How long do you keep D76?
Old 06-05-2013   #1
Ed Weatherly
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How long do you keep D76?

I started developing film again about 8 months ago and devloped my first few rolls with Rodinal from a friends darkroom. Then I bought a package of D76 powder, mixed it and and am using it as a one shot developer for mostly 400 speed Trix or HP5+. The Developer is stored in a dark amber glass jar but is at ambient which can range from 35 degrees F to 100 degrees F.

My question is how long would you keep it in those conditions?

Thanks,

Ed
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Old 06-05-2013   #2
presspass
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A lot depends on how much air is in the bottle. If it's full and tightly sealed, it could last six months. It could last llonger if the temperature is stable and somewhere within five degrees of 70 F.
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Old 06-05-2013   #3
Gareth Rees
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The sachet from Kodak states: Solution Life...Stock solution 6months in full stoppered bottle and 2 months in half full bottle.

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Old 06-05-2013   #4
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Rees View Post
The sachet from Kodak states: Solution Life...Stock solution 6months in full stoppered bottle and 2 months in half full bottle.

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Gareth
Dear Gareth,

But this is conservative. I've known a full, well-stoppered bottle to last 2 years or more. Mostly, it's OK until it darkens beyond "weak straw" colour to "tea" colour.

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R.
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Old 06-05-2013   #5
Gareth Rees
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Dear Gareth,

But this is conservative. I've known a full, well-stoppered bottle to last 2 years or more. Mostly, it's OK until it darkens beyond "weak straw" colour to "tea" colour.

Cheers,

R.

Dear Roger, thank you.
This is good to know.
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Old 06-05-2013   #6
CliveC
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Along the same lines, how about HC-110? I was sold a bottle of it at a very steep discount because it had changed colour. I was assured it was till good, however. Anybody have experienced with aged HC-110?
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Old 06-06-2013   #7
Ed Weatherly
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As I stated the ambient temp ranged from about 40 degrees to 100 degrees. It has been mixed for about 6 months and there is no discernable change in color ,but I don't have a lot of experience with it either.

So, should I dispose of this batch of D76 or use it? I have two rolls of fairly important HP5+ that I need to develop. I either stick with the D76 or switch to Fomadon which I have and is unopened. I have never used Fomadon but have used Rodinal.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Ed
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Old 06-06-2013   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Weatherly View Post
As I stated the ambient temp ranged from about 40 degrees to 100 degrees. It has been mixed for about 6 months and there is no discernable change in color ,but I don't have a lot of experience with it either.

So, should I dispose of this batch of D76 or use it? I have two rolls of fairly important HP5+ that I need to develop. I either stick with the D76 or switch to Fomadon which I have and is unopened. I have never used Fomadon but have used Rodinal.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Ed
You're supposed to mix it up at around 125F, so I wouldn't worry much about the temperature fluctuation. D76 is pretty resilient. If it's important film, though, just spend the $6 and go buy another, fresh package of it, if for no other reason than peace of mind. If it were expensive, then I guess I could see risking, but D76 is dirt cheap. As for how long I keep it, usually 3 months or so.
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Old 06-06-2013   #9
Dave Jenkins
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I used D76 for many years, but quit using it because I found it gains strength while stored in the bottle. This resulted in some over-developed negatives and general inconsistency, so I switched to T-Max developer, which I mixed as needed as a one-time developer.
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Old 06-06-2013   #10
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If the film is important, go buy fresh developer; at the least, shoot a test roll of HP5+ to see how it fares.
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Old 06-06-2013   #11
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I store developer in many small glass bottles instead of one large one to avoid the air space in the bottle as it is used up.
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Old 06-06-2013   #12
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Jenkins View Post
I used D76 for many years, but quit using it because I found it gains strength while stored in the bottle. This resulted in some over-developed negatives and general inconsistency, so I switched to T-Max developer, which I mixed as needed as a one-time developer.
Actually, it's weirder than that. It actually cycles up and down in strength. Not a lot, and I've forgotten how, but I'm pretty sure that's the case.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-06-2013   #13
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I never had to store D-76 longer than 2 weeks as I develop regularly my rolls. Good to know tho'.

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Boris
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Old 06-06-2013   #14
Ed Weatherly
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Would you all feel comfortable using Fomadon (brand new) on the HP5+?

If I lost the pics on the roll, it would not be the end of the world but I wouldn't be happy.

Thanks for all the great insight.

Ed
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Old 07-06-2013   #15
Mike-D
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I mix my D76 from scratch using the original formula. My rule is to not use it if its over a month old. I find the contrast rises after that. Steve Anchell documents this in one of his "cookbooks" and I find it to be true.
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Old 07-07-2013   #16
JohnTF
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People get all bent out of shape about a little air in the bottle, it is about 20% Oxygen, and what ever it is going to do is nothing compared with the flow of fresh supply air through most caps, -- actually every one I have used aside from fitted glass stoppers. If it keeps you up nights buy some of the heavier relatively inert gases which can be introduced in to the bottles. Do the math, not that many oxygen molecules in a reasonable amount of air over the liquid.

Off the top of my head, at STP, V (in liters)/ 22.4 L x 6.023 x 10 e 23 x .20 % - - not to obsess or anything.

Yes, I used to sell bottle caps, from poly seal to corks, and the only ones that did not breathe air to the solution were glass stoppers fitted to the bottles, or, most others with Saran Wrap under the cap, -- not some other brand, Saran Wrap is denser and will extend the life of your solutions. You can test some samples and bottles-- I have, and so has Ctein in years past as I recall, Saran Wrap works.

Well, a good wine corker, fresh corks, and wine bottles should work as well, paper labels will stick with milk and you can celebrate vintages of various mixes?

