Use of Kodak Dektol. HELP NEEDED, do I have to mix all the stock solution at once?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jorge CL, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Jorge CL

    Jorge CL Member

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    Hello,
    I've just finished building a home made box camera with which I want to travel around China taking picures or people I like for pleasure, and of tourist to make a living. I wanted to use Rodinal because it lasts for a very long time and it's very easy to use, but only found Dektol in the store and I have never used it.
    My problem is that travelling with 5l of stock solution is not an option, I have not found any information about if I can mix only a small portion of the pouder and then close carefully the rest. The only similar information I found is a very categorical "mix immediately after opening" in Ilford's website concerning one of Ilford's pouders, but I don't know if it is the same for any pouder or if they might exagerate a little.
    Any of you have tried not to mix all the pouder imediately but doing so after some months?


    Thank you very much!


    Jorge
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Hello Jorge, and welcome to APUG.

    Unfortunately, it is a bad idea to mix just part of a package of chemistry. Dektol contains a number of constituent parts, and you have no way to ensure that any portion you take out is evenly mixed.

    In addition, if you are intending to use this to develop film, Dektol isn't the best of choices. It is designed for photographic paper instead.
     
  3. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    If you've not been on this site long, know that much more knowledgeable folks than myself will certainly answer you with more credibility than my own. That said, Dektol is made up of various powders or crystals of perhaps 8 different ingredients, dry mixed. If you try to weigh off a portion, you have no way of getting an equal distribution of the needed ingredients. So I file a "no" on this one.
     
  4. Jorge CL

    Jorge CL Member

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    Thanks for your advise, I hadn't though of the amount of constituent parts... I guess the best would be to keep on trying to find a liquid one like rodinal...
    Concerning the film, that's not a problem. I'll soot directly on paper, and then take another shoot of that negative to positivate inside the camera.
     
  5. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Hi Jorge CL,

    As Matt recommended, the different components sift in the bag so you won't get a consistent developer if you mix only part.

    I find it convenient to pour mixed batches into four bottles. You will probably use the first one soon (because you mixed the powder for a reason). So you will probably only be traveling with the remaining three bottles. Each one will last a long time as long as it stays sealed.
     
  6. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Agreed. Best policy. As far as the Rodinal--that's your choice. It's grainy stuff. I don't know how it came to enjoy the favor it has. I bought and used some in 1974. Never again. If Rodinal was put on my dinner plate and my mother told me I had to eat it, it would be brussel sprouts. And if you're traveling, don't you have to carry a hypodermic needle for that stuff? Rodinal, huh? Good luck with that. Might as well just carry the Dektol for everything. While dektol is not a film developer, per se; could it be any worse than Rodinal?
     
  7. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    read up on the Afghan camera project and see how they do it.

    http://www.afghanboxcamera.com/

    aside from dektol, ilford makes some developers in liquid form that come in 1/2 or 1/3 liter bottles, much more transportable.

    ct
     
  8. Jorge CL

    Jorge CL Member

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    Thanks,
    Checkig the work by the photographers of the afghanboxcamera project has been very motvating, and that's just what I needed. I'll definitively try to get some liquid developpr although is not easy hera, and if not, just get my back ready for some extre weight!
     
  9. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    if ur going to be doing like those guys in kabul do, despite what the other guys say I bet you could take a 1-gallon bag of dry dektol and break it down into 1-pint units to mix up at the start of the day -- paper is pretty forgiving and I sincerely doubt those chemicals separate all that much in the bag.

    On the other hand ilford liquid chemicals would be a lot easier to mix on the spot -- an ounce of stock, a pint of water, there you go. The bottle would keep fresh for a few weeks after opening and if you use the camera daily it would work just fine. You don't say where you live, but I bet it can be ordered. This stuff--a .5 liter bottle isn't all that heavy.

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/570359-Ilford-Multigrade-Developer-500-ml?cat_id=301
     
  10. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    A bottle of Bloxygen can really extend the life of developers. A quick blast in the top of the bottle before closing leaves a layer of Argon (I believe) over the developer to prevent oxidation. I've saved lots of money since I started using this stuff.
     
  11. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Photographers formulary liquidol, its there liquid Form of dektol. I find it to be a very nice long lasting developer. Comes in 1L bottle and I just mix the amount I need and then dump. It mixes 1-9.
     
