Kodak C-41B Developer Replenisher Part C going bad

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by mtjade2007, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. mtjade2007

    mtjade2007 Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I just realized that two boxes of my C-41B developer replenisher Part C is turning dark. I believe it is a sign that it is going bad. Each of the boxes contains 4 set of bottles. Each set (Part A, B and C) is for making 10 liters. I think I am facing a big loss of developers now. Well, I bought them from a closing mini-lab a few years back. I am witnessing that the chemical even unopened does not last too many years. I have about 80 liters of this replenisher going bad.

    I mixed 10 liters a few days ago and began to use it regardless. It seems to be working OK at the moment. I have developed 3 220 rolls with this replenish (+ starter of course) and I see no color shift or anything wrong yet. But I know they are going bad very soon. My question is how long do you think it will be OK still? If they are still good for a few months I am planning to donate them to a school. But if it won't last for too long this may not be a good idea at all.

    I am not sure I can buy part C alone from anywhere. Any suggestions? I guess I will shoot a few more rolls before winter and process all of them with the developer. Next year I will have to buy fresh ones again.
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,907
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The C-41 I have comes in 3 parts. One part is in a glass bottle and if you open it it will begin going bad instantly. It smells like Sulfur Dioxide which it contains in excess. If it is that part, and is going bad, it is indeed a loss. If it is beyond the expiration date there is nothing that can be done. If it is before the expiration date, Kodak will replace it at no cost.

    Moral: Open no bottle in a kit before its time!

    PE
     
  3. mtjade2007

    mtjade2007 Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks a lot for quickly reply. I just checked my bottles again they are all plastic. However, I had used gallon sized developer packs before and the Part B bottles were dark brown glass bottles indeed.

    My Part B bottles (although plastic) all show clear liquid inside. It is the Part C bottles that are turning darker (gray) now. Well, after mixing and dilute to the correct 10 liter it does not look that dark any more. But it sure isn't as clear as used to be.

    So if my Part B bottles are still clear does that mean they are still good? I hope they are. Although Part C turns darker the developer it produces (replenisher + starter) so far seems still work fine. If there is any color shift because of developer gone bad my negatives will become difficult to scan. Right now the negatives it produced can be scanned without any color tweaking and the color balance seems to be fine.

    Oh yeah, I did not open any bottles. Thanks for the tip of never open any bottles. BTW, I believe my C-41B developer replenisher right now are probably expired because I bought them at least 4 or even 5 years ago. Time really flies. I just realized that I have been using it for that long. If it is going bad it is not Kodak's fault for sure. I hope they will be good for another 6 months. I can donate some of them to a high school nearby.
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,907
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, part C can darken without undue harm. There are some organics present that darken with keeping. That should present no problem. It is part B that is the big worry. It is the CD-4 and is labeled that way. If it goes, you are done.

    PE
     
  5. Richard Harris

    Richard Harris Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have had this problem too. I now decant any large bottles in to smaller filled bottles and any half filled bottles I smother with Argon welding gas. I find little budweiser bottles, 250ml, with new crown corks great for keeping chemicals. I then keep them in the cellar in darkness. I am getting fantastic life spans from the concentrates. Just keep part b carefully.
    I re-used some RA4 working solution yesterday which had been stored part used for over 9 months. It worked great but seemed to oxidise in the processor quicker than fresh and I tipped it after using. It seems to me that heat light and above all oxygen are the devils here. just try to avoid contact with any.
     
  6. mtjade2007

    mtjade2007 Member

    Messages:
    370
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thant's very good news to me, PE. Thank you so much for providing such invaluable information to me. I am pretty sure that my Part B bottles are all clear. Only the Part Cs are getting dark. But after mixing it looks only slightly darker then normal. My first 3 rolls processed so far look excellent still. I once had a few bottles of Kodak C-41 developer unopened that were kept for almost 10 years (plus/minus). They were eventually used and they did work OK. I hope my C-41B replenisher will be OK for another year. I am optimistic about it now. Thanks again, PE, for your professional advices.

    Richard, I do not have the luxury of inert gas to use. So I don't think it is possible for me to break up the bottles into smaller ones. But thanks anyway for the suggestion.
     
  7. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

    Messages:
    2,933
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Misissauaga
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Quality wine shops sell a wine/scotch preservative used after you have openned a bottle called 'private preserve'. It works well for preserving developers, and does not need a big tank. I finally took a leap to buying small nitrogen tank about two years ago after finding the right pressure regulator on e-bay for a song. I am fortunate that there is an independent industrial/food/beer gas supplier in my city that will transfill it for a reasonable price.
     
