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  1. #1

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    Shelf life of powder developers????

    Recently found a box of 1/2 dozen Freestyle powdered developer packets - foil/plastic packets to make 1 gal. of Arista 76 and Aristadol (D76 and Dektol).
    Near as I can remember these must be approaching 15 years old, stored at room temperature in a centrally heated and cooled house.
    Question is is it worth the effort to mix them up and test them or should I just chunk them and buy new?

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    You may as well try the print developer - if it is bad, you will only waste time and one or two sheets of paper.

    For film developer, it may well be fine. I would use it to develop a test roll before I used it for something important.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3
    andrew.roos's Avatar
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    according to the datasheet, Ilford ID-11 (another D76 clone) powder stored in cool dry conditions (4-20 C) will last indefinitely. Although your temps may have gone outside this range, I expect the Arista 76 will still be fine. Like Matt says, develop a test roll of non-critical photos first!

  4. #4

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    i have used ID11 that was so old i had to use a cheese grater to break the solid lump of powder up before dissolving..worked fine

  5. #5
    piu58's Avatar
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    I have used chemicals which stored for decades, without any sign of degradation. The package should be undamaged.
    ---
    Uwe Pilz

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It depends on the packaging used, some older plastics used breathe oxygen very slowly over time and chemistry oxidises, this happens with some liquids as well where high quality high density polythenes etc aren't used.

    Ian

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    It depends on the packaging used, some older plastics used breathe oxygen very slowly over time and chemistry oxidises, this happens with some liquids as well where high quality high density polythenes etc aren't used.
    Ian
    As Ian says it all depends on the packaging. I believe that Kodak's is the best in this respect. I wish they still used metal cans. I have some film developer that is government surplus from WWII which looks like it was made yesterday! It is sealed under nitrogen.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  8. #8

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    Thanks all,
    I figured that it should be ok as long as it had no moisture or air infiltration BUT I did open up some KODAK dektol many years ago that was already oxidized brown in the package. So I was wondering about specific experiences with the Freestyle packaging. Mixing some up and running a test is probably the best solution.

  9. #9

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    If you're not sure mix it up and test it. I had some very old packages of Agfa Atomal. The first one turned out not to be good so I kept the rest as suovenirs of an earlier time. I used old green cans of Army surplus developer in the 1970s. The good cans had powder with a light tan color. The bad cans had powder with a dark brown color.

  10. #10

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    I've also had the problem with Dektol powder oxidized in the envelope. In general, you can tell by the color of the mixed stock solution (both film and paper developer) whether it is worth going further. If the stock solution is dark brown, it is definitely oxidized, and it is your call whether to test it further or throw it out. I might test print developer, I wouldn't risk film. If the color is still light, you are good to go.
    Regards, Pete Lewin

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