  12. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    It really doesn't sound like a critical application..... I'd just shake it well, mix it well, and divide the package into smaller packets. If it didn't work well enough, you can always shoot another, right?

    Next time, I'm going to take a scoup full out of a bag and see what it does.... I'm curious now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2013
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    maybe, there is a powdered developer solution that requires only a few chemicals
    so you don't have to cross your fingers and hope. d23 ( for example ) is for film
    and is only 2 chemicals, it is low contrast and might work for paper negatives

    Distilled Water (125 degrees F) . . . . . . . 750 ml
    Metol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.5 g
    Sodium Sulfite (Anhydrous) . . . . . . . . . . 100 g
    Cold Water to make . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 ltr


    before you go, maybe you can do a test to see how it works ..
    you can keep the chemicals separate, and only mix as you need it ..
    maybe ... you can boost the contrast for your final prints by adding
    a little more metol ? or bring a 3 chemical ... Hydroquinone
    and make something that suits your needs more ...

    me? i'd probably use plain old instant coffee and sodium carbonate ..
    cheap and easy ... BUT it is slow working so it might take an extra minute or 2 to develop your prints.

    good luck and have a great time on your trip !
    sounds like a lot of fun :smile:

    john
     
  14. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I must admit, when I was under 30, I would take a gallon bag of dry powder, mix a half-gallon's worth by weight and "heat-seal" the corner of the bag and use the rest later.

    It did develop prints.

    I later found the "four bottles" system and have stuck with that ever since, so it's hard for me to imagine doing it any other way.
     
  15. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Obviously you have no looked at the contants of such a bag. Vibration will cuase the different constituents to settle out in different layerw according to their size. Developing agents like hydroquinone which are lighter than the inorganic chemicals will settle out prefentially. Manufacturers spend lots of money for special mixing machines to prevent this from happening until the product is sealed into its container.

    You may be lucky but chancew are that the activity of each of the divided mixtures will be different. The difference might be small but you cannot be really sure.

    Both Kodak and Ilford both say not to do this!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2013
  16. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Yes the different components settle differently. Who knows what will be in what you mix if you do half. The mixed result may not have sufficent "preservative" so it won't last as long.

    The worst case I can imagine is the results will be disappointing, causing you to be frustrated and making you feel bad about the whole experience.

    That would be a very bad outcome, and wanting to make every amateur a success may be why the advice to "mix it all up at once" is so often stressed.
     
  17. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    All that is very true. BUT... looks like OP will be working with a very primitive equipment and in a condition where optimum and lab quality result is not possible at all. It might just be enough for his needs. Also, bad result will be immediately apparent. I'm really imagining afghan camera type thing. I'd be inclined to try it.
     
  18. Jorge CL

    Jorge CL Member

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    Thanks to all of you!
    The thing is that I have a few very big boxes of paper that I think are blurred, but I do want to give them a try before going to the province where I want to start (some 40 hors away!!) The extra weigh of two big boxes of paper in such a long trip would be a pain, and so would be the 4l of chemical...
    So I am going to give it a try on wednesday since I just need to see if the paper is blurred, the worst that can happen is that the chemical doesn't work and I'd just take the whole boxes and try it again once I mix the whole thing in the other province. I don't think that the few grams I took in the first try will afect too much the effect of the rest of the mix, even if the amount of one of the components I took at the beginning was uneaven.

    Jnanian, I tried the same but with normal coffee since I was in a village and could not find instant coffee, also I used washing pouder which had sodium carbonate, but also other components. It didn't work, but if you think it was because of using normal coffee instead of instant one, I'll give it one more try
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi jorge

    its gotta be the cheapest most vile instant coffee you can find :smile:
    when do you leave ?
    if you have extreme troubles finding the right coffee, i have a ton of it
    and i roast it myself all the time, i'd be happy to send you some ...

    have fun
    john
     
  20. luizjorgemn

    luizjorgemn Member

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    Try to mix you own PaRodinal.
    Sodium sulfite 50g (I use 20)
    Sodium hydroxide 20g
    Paracetamol 15g - 30 500mg capsules.
    Water to complete 250ml
    Lasts more than a year after brewed and weights less than 1kg in a glass bottle.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  21. Jorge CL

    Jorge CL Member

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    Thanks John, but I'm back to a big city now, so I guess I can get it. I'll give it a try on Wednesday and let you know. And, Luiz, I'll keep that recipe, as soon as I settle down (and find the way to buy the chemicals) I'm absolutely trying it!