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View Poll Results: Do I risk it with old developer?
Yes, use the HC-110 7 25.00%
Yes, use the Rodinal 6 21.43%
Yes, use both randomly 10 35.71%
No, use the D-76 1 3.57%
No, put all the film in a pile and set it on fire 4 14.29%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old HC-110, Rodinal
Old 6 Days Ago   #1
Dante_Stella
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Old HC-110, Rodinal

So in getting my darkroom operational again, I found some old developer in a box (the proverbial pole-barn). It's ancient and predates my last darkroom.

So the big question: do I develop 13 test rolls of film in HC-110 that expired in 2010 or Rodinal of similar vintage. All bottles are unopened. I really like HC-110, and Rodinal is well-nigh indestructible.

Or do I chicken out and use some safe D-76?

[Yes, I know the correct thing is to do test clips, but come on....]

Dante
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Old 6 Days Ago   #2
Ko.Fe.
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2010? I would not even consider it as expired. It is slightly aged as Spanish wine or lomography smuggled in 2010 from Italy film in Czech wine oak like buckets.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #3
charjohncarter
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I've used both and both are long lasting. But if I was starting out I would buy either new and use it until I found a Rx that suits me. Fine tuning with unknowns is just too heart breaking. THEN after you have found a Rx you like try it with the old stuff. If you can't see the difference then you have a gift.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #4
ChrisPlatt
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I'll wager they're both still usable. I would test both with non-critical test rolls.

Chris

P.S. - Sorry, I couldn't resist voting for that last option...
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Old 6 Days Ago   #6
Timmyjoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
2010? I would not even consider it as expired. It is slightly aged as Spanish wine or lomography smuggled in 2010 from Italy film in Czech wine oak like buckets.
Gotta go with Ko.Fe. on this. Just developed a roll of 620 in HC-110 that expired in 2009, and it was originally opened back then. It's like dark brown honey, but still works fine. And I've got some Rodinal that's the shade of black coffee, and it still works great too.

Congrats on your new darkroom.

Best,
-Tim
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Old 6 Days Ago   #7
Moto-Uno
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^ I'm with Ko-Fe too on this one . I had some old Blazinol ( Rodinal in Canada ) and it was pretty much just black crystals on the bottom . Put the bottle in some really hot water and it turned into a black syrup . What if it didn't work just fine ! Peter
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Old 6 Days Ago   #8
wjlapier
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My Rodinal is about the same vintage--maybe a couple of years older--and works just fine. Two bottles still sealed never opened.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #9
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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How does one work out the expiry date of HC-110? I have a couple of bottles here with no date I can see anywhere on them. I'm told they are quite old. I've been really pleased with their contents, pushing HP5+. I've also got a bottle of Agfa Rodinal that has never let me down, that might have something on the box or label, perhaps? I can check them, if anyone really wants me to. Of the two I tend to prefer HC-110 for most uses, but surely either of those products expired in 2010 should be just fine, if sealed, kept air free, and in the dark.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #10
benlees
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Unopened? It will be fine. Even opened HC 110 lasts for quite awhile.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #11
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Another "just fine" here. I've used opened Rodinal from 10+ years back. Worked fine. My current HC-110 is almost 6 years old. Working fine. Those are the only two developers I feel confident about using old stuff. From experience.

Now, I would suggest storing these developers in a cool, dark location. But that's about it.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #12
Fixcinater
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I'd use them both, especially if they have been in your possession so you know their storage history. Actually, unopened, I'd use both anyway.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #13
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I've had no problems in using Rodinal the color of coffee and HC-110 that was a little lighter, maybe like chocolate milk.
I agree with all the above that a test roll would be a good idea, but other than that, go for it!
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Old 6 Days Ago   #14
Timmyjoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
How does one work out the expiry date of HC-110?
My bottle of HC-110 that expired in 2009 actually had the expiration date stamped on it. It was one of the old style short squat bottles. About two years ago the plastic of the bottle had gotten weak and cracked, causing the HC-110 to ooze out. Got an empty plastic Heinz mustard bottle, washed it out, and offloaded the remaining HC-110 into that. Now I've got a Heinz mustard bottle of dark brown honey, that still works great. The stuff seems to be indestructible.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #15
sevo
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I have stored both in factory sealed for many years beyond their expiration date. HC-110 does not even turn brown over a decade past expiration in factory sealed bottles (at least the 1l ones they sell in Europe).

