DDX Storage

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Nick Vezey, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Nick Vezey

    Nick Vezey Guest

    I've finally identified a film - Delta 400 (35mm) - and a developer - DDX - that gives me negatives that I can print relatively well. However, as I don't shoot a great deal (one or two rolls a month) I end up ditching developer that has expired the Ilford stated lifespan. My proposed solution to this is to decant a fresh bottle of developer (1 litre) into 10x100ml brown glass bottles and then use as I need. I know it's a bit of an overkill, but my theory is that I'll get to use all the developer rather than throwing some away.

    However, my question is - is this a good idea and will it be ok to decant the developer and keep it in unopened smaller bottles until needed. I'm happy to use 100ml per go @ 4:1 rather than waste stuff ?

    I do have Rodinal, but I'm not sure it would be appropriate for the Delta films.

    Grateful for any views or advice.

    Many thanks

    Nick
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Ideally if you use bottles then decanting 1L into 100ml or smaller bottles up to the neck and using each as a one shot will fit the bill. In some ways an easier and possibly even more reliable method is to decant the whole litre into an empty silvered wine bag, press the air out to ensure that liquid goes up to the neck of the dispenser, replace the pourer and replace it in the wine box. You can then draw off whatever amount you need without any air ever getting back into the bag.

    I use this method and have had DDX last a year. Even with a Jobo tank and only 50ml of stock developer needed per 35mm film, a litre only does 20 fims and using 2 films per month, you still use the whole litre of stock solution within a year.

    pentaxuser
     
  3. Nick Vezey

    Nick Vezey Guest

    That sounds like a better, and less faffy (is that a real word ?) idea than decanting into 10 bottles. What process do you use to rinse out the wine bag once you've drunk all the wine ?
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The biggest problem is actually prising out the wine box tap. Some taps are easier removed than others. To avoid distorting the plastic, I use the cutting edge of a broad and relatively rigid knife blade to create a gap then use the non cutting edge and gradually prise the tap evenly. Be prepared to be patient when prising the tap and be equally prepared to throw away a bag if the tap is so stubborn that it begins to distort.

    The tap is held in by ridges and once the first ridge is prised out then it usually comes out easily. Washing is simple. Partially fill with water and rinse. Do this maybe 3 times and the bag will be clean. Then wash out the tap by running it under water and opening the pourer and letting water run through it as would the wine.

    Squeeze out all the water out of the bag by pressing and folding the bag. If you aren't ready to fill it immediately then place the tap back in loosely and set aside.

    As wine bags are usually 3 litres( In the UK at least) then 1 litre means it's only a third full and there is potential for trapping air. I find that to exclude air it's best to place the filled bag on a flat surface and squeeze until the fluid comes up to the neck and there are no air locks. Then place the tap back in and push it home all the way.

    You need to have extracted the bag out of the cardboard box carefully so the box is intact and the bag can be placed back in properly so to all intents and purposes the wine box is as good as it was when used as a wine box.

    If you are a wine drinker and like boxed wine then keep maybe 6 boxes available for chems. You might be able to use a box twice but there's a limit, hence the need to store empty bags and boxes. They do a great job on fixer as well and two boxes will allow you to economically buy a 5 litre container of fixer and store all 5 litres of stock fixer and dispense as required.

    Should work for larger quantities of RA4 chems as well but I haven't tried it yet.

    I know that this thread is about liquid DDX but if I were an ID11 user I'd buy a 5 litre box of the powered chemical and mix the stock solution and store in wine boxes.

    I must pay tribute to Murray Minchin for this idea of wine bags. Thanks Murray

    I hope this helps

    pentaxuser
     
  5. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Some of the wine box bags are not completely air tight, so it may or may not work with all of them. Another source might be a wine supply store, as they might have the bags new. I am surprised that photo chemistry suppliers haven't latched onto the idea, especially for concentrates. I guess the biggest issue would be preventing leaks during shipping. A bag made for this purpose might have a tap that screws in place rather then press fits.
     
