Saturday, September 14, 2013

Triple 5: Fine Grain Film Developer

Triple 5: Fine Grain Film Developer

Oh yea..., Triple 5, is alive!

CD2 color developer is a very good substitute for p-phenylenediamine type developing agents, in fact Crawley used it in his FX-10 formula. Yet Triple 5 uses only 70 grams of Sodium Sulfite, to avoid the issues of fog, that one could encounter when using  the FX-10 formula.. As well the Boric Acid is replaced with Borax and Sodium Hydroxide in the form of the Sodium Metaborate, to provide much better alkalies and overall balance. All the benefits of using Sodium Metaborate can be found in USP # 1,976,299 and 1,990,800, if one desires additional information.

And what's so neat about this formula is that you can buy only the amount of chemicals that you need; 10 grams of each developing agent, and you do not need to keep large amounts of dangerous chemicals hanging around the house, especially if you have children or grand children around the home. And with just 10 grams of the various developing agents; there is enough to make 2 liters with just one purchase and shipping cost.

CD2, can be used as a fine grain black and white developer, and it gives outstanding results even when used by itself.  See USP # 2,304,953 and others for additional information. Also, CD2 is non-staining and less toxic to your skin than  p-phenylenediamine .

But  here..., with this formula; we will take it two steps further, because we will be using it with Metol and Glycin,  and eliminating the Hydroquinone that was used in the FX-10 formula,  to produce one “kick butt” developer. And you can purchase all of your items at one location, “Photographer Formulary”.

Water (125°F/52°C)
Sodium Sulfite (anhy)
CD2 color developer
Sodium Metaborate
Cold water to make

Mixing: Boil 1000ml of water, and allow it to cool to 180°F, then add 1 gram of the 70 grams of Sodium Sulfite to 500ml of water, stir till dissolve and add in the 5 grams of Metol, followed by the remaining 69 grams of Sodium Sulfite. Stir the solution until the chemicals have dissolved and add the 5 grams of CD2, followed by the 8 grams of Sodium Metaborate, which helps to increase your pH to around 8.3, after adding the Glycin. Stir the solution for 1 minute and add the 5 grams of Glycin.

Stir the solution until most of the Glycin is dissolved; then allow the solution to sit until all the Glycin has completely dissolved into the solution.The Glycin must be added after you have added the Sodium Metaborate, and not before, in order to get the Glycin to dissolve properly.

Add water to make a stock solution of 1000 ml.

Use diluted 1:3 and develop for 7-12 minutes @ 70°F. Or use it diluted 1:10 and develop for 14-18 minutes, as one shot developer and for better sharpness and detail..

Replenish with fresh developer, using the bleed method.

This developer must be allowed to ripen or season first, with a few rolls of film, then it is heaven sent. And it can be used over and over again in deep tank development for about 10 months, before a proper replenishment is required. The same is true, when used for small tank development, when mixed 1:3, and stored in a 1 liter bottle.

Just return the 1:3 working solution to its working stock solution storage bottle, to reuse it. Allow it to settle and filter it, using cotton balls as a filter, when required.


After mixing your Triple 5 stock solution. Obtain a 1 liter storage bottle and fill it with 500 ml of distilled water. Then add 500 ml of your Triple 5 stock solution, to the 500 ml of water in your 1 liter bottle, to give you a 1 liter bottle of Triple 5..., 1:3 working solution.

Remember to transfer the remaining Triple 5 stock solution to a  smaller 500 ml bottle. Add water to keep it filled to the top, to keep it from going bad.

Note: I have tested these formula and have obtained from good to excellent results. Yet I have not done exhaustive test with them because I do not have all the equipment or time, to try them out on every available film, camera, or photo paper.

This is where "you" the user come in. Make and try the formula out, and see what wonders you, yourself can create. Post your results or comments, whether good or bad; and become a Pioneer with me on a journey that does not end.

Thank you,


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