LPD and shelf life?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by padraigm, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. padraigm

    padraigm Member

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    Hi All,

    A question on LPD paper developer as I am getting ready to mix my first batch. I am liking what I read regarding changing image tone with dilution. I had previously used Zonal pro HQ when I wanted a warmtone on neutral cold paper and liked it very much. Then suddenly like so much in this area of photography it disappeared. I tried the supposedly equivalent Arista HQ warmtone developer from freestyle and did not like it at all(perhaps i should change the dilution). So LPD is next for testing as an alternative. When they say is has long try life they don't mean Ansco 130 try life do they or are they referring to strong activity throughout one printing session??? I have been using Ansco for over two months in my slot processor and quite happy with it so interested how LPD would fit into my workflow.

    Any experiences shared are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

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    I recently started using this on the advice of Don Cardwell. Between printing sessions, it stays in a one liter glass bottle; I use the stock to top off the bottle after each session (replacing what was lost through absorption). It has been working very well for me, seems very consistent and truly long lasting. Nice not to have to dump it after each printing session.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    LPD can be used as a replenished developer. There are directions for proper mixtures for normal use and how to mix as a replenisher. This stuff lasts forever, I just keep my one liter bottle topped off and keep going. It lasts weeks or even months between uses if kept in a full sealed bottle.
     
  4. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    LPD and 130 are my two developers that I use. Nothing lasts as long as 130 in my experience. LPD is quite good though! As far as changing image tone with dilution don't expect huge changes, it is very very subtle, some may not even notice. You'd be better off using LPD at 1:4 or 1:5 for a warm tone developer, and 130 with some benzotriazole as a cold tone developer. Both are great developers, you can't go wrong either way.
     
  5. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I mixed LPD for a printing session in October. I printed then, then again a month later in November. Then I didn't get to print until January - same one quart (quart, not a gallon) bottle of working solution, not even topped off, still working. Color is slightly darkened but not that much and activity seems unchanged. This coming weekend I'll probably either mix fresh out of an abundance of caution or at least top it off with fresh as it's down to maybe 3/4 the original amount just from what the prints have carried out into the stop.

    LPD has been my favorite print developer for decades.
     
  6. padraigm

    padraigm Member

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    Thank you all for the great insight. Is there any documentation to replenishment posted? replenish with stock or 1:1 if my initial working solution is such? Sounds like this would be a method that could work for me. Been burned a few times on developer going bad so I lean towards long life solutions.

    Thanks again all.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    To replenish LPD:

    First fresh kit:

    1. Mix a gallon kit as stock solution, as described on the package. Use distilled water, or at least boiled water.

    2. Take 1/3 and mix it 1:2 for 1 gallon working solution.

    3. The remaining 2/3 and mix it 2:1 as replenisher.

    Add 300ml per qty 30 8x10 prints, and top off the working solution after each printing session as necessary with replenisher.


    When you run out of replenisher, you mix your second gallon kit:

    1. Instead of mixing the 1/3 of stock with water, mix it with the old developer.

    2. Mix the remaining 2/3 the same way as the first time around, at 2:1 as replenisher.

    It's a great way to use it, and prints with wonderful range and tones.
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Note that LPD comes in two forms, powder and liquid concentrate. The powder seems to be much more popular because it is, naturally enough, considerably less expensive (and also keeps practically forever before mixing, I would think, since it comes in a metal can.) The liquid is, also obviously, very convenient though. The liquid is twice as concentrated as the powder. So for the concentrate they recommend 1+4 dilution for normal tones, 1+2 for cold tones, 1+6 to 1+8 for warm, where for the powder mixed to stock they recommend 1+2 for neutral, 1+1 or full strength for cold, 1+3 or 1+4 for warm.

    I happen to have both a (half used) bottle of concentrate and an unopened can. This talk of replenishment was new to me so I just checked the labels. Both say to write for a brochure on replenishment.
     
  9. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Oops, I left the question about replenishment on the screen while I did a couple of other things and stopped by the darkroom to check the labels, then came back and posted. In the meantime you posted this.

    I may try this. I'd like to modify it a bit, maybe mix 1/2 gallon of working solution considering that's enough for my largest trays and I don't get to print that much. Is there any real advantage to mixing the "replenisher" as soon as you mix the stock? Why not just leave it stock and dilute before replenishing? Obviously it has a long shelf life but, again, I don't get to print that much or that often so anything that prolongs the life of my solutions is good for me. It would also mean fewer storage bottles. I have quite an embarrassment of shelves full of various mixed potions already. :wink:
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Those are just Ethol's recommendations of how to replenish it. I don't know if you can modify it or not, but you're sorta on your own if you do. :smile:

     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Well I can't see any possible reason not to mix half as much stock, since you're going to dilute it further before use. Diluting the replenisher right before use MIGHT be different. Some developers change activity after mixing (like D76) but I doubt this applies to LPD. When I run out of the current liquid concentrate I may try that with my unopened powder when I mix it.

    The concentrate bottle also says to write for info on replenishment. Do their instructions say anything about replenishing it? It really seems you should just be able to use more concentrate as long as you dilute it correctly, since that's all you're doing, albeit in two stages.
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The only thing I would be worried about is the replenishment rate. It's based on a gallon of working solution, and could be different if you only use a half gallon. You might get fairly large fluctuations in activity that way.

    But why not try it? I print enough that I spend all of the replenisher before it goes bad, which is very well within the six month mark; I probably use a gallon kit every 8-12 weeks.
     
  13. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Well yeah, I just figure you cut the replenishment rate accordingly.

    But now that I re-read it, I'm not sure what this means:

    "Add 300ml per qty 30 8x10 prints, and top off the working solution after each printing session as necessary with replenisher."

