Chemicals evaporating in trays

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jono1515, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. jono1515

    jono1515 Member

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    I was printing some pictures last week and left some trays out with chemicals in them for a couple of days. When I finally got around to putting them back into bottles I noticed that about 150ml had evaporated while they were out, the air is pretty dry here. My question is, should I top them all back up with water or dump them and mix up a fresh batch? Would the concentration of, say, fixer to water be the same as it was originally? :confused:
    Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks!
    Jono
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Presumably you mean the stop bath & fixer. They may be OK just add a little water. Get a couple of pieces of clear perspex or similar to cover the dishes when not in use, they would evaporate like that anyway. Also you'd be surprised how much solution is lost through carry over.

    I prefer to make up fresh stop bath every 2 or 3 sessions depending on usage, and always use fresh fix each session for the second fix - I use a 2 bath fix system.

    Ian
     
  3. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Jono,

    In the future, float a layer of Saran Wrap on the liquid for extended printing periods.

    Neal Wydra
     
  4. jono1515

    jono1515 Member

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    Thanks for the ideas for covering the chemicals up, seems so obvious not sure why I never thought of that.
    Ian- would it be alright to top off the developer as well? I've noticed before how much can be lost from carry over just from one session. It is surprising. I'm pretty sure that's not what did it this time though because I simply didn't print very many pictures, I got cut off early and didn't have a chance to put the chems back into bottles.
    I guess I'll put a little water back in and try using them this afternoon and see if I get anything, if not I guess I'll mix up some new chemicals.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Developer is best made up fresh each session, mine never lasts overnight and is usually fairly exhausted anyway.

    Ian
     
  6. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    At the end of a printing session my trays are never full anyway, so I've come to a 'short term' solution of simply stacking one tray on top of another (they rest inside each other) and using an empty tray at the top. Seems to work at least over night and maybe longer.
     
  7. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I've walked off and left trays im my darkroom to totally dry out a few times. The crystals that grow out as they dry are quite interesing, a fit subject for some macrophotography. A bit of hot water usually clears the mess up. I never worry about tossing used B&W chemicals, they are so inexpensive they aren't worth the worry, though I will save the fix if the print volume was a bit low.
     
  8. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Some of that volume loss may also be due to carryover -- the tiny bit of liquid that clings to the print as you transfer it from the developer to the stop bath, stop bath to fixer, and fixer to final wash. For carryover, topping up with a replenisher makes sense, if you happen to have a replenisher.

    After a couple of days of being left out, though, I wouldn't trust many developers. The stop bath and fixer may be OK, but the developer has probably gone bad, or at least changed its activity and characteristics. I'd dump it.
     
  9. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Absolutely, the chemicals are the cheapest part and no place to compromise!!..EC
     
  10. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Evaporation and re-bottling are not issues when using
    one-shot chemistry. If your volume is low and/or processing
    infrequent the method has also additonal advantages. Greater
    than usual dilutions makes for good chemical milage. Dan
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Ansco 130 is pretty good with tray life and will keep a very long time if you put the developer back into an amber jar, or cover your tray. I've used the same tray for a week straight without any change in print quality. But I put it back into the jar anyway. Makes it less humid in the darkroom.
    - Thomas