View Full Version : Recently expired DD-X
Opened a litre of DD-X October 20th. The label holds that it'll last for three months - so (having not touched it since Christmas) it's now five months old.
1) Worth trying? Bin immediately?
2) I'm not using dev (or fix, for that matter) fast enough. Suggestions for a longer-lasting alternative? I'd rather not start mixing from powder if possible, though I recgnise that powder will store infinitely longer than even a concentrate. Is LC-29 what I need?
Thanks for advice, as always.
I wouldn't worry about your DD-X either.
I developed some HP5+ at 1600 in some I opened in May last year and it was fine (well, may be a critical look would have said different but 8x10 prints were fine).
It can take a while to use up a litre of concentrate, especially if you like to have a few to choose from for different films or whatever. And we all prefer to buy the bigger bottles, as the smaller ones cost more per shot. There are some detailled DDX specs on Ilfords website, concerning use and re-use of their chemicals.
The main enemy is oxidation of course, so if you can decant a one litre bottle in to two 1/2 litre ones, right at the start, then the problem is reduced.
Alternatively, the air space can be reduced or removed by carefully squeeeezing the manufacturers litre container, or using the familiar concertina-bottles instead.
Or you can use glass pebbles (the sort for flower-arrangements!) to fill up the space that would otherwise be filled with air - or use the special canned inert gas spray to displace the air in the bottle before screwing the lid on.
This doesn't help you make the decision now though. Possibly an exposed test-strip of film (even a few inches of leader) can be developed. If it isn't as densely black as you usually see, then you know there is a problem.
If the few inches of film looks fine, then use the same developer on the rest of the roll and see what happens - you can use the same 290ml (or whatever your tank takes) of mixed concentrate because a couple of inches from the test-strip isn't going to affect your developer much. The whole process should only add 'dev-time plus a few minutes' to your dev session.
If the DD-X is yellowed, but not too dark, it should be fine. If it has turned a strong yellow-orange colour, bin it and get a new bottle. Based on the age, I would add 30 seconds "just in case". This is more superstitious than scientific, so your mileage may vary. If you simply can't use up your DD-X fast enough, Martin's suggestion for conserving dev are worth the effort.
I don't know your situation, but maybe it's worth stockpiling a bit of film before cracking open a new bottle, so that you end up wasting less. Personally, I would be more likely to toss the dev, and wait until I could afford a new bottle, rather than risk wrecking some film.
Thanks, all. I'll dev one roll (that I'm not particularly fussed about) first and decide on using for the decent rolls later... looks pretty clear, still, so probably fine.
Might have a look at LC-29 if I stick to HP-5... not sure what I'll do if I end up ordering several hundred feet of Neopan, though... wonder if there's anyone else in Oxford who would split a litre of DD-X in half?
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