Ilfosol 3 1/2 bottle dark brown liquid after 6 months

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Randy Moe, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Randy Moe

    Randy Moe Member

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    Is fresh developer always clear? I just used the above described, with 3 different films from 3 different cameras and shooters, and all came out almost totally clear. First roll I blamed the shutter, second roll the Leica shooter said he forgot how to rewind and opened the bottom, third roll shot with fully auto Nikon N70.

    The Infosol 3, 8 oz bottle was 6 months old, half full and tightly capped. It obviously has been 6 months since I used it and I have forgotten what it looks like.

    I will try another roll, with a different camera and a fresh bottle of Infosol 3 tomorrow...

    And I want to wait til my old brain is fresh to open the next bottle.

    Maybe it's my meds.
     
  2. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Fresh developer diluted to working solution strength is usually clear to a light amber or straw color. Concentrated liquid developers that must be diluted to get a working strength solution are usually darker, and can be quite dark. I don't know about Ilfosol, I've never used it. But if that was your working strength developer that was dark brown, it was oxidized.

    Film that develops totally clear indicates either a processing error such as fixing before developing, or an inactive developer, or film that was never exposed in the first place. Did the frame numbers show up on the edges? If no, then your developer was bad. If yes, then the film wasn't exposed.

    If the Leica shooter had opened the back and exposed the whole entire roll to light, then it would develop totally black, not clear.

    It sounds like your developer is bad.

    Before using an old developer, test it for activity by clipping a small bit of your film leader and develop it with the lights on. It should turn completely black. If it doesn't, the developer is no longer active.

    Don't exceed the manufacturer's specified capacity of number of rolls or equivalents for a given volume. Not all developers can be stored as working solutions. Some are meant to be single use (referred to as one-shot). As I said, I've never used Ilfosol, but according to the Ilford web site, it is intended for one-shot use at 1:9 dilution.
     
  3. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    These two sentences make no sense together.

    Do you mean that the liquid in the bottle is clear, or the developed film is clear?

    The storage life of Ifosol 3 per the Ilford data sheet is:
    "24 months in fully tight capped bottles.
    4 months in half tight capped bottles."

    - Leigh
     
  4. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Who would only screw a lid half tight?
     
  5. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    They meant half-full and tightly capped, but that's not what they printed in the brochure. :eek:

    - Leigh
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    You may wish to say a few words over the bottle before you chuck it.
     
  7. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Yes Ilfosol developers don't have a very long shelf life. However, what I do with other short life developers (RA4 working solution is one) is to buy small dark brown (or green) screw top GLASS bottles. I get mine from a dispensary and cost very little. I have kept developers such as Ilfosol and RA4 in these for up to 12 months before they even hinted of deteriorating. Even half full glass bottles will keep developer better than plastic ones, because oxygen that makes the developer 'go off' can permeate through plastic, but not glass.

    I don't know about in the States, but in UK, I can buy bottles of 60cc and 100cc which do the job perfectly.
     
  8. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    The older incarnation of Ilfosol (Ilfosol s) was cursed with a reputation for sudden failure. It would seem that Ilfosol 3 has the same problem. Ilford has other liquid developers that last well. Try DDX or Ilfotec HC.
     
  9. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    This is why I no longer use Ilfosol 3 and have switched to XTOL for most of my developing. Of course, it needs to be kept from air as well.
     
  10. Newbie question here. Would a used wine bottle with a screw cap work as a better way to store Ilfosol 3 instead of it's as shipped plastic container?
     
  11. quickbrownfox

    quickbrownfox Member

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    I've had my ilfosol 3 for over 6 months and it still works fine but I was very anal about its storage. When I first opened the bottle I decanted half of it directly into a impermiable plastic chemistry bottle and made sure I never shook or unduly agitated it. Also I stored it in a cool dark place. When first opened ilfosol is clear but soon after got a slight yellow tinge which has been getting darker over the months. I'm probably not gonna push it for another film but I almost got through it all! :-D
     
  12. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    The very worst thing you can do with developers is leave them in a half full bottle. Buy smaller bottles.

    Second you have no idea of the age of the original bottle unless you cracked the Ilford code.

    So now, buy powered developers or mix your own from scratch and store them in small onetime use bottles. That or go digital. Toss them after 6 months.
     
  13. Randy Moe

    Randy Moe Member

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    Will do. I have one last sealed Ilfosol 3 and goodby. I need to stick with liquids as much as possible as I spent 30 years in a factory dealing with very bad dust, powder and assorted poisons. Many dead coworkers who would not heed my urgings to use the vent hoods. Idiots. Dead idiots.
     
  14. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    The concentrate should be fine in the original package for at least as long as Ilford specifies. If you want to try to keep it longer, you could repackage it in several small glass bottles completely filled up to eliminate air space. For example, if you transfer a 500ml bottle of concentrate into five 100ml bottles with as little air space as possible, tightly sealed, it may (probably will) last longer than in the partially full original container. That way, you only have one partially used bottle of concentrate exposed to a smaller volume of air at any time.

    The size of the bottle and how well it seals matters. If you are using a 750ml wine bottle, it will always have more air in it than the original 500ml plastic bottle, so that is actually worse unless you displace the air with nitrogen, butane, or "canned air" aka "gas duster" (which is not really air, but usually difluoroethane, trifluoroethane, or tetrafluoroethane).
     
  15. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    Use Rodinal instead (now Adonal or R09).

    The concentrate lasts forever (as in decades), even in partially-used bottles.

    - Leigh
     
  16. Randy Moe

    Randy Moe Member

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    Does sound like good stuff. MSDS sheet is a little confusing. How bad is this stuff? Can I pour it down a Chicago sink. We have a very high dilution factor in Chicago. Plenty of free water.
     
  17. Even if you evacuate the oxygen out of the bottle?
     
  18. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    I use Ilfosol 3 a lot. It tends to go off quickly if you don't do something to exclude oxygen from the bottle. The concentrate is virtually clear when new, but goes darker with age. I use a Tetenal spray product to keep it fresh. You just squirt a bit into the bottle after each use and it lasts well. It's a lot more convenient than mixing powder if you only do 1 or 2 films each week.
     
  19. Randy Moe

    Randy Moe Member

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    That's a good plan. I also, may just go to Rodinal. I am a K.I.S.S. kinda of idiot.