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Phenidone is used as a low toxic common photography developer. It is sparingly soluble in cold water and moderately in hot, and can require temperatures of 175°F/80°C to dissolve.
Phenidone can be substituted for metol. There is evidence that as a substitute for metol it causes true increase in film speed. However, Phenidone should not be used as a substitute in developers in which metol is the sole developing agent, such as Kodak D-23 and D-25. Try substituting approximately 10% of the amount of Phenidone for the amount of metol required.
Readily soluble in both aqueous acids and alkalies, including solutions of alkali bisulfites and carbonates, so that it can easily be incorporated into a developer solution.
Used alone in sodium carbonate/sulfite solutions, it is very fast but extremely soft working and is only capable of producing negatives of low contrast. In combination with hydroquinone it produces developers with super-additivity that are even more efficient then MQ developers.
Phenidone-based developers keep better then those based on metol the reason for that is that the oxidation product of phenidone is more efficiently regenerated by hydroquinone than is metol.
Additionally, while the first oxidation product of hydroquinone, monosulphonate, forms an almost inert system with metol, it has a super-additive effect with phenidone, increasing developing powder.
Because very small amounts of Phenidone are required, it is often desirable to use a percentage solution. a concentrate of Phenidone, containing a preservative, can be made as follows:
Cold water to make
For use, 100 ml of concentrate contains 0.2 grams of Phenidone. The preservative will have no appreciable effect on any developing formula. Alternately, a 5% concentration can be made using methyl hydrate instead of water, but it does not keep. Use immediately.
White or slightly yellow powder Colorless crystals
As a hypoallergenic developing agent (This means that it is unlikely to cause dermatitis) That can be substituted for metol. Sufferers of metol poisoning can often use Penidone-based developers without ill effects.
Low toxic common photography developer due to strong reduction property of silver halides to black metallic silver which forms visible image.