Liquid Dektol shelf life

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by allsystemsfail, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. allsystemsfail

    allsystemsfail Member

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    I see you can get Dektol in liquid form which makes 5 gallons of developer. My question is how long would it last once mixed in a floating lid container?

    Rich
     
  2. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    I've had some mixed up since a year ago, stores in gallon brown jugs in the fridge. Works great still!
     
  3. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Stock Dektol keeps 6 months. Read the directions on the container or spec sheet to be certain of any particular manufacturer's recommendations.
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    Kodak does not make a liquid form of Dektol. All the catalog entries say "powder to make 5 galons."They do make Polymax T and Ektanol liquid paper developers. These are both Dimezone based developers. Because of the nature of the formula Dektol cannot be made into a concentrate much more concentrated than the normal stock solution.
     
  5. allsystemsfail

    allsystemsfail Member

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    I saw the 5 gallon mix which comes in a box and I guess I assumed it was liquid, but your right. My bad.
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    I too saw the box in the illustration and it certainly looked like a liquid package. It gave the wrong impression of the product.
     
  7. allsystemsfail

    allsystemsfail Member

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    Ok, so now we've hashed out liquid vs powder. To my original question. IF I Was to mix 5 gallons of the POWDER form of Dektol, would I have to use it up quickly or would it last a month or two before losing strength?
     
  8. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Like I said, I mixed mine up last summer, stored them in 5 different 1 gallon dark brown jugs in the refrigerator (it's hot here in Texas) and am just about to open my last jug. Haven't noticed a difference from the first jug to this last one...
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Why not just buy a package of Ethol LPD and use as a replenished paper developer. My last gallon of the stuff has lasted well into two years and no change in properties. I'm finally down to my last half liter of replenisher and that should last until Christmas.
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    If you keep the container well stopped, I think you will be ok for a month with no issues.

    I am preparing to mix Developer stock solution from a couple of scratch formula's posted in the articles here. I have saved up about 15 - 5 litre Developer containers- the kind that Ilford multigrade come in.. I use the Ilford developer for lambda printing mixed with Dektol but for all my enlarger printing I have used only Dektol. We have a couple of those large mixers so its time to put them to use.
    I also plan to mix stock fix as well... I am planning of mixing in bulk and estimate that each time I mix I should have enough for a few months of work give or take a month.

    I think this will save a ton of dough and it seems to be harder to get the Kodak chems and the prices are getting pretty steep.

     
  11. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    According to Kodak the shelf life of the Dektol stock solution is 6 months in fully filled bottles.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Gerald, Kodak or rather Champion manufacture and then Kodak sell Liquid Dektol it's a PQ version of D72 with Dimezone. It's been available for quite a few years but in some markets it's been called Polymax developer.

    It'll keep quite well in a deep tank with a floating lid as long as it gets topped up on a bleed system, possibly months.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2012
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Subscriber

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    Some sources do refer to Polymax as liquid Dektol but the two formulas are different enough that its hard to consider Polymax as Dektol. In the case of the OP he was confused by a photo of the 5 l Dektol package that looked like it contained liquid.
     
  14. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I have Dektol that I mixed on September 4th, 2005, that is still active. See thread Bizarre logevity of my last batch of Dektol. It was stored in half filled gallon glass bottles with Beseler XDL spray and a tight lid, in the dark, undisturbed under my sink for years. I recently dug it out and tested it, and it is fine. I'm still quite amazed, and somewhat in disbelief. YMMV.
     
  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I use Polymax T as my print developer of choice. As I understand it, it is branded as "Liquid Dektol" in much of the world because it's performance is similar to standard Dektol.

    It is sold in both 32 oz bottles and larger cubitainers. I would be surprised if it would behave well in a floating lid container. I believe that it is designed to be more convenient for one-shot use than powdered Dektol.

    In case you haven't seen it: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/j5/j5.pdf is the Kodak publication for it.
     
