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  1. #11
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Color is an accurate guide to the state of Dektol.

    It begins to lose activity when it turns medium yellow - you will need to increase development time to get to maximum black the paper can deliver.

    You can still use it when it has turned orange, but developing times may stretch to 10 minutes or more. A tablespoon of carbonate can bring expired Dektol back to life again for a few more prints.

    When it starts to turn brown and smelly it is far gone and should be flushed.

    Expiring developers can be used with papers because paper is developed to completion - you just keep the paper in the developer until it is finished.

    However, when making soft prints the print isn't developed to completion. To prevent streaking and splodging soft-working developers work very slowly, allowing you to pull the print before it is completely developed. Many photographers used to keep a jug of old Dektol on hand that they would mix 50:50 with fresh developer to make a slow working 'soft developer'.

    It is, of course, possible to poison Dektol so it doesn't work while remaining clear - pouring the stop tray back into the developer bottle will do it.
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  2. #12
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    How do you use dektol? Stock or some dilution.
    Is it one shot or should I save it?
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
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  3. #13
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    It may be worth mixing a tray and trying it against the new batch. It will give you some experience as to the effects of the older stuff. Do a side by side comparison and report back. It will be of interest to others who might have the same question.
    Robert Hall
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    Technology is not a panacea. It alone will not move your art forward. Only through developing your own aesthetic - free from the tools that create it - can you find new dimension to your work.

  4. #14
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    I mixed my Dektol last winter and have not tried to print anything all summer. I am going to print some in the next couple of days and I was wondering how long Dektol stock will last? What is the normal color for Dektol?
    I have a batch I mixed last March, Its a dark red-brown, still works like fresh. I do keep it in full bottles with air removed, of course.

    Rick

  5. #15
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    How do you use dektol? Stock or some dilution.
    Is it one shot or should I save it?
    I use it 1+2 until Dmax starts to suffer.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  6. #16

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    I just did some contact prints with Dektol mixed from stock which I prepared in the summer and did not store in a full bottle. I was unable to get the blacks I wanted on MGIV WT. I will mix up some new developer tonight and do a comparison between the old stock and the new. I will report back for inquiring minds.

    Another variable: I calibrated my dichroic head last year with MGIV WT and the highest contrast I get with it is about 3.5 (expressed in traditional grades), so it just might be the negative.
    "The beauty and profundity of God is more real than any mere calculation"

  7. #17
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    I'm just going to mix some fresh and be done with it This is very dark brown and I don't want to waist the paper and time fooling around with it.
    Ralph, do you mix the stock ( which is 1+2) 1+2 or are you talking about just using stock? Also do you save the Dektol or is it one shot?

    Also in my trays do I just need enough chemistry to cover the paper completely?
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
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  8. #18
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    I'm just going to mix some fresh and be done with it This is very dark brown and I don't want to waist the paper and time fooling around with it.
    Ralph, do you mix the stock ( which is 1+2) 1+2 or are you talking about just using stock? Also do you save the Dektol or is it one shot?

    Also in my trays do I just need enough chemistry to cover the paper completely?
    1 (Dektol) + 2 (water)

    I don't use paper chemicals one shot. Use Dektol until Dmax suffers.

    I use 2 liters in 12x16-inch trays for 11x14 prints.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  9. #19
    clayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    1 (Dektol) + 2 (water)

    I don't use paper chemicals one shot. Use Dektol until Dmax suffers.

    I use 2 liters in 12x16-inch trays for 11x14 prints.
    Same here, although I tend to use that for 8x10 and 5x7 more so than 11x14. 12x16 trays, while they occupy more space, are just easier to handle paper with.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

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