while Br- is released into solution.

Generally speaking, if Br- is then added to the solution via KBr, the Br- ions from this addendum will tend to keep the red-ox reactin in check, and slow down development.

Lately replacing KBr with ordinary table salt has been discussed a lot.  Lately a lot has been written about IODIZED table aslt as a replacement for KBr. Pictures have been shown, thast seems to prove that this works.  And fairly unsubstantiated claims that the very very small convcentration of KI, potassioum iodide is why this seems to work.

Frankly speaking I remain somewhat sceptical about that.

First because there is relatively little AgI, solver iodide, in modern emulsions, so any addition of I- ions is likely not to work directly, like KBr have been proven to do by the whole industry.

Second because the amount of iodides is so small in table salt, compared to chlorides, that the effect thereof is likely to drown, straight KBr works directly and at a much higher concentration.

But judging from the pictures table salt seems to work, and why?

Well there are fly's in the ointment : one worker has reported a severe case of fogging or staining from the salt addition. This "salt effect" is most likely connected with the heavy dose used - at least 10 times the weight, compared to KBr, and probably has to do with the same effect as adding salt to food, a heavily salted ham changes it substantially, compared to fresh food....

That table salt seem to work, is beyond question, the trouble is WHY?

Since noone seems to have run comparative tests, I'd like to see that.

Not only comparisons to KBr and citric acid (who both works just fine), but also comparative tests between non-iodized salt and iodized salt.  I have a pretty strong hunch there would be less difference between iodozed and non-iodized table salt, thatn what is suggested.

In non-scietific terms I think that might have to do with a "halide-effect". It might be that a higher concentration of any halide-ions (Br-, I- & Cl-) in the solution works more or less the same and pushes the equilibrium towards a less active developer.

If that is the case, the massive dose of Cl- from the table salt (NaCl ---> Na+ & Cl-) is the operator, not the miniscule addendum of I-.

Since the iodized table salt available over here has 1/5 the concentration of KI in it, compared to US and EU table salts, and ince the slat additions suggested have been linked with the KI concentration in the salt, I have not tested this yet.

If I where to use the iodized table salt available, I would have to add not 10 grams, but 50 grams, personally I'm not prepared to do that, I think such a massive dose of salt would be bad for my developer, and I'm struggling with taming other effects already.

But I'd love to se a test run comparing identically exposed films, developed with Caffenol, and 4 variations, no anti-foggant, KBr, non-iodized table salt and lastly iodized table salt.
If set up for a film type known to require some anti-foggant, it would be possible to decide if table salt is a viable alternatiove to the industry standard KBr, and wether the small amount of iodide has any bearing on this at all.

At least I think its way to early to declare that iodized table salts are the way to go, KBr works 100% as advertized and table salt really has to prove itself.

Just my opinion of course YMMV.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pre-wash, another myth exploded?

Back when I was young I learned how to develop films and pictures in what was a traditional photo club. I learned the tricks of the trade from people who learned their way around a darkroom in the 1930's  (still has negatives from railwayman, music conductor, tetotaller spokesman and amateur photographer Alfred, my first great darkroom buddy).

I was told how to do things and what not to do, and after a few stupid mistakes, what I was told is still ingrained......

There was never anyone mentioning pre-wetting, pre-wash or anything remotely like that.  Mind you these oldies where guys that started up with Kodak cameras where you could inscribe picture data on the back of the film, via an opening in the back and a metal pen to pierce the backing paper slightly.  They upgraded to pack-film or glass plate cameras, and developed by hand, in red light, after desentizising the film (after the general advent of panchromatic film)  Maybe they where pre-washing  glass plates - it was never mentioned, these guys where happy over the transition to 120 (or even 620) film, some had moved on to 135 film and leica-format cameras, Alfred never did, he was perfectly happy with his quality german folder, 6x6 with something as rare as a 75mm f:2,8 lens...

Moving on into the small format world I had to rely on books, and Hans Windisch' famous "neue Fotoschule" was the foundation. Recently I found a like new copy of that book and have read it several times. hans was famous for his fine-grain developers, his W665 and W22 still lives on to this day.  A few days back I went through this book another time just to check the facts. Absolutely NO mention of pre-wash techniques, and Hans was very particular in his darkroom, a great photographer too, who made several landmark pictures after WW2.....

