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January 1st, 2024

The Kodak Doesn’t Live Here Anymore Blues…part the second…

This morning I mixed the chemicals I got from Photographer’s Formulary I wrote about the other day. I was very careful to follow their instructions on mixing To The Letter. Which was good because lawd have mercy when they said to mix in a Well Ventilated Area because some of it would give off fumes they weren’t frikken kidding!

But I had a difficulty. The powdered chemicals they supplied me with did not dissolve nearly as quickly as the instructions said. At one point the instructions called for patience when adding the boric acid because it would take up to five minutes to dissolve. Try more like 20. All if it was like that except for the liquid ingredients. And I kept stirring the entire time. I used only distilled water, and at 68 degrees as instructed.

What I ended up with was a mixture that never got completely clear. Everything finally seemed to have dissolved but it still has a sight cloudy appearance to it.

So I did some tests with a few small strips of 35mm film I sacrificed for the cause. They seemed to clear just fine but there remained a slightly pinkish tint that should not have been there. That worried me until I realized I was still seeing the anti-halation layer which is normally removed by the developer. Since I was just dipping the film strips into the fixer I wasn’t removing that layer.

For comparison I mixed up my last good bottle of Kodafix that I used for paper processing. The Kodafix working solution I mixed up was pure and clear like water. Those strips came out exactly like the strips I did from the rapid fix I mixed up.

What I mixed is a bit cloudy, but it seems to work. But I would like a second opinion from anyone reading this who is more familiar with mixing and working with raw chemicals than I am. What could have happened here? Why was it taking so much longer than the instructions said to dissolve the chemicals? I mean, several orders of magnitude longer. What could have happened, what could I have possibly done, to leave the mixture a bit cloudy. As I said, I used only distilled water, and I mixed in a clean glass Pyrex dish.

I’ve no idea.

This is not making me feel comfortable about mixing up some H&W Control developer from raw chemicals.

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