How Ripe do you let your developer get?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by evarn, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. evarn

    evarn Member

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    Hi,

    I mixed about a litre of Ilford's LC29 developer a while back and have put maybe, geez, I don't even know how many rolls through.. probably about 20.

    Anyway... I was wondering how "ripe" people let their developr get..

    Do you count it's age by the amount of film it's seen or by how long it's been mixed up? Or perhaps a combination of both...

    I know the manufacturer prints recommendations, but what do photographers out there do I wonder??

    Thanks

    Ivan
     
  2. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Ivan,

    I use developer once and discard it. The Jobo tanks use so little that it is still quite inexpensive that way.

    Neal Wydra
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I make film developer fresh every time. One of th joys of scratch mixing. I just top up paper developer.
     
  4. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    One-shot. Use it, dump it. Safest way...

    Elaborating slightly: I mix up stock solutions regularly and use that (diluted as appropriate) one-shot.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    You'll find that most do one-shot, as prior posts have indicated. However, as to your question, "combination" may be the best answer. Developers have capacities - in rolls of film - and shelf lives. Many publish a different life for a "full" bottle and a "partial" bottle. Go with the shortest time.

    David
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I mix concentrated stock solutions, dilute them to make my working developer which I then use one-shot and dump
     
  7. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

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    Hi,

    I use LC29 at 1:29 dilution (as recommended) and use it as a one shot developer then dump. Fresh it is a clear liquid but does yellow pretty rapidly once opened. Often if I go to use it and unsure of its condition, especially if it is starting to yellow I will dump it and open a fresh bottle. I now try to develop a number of films over a day or so using the same bottle for economy. Personally I'd never make up a stock of working strength but then thats me being cautious...also I use distilled water when mixing dev, stop and fix for films.

    John
     
  8. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    That's what I do for film as well. For paper, I keep it until the emergence time of the image becomes uncomfortably long.

    Murray
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Like a lot of folks here, I mix up stock solutions from powder then dilute to working strength as 1 shot developers. I do not and will not deviate from that process for film. The images you make there are not replaceable. For paper, the situation changes. My main paper developer is Dektol. Like film developer, I mix up stock from powder. I've found that I can save the working solution from session to session with replenishment. If the old brown stuff is less than a week old and stored in a full bottle, anywhere from 25% to 50% of fresh working solution added to it seems to do the trick. Obviously, I'm not terribly precise about this. You can immediately see if the process is proceeding as expected, so at worst you lose a sheet of paper if it is not working properly.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    ditto
     
  11. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    I let my cheese ripen, but not my film developer. Mix my 3-ingredient homebrew fresh each time. Takes two minutes, is cheap, and no worries about freshness.

    Larry
     
  12. Maris

    Maris Member

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    My developer is about five years ripe. The one litre working strength bottle of X-tol is replenished at a rate of 90ml of X-tol per film developed. A "film" is an 8x10 sheet, 120 roll, or equivalent. The one litre working strength developer bottle is stored full, no air space. The replenisher is kept in many small bottles with no or minimal air space. This system has reliably and consistently developed several hundred films over the years.

    Actually, of course, with the 90ml/film replenishment rate there would scarcely be an atom of the original mix still in the stock bottle. You could say the developer is "seasoned" rather than "ripe".
     
  13. evarn

    evarn Member

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    Thanks for all the replies... I have a better idea of how to go about this now...

    I only started developing my own film about a month ago... Been quite exciting

    Cheers

    Ivan
     
  14. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    Out with the old...

    The replies here on the one-shot runs are giving me cause to think about doing the same. Usually, I have a gallon of stock, and a half gallon of dilution running around. Sometimes as with ID11, I develop stock solution. But by adding Rodinal to my bag of developing tricks I am using much less of the working dilutions of !D11 and Microdol. These jugs are sitting around too long unused for comfort, and have had a few rolls or sheets run through them. Maybe I should be mixing per development run. This might result in more consistent results?
     
  15. DKT

    DKT Member

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    I ran a tankline for a year and a half or so with XTOL and did the same thing, but the rate was 80ml for me. after I got seasoned, it ran very well, albeit with a slight loss in speed, as expected. I estimated that I turned it over (volume) about three months or so, and I would filter out the bromide sludge if it got too heavy on the bottom of the tank. I was testing it to see if we could change over from TMAX RS to that, but in the end I stuck with RS. XTOL I think you probably run indefinitely in the tank replenished though...there may be some specific gravity problems and the like eventually, but it seemed incredibly robust as a working developer.

    I run a TMAX RS deeptank line where I work and we go for about 2-3 mos, and then dump & remix. like XTOL you adjust up or down, and use the same soln. to replenish, so it's almost impossible to screw it up. I used to run control strips as well, but using the same chemistry to replenish makes control so much easier, that you don't really have to do that anymore....

    I used to do mini-versions of these tanklines at home using one-gallon tanks, but I quit about a year ago. I wasn't running enough to be economical--I had to replenish at higher rates, and it became more of a hassle really, so I went back to using one-shot HC110. Although I use AB55 as well, and reuse that. I still process film in a tankline though--even as one shot because I can't quite ever see myself going back to a daylight tank....
     
  16. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I do one shot as I do not process huge amounts of film thru deep tanks. This can be expensive with some devs, notably DDX or TMAX at 1:4, but both devs can be used at 1:7 or 1:9 with slightly longer times and much greater economy with, if anything, more controllable results. If you want the ultimate in economy off the shelf, HC110 or one of the Rondinal-likes willl do you. If you make up your own pyrocat HD that is a cheap as heck. For personal use, re-using devs makes little sense as you lose speed and unless you are into doing experements to know exactly what changes to make to both exposure and dev time, you are adding variables that wll only work against you....just as you dunk a magnificent image too if Murphy's law has anything to do with it!!!
     
  17. Samuel B

    Samuel B Member

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    I use all B&W developer 1 shot, but I find my D-76 improves in the first couple of months after mixing it. Of course it only improves up to a point, and then goes downhill.
     
  18. pnance

    pnance Member

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    I've been replenishing Microdol for years, I mix it by the quart and throw it out after running a quart of replenisher through it, close to 50 rolls per qt. Being anal about measuring my results have been consistent so far.

    I've went through dry periods when it would take more than a year to use it, and have had no problems. Always filter before returning to bottle.

    Only problem is with Kodak going out of the photography business, its going to get harder find the chemicals, replenisher in no longer made, although Kodak gives a recipe for mixing it from the developer (by adding sodium carbonate) but the replenish rate is different. Haven't had to try it yet, still have replenisher left to mix.