OK the check this further I went to my tome on photo techniques : Wissenschaftliche und Angewandte Photographie" :

Im posting the forewords here for interested parties :

As one can see this is in german, so to have this properly translated I contacted Bernd, who is a german, with perfect command of the english language, to get it right.

Below is what they have to say about this topic in this german standard tome, followed by Bernd's translation.

Bernd :

The kinetics of developement in praxis

a) Pre-wash and its influence. In some cases the light sensitive
material is pre-washed in water in order to avoid adherence of
air bubbles during the development and the resulting flaws.

Bernd :


This procedure originates from times when no effective wetting agents
were available. Pre-washing only yields a completely even development
when the whole gelatine layer is completely soaked. Otherwise there may
be different levels of developer concentration throughout the layer.
Additionally partially soaked gelatine layers offer increased adherence
for air bubbles and dust or dirt particles. Also left over bromide salts
from the manufacturing process are washed out. This can enhance
development of less exposed areas in developers not containing potassium
bromide. In highly concentrated developers pre-washing increases the
initial development speed because of increased diffusion speed. In
diluted developers pre-washing may cause a further dilution resulting in
longer development times. Hardening of the layer only delays development
in case on intermediate drying. Pre-washing in desensitising solutions
have the same effect as pre-washing in water in terms of wetting the

Today pre-washing is hardly done anymore. Because of before mentioned
reason one would strongly advise against it. Pre-washing can be useful
to remove anti-halation layers on sheet/plate film and to protect the
developer from polution. To achieve this the sheets/plates are placed in
water until thoroughly soaked and the anti-halation is wiped of with a
sponge and rinsed before development.

In the back of the book is a section on errors and failuers and how to correct :

Bernd : 

1. Irregular, light spots

Cause: Emulsion layer touched with fingertips which always
leaves oil on the layer. These oil stains repel the developer.
These spots can also be caused by pre-washing in too cold water.

How to avoid: Never touch the emulsion with your fingers. Only
handle film on the edges. Don't pre-wash as this may influence
the developer concentration.

How to fix: No fix possible.


My take on that : modern emolutions don't NEED pre-wash. On the contrary pre-wash may couse more and other problems than one tries to solve, and better solutions to the original problem is easily at hand.

I have said and stand by : this is an outdated technique, something someone has gleaned from an old book without properly understanding what they have read, and why it was done back in the day.

To try to impress others, it seems to me this is a case of the blind leading the blind or The emperors new clothes.

If you want reliable, prdictable & repeatable results you need not do this.

If it makes you happy, knock yourself out.


Dan what was it you didn't understand from the above?

The book cited was an update on a german standard used at german universities both pre and post WW2, for students of  photo technology....

You seem to offer only individual anecdotes...

Kodak Tri X 120 in Caffenol

Kodak Tri X has been debated elsewhere lately, apparently some people experience trouble with Tri X.  Some claims Tri X and Caffenol doesn't go well together, or that the film does not reach box speed.

I have watched some of these reports and decided to do a test myself. I note that very many of the failure reports center around two issues : Cafenol C-L with long stand development have been used, and very often pre-soad procedures have been used.

Personally I don't like stand development, being a northerner, used to plan for winter and work hard to survive that, I don't *like* lazy work habits.......

Pre-soaking is a procedure that is not advocated neither by Kodak nor Ilford, in fact Kodak have warned aginst it for several decades and hardly mention it in their literature, with a few exceptions, mainly large sheet film which is *different* from roll films.
The literature has warnings against pre-soaking, stating "it may give rise to uneven or less active development".

So much about that, from the reports I have seen some of the trouble with Tri X has been reports of extreme fogging. Combined with obvious confusion of what is true and proper recipes and/or chemicals for Cafenol, this is hardly surprizing.

So I decided to a test all by my lonesome, and dug out an old roll of Tri X from the cool cellar storage.  And old roll, probably bought cheap in the late 1980's or early 1990's when some photo-shop went *modern* and cleaned out their shelves, at the time APS was supposed to take over and rule for the next 2 or 3 decades.....  The roll in question has a light, bright green end on the backing paper, yellow in the middle where film is and exposure numbers are printed.

I loaded the film in my recently refurbished Agfa Isolette III camera a 120 folder with an uncoupled rangefinder (the rangefinder was repaired by myself, it was stuck thight, and the repair was easy, once I figured out how to dis- and re-assemble....).
Exposure was taken care of by my handheld Gossen LunaPro SBC, which is my gold standard as far as exposure meassurement goes.

