From: Peter on
On Aug 22, 12:14 am, "Richard Knoppow" <dickb...(a)> wrote:
> "Geoffrey S. Mendelson" <g...(a)> wrote in messagenews:slrnfcl22n.r42.gsm(a)
> > Richard Knoppow wrote:
> > Thanks for the wonderful answer. It will be a great help.
> >> Outdated paper is likely to be fogged. While the
> >> use
> >> of an anti-fog agent can same some of it its best just to
> >> avoid it.
> > I agree, but it's what I have. :-)
> > I'll have to see if I can get any paper locally. Darkroom
> > stuff does
> > not sell well here.
> Most of long post snipped...
> I am sorry to hear of the problems caused by unreasonable
> taxes there. A real PITA.
> If you can obtain raw chemicals you can make your own
> wash aid. For paper a simple 2% solution of Sodium Sulfite
> will work well. I think sulfite is available for other uses
> than photography so it may be easier to obtain than it first
> looks. The use of a Sulfite wash aid very substantially
> reduces the amount of water needed for washing, by at least
> 6 times. Also, you can save more but using a sequential bath
> method. Total washing time is about the same but the amount
> of water used is much less than for a running water wash.
> Kodak and Ilford give instructions for film but paper can be
> washed the same way. Agitate fiber prints in a sequence of
> about 5 minute baths of water for about 6 changes of water
> when a wash aid is used.
> Beware of red coated light bulbs as safelights. They
> _look_ red but pass enough other colors to cause fogging.
> They may be OK but test them. Actually, any safelight should
> be checked because the filters fade with time.
> Old paper can often be used with the help of an
> anti-fogging agent. The most effective is Benzotriazole but
> plain Potassium bromide will work. Bromide has a greater
> effect on the image color (tends to warm it up) and looses
> more speed than Benzotriazole. I will have to look up the
> amounts, they are given in Grant Haist's book and its in a
> box somewhere right now.
> In general, cold tone papers tend to pick up fog less
> than warm tone paper. I have some ancient Brovira which
> still works but warmer tone paper such as Agfa Portriga
> Rapid is useless even with the anti-foggant.
> Rodinal is not the ideal developer for anything but works
> OK where somewhat increased grain is acceptable. That means
> it work for large format negatives and for very fine grain
> film. In particular, it will develop T-Max or Delta films
> wtih relatively fine grain. Rodinal also makes a good, if a
> bit expensive paper developer at about 1:30.
> --
> ---
> Richard Knoppow
> Los Angeles, CA, USA
> dickb...(a)

I suppose there would be a few more options for a wash aid although
some ingenuity may help.

If I recall correctly plain old sodium cloride (table salt) helps
speed washing a little.

Sodium Sulfite is just sulfur dioxide (SO2) combined with lye (sodium
hydroxide). He says he can get the lye so all he needs to do is burn
sulfur in a vessel that is sealed and has water in it. Water combines
readily with SO2; the solution is slightly acid. Then take that
solution and add a dilute solution of lye until a pH of about 7 is

Having a pipette and an indicator to reach a neutral pH may be pushing
it, but buying Hydrion pH paper over the net should not be hard and it
doesn't weigh much. Adding lye solution with an eye dropper is a way
to mimic the pipette (with a little care added - lye is nasty).

Naturally, to do this, he needs to find some sulfur ... perhaps that
is possible?

From: Andrew Price on
On Wed, 22 Aug 2007 06:26:41 -0700, Claudio Bonavolta
<claudio(a)> wrote:

>Don't worry this was just a joke ...
>Fortunately here in Europe (except UK maybe) we feel much less the
>9/11 effects.

And the UK has no one but itself to blame for that ...
From: dan.c.quinn on
RE: On Aug 22, 11:48 am, Peter wrote:
> I suppose there would be a few more options for
> a wash aid although some ingenuity may help.

Agfa for many years recommended a 2% solution
of sodium carbonate. Dan

From: Geoffrey S. Mendelson on
dan.c.quinn(a) wrote:

> Agfa for many years recommended a 2% solution
> of sodium carbonate. Dan

Ok, I'll look for those things, but it's not a priority. In 2003 I bought
large bottles of Tental developer, wash aid and fixer. The developer
did not last, but the fixer and wash aid concentrates seem to be

Of course once I get things going, I may use them up a lot quicker. :-)

Thanks, Geoff.

Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm(a) N3OWJ/4X1GM
IL Voice: (07)-7424-1667 U.S. Voice: 1-215-821-1838
Visit my 'blog at
From: Rod Smith on
In article <slrnfcmhv5.74h.gsm(a)>,
gsm(a) (Geoffrey S. Mendelson) writes:
> Rod Smith wrote:
> > You might see if you can find a red LED bulb. I use one of these as one of
>> my two safelights:
> I wonder if I can just make one from red LED's? I have many of them. It won't
> look as nice, and I'll probably just run it off of a "wall wart".

That ought to work, although with the usual caveat that you should do
safelight tests. In fact, if you spread them out you might end up with
more even illumination than you'd get from a single bulb.

> It's actually two rooms, a larger area with a clothes dryer in it, which
> I am using as an enlarging table, and a small powder room with a counter,
> sink and toilet as the wet room.

I'm using a broken washing machine as a table in my darkroom. My
enlarger's control unit, which is separate from the enlarger's
base/column/head assembly, sits on the washing machine.

> I'll probably use it for the wet room, and the red lights for the enlarging
> area. Now I have to figure out how to set up a switching arangment so
> that they go off when the enlarger goes on. I don't have a timer, but
> I can count to 10 and if I concentrate 15 :-)

I've never bothered with this. My typical exposure times are in the 10-30
second range, which shouldn't cause fogging unless the safelights are very
close to being unsafe to begin with.

>> There's also a mix-it-yourself
>> version of Rodinal called paRodinal; see
> I tried that. I found that the local tylenol equivalent was expensive,
> pure sodium hydroxide was available only from a soap maker (who was
> willing to sell me 250 grams at a time), but sulfite was impossible
> to find. None of the camera stores carried it, and I could not locate
> a pool supply. Private pools are rare here.

I believe that sodium sulfite is used in wine production, so you might
check if there are any stores that specialize in such things. Certainly
it's a common enough chemical industrially; the tricky part would be
locating somebody who'd be willing to sell small quantities to an

Rod Smith, rodsmith(a)
Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking
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