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  1. #1
    naaldvoerder's Avatar
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    Alternative to Protectan???

    Until now I have used Protectan to expell oxigen from half-full developer containers. I have heard of photographers using a drop of ether for the same reason. Are there any other agents that can be used (apart from glass beads)?

    Thanks

    Jaap Jan

  2. #2

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    Dear Jaap,

    Time for my stock comment (not really an answer). If you are losing your chemicals to time on the shelf, the best way to avoid this problem is to make more photographs.

    On a more serious note, a tank of nitrogen is a reasonably inexpensive solution. For me, the only thing I worry about is developer. To solve that I keep the mixed stock in smaller bottles so that they are only half empty for about a week or so. I've only lost some rapid fixer once due to time and I solved that by purchasing in smaller quantities. In fact, I really didn't lose the rapid fixer (some store brand, by the way) as I filtered out the sediment and what remained cleared film just fine.

    Neal Wydra

  3. #3
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    I use Butane in place of Protectan (Butane + Propane) - my disposal system is a BernzoMatic Mini Torch (for soldering), available at Loews, Home depot, etc.

    A three - five second burst is adequate. Butane refills (for butane candles, cigarette lighters, mini - torches) are widely available.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  4. #4
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Private Preserve in North America

    It is a product marketted in higher end wine and spirit shops to counter oxidisation of partly filled bottles of wine and scotch, etc. A cheaper way, capital wise than nitrogen.

  5. #5
    Snapshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Wilde View Post
    It is a product marketted in higher end wine and spirit shops to counter oxidisation of partly filled bottles of wine and scotch, etc. A cheaper way, capital wise than nitrogen.
    Mike, is this purchased from the LCBO or from private retailers, such as Loblaws?
    "The secret to life is to keep your mind full and your bowels empty. Unfortunately, the converse is true for most people."

  6. #6
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    I don't do this myself, but a number of people use glass marbles which they add to the container as the solution is used in order to expel the air from the container.

    I agree with the "just do more photography" approach when possible. Also, chemistry is, for the most part, the cheapest aspect of darkroom work when compared to time, paper, film, mat board, etc. Perhaps a few more expensive solutions are worth fussing with to preserve longer, but the best general approach is to discard aging solutions and replace them with freshly mixed solutions.
    Jerold Harter MD

  7. #7
    Bill Mobbs's Avatar
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    I have used Ed's Butane method for several years now, and have not had a problem. I have changed all my chemical bottles to dark glass with "O" rings in the screw on caps. Take care where you store the torch when not in use. My dark room is in my gargage where I keep my other tools, but it is really not a good thing to store in living quarters.

    bill
    "Nobody is perfect! But even among those that are perfect, some are more perfect than others." Walt Sewell 1947

  8. #8

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    Compressed Nitrogen in a small refillable tank. Once you source the tank and regulator, it is relatively cheap to fill. It is clean. It is somewhat safe if properly handled (inert, sinks to the ground) and is cheap. You can use it to blow dust off negs, lenses, lf film holders, run a nitrogen-burst line and fill containers to expel air.

    It might be overkill but it has a lot of uses and is relatively inexpensive if you're going to be doing a lot of dusting and expelling.

  9. #9
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Any inert gas may be used for this purpose, propane, butane, nitrogen or similar. The idea is to provide a barrier on top of the developer to exclude oxygen. I too use Tetenal Protectan. It may seem expensive but the restricted valve supplied with it means that it is extremely economical in use. I find a can lasts me a year or more. The draw back to using gas from a canister designed for a blow-torch is the rate of delivery can be high enough to expel your developer from it's container. This is messy, I write from experience.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  10. #10
    naaldvoerder's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies. I do admid I need to take moe pics and print more of them. Busy job, two young kids and all of that... I use the protectan for more expensive solutions. Goldtoner mainly and lith developer...

    Thanks for your advice

    Jaap jan

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