Leaving dev trays out overnite?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ezwriter, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Sorry haven't seen this answered before: Sometimes i develop at nite, and then the next day. Is it ok to leave the chems out
    in trays overnite? (bathroom/darkroom kind of a hassle to take it all down each time).
    How long would the chems last? I imagine developer (Tmax or Dexktol) would go bad first?
    thanks
    ez
     
  2. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I've done it, but I cover them with Saran Wrap, if they'll be left overnight.
     
  3. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    About a day is the limit as far as I can tell.

    I often work at night, go to bed and finish in the morning. I haven't had any problems with doing it that way.

    I also cover my trays. Just use an empty tray, upside down.

    If you're just practicing or doing routine work, I see no problem with keeping your chems overnight but, if you're trying to do your best work, just replace it.

    Dektol starts to change color and get darker when it's beginning to expire. If you let it go completely bad, it will look like coffee.
    Just watch the color. When it starts to get darker, that's your signal.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It can be rough on the trays - especially the developer tray.
     
  5. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I've seen some gnarly developing trays from this approach as they stain and wear easier. But I have never seen them negatively affect the prints. As long as you cover them somehow, I see no problem as long as you don't plan on reusing it for a prolonged length of time. I have one of those big tanks with the spout and a floating lid, so for the 5 seconds it takes to dump it in (even my 20x24 trays), I see no point in leaving it out and diminishing the life of the developer from exposure to oxygen. I can use the same 2 gallons of developer for maybe a month, but if I left it overnight a few times it would be pretty close to done. Economically, not the best idea.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Exposure to air causes oxidisation of the developer. In a tray, there is a much greater exposed surface to volume ratio than there would be in a bottle so it oxidises quicker.

    A close fitting lid or cover will help.


    Steve.
     
  7. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I only worry about developer left open to air. I will place a sheet of Saran wrap or place an empty tray into the developer tray and clean up tomorrow. A soaking of a strong mixture of Clorax will clean the stain from the tray.
     
  8. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Covering the developer with another tray is the way to go. But not upside down. Float the second tray right side up on top of the developer. It's easy if it is exactly the same kind of tray as the developer tray. By doing that, you are drastically reducing the amount of surface area exposed to air, thereby minimizing oxidation. I do this whenever I take a break of an hour or more.
     
  9. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Print Developer:
    Yeah, cover them and see it the print still comes up in a reasonable amount of time compared to fresh. I find open trays of Dektol go off after about 5 hours or so, and so can define a single printing session.​

    Film Developer:
    You only get one chance with film. I wouldn't leave more active film developers out (of unstoppered bottles) at all. I use all film developers one–shot, anyway.​
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Member

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    developer left in an open tray overnightwill go bad faster thab in a bottle plus you may not like the smell it leaves in the room.
     
  11. K-G

    K-G Subscriber

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    I posted a comment similar to yours earlier today but it obviously became a fatal victim in the big database crash. I can do nothing but completely agree with you. I have used this method for more than ten years and it works just fine. Sometimes I can keep the chemicals for more than a month. If I am about to make exhibition quality prints I use to mix fresh solutions, just to be safe.

    Karl-Gustaf
     
  12. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    I have some proofs in the gallery today that was printed with 500ml dektol stock over a period of 11 days.

    The developer was left out the entire time, covered with saran in contact with the liquid.

    I printed maybe 75 proofs over 11 days, in 3 separate sessions.

    F5.6 for 10s, dektol at 75f for 90s on day one.
    F5.6 for 10s, dektol at 75f for 90s on day eleven.

    Developer at 75f has very little dissolved oxygen. Cover it with saran in contact with the liquid, where will the oxygen come from? For big trays, I cut up kitchen bags.

    Dumping it into a bottle, you might as well put it in a blender.

    I might add, eleven days is not the longest I've left dektol in a tray, and it was still good when I dumped it.
     
  13. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I remember working in a darkroom where the stop bath and developer were left out all the time. At the end of a long day of printing, I'd dump the developer. We'd change the indicator stop bath them it turned purple and the fix when hypo check indicated when we had to dump the fixer.
     
  14. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    How much extra time is required to pour the solutions into bottles. I do it in 5 minutes.