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  1. #1
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    How long can I keep my developer.

    At the time, I have a generic two reel processing tank. It holds just shy of a liter of chemical. It's the one 120 or two 35mm reel kind.

    I have been using the 5 liter jugs and mixing XTOL, and recently DDX (1:4).

    The thing is, I'm not familiar enough with shelf life, or replenishing, enough to know what I'm doing. So to be safe, when I develop a roll, I discard the developer instead of putting it back into the jug. I got sloppy with the XTOL and would put it back into the jugs for a few times and took my chances, but I don't want to do that with my project film.

    Since I'm trying to shoot more, and I'm developing regularly, I have learned that this is going to get quite expensive fairly quickly. I just bought the $17 bottle of DDX a week or two ago, and after only three rolls, it's time for another.

    What can I do to reduce the cost, in terms if making this last longer?

  2. #2

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    Xtol works well replenished and if you do a search you will find detailed instructions about how to do it. It's quite easy.

    Kodak documentation states that Xtol will keep for 6 months. Some people have reported keeping the stock solution longer than that, but it does not change color with age and from I understand, when it quits, it quits. If you use constant replenishment you can keep the process going for years by adding fresh developer with every roll developed. It becomes very cheap if you do that.

    DD-X does get rather expensive mixing it 1:4 as the instructions suggest and using it one time. A single batch mixed 1:4 can be used for multiple rolls, but Ilford states the quality may not be quite as good or something like that. Some people use DD-X at higher dilutions e.g. 1:7 or 1:9 one-shot and that helps to reduce the price per roll. I recently picked up a bottle of DD-X to try when my current batch of Xtol reaches the 6 month time at the end of this month.

    Dave

  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Using X-Tol in a replenishment regime would be by far the best approach.

    With DDX, the Ilford Technical data sheet says:

    AVAILABILITY AND CAPACITY
    ILFOTEC DD-X is available in 1 litre bottles world- wide. Used at 1+4 for one shot processing it will develop 16 135/36 films. If reuse techniques are used it will develop up to 50 135/36 or 120 films.


    Note the reference to 1 + 4, rather than the more confusing 1:4.

    The technical data ("Fact") sheet that covers all the Ilford liquid film developers is accessed from the product page for DDX - here is the link: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/...7124733149.pdf

    The description of "reuse" process in the Ilford fact sheet indicates that involves some decrease in quality. It certainly involves a large increase in complexity (developing time is constantly changing).

    The replenishment regime for XTol result in a subtle increase in quality, and is incredibly simple.

    Your choice.
    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

  4. #4

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    If your tank takes just less than 1L, maybe it would be beneficial to look for a smaller tank. My Patterson tank (one 120, two 35mm size) takes 500ml of developer. A stainless tank would be even smaller.
    --
    Kenton Brede
    http://kentonbrede.com/

  5. #5

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    I used to use XTOL. It lasted me 8 months at minimum. I basically keep my developers in "per serving" bottles to minimize exposure to air. My bottles are plastic. It could have lasted longer but I ran out at that point.

    I do not replenish but use it one-shot.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  6. #6

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    Xtol used at 1+1 and then discard is still quite cheap but I'd certainly look for smaller tanks. My Jobo will do 2x120 or 2x35 in 485mls. If you have a Jobo rotary processor then it is 140 and 240 mls respectively for 35 and 120 film. Store it in winebags

    pentaxuser

  7. #7

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    I went through four bottles of DD-X and to this day think it to be one of the best developers out there, but cheap it is not. I switched to using it more diluted than 1+4 as recommended and actually liked it just as well or maybe a little better. In the end I switched to replenished Xtol and now I'm looking into "Home-made Xtol" and then I'll use that as a one-shot. Of course, for now I'm using and really liking Pyrocat-HD. If you want "cheaper, but better" then look no further than Pyrocat-HD and you can buy that pre-packaged also or mix your own. You have a part "A" and a part "B" when mixed with water 1:1:100 or 1 oz. A + 1 oz. B + 100oz. H2O. A little goes a long, long way and it last nearly forever. Sounds like you might want to try it. JohnW

  8. #8
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    How long can I keep my developer.

    I don't want to use XTOL at all though. I don't want to use any Kodak chems or film - strictly Ilford.

    I'll try it 1+9, until I can find something more suitable that's not Kodak.

  9. #9
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    chris,
    i strongly suggest to consider rotation processing.it will reduce your processing volume from 1l to a couple of 100ml(look at the instructionsthat came with your tank). you can switch from inversion processing to rotation processing with almost any tank by rolling it back and forth at the edge of a tableor by rigging something up with an old pair of roller skates,good luck happy processing.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #10
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    How long can I keep my developer.

    Is that what a Uniroller would do?

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