shelf life of HC110 - how long is "indefinite"?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by winger, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    When cleaning out at the lab, 2 bottles of HC110 were found. Both are full (orangy, syrupy), but with no seal. Would they still be good? They don't look like current label styles and I really don't know how old they are - but probably more than 8 years. Should I try them or is it really taking a chance?
     
  2. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Mix some up, do a clip test, try out on a test roll of film you don't care about.

    Any doubt, pitch it. It's pretty cheap stuff, far cheaper than the value of a roll of film with prized or hard-won images on it.
     
  3. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    For undiluted HC-110, indefinite is pretty much what it says. If the syrup looks good, it should be good. As Mike says, it always helps to do a taste test. :smile:

    You occasionally see threads where people knock down HC-110, but I really like working with it. Recently I've started using dilution h (1+62) It's a good way to increase your control over the process. (Just don't us dil-h for Cube 400... that would be 28 minutes you will never get back.)

    Cheers,
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Only 8 years old? - it should still be fine - but as others have advised, take a sample from the bottle (just a few ml will be enough) and test it with a small piece of exposed film. If it blackens the film, I would smile and go for it.
     
  5. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Be sure to mix your test sample with a bit of water. Otherwise, you might think the syrup is no good. If you put a drop of the syrup on a piece of film leader and wait a while, then add a drop of water, you will see what I mean.
     
  6. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    don't mix the stock solution formula on the bottle

    Water is what really kills this off. I go straight from the thick go to the final diluation.

    For me that is 30mL of straight to 1L water to yield my dilution B.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's some Ilfotec HC in my darkroom that still seems fine, I think its 21 years old. Ilfotec HC is the Ilford equivalent of HC110.

    Ian
     
  8. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    A bottle of stock (not syrup) stored under abominable conditions was still just fine after nine years. I plan to check it again in 2009 or thereabouts, and every nine years thereafter...
     
  9. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Guess I'll try some then. I'm glad I didn't say to throw it out.
    Thanks!
     
  10. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Once you finish your stash of "vintage" HC-110 be sure and redo your development time tests with the "New" HC-110. Somewhere along the line the formulation (or at least the color) changed slightly. Good luck
     
  11. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Bethe,

    John makes a good point. The formulation was changed somewhere along the line. I think it was at least fifteen, probably twenty years ago. The really old HC-110 was noticeably more viscous and had a decidedly putrid smell. The newer stuff has almost no smell at all, and that would be the way to tell if you have "old" or "really old" HC-110.

    Konical
     
  12. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I bought a small bottle at a swap meet a few years ago that was 10 years old, but unopened. Worked fine. With that knowledge I bought several gallons of the stuff when kodak quit making paper a couple years ago, fearing that kodak chemistry might be next on the chopping block.

    As others have suggested, you should do a test, just to be on the safe side.
     
  13. hexarrg

    hexarrg Member

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    I have a bottle of HC-110 that is closing in on two years old. Instead of yellow the bottle now appears burnt orange and the syrup has these red streaks in it. I'm not recommending this exactly but I just got two of the most beautiful negs I've ever shot out of this scary looking concoction. That being said I bought a new bottle as those beautiful negs might have just been a happy accident. Stuff still definitely develops film though.
     
  14. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    When you play with developers long ehough, you run into anomalies. XTOL has been known to go bad without change of color. Rodinal gets pitch black without going bad. HC110 has organic solvents that can change color without affecting the activity. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of developers? Only the test strip knows.
     
  15. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    The old HC-110 was much darker when new than the newer, which was yellow when new. The change was made in about 1983, IIRC. My 10-year old bottle is now about the color of the pre-1983 stuff.
    juan
     
  16. Marcus K

    Marcus K Member

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    I have noticed that if I have a bottle of HC-110 about half-full sitting for about six months it starts to turn to an orange color (it starts out yellowish). This is due to oxidation. Completely full bottles don't seem to do this (little oxygen present). As far as developing times go, I have experienced some noticible difference between older HC-110 and a brand new bottle. I needed to increase time for the older stuff. As mentioned earlier experimentation is the best way to find the correct time.

    Also, Has any body tried out the new line of Kentmere chemicals available from freestyle.com? They're supposed to be direct replacements fro Kodak. They have a HC-110 equivilant called K-110 http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_prod.php?cat_id=&pid=1000002629
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I could be wrong about this, but I believe the orange colour results from water/moisture.

    Matt