View Full Version : Boxes and boxes of Kodak B&W chemicals...

Jay Decker
5-Aug-2010, 20:33
Purchased a darkroom sink for the the kindest gentleman last night. He asked that I take "all" his darkroom stuff. The bulk of the stuff are boxes and boxes of Kodak chemicals. The form of chemicals is predominately sealed packets of dry chemical. I now have boxes and boxes of packets of Kodak D-76, Dektol, Microdol-x, Fixer, etc. And, a bunch of photographic paper. I think that most it is from the 90's.

Are chemicals still good?

Are these chemicals as good as what I've been using, which include Pyrocat-MC, Diafine and TF-4, for film that will be scanned?

5-Aug-2010, 20:55
I called Kodak many years ago and was told that developers in packets were good for a year. I was asking about developers packed in cans, but she did not know.

The fixer is probably still good.

If there are dark specks in the developers, I would not use it.

The papers -- maybe. Depending on the type, once fixed, they'll be good for final supports for carbon prints.


Frank Petronio
5-Aug-2010, 21:27
Ha I bet the stock of Kodak Chemistry in a lot of small camera shops is older than a year. All you can do it test it, why not? For the paper, if you can print and develop a maximum black and the emulsion isn't separating, then you should be able to make a full tonal range print. It might loose some speed requiring longer exposures. For the developer, why not just compare? Black is black....

5-Aug-2010, 21:59
I'd agree with Frank....

Many of the chemicals, will last far longer than their 'suggested' life....I still use old stock paper Dektol and D76 in the paper envelopes, often darker when mixed - but no difference compared to new 'clear' solutions...IME

Paper, as well, if it prints enjoy it....

If it doesn't have the 'look' you're going for - try it with alternative processes...

(Worst part of having good results with older papers is that when it's gone - it's gone)


5-Aug-2010, 22:22
the paper would be great for paper negatives if you are too broke to buy film.
if it is a little fogged, it is perfect to cut some of the harsh contrast paper can have.

5-Aug-2010, 22:22
I agree that chemicals can last longer than advertised. I still would not use the film developers if there are black specks in it and it mixes dark. To me it would be like changing the formula of my film developer willy-nilly. It would be like not being consistant with one's time/temp of development. My 2 cents. One can always reprint, but most negs are not re-shootable.

Frank Petronio
5-Aug-2010, 22:24
Amen to Vaughn's film developer caution.

6-Aug-2010, 08:03
I have had problems with D-76 and Dektol which when mixed, came out darker than normal. I assume that there were tiny holes in the packaging.

6-Aug-2010, 08:16
I have had problems with D-76 and Dektol which when mixed, came out darker than normal. I assume that there were tiny holes in the packaging.

The old Kodak chemical packaging made of paper were never 100% airtight. The new Kodak plastic bags are much better and have expiry dates on them that are several years along.

The cans of Dektol and D-76 I have ( a few cases of each!) are hit-and-miss...mostly miss. A few were still good (no brown crystals in them) and I used some last semester when our D-76 and Dektol order was delayed. I have been working for the University for 19 years and was a student in the same darkroom for 14 years before that -- so the cans are at least 35 years old! Probably closer to 40 to 45 years. (that call to Kodak I mentioned earlier was made in about 1993, give or take a year or so.)


Jay Decker
6-Aug-2010, 10:30
Most of the packaging apears to be a paper/foil kind of packet, this actually just a paper packet? Will it make much difference if they were stored in a dry climate, i.e., central Washington state?

6-Aug-2010, 10:42
There might be some sort of moisture/air barrier incorperated in the old paper packaging, but if there is it is not very effective. I have never lived in a dry climate, so have no experience with that and chemicals. But it is also air (oxygen, really) that one must keep out of the packages -- and I have seen the old packaging discolor on the outside over time. Probably as Cyrus observed --- little pinholes in the packaging -- either from handling at the store or wherever -- and that is all she wrote.

Cold (or cool) and dry storage conditions would be optimal. And I was just photographing with the 8x10 at Dry Falls, central WA, about a week ago in 100+ temps!


Rick A
7-Aug-2010, 03:55
I just mixed a packet of D-76 from the early 90's and it is quite good. I agree that it is a hit or miss proposition with old chems, but it never hurts to try them--after all, they were free. If you are leary of them, send them to me, I'l test them and let you know if they are still good to go:D

Wade D
8-Aug-2010, 02:31
I live in So. California and am still using up paper/foil packets of D-76 and Dektol from the 90's. Yes, it is hit or miss but the chemicals were free and a few tests is all it takes to make sure they are good.

Jay Decker
8-Aug-2010, 07:06
I'd love to give the chemicals to someone who would use them. But, I do not want to ship a couple hundred pounds of darkroom chemicals. If you know anyone in central Washington state, who would use them, please point them my way.

8-Aug-2010, 13:19
That's quite an Impressive lot of chemicals there....more than I had envisioned...

Sure wish New Mexico was a little closer...I absolutely love free stuff...


8-Aug-2010, 13:45
awesome! that thomas safe light is great....keep it.

John Bowen
9-Aug-2010, 08:51
Well Goll DAMN, it's nice to know someone has more chemistry on hand than I do :-)

9-Aug-2010, 09:16
Wow! that is an amazing haul. I have to ask why this guy had stock piled so much chemistry....

Jay Decker
9-Aug-2010, 20:10
Wow! that is an amazing haul. I have to ask why this guy had stock piled so much chemistry....

Don't know he had so much... he did precision photogrammetry for trial attorneys.