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Thread: Rodinal lasts forever, right?

  1. #1

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    Exclamation Rodinal lasts forever, right?

    Or so the legend has it. But I'm curious about R09... I have some one-shot here which I've been slowly using, and of late I have felt that the negatives have been underdeveloped - very thin in the highlights, even with the development time pushed 25%. Most recently I have had a batch of negs with an odd reddish mottling around the edges of the negatives.

    Inspecting the remaining half-bottle of the R09 I heard rattling. The soup is a nice dark red after five or six years, but there are great chunks of crystal in the bottom. Which, if as seems likely are the active components crystalising out of solution, would rather explain its lack of activity and generally strange results.

    I guess it's past its eat-by date...

    Neil

  2. #2

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    Re: Rodinol lasts forever, right?

    I have replied here that I have seen Rodinal failures happen a few times, in different labs, with old/not so old stock... (No reason not to work if it worked last month, right!?!!!) Here today, gone tomorrow...

    With ANY old liquid stock developer, I at least stick an undeveloped strip of 35mm film into the working solution before use (in roomlight), and wait for the strip to darken to a dark grey/black before proceeding (for about 3 or 4 minutes) as a crude test...

    Steve K

  3. #3

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    Re: Rodinal lasts forever, right?

    R09, and the other newer products from Maco, Impex and Tetenal, are not original Rodinal per formula, so we should not expect the longlife quality of the good old Rodinal.
    Par example, highly toxic ingredients were substituted.

    Some chrystals will fall out over the time, but in my experience this says not much about further lifetime.
    But latest after one year, my bottles are empty, so I can't speak for longer times.

    Ritchie

  4. #4

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    Re: Rodinal lasts forever, right?

    The 'Original' Rodinal Laboratory Formula (from 1891)... Hasn't been available since 1893.

    http://www.digitaltruth.com/articles...ic-rodinal.php

  5. #5

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    Re: Rodinal lasts forever, right?

    Forever is a very, very, very long time. I'm not sure anyone has tested to ensure Rodinal, or any of the resulting variations, actually lasts forever.
    The Viewfinder is the Soul of the Camera

    If you don't believe it, look into an 8x10 viewfinder!

    Dan

  6. #6

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    Re: Rodinal lasts forever, right?

    Hmm. Either way it looks like I'll have to put my hand in my pocket and buy some more developer!

  7. #7

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    Re: Rodinal lasts forever, right?

    I don't think anything lasts forever, and even with Rodinal's alleged longevity, I think 5-6 years would already be pushing the boundaries under the best conditions. I know I haven't gone beyond about 9 months, but haven't had any issues so far.

    As to the crystals: I get that too with Rodinal concentrate as I work my way through the bottle. Part of the developer crystallizes, which makes sense if you realize that it's a (near-)saturated solution to begin with. The crystals should remain where they are (i.e. don't decant) so that the solution remains saturated. I hear that it may help to heat the bottle a bit to nudge some more developer to go back into solution, but I wouldn't count on it bringing your tired developer back to life. Reversing oxidization isn't feasible. To prevent oxidization, I usually try to squeeze as much air as possible out of the plastic bottle (I use Adonal, which comes in a plastic bottle). It'll never prevent oxidization entirely, but maybe it helps just a little bit.

    Of course, the only proper solution is to shoot film a bit more often and use up that bottle before it goes bad

  8. #8

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    Re: Rodinal lasts forever, right?

    Time to get onto Ag photographic and see what they have in stock, then! I just hate throwing half a bottle of the stuff away...

    500cc at 40cc/tank is only 72 negatives... I'm *sure* I've shot more than that in the last five years... time also to get busy, it seems.

    Neil

  9. #9

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    Re: Rodinal lasts forever, right?

    It does not lasts forever! After 6-7 years, stored in a brown glass bottle, failure stroke in some important negatives!

  10. #10
    hacker extraordinaire
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    Re: Rodinal lasts forever, right?

    I used the dregs of a plastic bottle of "R09 one shot" from Freestyle and more or less ruined the roll of 35mm negatives. I had always had good luck with old Rodinal but that taught me there is a limit.
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
    --A=B by Petkovšek et. al.

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