Dithizone (Dz), a common extractive-photometric ligand for Co(II) and Ni(II), has been dissolved in the water-miscible solvent tetrahydrofurane (THF) so as to constitute a reagent for both metals in aqueous phase without extraction. Complex formation was complete for both metals at pH 12.0 (adjusted by aqueous NH3) within 30 min, and the complexes were stable for at least 2 h. First-derivative spectra of the metal dithizonates (singly or as binary mixtures) were preferred to ordinary spectra, because working wavelength determination was more precise and spectral overlap was less. Two wavelengths at which the spectral overlap was minimum were selected as analytical wavelengths, i.e. 620 nm for Co and 740 nm for Ni, and the calibration curves drawn with zero-to-peak values as a function of concentration were linear for these wavelengths. Thus, the total D-1 values at 620 and 740 nm of the mixtures were used to determine Co and Ni concentrations. The relative standard deviation (R.S.D.) for the analysis of Co (3.0 mg l(-1)) individually was 3.5%, and for its admixture with Ni (3.5 mg l(-1)) was 3.5%. The R.S.D, for the analysis of Ni (5.9 mg l(-1)) individually and for its admixture with Co (1.8 mg l(-1)) were 5.5 and 5.8%, respectively. The linear range in D-1 evaluation was between 5.0 x 10(-6) and 1.0 x 10(-4) M for Co and 2.0 x 10(-5)-2.0 x 10(-4) M for Ni. Interference analysis was performed for individual metal (Co or Ni) determinations. Finally, the method has been applied to a Ni-Cr-based dental alloy (Wiron 99) successfully. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.