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Thread: DDX Storage

  1. #1
    Nick Vezey

    DDX Storage

    I've finally identified a film - Delta 400 (35mm) - and a developer - DDX - that gives me negatives that I can print relatively well. However, as I don't shoot a great deal (one or two rolls a month) I end up ditching developer that has expired the Ilford stated lifespan. My proposed solution to this is to decant a fresh bottle of developer (1 litre) into 10x100ml brown glass bottles and then use as I need. I know it's a bit of an overkill, but my theory is that I'll get to use all the developer rather than throwing some away.

    However, my question is - is this a good idea and will it be ok to decant the developer and keep it in unopened smaller bottles until needed. I'm happy to use 100ml per go @ 4:1 rather than waste stuff ?

    I do have Rodinal, but I'm not sure it would be appropriate for the Delta films.

    Grateful for any views or advice.

    Many thanks

    Nick

  2. #2

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    Ideally if you use bottles then decanting 1L into 100ml or smaller bottles up to the neck and using each as a one shot will fit the bill. In some ways an easier and possibly even more reliable method is to decant the whole litre into an empty silvered wine bag, press the air out to ensure that liquid goes up to the neck of the dispenser, replace the pourer and replace it in the wine box. You can then draw off whatever amount you need without any air ever getting back into the bag.

    I use this method and have had DDX last a year. Even with a Jobo tank and only 50ml of stock developer needed per 35mm film, a litre only does 20 fims and using 2 films per month, you still use the whole litre of stock solution within a year.

    pentaxuser

  3. #3
    Nick Vezey
    That sounds like a better, and less faffy (is that a real word ?) idea than decanting into 10 bottles. What process do you use to rinse out the wine bag once you've drunk all the wine ?

  4. #4

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    The biggest problem is actually prising out the wine box tap. Some taps are easier removed than others. To avoid distorting the plastic, I use the cutting edge of a broad and relatively rigid knife blade to create a gap then use the non cutting edge and gradually prise the tap evenly. Be prepared to be patient when prising the tap and be equally prepared to throw away a bag if the tap is so stubborn that it begins to distort.

    The tap is held in by ridges and once the first ridge is prised out then it usually comes out easily. Washing is simple. Partially fill with water and rinse. Do this maybe 3 times and the bag will be clean. Then wash out the tap by running it under water and opening the pourer and letting water run through it as would the wine.

    Squeeze out all the water out of the bag by pressing and folding the bag. If you aren't ready to fill it immediately then place the tap back in loosely and set aside.

    As wine bags are usually 3 litres( In the UK at least) then 1 litre means it's only a third full and there is potential for trapping air. I find that to exclude air it's best to place the filled bag on a flat surface and squeeze until the fluid comes up to the neck and there are no air locks. Then place the tap back in and push it home all the way.

    You need to have extracted the bag out of the cardboard box carefully so the box is intact and the bag can be placed back in properly so to all intents and purposes the wine box is as good as it was when used as a wine box.

    If you are a wine drinker and like boxed wine then keep maybe 6 boxes available for chems. You might be able to use a box twice but there's a limit, hence the need to store empty bags and boxes. They do a great job on fixer as well and two boxes will allow you to economically buy a 5 litre container of fixer and store all 5 litres of stock fixer and dispense as required.

    Should work for larger quantities of RA4 chems as well but I haven't tried it yet.

    I know that this thread is about liquid DDX but if I were an ID11 user I'd buy a 5 litre box of the powered chemical and mix the stock solution and store in wine boxes.

    I must pay tribute to Murray Minchin for this idea of wine bags. Thanks Murray

    I hope this helps

    pentaxuser

  5. #5
    wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    The biggest problem is actually prising out the wine box tap. Some taps are easier removed than others. To avoid distorting the plastic, I use the cutting edge of a broad and relatively rigid knife blade to create a gap then use the non cutting edge and gradually prise the tap evenly. Be prepared to be patient when prising the tap and be equally prepared to throw away a bag if the tap is so stubborn that it begins to distort.