If you are mixing up a gallon, and not processing much, you can easily find four one quart glass bottles, like the Boston bottles used in labs, and use the Saran Wrap .

There are plenty of catalogs for bottles. Many plastic bottles breathe through the plastic, some do not-- and the main problem returns to the caps.

D76 is rather easy to mix from scratch, if you have stocked up on the chemicals and have a good scale-- if you want small batches at very low cost.

Flynn Scientific and Carolina Biological used to sell a lot of glass ware to schools, and I have seen catalogs from back in my bottle selling days.

I mostly used it diluted 1:1 and tossed.


Regards, John

ps-- looking for a good scale, Ohaus triple beams are often sold by police stations at auctions after they finish with them as evidence from the kids selling pot who probably stole them from the local schools, or they should be around $100, electronic scales should be even cheaper. I used to cable them to the desks so I could have them for the next class.
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Old 07-07-2013   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Weatherly View Post
Would you all feel comfortable using Fomadon (brand new) on the HP5+?

If I lost the pics on the roll, it would not be the end of the world but I wouldn't be happy.

Thanks for all the great insight.

Ed
I would be surprised if Foma originated any real new chemistry, I have used Fomadon, and it works fine-- I would have to rely on my friend Jan in Frankfurt who seems to have determined the formulae of many brands and knows their characteristics well.

Am pretty sure D76 has been sold under a variety of names by the competitikon.

They were linked to Neobrom in Brno in the old days, who was trying to sell me bulk chemistry -- basically a MQ developer-- at the time I was importing custom coated and packaged paper.

I used to import Foma through a friend, and Foma somehow thought bulk purchases abroad less tax should be at a rate higher than their retail with a large VAT. They asked me where I got my prices-- and after I replied at their store on Wencelas Square, they stopped making offers. I gather they were looking for someone rather less informed and/or traveled, which was odd as they had agreed to exclusive importation rights to Misha, yet were making offers to others.

They may have the last laugh as despite their odd manner of doing business and naming their films, they have settled in to a more rare niche of BW products.


John
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Old 07-07-2013   #18
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You can also do a clip test, or expose a short roll-- to see how it matches with your expectations.

D76 that has spoiled, in my experience, smells like dead fish, and is rather brown. Its keeping qualities in good bottles well sealed, are very good.

It is not so expensive as to precude your mixing up a fresh batch.

I would expect Rodinal to give quite different results.

If you are beginning in the darkroom, you might be best served to stick with one developer until you feel comfortable or wish to add variables-- beginning processing is either a series of experiments, or adventures, depending on how you approach it.

I saved the Rodinal for MF processing of APX, especially in 6x9 format.

Nothing wrong with tossing in the cut leader to get an idea of how quickly it turns, and also to see how fast your fix is working. I mix my chemistry to working strength and volume in lab ware in the darkroom sink, so it is easy enough.


Regards, John
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Old 07-07-2013   #19
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So let's ask the complementary question:

Does anyone mix only part of the 1 gallon and keep the rest of the powder for later?
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Old 07-07-2013   #20
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Quote:
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I used to cable them to the desks so I could have them for the next class.
What a great idea. I can't seem to keep my students for more than one class...
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Old 07-07-2013   #21
Ronald M
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It works for 6 months in full glass bottles just as Kodak says. After that is loses strength slowly.

A half full bottle will cost you 1/2 grade contrast after 4/7 days. Never did that again.

I have done very careful tests of a strobe light studio subject for a year with tests weekly for two months, then bi weekly for two months, them monthly for the rest of the year. Same roll of bulk film freshly exposed for east test.

All developer was stored in full dark bottles, 4 oz size, and used one shot 1:1. Caps were the plastic ones with inverted cone seals inside.

I also tested Rodinal from 1998 to 2010 when it started to go bad. The bottle was used only for test purposes so it was relatively full. Bottle was an old one from Viradon toner and had a proprietary plastic cap on a dark glass bottle.
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Old 07-07-2013   #22
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What a great idea. I can't seem to keep my students for more than one class...
Sometimes the bell did not awaken mine and they remained behind. ;-)

What happens when you post when you should be sleeping?

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Old 07-07-2013   #23
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No - and that's been discussed about a 1000 times now on various sites.
Perhaps 20 minutes through the paint mixer at Home Depot first? ;-)



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Old 07-07-2013   #24
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It lasts for 6 months, per Kodak's information if stored in a good bottle without air. I make up the full gallon and place it in four 1-liter plain seltzer water plastic bottles (3 x1 liter + 1 x 0.8 liter). I squeeze the bottles to eliminate headspace air before applying the cap. The PET plastic is a good oxygen barrier - makes sense as its purpose with seltzer is to keep carbonation in for about 6 months. Since they are clear, they need to be stored in the dark.

Other advantages are they are thin-walled so the solution temperature can be adjusted in a water bath quickly, they are clear so you can see if any precipitate or debris is in your solution (I filter using a coffee filter before each reuse), and they are free or the cost of the bottle deposit.

Since I prefer D76 stock, I reuse it (4 rolls per liter) and have noticed if I develop less than the 4 rolls that liter will turn slightly amber and cloud the bottle after about 3-4 weeks so I discard it (rarely occurs). But for liters that have not been used, they are good for at least 6 months. I always use it up within 6 months so I don't know the real life.
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Old 07-07-2013   #25
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I mixed one bag of D76 back in December 2012. I put one in a clear, plastic, fruit juice container. The bottle was kept under my desk, about room brightness, room temperature, which in my city is about 35 degrees C during the day. The D76 stock solution only filled about 20% of the bottle, but I developed a roll last night with it just fine. To be safe, I always cut a piece of the negative to test both the developer and the fixer before commencing the developing session.
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