what does a red colored developer mean?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ColdEye, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    I havesome Ilford Universal Developer that I mixed around June, and when I checked it is color red. What does this mean? Is it still useable?
     
  2. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    The red color means the developing agents have oxidized and died. Was this developer diluted from a concentrate? Most diluted developers are used one shot or for one printing session in the case of paper developers.
     
  3. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Yes, diluted by 1:19. I used it one shot. It was in a 1gal container and it is around half gallon now. So it is totally useless now?
     
  4. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    I use it for developing 35mm and 120 film by the way.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It will work with film, but it isn't particularly recommended for it.

    It is designed to be mixed up small portions at a time, right before use. Here is an excerpt from the Fact Sheet for Mutigrade and PQ Universal developers on the Ilford website:

    Prepare the working strength solutions of MULTIGRADE and PQ UNIVERSAL developers directly before they are needed. Determine the amount of solution needed for the processing session, making sure that it is a least enough to fill the developing dish/tray to a depth of about half full. Measure out the appropriate amount of concentrate using the smallest measuring cylinder appropriate to the liquid volume: it is easier and more accurate to measure 100 ml of solution in a
    100 ml cylinder than a 1000 ml cylinder.


    Most liquid chemistry is designed the same way - make up only as much as you need just before you need it. It actually is more convenient that way.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Urgh! Lesson learned! And I am sure I still have a lot to learn. Thanks for that. Time to put empty soda bottles to use I guess.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'm not sure I was clear.

    If you have a 1 liter bottle of Ilford concentrate and need to mix 500 ml of 1+9 working solution, just pour out 50 ml from the Ilford bottle into a mixing graduate and add 450 ml of water to make 500 ml of working solution.

    The remaining 950 ml of the concentrate can stay in the Ilford bottle - just replace the cap.

    If you are concerned with greatly extending the life of the concentrate, you can split it into several smaller bottles, but something like a 500 ml bottle of Ilfosol 3 concentrate is projected to last 4 months even if in a half filled bottle.
     
  8. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Yes, what you said is what I am planning to do, get what I need from the bottle and mix it to the appropriate amount that I need. :smile: I was so excited during the first time I used it (and not reading or reasearching about it) that I mixed a lot of it, thinking I can go through all of it.
     
  9. rpsawin

    rpsawin Subscriber

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    You just souped your Tri-X with a Merlot...?
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It is oxidization and development byproducts, but it doesn't necessarily mean the developer has died. Give it a whirl. If you have trouble getting rich blacks or clean whites with a properly exposed negative on a 2-3 filter, make up a new batch.
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    You are using it for film? Methinks everyone else believes you are souping prints in it. If you are using it for prints, switch to Ethol LPD paper developer. LPD is available as a powder or liquid, has a very long life plus is replenishable. If you need a film developer, use something like ID-11 or one of the D-76 formulas available, I use genuine Kodak but there are others.

    Don't toss the Universal, test it with a film clipping such as a piece of the leader to check for activity. Time the test to verify how long it takes to develope.
     
  12. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    I will check on that, I do have a Ilfosol 3, but I am using the PQ Universal again for experimentation purposes. :tongue: That's a cool way to test it, good thing I keep all my leaders! Thanks!
     
  13. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Definitely clip test it first! Anytime you aren't sure, or better yet everytime, check your developer and fixer before you process any film or paper (strip test for first exposure will also test the developer but film clips must be used for the fixer obviously).