Development was one tankful (ca 500 ml) of Cafenol C-H, reinhold's recipe weighed out exactly according to formula, with half a pinch of KBr added for fog control (a pinch is a 1 ml volumetric measure and half of that is a little less than half a gram of my KBr).

Development time was 15 minutes at a little more than 20 degrees centigrade, summer is here around these shores too, so sometimes the kitchen gets heated a little.

Everything went as planned, nothing special about the negatives - a little fog was there, and was to be expected IMHO since the film has been stored unexposed for at least 2 decades in less than perfect conditions.  I put the films on the scanner, and got the good, well exposed, fully developed negatives digitized with no problems at all.

Save for personal pictures, and for a few landscape pictures where the focus of the lens was less than spectacular (seems that infinity is not infinity, or maybe my hand was shaking too much, its been a long while since I tried a good old folder....) I got some good pictures in the local marina.  Have a look at a few below here they show the excellent qualities of Tri X in Cafenol well. Virtually no grain (expected, this is 6x6 on a 120 film, grain really was no problem until after Oscar Barnack came up with the Leica, before that negative AREA took care of the grain), fine well exposed negatives with lots and lots of details in both highlights and shadows.

If anything Tri X is BETTER in cafenol than in some of the esoteric miracle developers sold for high-ISO films over the years.  I did get full box speed, but I don't advocate pushing the film - if one needs 3200 ISOor above go digital!

A few samples here  :

Kodak Tri X, Cafenol C-H, normal agitation
developed 15 minutes @ 21 C ISO 400

Kodak Tri X, Cafenol C-H, normal agitation
developed 15 minutes @ 21 C ISO 400

Kodak Tri X, Cafenol C-H, normal agitation
developed 15 minutes @ 21 C ISO 400

Monday, June 13, 2011

TCB, discussion and more pictures.

Update : see towards the end, update on the 4th film developed in this mix, with picture examples, developed 1.5 months after the mix was first mixed and used, stored in a half-empty bottle, in a worm, well lit place..... this developer shows promise!

As promised I an pressing on with what is left of my Part A, using that as the only part.

I have now developed a Fuji Nexia A200  200ISO C41 color APS film in the brew to B&W.

I will show pictures here, and will also highlight comments received from Michael that deserves to be seen and commented. Michael is my inspiration in this, and hopefully we will find a better way of doing this than my feeble effort so far.

Burnt home........
Fuji Nexia A200 C41 APS film
developed 20 min @ 20C in TCB Part A

Traditional log home, at the site of a 200 year old former mine.
Fuji Nexia A200 C41 APS film

One more, my other hobby....
This guys will hit a pinhead - and very, very quickly...
Data as above. 

I have had difficulty developing Fuji C41 film at all before with caffenol, weak images, and no images at all, seemingly a hopeless proposition. I am pleased to get this at all, so far, but will need to test with one more film, my staple test vehicle Kodak Gold 200, to be able to put this in perspective.

These images where among the best on the APS film, some where hopelessly under-exposed & -developed, also uneven across the images, but that might have to do with the scanner that does not support APS film properly.

Comments :

Michael :
Looking closer at my notes I found an interesting trend that may help explain what is going on here. I found that initial tests as a one-shot developer with relatively little p-aminophenol did not work well and results were similar to what was posted here. What I found worked was to make a re-usable version with lots of p-aminophenol and it worked to process many rolls of film. To make the re-usable version I suggest the following:

TCB Part A:
Acetaminophen - 15g (30 x 500mg tablets)
Ascorbic Acid - 6g
Sodium Hydroxide - 20g
Water to make 250mL

Let stand for 72 hours, add 5g borax and water to make 1L

(Make a note here, Michael has corrected this recipe - it's given below in full, I just want to leave this as it was, so others can follow the discussion)

TCB Part B:
Boarax - 19g
Ascorbic Acid - 6g
Water to make 1L

Use A:B 1:9 for a normal speed (8 min) developer and 1:19 for a stand or semi-stand developer. The working strength solution can be re-used many times but I didn't determine the limit

Erik :
Question : In part A do you mix the ingredients in the order given?  When I was dabbling with my SALS13, I mixed Acetamiophen by itself with Lye (sodium hydroxide) to kickstart the chemical transformation, adding other ingredients later. Since I did not put any ascorbic acid in there until 72 hours after, most likely all of the Acetamiophen was oxidized, leaving me with a neasrly non-active developer.

