Developer shelf life vs. latent image

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Slixtiesix, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    What would make more sense if you do not shoot much B/W: Collecting exposed rolls of film, putting them in the fridge until you have enough to exhaust 1l of Perceptol and then developing them all together with freshly mixed developer or developing them right after exposure but with aging developer? I don´t shoot much B/W at the moment and usually 1l Perceptol stock lasts for 4-6 films (each film individually, I do not re-use the developer). I do not intend to shoot more than 1-2 rolls of film per month right now. Which solution will be better? I´m using FP4+ and HP5+ mostly, also looking forward to shoot some PanF+ which has a very bad latent image stability from what I´ve read.
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I cannot comment on this very well except to say that putting film back into the fridge can cause moisture to condense on it and thus give marks on the final processed image. There have been many many posts bout this here on APUG. You are better off picking a cool dry spot and placing the film in double ziplock bags than using a fridge.

    For fresh unexposed film though, in the original package, the freezer is best.

    PE
     
  3. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If you use 1L of Perceptol stock then even with 35mm film you can't get more than 4 films at 250mls per films. At least I don't know of any tank that needs less than 250mls for a 35mm film unless you do Jobo rotary processing when you might get 7 films at 140 mls per film.

    Either way at 1-2 films per month you need the Perceptol to last 7 months max. If you decant the stock into winebags then you will easily get 7 months out of Perceptol.

    Based on this I'd develop each film as soon as it has been exposed. Instant satisfaction and no issues with latent image etc

    pentaxuser
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Use developer concentrate one shot.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Second that!
     
  6. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Oh no, maybe I did not express that clearly enough: I dilute Perceptol 1:1 or 1:2 and use this working solution one shot. But since it´s a powder it has to be dissolved to create a stock solution first, that was what I meant. I do not develop film in this stock solution (though that would be possible). No intention to switch to another developer either! What PE said makes sense to me. I won´t put the film back into the fridge again.
     
  7. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Not to highjack but how big a problem is latent image degradation.
    I've never noticed any by eye but have never done any tests.
     
  8. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Slixtiesix,

    If you store stock developer in airtight bottles (500ml pop bottles will do) filled to the brim it will last longer than 7 months. As you empty the bottles, squeeze out as much air as possible. IIRC, Perceptol uses metol, not hydroquinone, and won't oxidise like an MQ dev. I could be incorrect though.

    Cheers,
    kevs
     
  9. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Both Ilford Perceptol and Kodak Microdol were based on a developer like D-23. They all use Metol as the sole developing agent, with a low pH and a high sodium sulfite content ~100 g/l. With modern emulsions they work best when diluted at least 1+1.
     
  10. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I used to keep Microdol stock for a year or 2 in partially full bottles. Still worked fine 1:3 for me.
     
  11. Lowly

    Lowly Member

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    As mentioned in the OP, I had been lazy developing rolls and storing them in a cupboard. About three years later (hey, kids will do that to you!) the tri-x, hp5+ and fp4+ came out OK, but there was significant degradation of panf+.
     
  12. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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  13. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the helpful advice. Rather than putting them in the fridge, I will store my exposed film in a dry place in ziplocks from now on. Seems like Perceptol also has a longer shelf life than I had expected. I will develop Panf+ immediately after exposure.
    This was of great help!
     
  14. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    There is a thread here on APUG showing film speed reduction due to latent image degradation. The data shown tells me that you lose a lot in the first few hours but after that there is little difference between waiting one day or three weeks.

    And you yourself might be in a good position to check actual shelf life of your developer: When you are about to finish some old stock, mix fresh stock and do a direct comparison with two identically exposed test clips. No mathematical equation and no lab reference data will be able to tell you as accurately as this simple test what happens if you store Perceptol for a few months in your environment.
     
  15. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    How fast the latent image degrades depends on many things including the specific film (each film is different) and the storage temperature. From posts here on APUg it is hard to detect any changes for several weeks or months except as Rudeofus notes.
     
  16. fenderslash

    fenderslash Member

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    I can share my own personal experiences along these lines. I develop with D76 (also a powder, like the OP is using) and had similar concerns about leaving unused stock solution for months, so I stockpile my exposed films until i have enough to use up an entire batch of developer. After shooting a film I stick it in the freezer - in the original plastic canisters for 35mm or in tightly wrapped plastic bags for 120. Sometimes the films aren't developed for nearly a year. I understand that there may be risks with condensation or latent image degradation, but to my untrained eye I've never seen any ill effects whatsoever. I've used a mixture of Tri-X, Plus-X, T-Max 400, FP4+ and HP5+ and they've all been fine.
     
  17. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    --
     
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