    Does that mean, as it says, to add 300ml of replenisher for each 30 prints AND top off the container to a gallon? That would seem to introduce a huge variable in the topping off. How much (stronger) replenisher you add would depend on how well you drain your prints, but I suppose for the usual "drain until it drips not runs" (eight seconds for an 8x10 held corner down!) it would be close enough.

    But yeah, that 10ml per 8x10 back into the gallon would make it different with a half gallon.

    I could just forget about this. I print little enough and it's cheap enough that I don't care about making it less expensive. My only goal here would be consistency. The label says not to worry about the color change, and my prints don't seem to vary so far, but every time I pour the working solution back into the tray I wonder if I should toss it and start over, or not.

    I wish I had time to use a gallon every 8-12 weeks. Heck, I wish I had time to use up a quart of concentrate every 8 weeks. :sad:

    It occurs to me I have time to post online, but that doesn't require set up and clean up time and can be done a bit at a time in between other things, quite different.
     
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  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    It just means that you add 300ml of replenisher for every qty 30 8x10 prints (or equivalent), and then at the end of the printing session, top off the storage container (as needed, it should say).

    It does introduce some variability, but keeps the developer from getting oxidized. If you use less than 30 8x10 sheets in a printing session, just top it up at the end. I'm not sure it's hugely critical. It has worked really well for me whether I make one print or ten prints. Activity is really stable.

    If you print very rarely, why not just mix LPD gallon kits with boiled distilled water and keep the stock solution? Store it in 500ml amber glass jars that are completely full, and just use one up each time you print. If you must, after you dilute it 1:1, store the working solution between printing sessions too for even greater economy. But to me it's penny wise and nickel stupid, because the expensive part is the paper...

    The rationale for me is that I love the replenished developer. It seems that the left over bromides help the prints look nicer and more according to my tastes. It's a bit softer than straight 1:2 developer, the highlights are a little softer, and the shadows seem to carry a bit more detail. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's what I'm used to since a few years now, and am happy to just continue with it, since my negs are tuned to my whole process now.

    - Thomas


     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    That's pretty much what I do. It may seem penny wise dollar foolish (or whatever the inflation adjusted saying is) but one thing I always hated about Dektol was pouring out the working solution after making a half dozen prints or whatever. So far it just keeps working and working. The only "problem" is how to judge when it might not be so good anymore!
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    LOL - thanks for correcting my suffering colloquialisms... I'm an immigrant and sometimes don't get it quite right.

    I hear you about Dektol, it's frustrating to dump it all after only one printing session. I'm not sure that you have to, but it you do, it's definitely frustrating... :smile:
     
  18. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I've been able to re-use Dektol if you pour a lightly used working solution into a bottle, squeeze the air out, and use it the next day. Anything longer than that, or if it's in the tray very long, and it turns black. It still has some activity but it's clearly not very good. Horrible tray life is my biggest complaint about it (it also stains much worse than LPD - metol versus phenidone I think.)
     
  19. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

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    I don't understand the knock on Dektol. It yields great results and is very inexpensive. I mix a gallon of stock solution and then dilute per instructions 1:2 when ready to use (12 oz stock to 24 oz water). Often I re-use the diluted solution over two or three printing sessions, say 30 to 40 8 x 10's total within 5 days. Then it gets tossed. I do not see any degradation in performance and I suspect it could be stretched much longer. I just spent about $.70 since I get 10 working strength loads out of a gallon of stock. That is about the cost of one piece of 8 x 10 paper! No need to make it last forever.
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Not knocking Dektol, Loren. Don't even know a lot about it, other than giving more contrast than I need for my LPD tuned negatives.
    The economy thing, well both Dektol and LPD are inexpensive enough that it doesn't matter.
     
  21. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I'll knock Dectol. I hate the stuff. YMMV of course. It works fine but leaves black mess anywhere it touches and has lousy tray life. I'm still printing with the same bottle of working strength LPD I mixed in October. Try that with Dectol. Of course it may not matter to you. It's less the cost and more having to mix a new batch of working strength developer every session and a new gallon of powder stock much more often.

    Of course many people like it and that's fine with me. That's why they make different developers.
     
  22. padraigm

    padraigm Member

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    Again thanks guys for sharing. Thomas I am going to try your replenishment system.

    Thanks
     
  23. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Great! Let us know how it goes. And let it be known I'm only following Ethol's recommendation. I had nothing to do with it.
     
  24. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    For long shelf life LPD powder is the one to buy. My guess is 130 would be a longer lasting developer in a Nova unit but could stain prints eventually. Unlike Dektol, LPD does NOT leave ugly black deposits on the bottom of trays and contains no Metol. The developer tonal shifts are minor. No miracles, can't make a warm paper cold. Does a good job producing mushroom silver tones on Ilford WT or EMAKS

    LPD has a longer shelf life, lasts longer in the tray, and has a higher print capacity than Dektol. However, we are talking maybe 10% to 20% higher capacity and shelf life. No miracles.
     
  25. fotch

    fotch Member

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  26. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I came back to change my spelling and put the k in Dektol but it was too late to edit. :wink:

    10%-20%? Pull the other leg, it's got bells on. Maybe 20% greater capacity if one mixes it up and prints straight through to exhaustion, something I have never, ever managed to do in 30+ years of on again off again darkroom work. But tray life of the working solution? I'd say that is dramatically better.

    Plus I like the lack of staining (I DO get black deposits - maybe not "stains" as they do wipe off with water, but they're a mess anyway - with Dektol) and I like the tonality I get slightly better. LPD costs more but lasts, in my experience, dramatically longer. I'm staying with LPD, at least for non-warm-tones on neutral papers.