Would it be an “Error regarding Air?”

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by fotch, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I am working towards getting back into the darkroom again after a long absence of about 17 years. Kept all my gear and even designed my current house for a darkroom.


    Of course, life has its surprises and I just had no time to pursue this although I continued with photography, as least with 35mm since developing is widely available in color.


    Anyway, want to get back into B&W, and other formats.

    My questions are regarding storing mixed solutions.
    Years ago I switch over to the latest and greatest plastic bottles. You could squeeze most of the air out and prolong the life.


    I have come across some post saying something to the effect that the old plastic is no good, air migrates past the plastic. Didn’t notice a problem with life but then again, maybe used it up fast enough.

    The bottles pictured (Prinz, Falcon) were sold for photographic use. I have tons of these, even several cases of new ones.


    Should I use them or replace them with newer plastic or go back to glass? (With glass I would either use marbles or an inert gas to replace air.)

    Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.
    Jim

    http://camera35.com/PlasticBottles.htm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2006
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Jim.

    Glass.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  3. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Jim,

    I used to use those but I hated the way they would fall over when full. It seems they do a bad job of protecting from oxygen, but I must have used things up before that happened.

    In any case, I keep everything but film developer in brown plastic bottles and I've never had a problem. Film developer is used "one-shot" and kept in small (250ml) thick-walled "Nalgene" bottles with a clever lip at the top.

    Remember, if your chemicals go bad in these containers, you aren't making enough photographs!

    Neal Wydra
     
  4. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Do glass san peligrino mineral water bottles work well?
     
  5. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Mostly, I use fizzy pop bottles - these are made from PET which is one of the least permeable plastics. I do not know which plastic the accordion bottles are made from. See http://silvergrain.org/Photo-Tech/plastic.html for some info.

    Glass is probably the best material, but then you need to take the plastic top and seal material in to account and how to fill them without a large air-gap.

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Yes. Just make sure no-one can mistake them for actual San Pel.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Remember the old trick with glass marbles to reduce the air space.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  8. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I use big labels..and everyone knows that there is no mineral water in them..
     
  9. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Yup: I use them in glass bottles for long term storage of developer, but it does take a LOT of marbles to fill even a few inches of space - far more than you would think, looking at them in a bag!

    Another tip I read was to drape a couple of layers of cling-film (Saran wrap) over the mouth of the bottle before screwing down the top as it is made of a highly impermeable plastic, which the cap may not be...

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Bob,

    You're right: FAR more than a reasonable person might expect.

    Try the Tetenal inert spray, too. I forget the name: Protectan? My wife Frances Schultz uses it all the time.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  11. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm using wide-mouthed Nalgene bottles for the ease of pouring the chemistry back in the bottle. I did the maths on the storage and oxygen levels, and decided that within normal storage times (concentrated film developer or user paper developer solutions) it would take continuous shaking of one liter of developer in an otherwise empty ten-liter bottle to destroy the developer from oxidation alone.

    So I don't bother with marbles, accordion bottles, protectan, butane, glass bottles or anything else now. The lessened risk of a major spill by using stable bottles with wide necks outweigh all other considerations.
     
  12. konakoa

    konakoa Member

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    I use both glass and plastic. The glass are 250ml and 1 liter typical brown bottles that I have to seal the tops with plastic wrap to make air tight. The plastic are 500ml clear bottles (air impermeable PETE plastic) that soda drinks come in. These are completely air tight; I've kept stock Dektol print developer in them for well over six months with no problem. Depending on what you buy, the colored plastic tops could also be used as a code to indicate one particular chemistry - red: developer, green: fix, etc.
     
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Interesting. What kills the dev, then? Hydrolysis? I've noticed significantly longer life in full bottles than half-full, especially with home-compounded developers, so maybe it's oxidation + hydrolysis. And don't I recall reading somewhere that oxidation is autocatalytic, with oxidation products further speeding the oxidation?

    Having said this, DD-X seems to last forever anyway in the original bottles.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
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  15. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Brown glass bottles for the developers with Protectan gas. Tetenal chemical plastic bottles for most other liquids.
     
  16. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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  17. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    I don't know about the soda bottles in the UK, but those used in the US are quite permeable. The fizz goes out within about 2 months of bottling, while in cans lasts up to 2 years. I have never seen beer put up in plastic - there must be a reason.

    Bob
     
  18. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Since switching back to glass bottles, I haven't bothered with the marbles or inert gas. It simply seemed that the amount of air inside the bottle was insignificant, and I have not noted any problems with any of my developers. If you think about it, there's much more surface area on the outside of a permeable plastic bottle than on the surface of the developer inside the bottle. I've firmly come to believe that oxidation problems are caused by the air outside the bottle, not inside. But I could be proven wrong.
    juan
     
  19. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Can't say: certainly does not seem to be the case here. I have had Coke etc in plastic bottles last many, many, months without loss of fizz by the time another Christmas comes around. The bottle of cola in my fridge has a "Best Before" date of April 2007.