    The tap is held in by ridges and once the first ridge is prised out then it usually comes out easily. Washing is simple. Partially fill with water and rinse. Do this maybe 3 times and the bag will be clean. Then wash out the tap by running it under water and opening the pourer and letting water run through it as would the wine.

    Squeeze out all the water out of the bag by pressing and folding the bag. If you aren't ready to fill it immediately then place the tap back in loosely and set aside.

    As wine bags are usually 3 litres( In the UK at least) then 1 litre means it's only a third full and there is potential for trapping air. I find that to exclude air it's best to place the filled bag on a flat surface and squeeze until the fluid comes up to the neck and there are no air locks. Then place the tap back in and push it home all the way.

    You need to have extracted the bag out of the cardboard box carefully so the box is intact and the bag can be placed back in properly so to all intents and purposes the wine box is as good as it was when used as a wine box.

    If you are a wine drinker and like boxed wine then keep maybe 6 boxes available for chems. You might be able to use a box twice but there's a limit, hence the need to store empty bags and boxes. They do a great job on fixer as well and two boxes will allow you to economically buy a 5 litre container of fixer and store all 5 litres of stock fixer and dispense as required.

    Should work for larger quantities of RA4 chems as well but I haven't tried it yet.

    I know that this thread is about liquid DDX but if I were an ID11 user I'd buy a 5 litre box of the powered chemical and mix the stock solution and store in wine boxes.

    I must pay tribute to Murray Minchin for this idea of wine bags. Thanks Murray

    I hope this helps

    pentaxuser
    Some of the wine box bags are not completely air tight, so it may or may not work with all of them. Another source might be a wine supply store, as they might have the bags new. I am surprised that photo chemistry suppliers haven't latched onto the idea, especially for concentrates. I guess the biggest issue would be preventing leaks during shipping. A bag made for this purpose might have a tap that screws in place rather then press fits.
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

  6. #6
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    For a small volume like a single bottle of DDX, you might try using glass marbles dropped into the developer bottle to occupy volume and keep the solution up to the top. I would not like the hassle of cleaning, drying, storing 10 glass bottles. The marbles you could keep in a perforated plastic bin and just rinse them off when the bottle is spent and then start dropping them in the developer bottle as you use it.
    Jerold Harter MD

  7. #7
    wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    For a small volume like a single bottle of DDX, you might try using glass marbles dropped into the developer bottle to occupy volume and keep the solution up to the top. I would not like the hassle of cleaning, drying, storing 10 glass bottles. The marbles you could keep in a perforated plastic bin and just rinse them off when the bottle is spent and then start dropping them in the developer bottle as you use it.
    Other options, 1 500ml bottle, 1 200ml bottle and 3 100ml bottles, you decant the 500ml bottle full, the 200ml bull and the 3 100ml, when the 3 100ml are empty, you split the 200 into 2 of the 100ml, and put the 200ml and 1 100ml away, although having a bunch of glass marbles or beads works just as well, you need enough to completely fill the 1L bottle. If you want to use different chemistries, get different colour beads, you know, green for developer, blue for fixer, etc. This way you don't drop the beads for the fixer bottle into the developer and potentially contaminate it.
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

  8. #8
    ron110n's Avatar
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    My solution is a Kalt Air Evac bottle. It's like an accordion to reduce the air on top of your developer that cause oxidation.

    Freestyle Kalt Air Evac

    Before I use glass marbles.

  9. #9
    RH Designs's Avatar
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    I processed a roll of Delta 100 yesterday using DDX. The bottle had been opened in 2006 and has lain half used since then. The negs are fine. Maybe I was lucky, but I'd feel confident about using DDX from the original bottle for a year after opening. Obviously this was not a scientific test and it may well be that the characteristics of the developer have changed in that time, but it still appeared to work perfectly well.
    Regards,
    Richard.

    RH Designs - My Photography

  10. #10
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    I use 500ml platic Coca Cola bottles

    Decant the developer into the bottles and squeeze them to remove the air pocket.

    With enough GBH I can get them down to 200ml

    So yes I can end up throwing the last 100ccs away - but if I plan it correctly I use it all in one last session.

    The plastic bottles take an enormous amount of abuse before I replace them

    Martin

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