I was thinking more like letting the Acetamiophen and lye brew for a while, then adding Ascorbic acid.....

Also, based on your Flickr post I assume this is the film that turned the developer green. I see that often when using Kodak Gold 200 and my home-brew developers.

Erik :
Definitely true, and intriguing and interesting, after developing Fuji in that same, once light green brew, it has now turned slightlu orange-brown!!  :-)

Michael :
Sorry, correction to the first comment, TCB part A should be 500mL total volume and not 1L so it should be as follows:

TCB Part A:
Acetaminophen - 15g (30 x 500mg tablets)
Ascorbic Acid - 6g
Sodium Hydroxide - 20g
Water to make 250mL

Let stand for 72 hours, add 5g borax and water to make 500mL.

Erik :
I have made worse mistakes in my life, I leave it here as written, so people can follow this themselves, we update only correct recipes in the Recipes section!

Michael :
I learned the hard way that p-aminophenol will oxidize rapidly without any preservative. The tell-tale sign is the colour of the mix. If it turns a deep red then you most likely have too much oxidized p-aminophenol. When making parodinal the sulfite preserves so in this case you need ascorbate. 2 hours semi-stand with the above recipe gives a +1 push with regular B&W film so you should get box speed with C-41. I will try with Kodak Gold 200 when I get a chance.

Erik :
The deep red table-wine appearance was a tell tale sign when I tested this, and got as a result nearly no activity.  That was my SALS13 test.  My conclusion on that was that I need to mix in a different way, and add a preservative that stops or slows down the oxidation to a level when I get a result that I want.  Your suggestion to use ascorbic acid for that is genous IMHO.  Only thing keeping me from having at that again is that I now have Phenidone here....  :-).


I have just finished another test film, C41 Kodak Advantix 200 ISO, very close to the 135 Kodak Gold 200 I have used all along as a test vehicle (because I have plenty!). The film, exposed in my Canon IX APS SLR is fortunate, this camera can be programmed just like my Canon EOS 50e, to take 3 exposures, 1X, +1X and -1X, making a 25 exposure roll into a 6 picture test.  I will develop this in the remaining part A from my test run, and because of the exposure triplets, will be able to determine correct ISO speed and development time much better, preparing for a new mix and test run, as soon as I have finished other things that will see the day of light in this blog.

I will publish pictures from this last film (from this mix) and wrap up things here, moving on to other iteresting things, Phenidone, for instance.

(film now developed, hung to dry. Looks strong and musty, the Kodak C41 films have always behaved better than Fuji when it comes to ascorbates. All images in triplets, one over and one under-exposed. It will be interesting to see how they scan. Pictures tomorrow)

Pictures :
 Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
left ISO 200, middle ISO 400, right ISO 100

 Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
Exposed at 200 ISO, developed at 22 min @ 20C 

 Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
Exposed at 400 ISO, developed at 22 min @ 20C

Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
Exposed at 100 ISO, developed at 22 min @ 20C

Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
left ISO 200, middle ISO 400, right ISO 100
Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
Exposed at 200 ISO, developed at 22 min @ 20C 

Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
Exposed at 400 ISO, developed at 22 min @ 20C 

Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
Exposed at 100 ISO, developed at 22 min @ 20C

 Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
Exposed at 100 ISO, developed at 22 min @ 20C

Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
Exposed at 200 ISO, developed at 22 min @ 20C

Canon IX APS, Kodak advantix 200
Exposed at 400 ISO, developed at 22 min @ 20C

To me this experiment highlights two things, the TCB-developer, even at this mix gives good ISO, it will allow box speed and it gives finer grain than Cafenol C.

This experiment has been goood, even after a false start. I will adjust the mix procedure and adjust the formula, and will listen carefully to the suggestion from Michael.

Also this experiment underlines that this developer will certainly develop several films with little or no adjustment of developing times, that might indicate that ascorbic acid has been mixed in to saturation, so that this protects and restores the tylenol. The initial troubles was most likely because the tylenol componenet did not react as designed.

At the moment I think this developer survives well in a closed bottle, and that it can be used as a standby developer. It might be needed to adjust times to specific films, most likely ordinaru B&W will require less development time, while the troublesome Fuju's will need more time.  Only time will show.  I now close this chapter and looks to other things.


I just decided to one more roll of APS film, Kodak Advatix (C41) Ultra 400 ISO.