  6. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    For a small volume like a single bottle of DDX, you might try using glass marbles dropped into the developer bottle to occupy volume and keep the solution up to the top. I would not like the hassle of cleaning, drying, storing 10 glass bottles. The marbles you could keep in a perforated plastic bin and just rinse them off when the bottle is spent and then start dropping them in the developer bottle as you use it.
     
  7. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Other options, 1 500ml bottle, 1 200ml bottle and 3 100ml bottles, you decant the 500ml bottle full, the 200ml bull and the 3 100ml, when the 3 100ml are empty, you split the 200 into 2 of the 100ml, and put the 200ml and 1 100ml away, although having a bunch of glass marbles or beads works just as well, you need enough to completely fill the 1L bottle. If you want to use different chemistries, get different colour beads, you know, green for developer, blue for fixer, etc. This way you don't drop the beads for the fixer bottle into the developer and potentially contaminate it.
     
  8. ron110n

    ron110n Member

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    My solution is a Kalt Air Evac bottle. It's like an accordion to reduce the air on top of your developer that cause oxidation.

    Freestyle Kalt Air Evac

    Before I use glass marbles.
     
  9. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser

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    I processed a roll of Delta 100 yesterday using DDX. The bottle had been opened in 2006 and has lain half used since then. The negs are fine. Maybe I was lucky, but I'd feel confident about using DDX from the original bottle for a year after opening. Obviously this was not a scientific test and it may well be that the characteristics of the developer have changed in that time, but it still appeared to work perfectly well.
     
  10. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I use 500ml platic Coca Cola bottles

    Decant the developer into the bottles and squeeze them to remove the air pocket.

    With enough GBH I can get them down to 200ml

    So yes I can end up throwing the last 100ccs away - but if I plan it correctly I use it all in one last session.

    The plastic bottles take an enormous amount of abuse before I replace them

    Martin
     
  11. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Using amber glass bottles I'd likely I'd split the liter into
    four 1/4 liter bottles. Then one of those into three 1/8 liter
    bottles. Solution volume to be made up by a some additional
    dilution. That would make for twelve rolls. Too dilute?
    I insure a good seal by using Polycone or Polyseal
    caps. They usually come with the bottles which
    are very affordable. Dan
     
  12. Nick Vezey

    Nick Vezey Guest

    Many thanks

    All,

    Many thanks for sharing advice and wisdom - I now have other options to consider that will allow me to use all of the developer.

    I think I may try the marbles trick - investigate the logistics of getting the tap off empty wine bags, and may even invest in a concertina type bottle (only £3.50 from Jessops).

    First of all though I'm going to follow Richard's lead and try the developer I have left (it's about 6 months old). I have a film I've just run through an Olympus Mju I was given so if it doesn't work I've not lost shots that may be keepers.

    Nick
     
  13. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser

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    I'm sure it'll be fine after 6mths, provided the top was on tight and it hasn't been cooked or anything.

    Those vacuum devices for keeping part-drunk bottle of wine fresh seem to work quite well too. Store your part-used chemicals in a wine or beer bottle (I have a plentiful supply of those :wink: ) and suck the air out using the vacuum pump. Google for "vacuvin" and you'll find them quick enough, Amazon.co.uk have them among others. Much less hassle than the wine box!
     
  14. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Just as an addendum, having seen a comment about leaking bags. All I can say is that I have never had a wine bag leak. They have to hold 3 litres and must get thrown around a lot before getting to supermarket shelves and then to the customer. Neither have I had a tap leak despite prising it out and re-inserting it.

    As far as marbles are concerned the tops of most brown glass bottles are quite narrow and the kids' glass marbles I have seen that you can still buy in the U.K. are too big to fit the bottles' necks.