    I have also seen beer and cider in plastic bottles in supermarkets (but always the lowest quality). I think it's more a cultural thing: plastic = cheap. I've heard of talk where the powers that be want breweries to use plastic for bottled beer and other alcoholic beverages (glass bottles make very effective short range projectile weapons) but the brewers are resisting.

    FWIW, I've had ID-11 in Coke bottles for 14 months with no change in colour and no apparent loss of activity when used. I guess you need to make sure it is PET and the cap is airtight and also of a relatively impermeable plastic.

    However, what Ole has written is very interesting. A wide top bottle would certainly make pouring the fixer & stop back in the bottle much simpler. Ole, what time limit would you put on a developer stored as you suggest?

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  20. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I'm in the US, and although I usually drink my sodas within a week or so of buying them, my impression is that they'll last several months, if not more, in plastic bottles. The "best before" dates in the US are, AFAIK, stamped only on diet sodas, and they refer to the deterioration of the aspartame (the artificial sweetener in most diet sodas), which decay in a matter of months. Certainly I've bought diet sodas that are plenty fizzy but not sweet enough because the aspartame has gone bad. Unless aspartame is a developer ingredient, I don't think that's an issue for our purposes! :wink:
     
  21. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    Referring to glass only,in a half-full 1L bottle:
    500ml air contains about 100ml oxygen which is about (0.100x16x2)/22.4 =0.14 grams oxygen.
    500 ml developer initially contains about 0.005 grams oxygen (solubility of oxygen)
    In well sealed glass bottles oxidation of the developer follows from allowing air in each time the cap/stopper is removed.
    Well, that's my theory.
     
  22. David A. Belew

    David A. Belew Member

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    storage

    I use the Jobo black plastic 1 litre bottles intended for the various Jobo processors. I am now mainly using XTOL which comes in a 6 litre package,
    and after mixing split it up in the bottles. Kodak claims a 1 year storage life in a completely full bottle of XTOL.
     
  23. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    The only XTOL packages I've seen are for 5 liters, not 6. (I'm sure there are bigger packages, and there used to be 1-liter packets, but those have been discontinued.) Also, Kodak officially states the storage life of mixed XTOL to be 6 months, not 1 year, on their official XTOL page. I believe they used to say it was good for 1 year, but they changed that (and stopped recommending dilutions greater than 1+1) after the "XTOL sudden death" problem started appearing. That said, in practice you might easily get a year's storage life out of XTOL. I've done so; it worked fine after slightly over a year, when I used the last of that batch.
     
  24. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Looking at the photos of your bottles...

    The gallon jug looks like a useless thing. OK, I guess for stop bath and fixer, but I wouldn't store any developers in it. Probably leaks air like a sieve.

    The accordion bottles are worse than useless. I have a couple of them. The caps do not seal well and they are really floppy when full. Don't waste your time or any money on them. I won't mention that the pleats are likely to crack over time and might be difficult to clean before the next fillup.

    The bottle on the right looks like the bottles that are used for hydrogen peroxide here in the US. What really burns me up about these things is that you can buy a 1 qt. bottle of H2O2 for 1/3 the cost of one of these empties. Print "photo" on the bottle and you can jack the price up to obscene levels.

    The best thing I've found are just plain old 1L soda pop bottles. Seltzer, club soda, tonic water all can be had for as little as $.60/L in the US. Use the contents, remove the labels and keep the bottles. Write on the bottles with a Sharpie magic marker. They seal well and keep developers (and any other chemistry you'll use) just fine. Top off any partially full containers with an inert gas and you're done.
     
  25. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Not counting Ansco 130 (a useless developer for longevity tests, as it lasts for months in a tray covered with cardboard to reduce evaporation), I've had print developer still fine after three months. A batch of Gevaert G262 I was trying to "kill" was used intermittently for three months until I finally killed it by leaving in in open trays for a week (I was after a "dead" developer for a special effect).

    I checked some D-23 I mixed in... in... in... in 1999, and it was still almost colourless. So I tried it, and it still works. So I guess I'll have to buy another bottle instead of recycling that one...

    But that brings up the question of developer differences: Some last forever regardless of storage conditions, some are clearly affected by storage conditions, and others tend to die suddenly for no apparent reason.

    In general I only keep print developers for long enough that storage could make a difference. Most of the film developers I use are mixed just before use, and used one-shot. So print dev, fix, bleach and toners go in bottles - wide-necked ones. Film dev and sometimes even film fix is used one shot, and goes down the drain. I don't use a stop - except for lith printing, and then it's just water with a little citric acid in it, single day use.
     
  26. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Thanks Ole: looks like I can use that type of bottle for everything except possibly long term storage of film developer stock solution.

    I get embarrassed at how long Ansco 130 lasts and end up dumping it just because it's been around for so long... Neutol WA seems to last a long time too, in my Nova at least, so it looks like my two favorite print developers & the fixer will be fine.

    Cheers, Bob.