This was the final drops of developer left from this mix, it was just enough to cover the film in the spiral, and I discarded the mix after development, after securing final pH in the mix, at pH 9.5
Since this was a 400 ISO film and it has been my experience that 400 ISO films need a little more time in the brew than 100 - 200 ISO C41 films, I devided to up the time by 25%, adding one extra minute for the developer being spent.

So I ended up with a development time of 28.5 minutes. All in all this looks to be a bit too long, another contribution to that was a slightly higher temperature, up to 21.5 C from the previous 20 C. This also would have added a minute - or rather I should have deducted a minute, perhaps a minute and a half on account of the temperature.

As usual I used 3 changes of tempered water as a stop, and fixed and washed as normally.  The negatives came out quite good, perhaps a little too dense, with good contrast.  This being a 400 ISO film, and a color C41 film to boot, sharpness wasn't perfect and we can see a lot of grain, also perhaps due to over-development, contrast was a bit steep, and exposure a bit trick for the auto-exposure used in counter-the-light situations.  I will not recommend 400 ISO film for general use in APS cameras, too little negative area.

The negative strips of my usual test runs with one exposure box-speed, one under and one over was scanned and left asd is, and can bee seen under here, together with a few single scans that are doctured a bit for contrast and density, as I would normally do.

Canon IX APS, Kodak Advantix 400
Exposed as shown, developed at 28.5 min @ 21.5C, TCB mix
left to right, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 200

Canon IX APS, Kodak Advantix 400
Exposed at ISO 800, developed at 28.5 min @ 21.5C, TCB mix

Canon IX APS, Kodak Advantix 400
Exposed as shown, developed at 28.5 min @ 21.5C, TCB mix
left to right, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 200
Canon IX APS, Kodak Advantix 400
Exposed at ISO 800, developed at 28.5 min @ 21.5C, TCB mix

Canon IX APS, Kodak Advantix 400
Exposed as shown, developed at 28.5 min @ 21.5C, TCB mix
left to right, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 200

Canon IX APS, Kodak Advantix 400
Exposed at ISO 200, developed at 28.5 min @ 21.5C, TCB mix
Canon IX APS, Kodak Advantix 400
Exposed as shown, developed at 28.5 min @ 21.5C, TCB mix
left to right, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 200

Canon IX APS, Kodak Advantix 400
Exposed at ISO 200, developed at 28.5 min @ 21.5C, TCB mix

This cocluded my test run so far with the TCB-developer, it started with a small disaster, since I strongly feel the mixing procedure was incorrect, too little of the Tylenol was initially converted into a super-additive pair of developing agents with the ascorbic acid, this left me with half as much of the mix as I intially did expect.

However the results shown here, after the initial disaster came from part A of the mix only, i.e. half the volume. I have plans for further tests, but with a different mixing procedure, to start the transformation of the tylenol, and the protect the result with ascorbic acid, as suggested by Michael.

So far this developer yelds excellent results, but cannot create magic, as 400 ISO C-41 APS films definitely WILL be grainy like hell, no matter what developer is used.  What is promising is that it now seems that normally exposed films will reach 400 ISO from 200 ISO films, and 800 ISO from 400 ISO films, even from this rather weak brew, and do so easily.

I definitely suggest further tests here.

Another positive side is : it took more than 1.5 months between my initial mix and use of this brew and until the last film developed. Even when kept on an half-empty bottle, in a well lit, warm kitchen, in a blank, see-through bottle, little effect and activity was lost, if kept in a cool  place, in a stoppered and full bottle and in the dark, this developer should keep used for months easily.

More tests on that is sure to follow, as soon as i have the proper mix down pat.


Thank you for your valuable input here Michael, without your knowledge and insights and practical experience, I'd be completely lost!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

TCB - Tylenol, Ascorbate, Borax - pictures.

Kodak Gold 200  ISO 200 C41 color-negative film.
Developed in part A ONLY of the TCB developer ph 9.3, 20 centigrade, normal agitation. Time 30 minutes at 20 centigrade, did reach only half box speed

The developer in part A did not react as expected, apparently the initial concentration of NaOH was too low to convert the Tylenol tablets (paracetamol plus additives) into a proper developer, but a fairly high addition of ascorbic acid most likely saved the day, even at a very low pH of 9,3 in this mix.

