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  1. #1

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    Reuse Ilfosol 3?

    OK, I know that Ilfosol 3 is a one-shot developer.

    But surely there is an intrepid mad scientist who has tried to reuse it?

    Any one? Any luck? Any suggested developing times (like +10%/film)?
    My other camera is a Pentax

  2. #2
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    It's a one-shot developer for a reason. Developer is too cheap to bother with trying to stretch it beyond its useful lifespan.

    Use once, dump, sleep well at night.
    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  3. #3
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    The biggest advantage of using any developer as one shot is the reliability and consistency of the results. To attempt to use it in any other way would not be adviseable. You can dilute it more though, and use it 1:14 instead of 1:9 with no noticeable loss of quality. Just extend developing times accordingly.

  4. #4

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    I've re-used it, successfully. It's too expensive to waste by using it once. However, my definition of re-use might vary from your expectations.

    I've re-used it by processing film in it, pouring it back into the dev jug, then processing another film immediately after, using the dev I poured back into the jug. Everything went as planned. Nothing disintegrated or caught fire, both rolls of film had ideal tonal range. if circumstances allow, it's well worth doing.

    However, if you leave it hanging around for more than an hour or so, I'd start to suspect it and after much more time than that, I'd dump it. It only has a very short lifetime, once mixed.

  5. #5

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    FWIW, I've just plugged the price for Ilfosol 3 into my cost spreadsheet, and I see that it costs $0.23/roll for 1+14 use, or $0.40/roll for 1+9 use. (This is based on the price at B&H for a 500ml bottle and a rough shipping estimate to Rhode Island. Costs elsewhere may differ, of course.) This compares with, for instance, $0.18/roll for Rodinal 1+50, $0.30/roll for ID-11 1+1, or $0.30/roll for Kodak XTOL 1+1. So Ilfosol 3 doesn't look particularly expensive compared to other common B&W developers, unless maybe you're using it straight (undiluted) or if I erred in entering my data.

    If US$0.23-$0.40/roll (or equivalent in your local currency) is too pricey, you might want to look into mixing your own developers. You'll have a fairly heavy initial investment in ingredients and a scale (maybe $50-$100 total), but costs will drop a lot, depending on what you mix. By my calculations (using prices from 3-4 years ago) DS-10 and DS-12 cost $0.13/roll and $0.04/roll, respectively; PC-TEA is $0.08/roll; homemade D-76 is $0.12/roll; and homemade Rodinal is about $0.06/roll (but there are several variants, ranging from $0.02/roll to $0.10/roll).

    That said, I don't think cutting costs is that great a reason to mix your own developer; the up-front costs can be substantial, compared to paying $10 (or whatever) for a bag or bottle of developer, and you'll invest enough time in it that the cost savings will be wiped out, assuming your time has any monetary value at all. IMHO, mixing your own developer is most reasonable if you want to try exotic developer formulas or if you want to experiment or learn about developer formulation. Developers can also be hard to come by in some parts of the world, and some formulas (such as paRodinal) can be mixed from relatively easy-to-obtain items). It might also make sense if you're very strapped for cash and can get the necessary ingredients and a scale inexpensively. For most people, though, saving $0.10-$0.30/roll just doesn't seem worth it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Tindale View Post
    I've re-used it, successfully. It's too expensive to waste by using it once. However, my definition of re-use might vary from your expectations.

    I've re-used it by processing film in it, pouring it back into the dev jug, then processing another film immediately after, using the dev I poured back into the jug. Everything went as planned. Nothing disintegrated or caught fire, both rolls of film had ideal tonal range. if circumstances allow, it's well worth doing.

    However, if you leave it hanging around for more than an hour or so, I'd start to suspect it and after much more time than that, I'd dump it. It only has a very short lifetime, once mixed.
    Exactly my plan, and why I asked. I have a bunch of rolls to process, and it seems wasteful to not use it more than once in a back-to-back session. Plus, it's a PITA to have to keep mixing developer for every two rolls. (I'm processing two rolls at once.)
    My other camera is a Pentax

  7. #7
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    Mix D23! It only takes 2 chemicals and it doesn't seem to stop working. I'll get back to you if my next roll comes out blank though...

  8. #8
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    Bear in mind that a certain ammount of the active ingredient in a developer is nescessary to properly develop each film. Re-using the solution with a one shot developer is going to exceed this capacity and is false economy. If you want to re-use, get a developer designed for this type of use. D76 or its twin ID11 can be used like that.

  9. #9

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    You've all convinced me. Last night I kept processing with fresh developer, and when my Ilfosol runs out I'm going to switch to something more convenient.
    My other camera is a Pentax



 

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