Test for D-76 and Kodak Fixer?
So, I'm new to the darkroom and to this point have only developed two rolls of film. However, I was wondering if there is a way to test your D-76 and your fixer before you go to develop a roll of film. I made a gallon of each and see myself developing film once a month. I would hate to ruin a roll, because either my developer or my fix went bad and I didn't know it beforehand.
Please excuse me if this is one of those questions that is asked and answered hundreds of times a week. I'm on my phone and search doesn't seem to be working quite right.
Thanks in advance. APUG rules.
My only real keeper from my first roll of self developed film:
you can test the fixer by simply clipping off a bit of film, like the leader from a 35mm roll, and dropping it into the fixer. Keep track of how much time it takes for the scrap of film to clear.
You can do a similar thing with D76 but, it isn't really necessary (the film turns black however). D76 changes color when it has gone bad.
I should have said this before... but, I use a Rondinax to develop the film. After the development process, I throw out the D-76 that I use and pour the fixer back in my own gallon container to use another time. So afterwards, I'm left with one gallon of fixer and less than a gallon of D-76 if that makes sense.
So, how long does D-76 typically last when in a less than full gallon container? Fixer?
It is better to mix up a gallon of stock solution and store it in four individual quart sized glass bottles. The partially filled bottles will last about a month or so. The full bottles will keep for six months easily some have reported up to a year.
You should probably get into the habit of filtering the fixer that you pour back in to the bottle. It helps to kee the "crud" out of you fixer and therefore off of you negatives.
testing developer and fixer
Take the advice from someone who has been developing film since he was 14 (1964).
Learn early on to do clip tests. They will save you much frustration and money.
By this I mean to place about one inch of unexposed film onto the film aperture gate of your camera (assuming 35mm). Tape it there if you are not certain that it is secure. Take a CORRECT exposure. Process it normally. If it is good, then your whole roll will be good. You can process this tiny piece in a round plastic film cannister in the dark. Do this in a water bath so that the heat from your hands will not warm the developer too much. Remember, you must be convinced that that film is being developed at the temp that you normally use. Agitate normally and make certain that the film is covered with developer always. It is not rocket science and a little common sense goes far. Clip tests can also test expired films (which sometimes need one or more stops exposure). - David Lyga
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Myself, at my place, after 3 weeks my D76 gets strange. The negs still look good, but not like they did when the developer was fresh (more grain), and I found no way to get a consistent adjustment for this. It's a well documented issue w/ D76 going back to the 20's! My solution was to buy some TD-16 developer from Photographers' Formulary, a D76 clone. It is supposed to be much more stable. The advertised shelf life if stored correctly is 6 months. Negs developed in it look almost exactly like my D76 negs.
If your fixer is stored correctly, I think Kodak says it should be good for 2 months once you mix up a stock solution. I would just do a clip test on it about that time, and keep using it until it took significantly longer for a piece of undeveloped film leader to clear.
On the TD-16, I was having issues w/ crud occasionally getting on my negs. The developer seems to not dissolve as readily in my water as the D76 (I always use distilled water). I cured this by straining the developer into my gradient using a funnel, some clean marble chips, and a coffee filter on my last roll of film. The negs came out perfect, as clean as a whistle.
D76 will be fine unlessthe color of the the powder has turned dark brownuse 1+1 for 10 min as a starting point.You can test the fixer with the film leader as described above and use a fixing time which is double the clearing timefrom the clip test.use both.developer and fixer as one-shot for consistencyand keep the process this simple for tthe first few roles until you've gained more processing experience.if you run into trouble,help is only a keyboard and a post aay.good luck to you
Originally Posted by RyanC
I make it using de-minneralised water (distilled should be OK too) and I use a gallon in about 6 months. I keep it in a PET 5 liter bottle that used to contain plain water. It changes color a bit from very pale yellow when fresh to yellow at the end but with no ill effect as far as I can see.
I really think the water makes the whole difference. I use the same water (from a household reverse osmosis unit) for fixer and final wash. I also used it in mt Frontier and in the Noritsu V30 and I never had a problem with the chemicals.
If you are developing film only once a month then D-76 may not be your best choice. Once mixed it lasts for only about 6 months. A better choice might be HC-110 or Rodinal. Both are concentrates that last practically forever. The diluted developer is used once and then discarded. HC-110 was designed by Kodak to produces very similar results to D-76. For information about HC-110 see http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/hc110/
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~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Don't have to worry about fixer, it lasts much longer than you expected. I made 1 gallon working sol. back to about 8 yrs ago, but I don't have chance to shoot or process since then. I processed few rolls these days and it's still working.
As it can wash off unexposed silver halide on your neg(clean neg), it is working!!!
Your problem is dev. If it's stock sol you were making, and stored in cool dark place, it may last longer. If it's working sol, it may only last for couple months.
When it's turn brownish tone, the only thing you can do is dump it to the sink
Since you have very little qty to process, best you can do is to
1, store it in air tight btl
2, shoot as much as you can
3, make only enough working sol each time, and use it as single shot developer.
4, go for HC 110, or Rodinal.