  8. Richard Harris

    Richard Harris Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    mtjade2007,
    the welding gas I use is in small, litre sized hardware store bottles. It is sold for the DIY market here in the UK. A regulator and a cylinder will cost you about £30 sterling and will last a long long time. That is much cheaper than a wasted batch of Kodak C41 re-plenishers and it works for RA4 and B&W chemicals too.
    Richard.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,907
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Welding gas is often either Acetylene (very flammable) or Oxygen (which will ruin your developer). If it a single gas torch type gas, it will be Butane or Propane (very flammable). Except for Oxygen, these gasses are quite heavy compared to air and will settle into your bottles quite well, but they also can be suffocants in a closed room.

    Use with care.

    PE
     
  10. Richard Harris

    Richard Harris Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    PE,
    You are no welder despite being a venerable photo genius. I am talking MIG welding shielding gas, Argon. Not Argon mixes and not gas welding gases. Pure inert Argon. It could suffocate you but if you can get it to blow up or burn you are a chemical genius too
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,907
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Richard;

    The males in my entire family on both sides were experienced welders and I began learning it when a teen. However, we referred to the welding gasses as those used to promote the welding. The inert gasses were named differently. Usually they were specified by name. My dad used to weld cracks in steel tanks in a chamber of inert Argon while wearing a flame retardant and heat resistant suit. The tanks were at red heat and were then annealed.

    They all welded Aluminum and other metals under inert gasses and had 3 tanks there for it. My dad also worked with Westinghouse at his plant near their Bettis Atomic works where he helped recover or weld rare metals such as Zirconium (which exploded when mistreated by a worker).

    I am using my uncle's Nitrogen tank and regulator for my darkroom as Nitrogen is a lot less expensive than Argon. His Acetylene tank is sitting next to it, empty. His second tank and his Oxygen tank along with a set of regulators and one torch went to an art student who wanted to do metal work. I have the rest of his box of welding and burning torches. Want to trade stories?

    So, bottom line is that nomenclature is vague on these gasses unless you use the name which is much more specific if you wish to try and prevent accidents. Fair enough? Sorry I was not clear enough for you.

    PE
     
  12. Richard Harris

    Richard Harris Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    PE,
    don't get touchy. You are obviously a great welder too. It is amazing how the engineers amongst us just gravitate to the same hobbys and interests. I have Acetylene, Oxygen, Argon and Argoshield 5%, all in commercial cylinders which cost a fortune to rent here in the UK. I had specified Argon earlier in the thread and my post was replying to the original posters reply to that first post when I had specified Argon. I still buy Argon for shielding my chemicals in hardware store sizes. I don't want to carry a 4ft cylinder in to my darkroom. Just as an aside; a, why do you keep empty welding gas bottles in your darkroom. b, Never never get rid of your gas welding gear. Every rust nut and bolt and every bit of broken tin work begs for the bottles.
    Richard.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,907
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Richard;

    I am not touchy. Sorry if I seemed that way. I am more upset that I am a terrible welder! :sad: I could never live up to the expectation of my dad in that regard. I do know the subject though and know that Argon is much too expensive for many people compared to Nitrogen.

    I keep the bottles in a spare area in the hallway behind my darkroom and pipe the N2 in through the ceiling. So, there is no space taken by the gas bottles. The N2 is the 4 ft size and the Acetylene is the 2 ft size. The two others are gone. The torches, tips, goggles, helmet, gloves and rods are in my shop. The hoses rotted out before my uncle gave the stuff to me when he retired. I never got any of their electric welding equipment.

    They had 6 core trucks and my dad had one. It was a fairly large enterprise in the 40s - 80s. They all did a lot of light steel construction in the area where I grew up.

    PE
     
  14. Richard Harris

    Richard Harris Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    PE,
    sorry for late reply. I am a builder by trade and we tend to do our own construction welding for which I still use a massive old Electric stick welder.
    The Mig machine is great and quick to use and will weld light tin work easily. But the Oxy/Acetylene gas welding gear is used for lead work. However, I would never be without oxy/acetylene; it is the perfect Yard Mans companion. Buy yourself some new hoses and Oxygen. You may even fabricate something for the darkroom. And unlike photography welding is craft without much of the art. ie If a messy weld does the job nobody is going to worry to much if your not charging for the result; and you will get better.
    Regards etc

    As an aside, can you buy these little gas cylinders in the states. They are about 1ltr/Quart sized and are great in the darkroom but very expensive for welding. You can not buy commercial sized cylinders in the UK, you have to rent them. This costs a fortune over the years whether they are used or not so DIY welders have to buy these little fellas.

    Richard.
     
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,907
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Richard;

    Tank rentals are possible here in the US as well and cost a fortune. I am lucky I own the tanks.

    I did check with my Uncle, who is now 88, and asked him what he though of first when I said "welding gas" to him and he said he thought acetylene first then oxygen. I asked about the blanket or inert gases and he said that there were so many, they used the individual names such as Argon, Nitrogen and etc. So we may use different words here in the US.

    The small cylinders of gasses were once $7.50 / tank and you could buy about any gas including Phosgene and Chlorine. Fischer Scientific sold them. IDK if you can get them anymore.

    PE