Rodinal shelf life.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by wiseowl, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    I'm on my first bottle of Rodinal and I've noticed that it's started to become discoloured already. What sort of shelf life should I expect from this once started? How can I tell when it's become degraded to the point that I should discard it? What can I do to improve it's life? I suspect that flooding the top of the bottle with nitrogen or expelling all the air would help, would refrigeration help?

    Having read the leaflet I couldn't find any guidance on these issues.

    Regards

    Martin
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    The discoloration will have very little effect on the activity of the developer because the stuff is so concentrated. I would not refrigerate any developer as the solution may precipitate some of the highly concentrated components out and may not go back in solution before the developer suffers damage.
    If you have nitrogen use it for your own peace of mind. I have it for color chemicals and use it on my Rodinal just because its available, but not neccesary.
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Rodinal has a history of longggggggggg shelve life. It does get darker with age but works just as well. In fact once when i opened a new bottle and it was clear it worried me and sent me back to my vendor to find out if the formula had been changed. It didn't stay clear long.

    As was suggested if it makes you feel better then burst away.
     
  4. Deniz

    Deniz Member

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    my rodinal is an ugly rust color(my girlfriend says "ewww.. it already went that color and you haven't even developed your film yet")

    But it works great. It is really concentrated so it says active for a long time.. well there is one way to get around the discoloring.....USE IT UP!!!
    Shoot alot of film and develop them.

    Last night i developed some paper in 1:10 rodinal and i am loving the results.. incredible shadow detail and highlights are glowing!!

    i am gonna be using this thing more often!!


    good luck and have fun...
     
  5. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    That question is almost as old as Rodinal.
    From personal experience and hearsay, it lasts almost forever. Don't worry about it's color for the next 10yrs or so in a tight closed glass bottle...

    Jorge O
     
  6. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Agreed. The term "shelf life" is meaningless to veteran Rodinal users.
     
  7. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    Thanks to all who replied for your advice and opinions. MInes just about getting to a straw colour so I guess I won't need to throw it out for a while :smile:

    And to Deniz, thanks for the tip about using it with paper, I'll give that a go in the near future.

    Martin
     
  8. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Deniz, interesting using Rodinal as paper developer. Could you post an example - better yet, same image one Rodinal and one other. I know that Don Miller is using one of the Pyro film developers for paper right now, so it makes sense that you could use Rodinal. Other than 1:10 any other special handling? Do you use it as a one shot for paper?
     
  9. Deniz

    Deniz Member

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    I wish i could post a picture but i have no scanner or a digicam that i can take pics with.

    But i was amazed to see the rodinal prints glow. especially on a RC paper.
    I never use RC paper anymore other than in camera negatives or chemical testing and i really liked the results.
    1:10 is just something i decided to go with, i think its a tad too strong,
    I'll try 1:15 next

    the beauty of rodinal is at 1:15 you barely use any developer at all so you can treat it as one shot and not worry about it.


    Give it a try and i bet you'll like the results.
     
  10. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Deniz;
    I am a little confused.

    a 1:10 ratio for developer would be ; I.E. 3 oz of rodinal and 30 oz of water. correct? that is about a 1 quart liquid that is a little skippy for a volume. At least in my lab.

    Using as a one shot developer means one print per quart. RIght?, or do you mean 1 printing session.

    I have heard about this many times, just never got around to it, just as using dektol to developer film is another interesting reverse.
     
  11. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    The answer to that question is probably "almost forever". I've heard from other photographers that some 20 years old Rodinal in condition "dark black" was still usable. I rarely use Rodinal, but my bottle is only about 5 years old...
     
  12. Deniz

    Deniz Member

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    ann,
    I used the rodinal 1:10 (1 oz rodinal + 10oz water) in 8x10 trays to develop 4x5 paper from 4x5 contact prints and it worked fine. Of course you can make much bigger quantities (1L Rodinal + 10L water if you wish)
    my printing session lasted an hour and i did 15 prints and they were great.

    the volume would probably go down if you use fibre paper.
     
  13. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Ann, you ask before I did...

    Deniz, Thanks for the input..now to find time..

    Anyone know how to do that?
     
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  15. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have an Azo print from Fingel (Scott) that was developed in Rodinal. It is one of the nicest Azo prints that I have seen. It has a beautiful tonal scale. I am not sure at what dilution Scott used the Rodinal.
     
  16. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Donal,
    Thanks for the additional input. Funny how you get inside a box and never consider what is outside of it..I had never considered using film developer for paper, but it makes sense.. makes me want to go doh! Been working on some postcards and may give some Rodinal a try, since I'm already using UltraBlack.
     
  17. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    thanks, that makes more sense; i was having a hard time imaging 11 x 14 prints sitting in 30 oz. of fluid, or even 8 x 10's. Silly me, forgetting about contact prints :surprised:ops:
     
  18. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Mike,

    Until Scott tried the Azo in Rodinal I had never considered using a film developer for a print developer either.

    My results with Pyrogallol as one of the ingredients in a paper developer have really impressed me. The tonal scale is very nice and the cost is less then 1/3 of Amidol per liter of use solution.
     
  19. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Hi:

    Someone told me to extract developer concentrate with a syringe and drop a glass marble into the bottle each time to displace the air. That way the bottle stays full...just gets heavier as it gets empty.

    I started to wonder what mystery glass marbles are made of now from China...leaded glass?


    Paper neg question, if that's ok...I saw references to it here.

    Considering spectral sensitivity of graded vs. VC paper, do they 'look' different? Graded is primarily blue sensitive, at least the brands I downloaded graphs for.

    Does the narrow spectrum of graded lend itself better for non-achromat/non-APO experimental lenses, like a meniscus?

    And if one uses paper neg, what kind of contrast can one get? I read that paper has much less range than film.

    Thank you

    Murray
    Holland MI
     
  20. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I have developed Afgapan 100 in a Rodinal that was opened in 1963. And that negs were ok. But a little increase in time would help a bit. So for me, Rodinal has practically unlimited shelf-life.

    Btw: Rodinal is my favourite. I mainly shoot ISO 100 or lower so it's perfectly fit for the job.
     
  21. roy

    roy Subscriber

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  22. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    you measure it in decades
     
  23. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    About 20-30% more time.
     
  24. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    BTW:

    I got a bottle of Rodinal in the mail from a friend yesterday. It's from the 50's. It's a glass bottle and un-opened. There are some pretty large crystals on the bottom, but they dissolve when the bottle is agitated.
    I won't use it because it's unopened....it's kind of a collector's item when it's a full, unopened bottle with all labels still on and in original box.


    Morten
     
  25. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    A good blessing for a fellow photographer is "May you live long enough to see your Rodinal go bad."
     
  26. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Would a curse be "May you live only long enough to see your XTOL go bad."?