VERY! Old Chems still usable?
While rummaging through "the dungeon," I've found some very old developers. Does anyone know if I can get descent results from them?
Here they are:
Kodak Microdol-X powder in the can - 1976
GAF Vividol powder in the can - 1976
Kodak Dektol and Selectol powder in the bags - 1992
Kodak Tmax Dev liquid in the unopened bottle - 1995
And Kodak rapid fix in the bottle - 1995
If the developers mix up to the color of straw or weak tea, then they are ok, but if they mix up to darker colors then they are NG. If the fixer is cloudy or has an off white coating on the bottle, then it is NG.
Worst case, try it and see. If it develops or fixes it is OK, as long as you filter out any residue. And, test first for the capacity. For example, the developers and fixers may react more slowly.
The bottom line is that it varies.
I have successfully used many kodak developers in the can that date from the 50's-70's.
Mostly dektol, microdol and d-76. As long as the can is still sealed and not rusted you should be fine.
The old kodak paper bags do let in moisture. IMHO its a hit or miss. I have some form the 80's that are fine.
Some i bought a couple of years ago went bad.
On a similar note I have a 5L jug of Ilford Rapid Fix that's been sitting around partially used for 4-6 months or so, maybe more. It seems to still be clear, or a very faint yellow. Think it's still good? Most of the fixer testers seem to test for dissolved silver, is there any way to test if unused fixer is still good?
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Originally Posted by cafeharrar
Check first that it hasn't started to precipitate out (kind of hard to see I know to the bottom of those 5L jugs).
If there isn't an appreciable amount of precipitate, check to see how long it takes to clear film. If it is within the normal range, it is still fine.
I've inherited several bottles/can of old devs and chemical over the years. I don't use these for film, but they almost always make good paper devs--contact sheets and work prints only, not serious work to be framed/exhibited.
It's one way to use the stuff.