Fomatol PW is my standard warmtone developer. I’ve mixed from scratch, bought magic potions, changed proportions many times of the 50 years in the darkroom. This is the developer that satisfies my need. The disadvantages are availability and storage life; it does not have a long shelf life, even unmixed. As a working developer it is slow acting and exhausts quickly. The tray life is just hours. It outlasts an amidol developer, but it is not Dektol (D-72) my other common black-and-white print developer.
The english instruction sheets seem to be a source of wide ranging opinion about the developer agents, as well as the use of this developer. In going thru past notes, downloaded pdfs and, a few online posts of others, I think the product has changed. This change may be because of environmental regulations throughout the world.
At first, it was: “Specially formulated, glycine-hydroquinone” developer.” More recently, it is: “Specially formulated positive developer.” According to the US retailer Freestyle, it does not contain hydroquinone: no need for special shipping tags.
Mixing Fomatol PW
The only odd part of mixing is in understanding that “Big part” means the heavier bag. Both bags are the same size, but are different weights. Mixing directions are otherwise vary clear and simple to follow.
Using Formatol PW
Early directions gave development times based upon dilutions of 1+1, or 1+3; currently, directions are for undiluted stock. Sometimes I use it at 1+1, and have tested it at 1+3. Diluting this developer increases the times into the ‘lith’ timesphere (7 to 17 minutes) without ever getting a strong black. Using this as a stock developer is expensive, but it is worthwhile for my work.
Stock for 4 to 7 minutes using Fomatone, or Retrobrom Sp papers.
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