Alternative to Protectan???

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by naaldvoerder, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    Until now I have used Protectan to expell oxigen from half-full developer containers. I have heard of photographers using a drop of ether for the same reason. Are there any other agents that can be used (apart from glass beads)?

    Thanks

    Jaap Jan
     
  2. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Jaap,

    Time for my stock comment (not really an answer). If you are losing your chemicals to time on the shelf, the best way to avoid this problem is to make more photographs.

    On a more serious note, a tank of nitrogen is a reasonably inexpensive solution. For me, the only thing I worry about is developer. To solve that I keep the mixed stock in smaller bottles so that they are only half empty for about a week or so. I've only lost some rapid fixer once due to time and I solved that by purchasing in smaller quantities. In fact, I really didn't lose the rapid fixer (some store brand, by the way) as I filtered out the sediment and what remained cleared film just fine.

    Neal Wydra
     
  3. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I use Butane in place of Protectan (Butane + Propane) - my disposal system is a BernzoMatic Mini Torch (for soldering), available at Loews, Home depot, etc.

    A three - five second burst is adequate. Butane refills (for butane candles, cigarette lighters, mini - torches) are widely available.
     
  4. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Private Preserve in North America

    It is a product marketted in higher end wine and spirit shops to counter oxidisation of partly filled bottles of wine and scotch, etc. A cheaper way, capital wise than nitrogen.
     
  5. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    Mike, is this purchased from the LCBO or from private retailers, such as Loblaws?
     
  6. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I don't do this myself, but a number of people use glass marbles which they add to the container as the solution is used in order to expel the air from the container.

    I agree with the "just do more photography" approach when possible. Also, chemistry is, for the most part, the cheapest aspect of darkroom work when compared to time, paper, film, mat board, etc. Perhaps a few more expensive solutions are worth fussing with to preserve longer, but the best general approach is to discard aging solutions and replace them with freshly mixed solutions.
     
  7. Bill Mobbs

    Bill Mobbs Member

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    I have used Ed's Butane method for several years now, and have not had a problem. I have changed all my chemical bottles to dark glass with "O" rings in the screw on caps. Take care where you store the torch when not in use. My dark room is in my gargage where I keep my other tools, but it is really not a good thing to store in living quarters.

    bill
     
  8. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    Compressed Nitrogen in a small refillable tank. Once you source the tank and regulator, it is relatively cheap to fill. It is clean. It is somewhat safe if properly handled (inert, sinks to the ground) and is cheap. You can use it to blow dust off negs, lenses, lf film holders, run a nitrogen-burst line and fill containers to expel air.

    It might be overkill but it has a lot of uses and is relatively inexpensive if you're going to be doing a lot of dusting and expelling.
     
  9. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Any inert gas may be used for this purpose, propane, butane, nitrogen or similar. The idea is to provide a barrier on top of the developer to exclude oxygen. I too use Tetenal Protectan. It may seem expensive but the restricted valve supplied with it means that it is extremely economical in use. I find a can lasts me a year or more. The draw back to using gas from a canister designed for a blow-torch is the rate of delivery can be high enough to expel your developer from it's container. This is messy, I write from experience.
     
  10. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I do admid I need to take moe pics and print more of them. Busy job, two young kids and all of that... I use the protectan for more expensive solutions. Goldtoner mainly and lith developer...

    Thanks for your advice

    Jaap jan
     
  11. GeorgesGiralt

    GeorgesGiralt Member

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    Hi Jan !
    A word of caution : I used Protectan on E6 chemistry concentrate (Kodak) and it appears it has turned the chemistry bad on the colour developer.
    I suspect the butane has reacted somewhat with one of the compound of the chemistry.
    I a very old book of darkroom practice, I've seen a drawing for a can devised to hold chemistry unaffected for long periods : the bottle has a pump to get it pressurized, and a tube to collect the chemistry from the bottom. Once partially filled, you deposit a thin coating of oil on the chemistry making an air barrier ..... Avoid using the last cc of chemistry if you do not like oily negs ;-)
     
  12. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Gold toner does not need protecting.
     
  13. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    Really, are you sure? That's were I use it most for. When I started using goldtoner I found I needed 2 liters of sulotion to tone 30x40 cm prints, and started immediately to protact(an) my investment... I never tried if it would go off without ....

    Jaap Jan
     
  14. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I have used Tetenal gold toner for about ten years and have never felt the need to protect it other than using a dedicated tray and funnel. It gets stored in it's original bottle until it is exhausted. I find it lasts between 6 and 9 month, the time obviously depends on usage. I find one litre more than enough to tone a 30x40 print by the way.
     
  15. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Gang ... GANG!!

    There seems to be an assumption that I recommended a LARGE "blowtorch" to deliver a burst of Butane. Not so.

    Attached is an image of the BernzoMatic **MINI** Torch (No - NOT the item made by FUJI - the OTHER one).

    Precise metering - refillable - and Butane cartridges are inexpensive.
     

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  16. albada

    albada Subscriber

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    Protect chemistry with layer of oil?

    We know that oxygen destroys developer, and that's why we drive out air with Protectan, marbles, accordion containers, and floating lids.
    But I had this idea:
    Pour a thin layer of oil on top of the chemistry, and draw the chemistry out with a thin tube, or with a spigot at the bottom.
    A quick search showed the quote below, so this idea was used long ago, and a product was even made based on it.

    Is anyone doing this nowadays? If so, what kind of oil do you use? And do you have any idea how much this extends the life of your chemistry?

    Mark Overton

     
  17. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    Glass marbles to displace all the gas.
     
  18. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Squishable PET (reused soda) plastic bottles are so much easier. :smile: