View Full Version : 6 Month Old Developer
09-13-2005, 11:09 PM
The developer I currently have was mixed in late March. I just used it a month ago and it worked fine. Now it's six months old. How can I tell when it's going bad? I've kept it in the cool basement in an accordian jug. Any thoughts?<BR>
Has it turned brown yet?
09-13-2005, 11:35 PM
No. It's clear as ever. Is the 3 month time specified on the Kodak datasheets only a general recommendation? <BR>
09-14-2005, 12:01 AM
I justlooked at the datasheets again, and it's 6 months in a stoppered bottle, not 3, so I'm still good. So as the developer loses it's effectiveness, can I just increase developing time and/or temperature?
For film, I mixed up a one time use quantity.<BR>
For prints I would go until the times were 2x normal, ie, 2 min vs 1 min. (Iford rapid). The stuff is cheap enough to dump after each session and say to hell with it.
09-14-2005, 12:53 AM
Do you feel lucky? I have pushed my D-76 past the six months a few times. I was lucky and had no bad results, but you do risk having a thin negative. However I use most of my developer in three months at a 1-1 ratio, so I am pushing some film through it.<BR>
The real answer is it depends. It depends on the quality of water used to mix the chemicals along with storage of the chemicals.<BR>
For the most part D-76 will get you to the 6 month limit and beyond. Since I only use Kodak developers I can not speak much about the other brands.<BR>
Studies have shown that D-76 is amoung the most stable and can go beyond the 6 month limit stated by Kodak. A test about 5 years ago said that when D-76 is mixed with distilled water and stored in a glass container and stored in a dark room at a constant temperature it can go beyond the six months storage limit with out much time change need in the development time.<BR>
The same D-76 stored in a plastic Falcon Air Evac container did not last as long as the one stored in the glass container even though the air was expelled each time in the plastic Falcon Air Evac.<BR>
Of course this was one study but for the most part I would expect that you have some play with the storage life but I wouldn't go much beyond the time stated by the manufacture. To me the best test is how thin is the negative when using your normal development times and temperature. I don't think I would use it if it was brown either but it can be clear and yield bad results too.
09-14-2005, 01:26 AM
I've used Kodak T-Max developer well past six months. If the developer has been used quite a bit in that time, an increase indeveloping time is sometimes necessary. This is determined by evaluating the negatives.
09-14-2005, 05:25 AM
The easiest way is to shoot a few test shots and (in the darkroom) cut off the bit of film, then dev it for the normal time and see what happens. I always buy my dev (ID11) in gallon size and use it 1/1 I usualy chuck the stock after a year if I haven't used it before. It wont kast that long if your using it stock, and re-using it though. I also keep it in the dark and cool Wayne
09-18-2005, 11:15 PM
Try this in the future. As you remove developer from the bottle, replace that volume with glass marbles. Do this until the bottle is full to the top. This displaces all air and will extend the life. I also, use the "brown" look test, but I am very cautious with film dev. as you dont get a second chance. Paper is different, you can always reprint.<BR>
09-21-2005, 12:00 AM
I've used developer as old as 18 months, stored simply in a 1 gallon non collapsible container. The stuff still works, but maybe isn't quite as consistent. In general, i've found that developer is dead for good once it looses its funky developer smell. At which point its completely non functional.
09-27-2005, 10:13 PM
Speaking in general terms here, it depends on the developer at hand. Different developing agents react differently over time and because of this you may get a developed image, but it may not have the same properties and tonality as an image developed with the same developer in a fresh mix. I was pretty anal about using fresh chemistry and at many of the places I worked, I took it on as my job to mix the chemistry, simply because I wanted to know that whatever I was using, I knew it was fresh. I personally wouldn't chance it, if the images are important.<BR>
09-30-2005, 02:15 AM
If mixed stored and used correctly developer can last quite a while, but just to be safe after 3 months throw it out and remix a new batch if you use it even sparingly.
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