Saturday, June 4, 2011

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!

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