Rodinal originally lasted eternally (Agfa once celebrated its centenary by using a 100 year old bottle from their archives, successfully). It ran into storage life problems right after Agfa switched from glass to brown plastics bottles (IIRC in the mid eigthies), but more recentish plastics bottled Agfa Rodinal (in the white bottles) seems to be air tight, all of mine was bought right after Agfa closed shop, and I have no issues. But YMMV where third party Rodinal remakes and their packaging are concerned - I have lost count of the variations...
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Old 6 Days Ago   #16
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Test for sure. My past experience is that Rodinal lasts many, many years without any detectable deterioration. Even when it has turned brown, it still works. Highly concentrated developers seem to do that. At the newspaper where I once worked we found a box with several glass bottles of unopened Edwal FG7 that was so old the labels were crumbling--stuff must have been stored away and forgotten for more than 20 years. I tested it and it was like new. A couple of us liked it so well we used it as our normal developer.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #17
gb hill
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I'm getting low but I have some HC-110 that is opened & older than yours & it works fine. I had some Rodinal to crap out on me as it was near the bottom of the bottle & much was crystallized. My HC-110 has turned a dark orangy color & mine still works. At least the last roll I developed 2 months ago did.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #18
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If people are willing to develop their film in coffee and beer, 7 year old Rodinal in an unopened bottle should be no issue. As longs as there's no crystals.

It'll give you a sense of adventure!
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Old 6 Days Ago   #19
mike rosenlof
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All of the rumors I've heard say "fine" for both. but I don't think I've used either of these developers that old. A clip test is about zero cost.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #20
p.giannakis
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My bottle of Rodinal dates from 2009. I switched to HC-110 a few years ago and hadn't used it since. I developed Fomapan 200 in November in Rodinal and worked fine.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #21
MIkhail
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I was developing 1990 Kodak 5231 which I shot in 2010 for a while and complaining how this film deteriorated. Turns out my developer was gone bad. With new batch the same film turned out just fine. Costed me some images I wish I did not lose. It's not worth it in my opinion.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #22
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My Rodinal has crystals

Works fine, though if you have a weak stomach might be best to use something else
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Old 4 Days Ago   #23
Dante_Stella
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HC-110





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Old 4 Days Ago   #24
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Looks like you picked a winner!

Chris

P.S.- Nice scans!
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Old 4 Days Ago   #25
Roger Vadim
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BE AWARE! I ruined five films with aged Rodinal because I trusted this Internet wisdom everybody is repeating. So I found out the hard way that Rodinal (like al other developers) can go bad. If it fails, like in my case, you end up with almost blank negatives.

Since then I use fresh developer and when the Rodinal is dark brown I do a test. Hey, developer is cheap, why waste precious time and energy on 3 Dollars worth of old developer? Alas, amateurs...
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Old 4 Days Ago   #26
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Vadim View Post
BE AWARE! I ruined five films with aged Rodinal because I trusted this Internet wisdom everybody is repeating. So I found out the hard way that Rodinal (like al other developers) can go bad. If it fails, like in my case, you end up with almost blank negatives.

Since then I use fresh developer and when the Rodinal is dark brown I do a test. Hey, developer is cheap, why waste precious time and energy on 3 Dollars worth of old developer? Alas, amateurs...
Firstly is English your native tongue? Perhaps not. Go look up the definition of "amateur" because it's not necessarily as much of a pejorative as you might think—it can depend on context. Secondly, muffing five rolls of black and white because your developer was bad is a rather amateur thing to do. You'll have to work out the context I am using the term in, for yourself.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #27
Ronald M
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rodinal in a glass bottle that used to contain Viradon toner is good for 10 years. I stupidly discarded all the rubber stopper bottles where I could access Ordinal with hypodermic needle.

My test was 1998 to 2008 , Ordinal was fresh and decanted to glass immediately.
Tests were done yearly and more often at the beginning.

HC110 needs to be original gold color.

Why waste time do tests with expired material?? Makes no sense.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
Why waste time do tests with expired material?? Makes no sense.
For the HC-110 test, it makes perfect sense.
  • When it's a Saturday, and it's your only window
  • When you can't get any other developer for days because there are no local places to buy it
  • When you can run a single reel test and it works
  • When it's low-value test film
  • When it's shot on a lot of TMY that is in the "paper imprint" danger range
  • When you have to make a call on whether the cameras/backs work for purposes of keeping or returning them
  • When you were comped the film in the first place
  • When the vacuum seal is still on the plastic bottle of HC-110
It's not as if this was 13 rolls of film from some unrepeatable vacation. And by the way, I got better results out of expired HC-110 than I have gotten from the last three labs I used.

Dante
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Old 3 Days Ago   #29
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Testing the developer with the leader of the film to be developed always saves the day.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #30
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You can't argue with success - except here! I love RFF...

Chris
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Old 2 Days Ago   #31
Dante_Stella
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So is it true that the current HC-110 behaves differently?
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Old 2 Days Ago   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante_Stella View Post
So is it true that the current HC-110 behaves differently?
That is what I'm finding with my new bottle of HC110, I'm going to verify with a couple of my mates with unexpired bottles from different batches, alongside my old trusty bottle which expired 8 years ago.

I'll report back with the results, but if anyone has a lead on old HC110, hit me up as I'm going to start my stash of an ever-increasingly rare developer.
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Freestyle HC110 clone
Old 2 Days Ago   #33
ChrisPlatt
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Freestyle HC110 clone

Has anyone tried this?: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/10190-LegacyPro-L110-Liquid-Film-Developer-1-Pint-(Makes-2-Gallons)

Chris
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