  16. allsystemsfail

    allsystemsfail Member

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    Matt,
    I used Polymax T at a lab I worked at for 14 years. I believe it was designed for roller transport machines and has an additive to to help not oxidize so quickly. I've been told to additive is nasty stuff and to use gloves when working with it. Not sure if this is 100% true so if anyone here knows please chime in. As far as comparing it to Dektol I have not noticed any difference in the prints I have done using both developers.

    Rich
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Rich:

    I would assume roller transport use would also imply regular/continuous replenishment. If you intend doing that, my reservations are hereby withdrawn :smile:.

    As far as toxicity is concerned, I have no definitive information on the issue, but do have some observations:

    1) I have been using it for years without gloves, but usually with tongs or tubes. So far, no problems whatsoever. I am not, however, a heavy user; and
    2) None of the Kodak information I have seen about the developer (which is almost all the information available) includes any special or unusual safety warnings. I would expect to see warnings of that type if Polymax was more toxic than something like Dektol when mixed to working strength; and
    3) I would assume that any issues of toxicity would be more serious for the undiluted concentrate than the working solution. I'm therefore slightly more carefully careful :whistling:when handling the concentrate than when I am actually printing with the working solution, however that is easy to do.

    Hope this helps.
     
  18. ericdan

    ericdan Subscriber

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    Could you mix 1 gallon Dektol powder into say two liters of higher concentrated stock solution and have it last longer that way?
     
  19. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Eric,

    As Gerald points out above, Dektol won't dissolve into much less volume than Kodak's recommendation for the stock solution. However, by splitting this stock up into smaller bottles, you can effectively increase the shelf-life of your stock since full bottles will store longer than partially-full ones. With careful storage you will likely get more than the six months Kodak (so carefully) gives as the shelf-life for Dektol stock.

    If space is a problem, or you need to store longer than that, switch to a liquid concentrate developer like Liquidol and then just mix what you need for a session from stock.

    Best,

    Doremus

    P.S: Thanks for resurrecting this old thread instead of starting a new one and fragmenting the discussion!
     
  20. mklw1954

    mklw1954 Member

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    According to Kodak's "Chemicals for Black and White Papers" a full, stoppered bottle of Dektol stock solution will keep for 6 months. The working solution (1 part stock + 2 parts water) in a tray will keep for one day. The "useful capacity" of working solution is shown as 120 8x10 prints per gallon so to use all 5 gallons of stock solution (15 gallons of working solution) within the keeping time you'd have to be doing 1,800 8x10 prints in 6 months. But as others have said, you should be able to store stock solution for longer than 6 months. Unless you are doing this extremely high volume, Dektol powder to make 1 gallon of stock solution is more practical (360 8x10 prints over 6+ months).

    But whatever you do, use all of the powder to make stock solution, don't make up only the stock solution you need and re-seal the powder; the powder will go bad quickly (oxidize and turn brown).
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  21. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

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    Best practice is to mix the whole thing per the instructions on the bag and then decant it into smaller bottles. I use 20 ounce soy sauce bottles and add a sealing film of Saran wrap under the lid. I dilute my Dektol 1+2 for use so 20 ounces makes a nice full tray. Brown glass is not needed for liquids stored in the darkroom. The stock solution lasts twice the Kodak stated 6 months (I suspect that six months is spot on if your are using plastic bottles). Whilst cleaning the darkroom the other day (every ten years) I found a bottle I made before 2005 that still is clear and has only a few specks of precipitate, no cloudiness, no color change. After I finish my darkroom purge and plumb my new-to-me 6 foot stainless sink, I'll try it.
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Gerald:
    I have seen some evidence that Kodak Polymax T was marketed as Liquid Dektol by some of the former international subsidiaries of Eastman Kodak.
    Not in North America or the UK though.
     
  23. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    According to David Lyga, the liquid Dektol keeps FOREVER in PET plastic or glass bottles filled to the rim. - David Lyga