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Ansco Rapid Processing Procedure

FormulasThis procedure has been devised by the Ansco Research Laboratory to meet the requirements of those who must carry out finishing operations on exposed films in the shortest possible time. The two-solution method outlined below is intended primarily for sheet films used in news photography, and with favorable drying conditions will permit completion of developing, fixing, washing ane drying operations in fifteen minutes or less. Great care should be taken to maintain cleanliness in all operations and to follow directions carefully.


Solution 1

Hot Water (125F or 52C) 750 ml
Metol 5 g
Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous 30 g
Hydroquinone 10 g
Water to make 1 L


Solution 2

Hot Water (125F or 52C) 750 ml
Sodium Carbonate, monohydrated 100 g
Water to make 1 L


Solutions 1 and 2 are stored separately and used separately. Both solutions may be used repeatedly, but Solution 2 should be replaced when it becomes badly discolored. Do not dilute for use.


For development, immerse films first in Solution 1, next in Solution 2, allowing 1-minute immersion in each solution (at 70F or 21C) and using continual agitation throughout the entire period. Contrast can be controlled by altering time film is kept in Solution 2. Basic immersion time should be changed to 45 seconds for development at 75F, 1 minute 15 seconds at 65F.



Place films in conventional acetic acid short-stop bath for five seconds. Agitate thoroughly. For temperatures over 70F, dilute the short-stop bath with an equal volume of water.



Solution 3 – Part A

Hot Water (125F or 52C) 500 ml
Sodium Thiosulfate 350 g


Solution 3 – Part B

Hot Water (125F or 52C) 150 ml
Sodium Sulfite, anhydrous 15 g
Acetic Acid (28%) 45 ml
Potassium Alum 15 g
Add Part B to A and add water to make 1 L


Transfer films to Solution 3 and agitate continuously for 1 1/2 minutes at 70F which should be sufficient for complete fixation. Solution should be replaced frequently as exhaustion slows rate of fixaton and decreases hardening properties.



Wash films in rapid stream of water for two minutes, making sure stream of wash water has access to both sides of film. Films to be stored permanently should be rewashed after immediate use has been filled.



The degree of speed obtainable in this step of the procedure depends greatly upon the nature and suitability of the drying equipment. Minimum drying times of 1 to 2 minutes can be achieved through the use of Ansco Rapid Film Dryer solution followed by drying with mild heat in a strong current of air. Washied films should be placed in Ansco Rapid Film Dryer solution and then freed from all surplus liquid by squeegeeing them against a clean ferrotyping plate. Most rapid drying will be effected by suspending the negative between two reflectors. WARNING- Do not use reflectors that throw a concentrated beam because of the danger of too much heat. Use matte-surfaced reflectors. The film should be positioned so that its flat surfaces receive the direct rys of the lamps with one edge of the film facing into a draft of air supplied by a good electric fan, which should be operating whenever teh lamps are on – the draft of air from fan is essential, otherwise film emulsion will melt. This drying arrangement is for films 5×7 or under. Similar arrangements can be devised, but care must be taken to avoid excessive heat which will melt the emulsion. Before putting a drying unit of this sort in actual use, trial films should be dried and the spacing of lamps and fan adjusted to give most rapid drying without endangering the film negative.


From Ansco Formulas for Black and White Film by GAF, 1948 – Formulas are provided for historical reference. They may not work well with modern films and papers. Some of the chemicals can be dangerous. As with all photographic processes, be careful.