Old T-Max developer

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Q.G., Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Looking for my spare thermometer, i came across a forgotten 'new' (as in: unopened) bottle of T-Max developer today.

    It says on the bottle that the concentrate will keep for 2 years, but apart from a lot number, no date.

    The lot number is 00 02140
    The leading "00" probably indicates the year 2000. Would that be correct?

    And if so, does anyone know what will happen if i use it anyway?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've no idea how long it keeps but I have a part used bottle on my darkroom shelf that's over 20 years old, it still looked like new, clear :D

    Of course it may no longer work but I haven't thrown it out yet, test yours with a bit of film leader see if it develops.

    Ian
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have heard the leader tests are inaccurate.
    developer is inexpensive, time spent shooting
    seems like it would have more value than old
    possibly tired and dead chemicals ...
     
  4. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Since i 'dropped' 35 mm format some years ago, i'm leaderless anyway. :wink:

    Inexpensive (about $25), maybe. Yet i would rather buy film for that (that's 5 120 rolls of T-Max).

    But most of all, i would want to know.
    Know how this stuff behaves over time.
    Dump it and get a fresh bottle is the easy way out, which teaches us/me nothing. :wink:

    (And i want to know how old this batch is. How to read Kodak lot numbers.)
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Good enough to indicate whether a developer has collapse, but yes your right you'd need to do better testing if you really wanted to use it.

    I will test mine next time I'm in the UK, just out of curiosity, I'll also test some similar age Ilfotec HC, I think the way they are compounded they may not in fact go off. I won't waste good film, I have some that's sat idle needing finishing up.

    Ian
     
  6. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Depending on where something is manufactured, it can be easy or hard to know. If your developer was made in France, that would be tough, although 2000 seems probable. If it was made in the USA, this pdf will reveal it.

    By the way, not so long ago, another member tried some expired TMax developer and said he had white spots on his negatives. I wouldn't try it.
     
  7. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    Dont trust it. I was given expired tmax and it ruined the roll. Chunks of solidified developer and stains everywhere.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    stopped using tmx developer about 16 years ago.
    since you are shooting roll film,
    that's not bad, you just need to worry about spots on your film :smile:
    ... at least you don't need to worry about dichroic fog :wink:
    and terrible professional support from big yellow. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    "dichrilic fog :wink: " You talking about the orange fog from Mick Fagan's bonfire last week ?
     
  10. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    "dichrilic" fog? :D
    It's hard enough when there is only one chril on the film. Heaven forbid there's more of them!

    The stuff in my bottle is indeed fabriqué en France.
    I think it will be safe to assume it is from 2000. The price sticker still on the bottle is in pre-Euro currency. So it is from before 2001.

    The concentrate is (still?) completely clear, with no solids floating around in it.

    I think i'll do the same as Ian: try it, but on old film (though embarrassing, i will admit that i have old unused film too). Using like for like may produce wonderul results. :wink:
     
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  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    noooo
    green metallic stain on the emulsion ...
    it can be removed by using farmer's reducer
    and then refixing the film ...

    the kind folks at kodak had no clue ...
    i had to talk to paul krot ( sprint systems ) for help ...
    he was THE BEST, and the photochemistry he developed
    is really good too! ( much better than that t max stuff! )
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Kodak UK knew about the Dichroic fog, it's why in the UK it wasn't recommended for large format Tmax Films and the datasheets carried a warning.

    I found it strange that Kodak released a specialist product that didn't work properly with any Tmax films, I stopped using the dev because I switched to LF for most of my personal work at the time.

    Ian
     
  13. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Isn't a fixer problem, easily avoided by making sure you are using fresh fixer?

    I assume you apply Farmer's to the back of the film only.
    Else the remedy may be as bad as the thing it is supposed to fix.
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    in the states at least, there are 2 versions of the tmax developer straight tmax and tmax rs.
    when it first came out, the good folks at kodak recommended that i use the straight tmax
    not the rs for sheet film ... it should have been the other way around ...
    RS does not cause the fog ... straight tmax does ...

    good luck with your test qg ... have some farmers reducer handy
    ( or maybe some oxiclean! ) it might work well for removing spots :smile:
     
  15. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    I gave this bottle of Tmax to Krzys... sorry :D
    It was a couple of years old and had developed a slight loss of pressure inside the bottle. Otherwise it looked to be in OK condition. But apparently it made a mess of the film...
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i mixed the farmers reducer as recommended by someone
    who developed his own line of photographic chemicals.
    you can read about him below ... he was quite a guy.

    it was mixed and put in a small hanger-tank.
    i put my film in hangers and then into the solution.
    after the fog was removed i refixed, and washed it ...
    the reducer worked very well ... :smile:

    the fog had nothing to do with the fixer. it was fresh fixer ..
    the problem was that the non rs ( rotary system / replenishment system )
    tmax developer was known to cause dichroic fog on sheet film
    ...
    unfortunately, they didn't tell me this important bit of information when i called at kodak (originally)
    and asked their "professional division" about the developer and which version i should use
    for 4x5 film. i was told to use the wrong stuff. :rolleyes:

    http://www.as220.org/darkroom/who-is-paul-krot.html
    http://www.sprintsystems.com/
     
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  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I think i would rather try an acid fix (perhaps with increased acidity by adding citric acid) than Farmer's.

    But i'd rather not have to at all, of course.
    I never experienced any fogging problems with 'straight' T-Max developer though.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    well, if you use it with sheets, and run into trouble,
    you know what you can do if your citric acid + fix doesn't work :smile:
    they have recommended the rs version for sheets for the past 15+ years,
    the whole dichroic fog thing is olde news ...

    i gave up the tmax stuff for something else
    it was GAF UNIVERSAL DEVELOPER ...
    found on a windowsill in a big red can.
    it had suffered through countless 100º+ summers and -20º winters
    now, that stuff was old!
    and it works like a charm :smile:
     
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  19. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Would it be a good idea, perhaps, to start calling it dichroic fog? :wink:

    Now, if your GAF still works, i'll definitely give my T-Max a try.
    :wink:
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    LOL

    that might be a good idea
    you should work for VC magazine
    they could use a copy-editor!

    the gaf-stuff was the best,
    much better than the other stuffs ..
     
  21. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    The T-Max syrup is glycol based so it's quite oxigen impervious.
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's what I thought, which is why I think mine might work fine after 22-23 years :D

    Ian
     
  23. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Try it on a roll you can live without?

    Stuff lasts a while.