life on Print Chems left out pls....

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by dwdmguy, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Good morning.
    Since I'm pretty active now printing at home can you guys/gals fill me in onto the life of chems sitting in the tray covered with plastic wrap? 2 days? etc...

    Thanks so much.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Stop bath & fixer weeks if covered but you'll exhaust them through use first :D

    Dev I always prefer to mix fresh, even though it may keep over night mines usually exhausted anyway.

    Ian
     
  3. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Ian, thanks tons!
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi tom

    if you use ansco 130 / formulary 130 universal print developer
    it has a HUGE life, as stock, i use it a year old with no problems,
    and it has been suggested that
    it will still be good for weeks sitting in a tray,
    and from i remember ole confirmed this a few years ago
    when he returned from a job, developer left out (for a few weeks) and it was still very good ..
    maybe he can chime in on his experience.

    john
     
  5. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Ian, how many prints do you make per session and what developer do you use?
     
  6. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    @John, great suggestion, I'll give the form dev a try soon.

    @Anon, know it's not directed to me but as an FYI I make about 10 prints per session. The DR is always dark when not being used.
    I'm not lazy at all but need to be really thirfty these days. Darn kid, his meals, school supplies et. al. :smile:

    Thanks All!
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Anything from 10 - 30 fibre based prints per session, but the dev gets absorbed by the paper so the volume goes down, sometimes I need to top up.

    I mainly use ID-78 which is similar to Neutol WA.Ilford Warmtone.

    Ian
     
  8. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    10 prints, even if large ones, are too little to exhaust the print developer. If you want to save some money, don't leave it in the tray. Put it back in a bottle and you'll get much more prints/l. Also keep in mind that the manufacturers' suggestion about the useful life of the working solution are too pessimistic. From my own tests, I'd say that prints developed in old solutions have slightly less contrast. IDK if there are other side effects, but nothing I could see at that point.
     
  9. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Oh, developer loss by absorbency is another factor...
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If you're making prints for exhibition, sale etc then it's false economy to re-use developer.

    I use less volume if I know I'm only printing a few images.

    Ian
     
  11. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    If I had to be thrifty, I'd look closely at Ansco 130 (PF 130). I mix a liter according to formula, then dilute it 50/50 and pour into two bottles. The first bottle I use for developer, returning the developer to the bottle at the end of the session, and then I top off the first bottle from the second. When the second bottle is empty, I mix new developer. With this method, I've used the same batch for well more than a year.

    With anything else, I'd premix only what I thought I would use. As Ian says, reusing most developers is false economy.

    juan
     
  12. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Agree, if the prints matter then developer is cheap part of the process.

    I usually do proofs and contacts over a course of days (damn day job always getting in the way). This may sound counter-intuitive, but pouring developer in and out of bottles and trays is not the best way to extend tray life. Oxygen is the enemy, and each transfer introduces massive amounts of oxygen over a massive surface area (essentially, mixing the oxygen in). A tray with plastic in contact with the surface of the developer, pressed to the edges is exposed to very little O2.

    Storing the developer this way (dektol) I can use the same tray for a week, and it's always active when I dump it. I don't see any difference on day 7 from day 1. Disclaimer: RC papers, not fiber.
     
  13. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I'm with Ian on the fresh developer, too much time and other costs (like paper) to reuse it. I mix what I think I'll need and dump it. If I was printing commercial, every day, not concerned about repeating a print months later, same VC filtration, split filter balance, etc., I might consider tracking print count and re-using, but I've never been in that situation, except when someone else took care of the chems, and in that case there were three of us using them.
     
  14. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Are you doing this every day? Anyways, I'm on Dektol 1+2 that I've been using for around 3 printing sessions this week. ~1500ml total WS volume, mainly 5x7s. Just made some 120 contacts on 8x10 RC and hit black without issue. Solution is heavily yellow colored.
     
  15. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    I don't think you can't get true black with old developer, from my (limited) tests, you get a bit softer contrast. I exposed the same kind of paper, with the same filter, and used old and freshly mixed Ilford MG developer. The only (slight) difference was the contrast. Old developer was mixed 10 days earlier and kept in plastic bottles, tightly capped.

    On the other hand, if you're an artist who prints for exhibitions, or make prints for clients, there's no reason not to use fresh chemicals...
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    When I'm printing yes, sometimes I might make up more fresh dev in a session. A huge difference is I only print on Fibre Based papers, developer exhausts it doesn't last.

    Personally I wouldn't dream of the false economies of trying to save developer until the next day, a batch of 1-2 litres of working strength developer is a fraction of the cost of a single sheet of paper. You need to put this into perspective.

    Maybe you can get good blacks with 3 day old Dektol, I'm more concerned with getting consistency particularly of the full range of tones between and that just isn't going to happen with a warm tone paper in old developer.

    Ian
     
  17. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Ian, at a rate of 6.6USD for Dektol powder, expanded out into working solution, that's ~12000ml or basically 1.1$ for 2000ml of WS. The >1$/sheet comes at around 11x14. I'm not printing 11x14 every printing session. In fact I'm not even printing 8x10 every printing session. Some of us aren't making "gallery" or "exhibit" prints every session - we're just printing with the target of decent prints - not an aura of "fine art." There's not enough hours in the day. In that case I don't see what the big deal is about re-using Dektol from a previous day when it's a waste to just chuck it.

    This is where I'm going to argue that it's not really a false economy. But sure, if you're doing 11x14 and above for *every sheet* of paper you print, I can understand your desire to always use completely fresh developer for consistent results.