View Full Version : How to tell if DD-X is still good?

05-14-2012, 01:16 PM
I have been searching for an answer to this but have not been successful.

DD-X is my favorite developer. However, I do not shoot and develop enough to use a 1 liter bottle within 3 months. Is there a way to tell if DD-X is still good, perhaps by looking at its color? Or I simply have to get rid of it some amount of time after opening it?

As additional information, I mainly shoot Delta 400 on 35mm/120 and print on Ilford RC/fiber paper :)

Thanks much for any information you can send my way.


Mike Wilde
05-14-2012, 02:59 PM
I don't have a lot of experience with this, but the limited I do have was not good.
I was given a half filled bottle of DD-X concetrate, age unknown. It was lighter than light straw in colour.

A test roll developed to the recommended time at the specified dilution came out very weak. I did not want to try to calibrate the small volume left in the container, so I safely disposed of it.
So for this developer, my experience is that colour is not a good indicator of its vitality.

Simon R Galley
05-15-2012, 05:00 AM
Dear Pat,

DDX is a stable developer but you cannot tell the level of degradation by the colour of the solution, although logic suggests the darker it is would be an indicator of oxidisation.

If you are not using it all within three months, my suggestion would be to ensure no air ingress ( marbles or other ways ) store in a cool place and then test after three months with a clip test to ensure its working OK, the manufacturing of this product ensures that batch to batch variation is virtually zero so you should have no issues going forward.

Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

05-15-2012, 12:23 PM
Thanks for the info!

05-15-2012, 12:42 PM
I was an extensive user of DDX and used to use emptied and cleaned winebags. Never had a problem and I used to be using DDX way after 3 months.

So why past tense, if there were no problems? Well as others have said elsewhere it is a great developer but was proving to be expensive in terms of its capacity v price in terms of the number of films 1L could develop.


08-20-2013, 01:00 PM
I did open 1l DD-X bottle in January, still using it, it is nearly empty now. It is 7 months, but I cannot see any difference on my films. I allways use Tetenal protective spray when I finish my work.


08-20-2013, 01:15 PM
I used to use DDX some years ago. From the one liter bottle, I filled 4 small brown glass bottles. I kept my developer between 6 months and one year. But while the developer is still usable, the grain grows and the image appears reticulated. As the developer is quite expensive, I do not recommend the use beyond 6 months. I stop to use it and switch to LC29 which is more versatile and retains its qualities much longer. From my experience, DDX as the same micro contrast and tonal distribution than ID-11 1+1 with a 2/3 stop speed loss (with ID-11).