Winter Is Coming

Winter Is Coming

And for those who follow Game Of Darkrooms, you’ll know what this means; cold bathrooms, cold laundries, and cold darkrooms. Harder to keep processing solutions to recommended temperatures – slower processing times. Cold, stiff fingers. Family members banging on the bathroom/darkroom door demanding to use the facilities for something other than photography.

Well, you’ll have to sort out your family yourself – a Port-A-Loo in the back yard is a possibility – but Adox have a solution that will help in the darkroom; Neutol ECO paper developer.

Adox have turned the corner of the analog revival and are making new premises for themselves while pumping out their versions aof classic films and solutions. They make the Adonol that replaces the old Agfa Rodinol and now there is Neutool ECO back on the Camera Electronic shelf.

Neutol and Neutol WA were always very good matches for many varied monochrome papers when they came out of Leverkusen. Now the Neutol ECO promises to be even more useful due to several factors:

a. It is hydroquinone-free. It has no HAZMAT label problems and can be used by students  and workshops safely with no disposal problems.

b. It is fast working – and this can be continued at a lower temperature as well. Thus a candidate for amateur darkrooms in a cold WA winter.

c. It will run at 1 in 5 dilution or 1 in 10 – with different processing times.

If you are running it at the standard dilution you can do resin-coated paper in 50 seconds and fibre-based paper in 90 seconds.

My practice for monochrome paper development for many years was to mix a big glass wine flask of Dektol and then dilute it for use over several sessions. I was never sure at the end of the flask whether the stuff was doing the same development as when I started. Neutol, like Adonol, is a highly concentrated solution that keeps extremely well  in the original plastic bottle. There is little danger of getting a dud mix several months down the track. Note that Adonal, if it is anything like the Agfa Rodinal ( and it is…) had a concentrate lifetime of decades.

A bit os a side-step here – digital workers don’t have bottles of stuff slowly dying under the darkroom sink. They don’t go into the processing room and discover that what they thought was potent has become mere sediment. They get the same result each time they process a file…until the computer or software maker decides it is time for an update and purges all the previous programs. Yes, Apple, I’m looking at you…

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