Use of Kodak Dektol. HELP NEEDED, do I have to mix all the stock solution at once?
I've just finished building a home made box camera with which I want to travel around China taking picures or people I like for pleasure, and of tourist to make a living. I wanted to use Rodinal because it lasts for a very long time and it's very easy to use, but only found Dektol in the store and I have never used it.
My problem is that travelling with 5l of stock solution is not an option, I have not found any information about if I can mix only a small portion of the pouder and then close carefully the rest. The only similar information I found is a very categorical "mix immediately after opening" in Ilford's website concerning one of Ilford's pouders, but I don't know if it is the same for any pouder or if they might exagerate a little.
Any of you have tried not to mix all the pouder imediately but doing so after some months?
Thank you very much!
Hello Jorge, and welcome to APUG.
Unfortunately, it is a bad idea to mix just part of a package of chemistry. Dektol contains a number of constituent parts, and you have no way to ensure that any portion you take out is evenly mixed.
In addition, if you are intending to use this to develop film, Dektol isn't the best of choices. It is designed for photographic paper instead.
“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
Thanks for your advise, I hadn't though of the amount of constituent parts... I guess the best would be to keep on trying to find a liquid one like rodinal...
Concerning the film, that's not a problem. I'll soot directly on paper, and then take another shoot of that negative to positivate inside the camera.
Hi Jorge CL,
As Matt recommended, the different components sift in the bag so you won't get a consistent developer if you mix only part.
I find it convenient to pour mixed batches into four bottles. You will probably use the first one soon (because you mixed the powder for a reason). So you will probably only be traveling with the remaining three bottles. Each one will last a long time as long as it stays sealed.
read up on the Afghan camera project and see how they do it.
aside from dektol, ilford makes some developers in liquid form that come in 1/2 or 1/3 liter bottles, much more transportable.
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Checkig the work by the photographers of the afghanboxcamera project has been very motvating, and that's just what I needed. I'll definitively try to get some liquid developpr although is not easy hera, and if not, just get my back ready for some extre weight!
if ur going to be doing like those guys in kabul do, despite what the other guys say I bet you could take a 1-gallon bag of dry dektol and break it down into 1-pint units to mix up at the start of the day -- paper is pretty forgiving and I sincerely doubt those chemicals separate all that much in the bag.
Originally Posted by Jorge CL
On the other hand ilford liquid chemicals would be a lot easier to mix on the spot -- an ounce of stock, a pint of water, there you go. The bottle would keep fresh for a few weeks after opening and if you use the camera daily it would work just fine. You don't say where you live, but I bet it can be ordered. This stuff--a .5 liter bottle isn't all that heavy.
A bottle of Bloxygen can really extend the life of developers. A quick blast in the top of the bottle before closing leaves a layer of Argon (I believe) over the developer to prevent oxidation. I've saved lots of money since I started using this stuff.
Photographers formulary liquidol, its there liquid Form of dektol. I find it to be a very nice long lasting developer. Comes in 1L bottle and I just mix the amount I need and then dump. It mixes 1-9.
It really doesn't sound like a critical application..... I'd just shake it well, mix it well, and divide the package into smaller packets. If it didn't work well enough, you can always shoot another, right?
Next time, I'm going to take a scoup full out of a bag and see what it does.... I'm curious now.
Last edited by tkamiya; 03-02-2013 at 10:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: stupid typo
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?