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  1. #1
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    Ilford multigrade paper developer working solution life.

    I'm using Ilford multigrade paper developer. Ilford's data sheet says working solution (1:9) will last 24 hours in a capped bottle. I am finding it lasting 1-2 weeks easily. At least I am testing it with some exposed paper and the paper goes full black no problem. As the capacity is 100 sheets (8x10)/litre I am loathe to throw my half litre working mix away after each session of a few prints.

    What are others' experiences? I don't want to compromise the "learning curve" I am on by adding in too much of a variable of gone-off developer, but I am just not seeing a difference between freshly mixed and 1 week old?

  2. #2

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    Not Ilford but I've found DEKTOL diluted to 1:2 (standard dilution) lasts about a week with little/no change in a capped and full bottle. I haven't tried longer.

    There are data available that shows DMAX (the darkest paper will get) falls but I haven't done comparison study and in my prints, I haven't seen any change. In practice, I don't do this often as paper costs far more than developer would and I don't want to chance it, or having have to test each and every time.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr rusty View Post
    I'm using Ilford multigrade paper developer. Ilford's data sheet says working solution (1:9) will last 24 hours in a capped bottle. I am finding it lasting 1-2 weeks easily. At least I am testing it with some exposed paper and the paper goes full black no problem. As the capacity is 100 sheets (8x10)/litre I am loathe to throw my half litre working mix away after each session of a few prints.

    What are others' experiences? I don't want to compromise the "learning curve" I am on by adding in too much of a variable of gone-off developer, but I am just not seeing a difference between freshly mixed and 1 week old?
    If it is still working for you, thats fine. I would suggest it will probably keep that long or longer in a capped bottle with little air space. The longevity will be more determined by how long it sits in the tray, area of tray and through-put of prints.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #4

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    In a Nova Quad processor with admittedly only a one inch strip of liquid showing and only covered by a plastic tube it seems to last several weeks so claiming one day only in a capped bottle seems to be Ilford selling itself ridiculously short in its tech spec info.

    pentaxuser

  5. #5

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    I guess it doesn't bother me. If I use it as directed, I'll still get 20 plus trips to the darkroom on a bottle; just mixing up the solution the day of.

  6. #6
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    I've mixed Ilford paper developer 1:9 and it last a couple weeks in a bottle if there's no air in it. I do short print runs and that's how I save money. I also gage how fast the emerges from the exposed paper. If it takes too long to develop the image and I can't get a good black, I toss the developer. One time I exhausted the developer and I was printing on grade 4 filter and still wasn't getting a good black. I was too cheap and ended up a couple of sheets of paper until I figured it out.

  7. #7

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    We are not really selling ourselves short.....yup it will last at least a week made up ( probably a bit longer ) in a correctly stoppered bottle. The issue is that it will slowly deteriorate, and as TKamiya correctly assets you will fail to get optimum performance and D.Max. As always when working with any chemistry ( from any manufacturer ) you need to see what works for you and your work flow versus maximum efficiency / quality and cost. All our TI sheets always guide toward ultimate performance from a quality perspective.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

  8. #8
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    yup it will last at least a week made up ( probably a bit longer )
    Thanks Simon. That confirms what I have found. As a beginner to darkroom I'm sure I have more variables to worry about at the moment than a very small degredation. I think I will carry on as I am getting a week or two from a mix. Cheers.

  9. #9
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    I'm relatively new to darkroom printing too and have also tried to economise by reusing multigrade developer. I found that I could reuse it successfully for a week with RC papers, but with FB paper the results would be significantly different even if the developer was kept overnight. Contrast and d-max would vary considerably so I decided to mix fresh working solution every time even if only doing a few prints in order to maintain consistency. Developer is a lot cheaper than paper!

  10. #10

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    I've never tried a week or two but definitely 2 or 3 days. When I'm working with the smaller 8x10 trays, I simply leave it in the tray and lay a sheet of plastic wrap right on the developer. By pressing the plastic tight against the tray at the liquid line, it gets a perfect seal and there does not appear to be any change in the developer. Any drops that have gotten on top of the plastic will darken. Hopefully the chemists out there won't tell me this type of plastic changes the developer chemistry somehow. I try not to push this too much but when the nearest chemical supply store is a few hundred kilometres away and everything has to be shipped in, towards the end of the supplies I tend to try and make things last a little longer.

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