    Ideally smaller, inert but slightly soft "marbles" would be ideal and I think that some internet photographic stockist in the U.K. had these for sale but the name escapes me.Sorry.

    pentaxuser
     
  15. wogster

    wogster Member

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    There are some glass beads used for crafts and such, these may be larger, smaller or the same size, usually dropping a glass bead into a bottle of liquid should be okay, without breaking the glass, because the liquid will slow down the speed of the descent.
     
  16. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Is there not a product where you can spray in an inert gas (nitrogen, or something) to replace the oxygen with something that won't react with the bottle's contents?

    I've been reading this thread and just have this niggling memory in the back of my head - could be completely off base but I put it out there anyway.
     
  17. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser

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    Yes, Tetenal Protectan Spray. I did try it once but it wasn't that easy to use.
     
  18. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    A few years ago I used DD-X as my primary film developer, and if I recall correctly, was able to develop film without issue with solution from a half empty bottle opened several months previously.

    YMMV,

    Tom.
     
  19. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Member

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    Another vote for wine cask bladders. They come in 2,4,and 5L sizes here (Australia) so it's no problem to mix an entire powder bag and leave it in the photo fridge. I always label it in BIG letters, however. Just in case. A skull and cross bones label is enough to warn off anyone else who might go ratting thru the fridge looking for a beer or wine:smile:. Lasts for ages - cold and airless.

    Murray, Brisbane
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2008
  20. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I hadn't realised you were in the UK

    The Tetenal stuff Richard talks about works well

    The trick is to get down and look across the top of the bottle neck

    When you can see this gas spilling out over the top of the bottle (think shimmering heat haze - that sort of effect) - then the bottle is full of (photographically) inert gas.

    As someone recently pointed out - the gas is flammable - so no naked flames

    Nova or Silverprint sell it

    Martin
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2008
  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Just another relatively plus point about winebags. You can practically empty them completely by keeping the tap open and carefully tipping the box. Being a Scotsman I regularly do this with wine and end up with maybe 10ccs left in the bag. The same applies to dev so really no waste at all. In fact if you run out and still haven't got the amount of dev you need and its time to re-fill then you'll have to take the bag out anyway and prise the tap off when you can then empty the bag before refilling by squeezing the reamains into the neck of the tap. I'd estimate that you might have to waste about 2ccs when you rinse out the old developer. You might even simply re-fill provided it's the same dev of course. 2ccs of old DDX in 1L of new isn't going to make one iota of difference to the potency of the new stuff when you add it to what you got ready for the developing tank from the "old" DDX.

    Pity we don't have 5L winebags here as in OZ then 5L containers of fixer, print developer and 5L of powder ID11 could go straight in one box.

    Time we got more serious about wine drinking is what I say.

    pentaxuser
     
  22. wogster

    wogster Member

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    What you might want to do, print up a few of these and glue them to the box:

    [​IMG]

    Many photo chemicals are corrosive, in fact C41 chemistries must be shipped as dangerous goods, class 8 ( this is the placard for it ). The carrier must have the proper paperwork.
     
  23. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Member

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    Hey! Thanks for the label. I was given some really scary ones by a retiring telco linesman but they are running out. They are bright yellow/black.

    Thanks again.
    Murray
     
  24. GFDarlington

    GFDarlington Member

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    For what its worth, I keep my DDX in an accordion type plastic bottle and the present dev is still working well after over 12 months. I am now doing most of my film devoping with Rodinal and I am now using DDX only occasionally with Fuji Acros when I feel I might have a good image that could merit a large enlargement. Last time I used it it was still fine after 13 months in the bottle.
    Graham
     
  25. GFDarlington

    GFDarlington Member

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    For what its worth, I keep my DDX in an accordion type plastic bottle and the present dev is still working well after over 12 months. I am now doing most of my film devoping with Rodinal and I am now using DDX only occasionally with Fuji Acros when I feel I might have a good image that could merit a large enlargement. Last time I used it it was still fine after 13 months in the bottle.
    Graham