This brew did not follow the recipe given below, since there at first try was no activity, the dosage of NaOH was doubled in the hope that activity would pick up.

This test was a least straw after the initial and original plan failed, I skipped part B entirely (30 gram Borax per liter) and used only part A for a higher concentration and more activity. Even at that I only got about half box speed.

Triplet stripe from left to right :
ISO 200, ISO 100, ISO 400

ISO 100

Triplet stripe from left to right :
ISO 200, ISO 100, ISO 400

ISO 400

ISO 100

Triplet stripe from left to right :
ISO 200, ISO 100, ISO 400

Kodak Gold 200 exposed ISO 100 developed as above

Back to the drawing board, I will now try to duplicate Michaels recipe exactly, to see if that gives better results.

TCB - Tylenol, Vitamin C and Borax - roundup

I mixed the brew(s) as outlined below, my first try to make this complicated brew easier to understand.

I had a botlle, 500 ml of part A and a bottle, 1000 ml of part B. If mixed straight I would have 1,5 liter of developer on hand.  Being a bit insecure of how well this would store (Michael indicated it would keep in a closed bottle, but.....)

The gameplan was to take 100 ml part A & 200 ml part B, for a 300 ml mix in a JOBO-tankful.

I set up everything very accurate, measured temperature exactly, pH with pH-meter that had been zeroed.

The brew was ph 9.3 temperature just above 20 centigrade.

Poured the developer, agitated normally for 12 minutes, just like a normal B&W film in Cafenol CH. Normal stop, normal fix and wash, everything normal so far.

When I pulled the lid, it was a BIG disappointment, absolutely nothing on film!

Couple of days later after some hectic messages from Michael, back and forth, I tentatively added 4 gram of lye pearls (NaOH), to double the NaOH content and get the pH up.  The hope was that the lye hadn't converted the Tylenol tablets into developer, a good sign on that was that there was no expected color change in part A, it was light yellowish (not green-yellow from ascorbic acid-conversion), and pH was 8,8 before NaOH added.

I added the lye and let everything sit for a couple of days, hoping the lye would take care of the Tylenol. I then mixed another, similar brew. Now pH was 9,3-ish in both parts and in the mix as well, no real color change in part A.

I mixed a fresh mix of part B, without any KBr in it, if the KBr-restrainer had kept the ascorbate from working.

After 15 minutes development, normal agitation, stop, fix and wash I pulled the lid and had a look at the film.

Another big disappointment. This time there was faint images, but only the extreme highlights had developed at all, like sunlit parts of the sky.

So far nothing to show at all.

After another round of e-mails to & from Michael I gave this some deep thought :

Adding part B in this case did nothing to the pH, and pH 9.3 is borderline for ascorbates annyway it is said, so I figured I needed as concentrated a soup as I could find.

Luckily it sat just in fron of me, the part A bottle still had some 300 ml in it, bottom covered by a slur from the tablets (sugar and other additives to form the tablets, I'm told.

I decided to use that as was, and quickly set up everything with a new test-film, with 12 bracketed triplets filling the entire 36 picture roll.

Gave it 30 minutes development time in the concentrated brew, normal agitation, stop, fix and wash, and pulled the lid.

Finally TCB had given me pictures!  I hang it to dry, scanned the results and had a look see on everything.

The film was over-developed. That was easy to see, in each triplet pic\ture #1 was exposed box speed, ISO 200, picture #2 was exposed ISO400, and picture #3 was exposed ISO 100.

Except for against-the light exposers who fooloed the exposure even on my Canon EOS 50e all where overexposed in the development time used here (30 minutes).

In all instances, except for hard against-the-light exposures, ISO 100 was best, the others where a bit touch and go as is to be expected in tricky light.

I scanned the pictures, and did scans of some of the triplets together also, so people can asess themselves what it looks like.  I will show pictures in the nest instalment tonite.

The conclusion so far is :

I need to go back to Michaels original recipe and follow to the letter, to see if  I can replicate his work.

I also need to find out if this developer will store partly used in a closed but not entirely full bottle.

Sadly I already spent too much on the first experiments, after one film I now have less that a tabnkfull for 35 mm film. But I can develop several APS films in another tank, before I loose too much of the fluid to cover the film, and this I intend to do. I will also cut back on time to ca 20 - 22 minutes and add a minute per film thereafter.

This remains to be done, I'll be back with more on that later, but now - onwards to the next instalment, the pictures from this experiment!