Old Ilford chemicals still good?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by cdowell, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. cdowell

    cdowell Member

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    I've decided to start developing my own B&W film again. In the garage I have found two unopened bottles of Ilford Ilfosol S and two unopened bottles of Ilford Rapid Fixer. My best guess is that these chemicals were bought in 2006 and have seen temperatures ranging from, say, 30 to 105 F.

    Should I still consider using them for non-critical work?

    If it's not a complete waste of my time, I'd like to try since I need the practice. But I don't want to do if if I'm not going to get at least decent results.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Try them out on a roll you can sacrifice.

    I use mixed stock solutions of developers, stop baths & fixers that are 2 years old. So far so good!

    The only ? I have the temp. range your stuff has been subjected. Can you store them some place else?

    I keep my stock solutions in mt 2 liter soda bottles stored under the cabinet sink in a bathroom where I do my film developing. The plastic doesn't react and the cap seals real well keeping the oxygen at bay.

    Hope this may help you!

    Happy New Year.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The Iffosol may well be shot, but the fixer should be OK as long as there's no starnge sulphur smell when you open & mix. My Ilford fix is way older than that and perfect.

    Ian
     
  4. Brandon D.

    Brandon D. Member

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    I have a batch of Hypam fixer that I haven't used since July 2009, and I just remembered that I have a bottle of Hypo-Check that I can use to see if the fixer is still good. I also have a batch of Ilfostop stop bath that hasn't been used since then, and the good thing is that it changes colors when it's done. So, I guess I'll see. But, I'll report back here to let you guys know how it turns out. I definitely know I need to be shooting/developing more, :D.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    As far as the Ilfosol is concerned you could try a clip test. Take say 4-5 frames of shots you can either repeat or are throw away negs and develop these. If they turn out satisfactory then use the Ilfosol for the rest of the film. If not then dump. In fact if in any doubts about the look of the negs then dump. Don't risk shots unless you can trust the developer. Ilfosol didn't have a good reputation for longevity but you'll never know unless you risk some "disposable negs"

    If you are money rich but time poor then dump the Ilfosol anyway as the time and effort taken to clip test may not be worth the opportunity cost of so doing.

    pentaxuser
     
  6. cdowell

    cdowell Member

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    Thanks for all these insights. I've decided to go for the trifecta. Old developer and fixer, as well as a roll of film several years out of date (shot using a sync cord on a camera I've never tested with flash but have been meaning to try). So far so good, in that the flash fired when I hit the shutter and I was able to get a roll of 120 onto a metal spool without any trouble. I'll develop tonight and see what I get. If the results are bad I won't know what to blame, but at least I'm developing my own film again.
     
  7. sperera

    sperera Member

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    I'm using Ilford PQ Universal and Multigrade developer and Ilford fixer that must be from 15 to 20 years old with no problems to develop paper.....got it along with loads of old stock of Ilford and Forte paper i posted in this forum about......so far printed up with no problems whatsoever!!!!!!!!
     
  8. cdowell

    cdowell Member

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    Well, everything seemed to come out fine with my old developer, old fixer and old film (FP4+) combo, so I think it's full speed ahead using up all three. The developer seemed quite a bit darker than I remembered it out of the container so I had my doubts. The fixer seemed the same as ever. I had an open container of it as well and, just as Ian said, it had a strong sulphur smell. As digital has come on, I've reacted by embracing grain more and more, so it has been years since I shot any FP4+ -- I had forgotten how smooth and nice it looks. It used to be my favorite film and now I remember why.