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  1. #1

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    Kodak C-41B Developer Replenisher Part C going bad

    I just realized that two boxes of my C-41B developer replenisher Part C is turning dark. I believe it is a sign that it is going bad. Each of the boxes contains 4 set of bottles. Each set (Part A, B and C) is for making 10 liters. I think I am facing a big loss of developers now. Well, I bought them from a closing mini-lab a few years back. I am witnessing that the chemical even unopened does not last too many years. I have about 80 liters of this replenisher going bad.

    I mixed 10 liters a few days ago and began to use it regardless. It seems to be working OK at the moment. I have developed 3 220 rolls with this replenish (+ starter of course) and I see no color shift or anything wrong yet. But I know they are going bad very soon. My question is how long do you think it will be OK still? If they are still good for a few months I am planning to donate them to a school. But if it won't last for too long this may not be a good idea at all.

    I am not sure I can buy part C alone from anywhere. Any suggestions? I guess I will shoot a few more rolls before winter and process all of them with the developer. Next year I will have to buy fresh ones again.

  2. #2
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    The C-41 I have comes in 3 parts. One part is in a glass bottle and if you open it it will begin going bad instantly. It smells like Sulfur Dioxide which it contains in excess. If it is that part, and is going bad, it is indeed a loss. If it is beyond the expiration date there is nothing that can be done. If it is before the expiration date, Kodak will replace it at no cost.

    Moral: Open no bottle in a kit before its time!

    PE

  3. #3

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    Thanks a lot for quickly reply. I just checked my bottles again they are all plastic. However, I had used gallon sized developer packs before and the Part B bottles were dark brown glass bottles indeed.

    My Part B bottles (although plastic) all show clear liquid inside. It is the Part C bottles that are turning darker (gray) now. Well, after mixing and dilute to the correct 10 liter it does not look that dark any more. But it sure isn't as clear as used to be.

    So if my Part B bottles are still clear does that mean they are still good? I hope they are. Although Part C turns darker the developer it produces (replenisher + starter) so far seems still work fine. If there is any color shift because of developer gone bad my negatives will become difficult to scan. Right now the negatives it produced can be scanned without any color tweaking and the color balance seems to be fine.

    Oh yeah, I did not open any bottles. Thanks for the tip of never open any bottles. BTW, I believe my C-41B developer replenisher right now are probably expired because I bought them at least 4 or even 5 years ago. Time really flies. I just realized that I have been using it for that long. If it is going bad it is not Kodak's fault for sure. I hope they will be good for another 6 months. I can donate some of them to a high school nearby.

  4. #4
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    Yes, part C can darken without undue harm. There are some organics present that darken with keeping. That should present no problem. It is part B that is the big worry. It is the CD-4 and is labeled that way. If it goes, you are done.

    PE

  5. #5

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    I have had this problem too. I now decant any large bottles in to smaller filled bottles and any half filled bottles I smother with Argon welding gas. I find little budweiser bottles, 250ml, with new crown corks great for keeping chemicals. I then keep them in the cellar in darkness. I am getting fantastic life spans from the concentrates. Just keep part b carefully.
    I re-used some RA4 working solution yesterday which had been stored part used for over 9 months. It worked great but seemed to oxidise in the processor quicker than fresh and I tipped it after using. It seems to me that heat light and above all oxygen are the devils here. just try to avoid contact with any.

  6. #6

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    Thant's very good news to me, PE. Thank you so much for providing such invaluable information to me. I am pretty sure that my Part B bottles are all clear. Only the Part Cs are getting dark. But after mixing it looks only slightly darker then normal. My first 3 rolls processed so far look excellent still. I once had a few bottles of Kodak C-41 developer unopened that were kept for almost 10 years (plus/minus). They were eventually used and they did work OK. I hope my C-41B replenisher will be OK for another year. I am optimistic about it now. Thanks again, PE, for your professional advices.

    Richard, I do not have the luxury of inert gas to use. So I don't think it is possible for me to break up the bottles into smaller ones. But thanks anyway for the suggestion.

  7. #7
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    Quality wine shops sell a wine/scotch preservative used after you have openned a bottle called 'private preserve'. It works well for preserving developers, and does not need a big tank. I finally took a leap to buying small nitrogen tank about two years ago after finding the right pressure regulator on e-bay for a song. I am fortunate that there is an independent industrial/food/beer gas supplier in my city that will transfill it for a reasonable price.
    my real name, imagine that.

  8. #8

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    mtjade2007,
    the welding gas I use is in small, litre sized hardware store bottles. It is sold for the DIY market here in the UK. A regulator and a cylinder will cost you about £30 sterling and will last a long long time. That is much cheaper than a wasted batch of Kodak C41 re-plenishers and it works for RA4 and B&W chemicals too.
    Richard.

  9. #9
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    Welding gas is often either Acetylene (very flammable) or Oxygen (which will ruin your developer). If it a single gas torch type gas, it will be Butane or Propane (very flammable). Except for Oxygen, these gasses are quite heavy compared to air and will settle into your bottles quite well, but they also can be suffocants in a closed room.

    Use with care.

    PE

  10. #10

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    PE,
    You are no welder despite being a venerable photo genius. I am talking MIG welding shielding gas, Argon. Not Argon mixes and not gas welding gases. Pure inert Argon. It could suffocate you but if you can get it to blow up or burn you are a chemical genius too

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