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Thread: Re-using Film Developer with Sheet Film

  1. #11
    Huub
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    Dec 2013
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    Netherlands
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    112

    Re: Re-using Film Developer with Sheet Film

    What you could do is setting up a replenishment system with XTOL. Basically you make a working solution, often 2.5 L or 2 L is used of undiluted stock solution. This working solution you use to develop your film. Every time you develop a couple of sheets you add 75 ml or 80 ml of stock solution per 4 sheets of 4x5 film to the working solution and discard what is left over of the developer you have just used to develop your sheets. Developing times can be found on the Kodak data sheet on XTOL. It takes about 8 films to get from 2.5 L of stock solution to 2.5 L of working solution, extending your development time with 30 sec with every new round.

    There is plenty of information on how to set up a replenishment system on this forum. It allows you to use large volumes of developer without producing too much waste. As a bonus it produces excellent negatives in my opinion.

  2. #12

    Re: Re-using Film Developer with Sheet Film

    Thank you!!! These last few posts are exactly what I was looking for.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    2,659

    Re: Re-using Film Developer with Sheet Film

    Quote Originally Posted by cmcdarris View Post
    My question is this, can I develop the 2 sheets in 1000mL and then save the 1000mL of developer and re-use it to develop 4 sheets later?
    Yes, you can, of course...

    ... but the second batch is processed with the developer having slightly less strength than in the first batch case, so development time for the second batch may have to be slightly extended to compensate that lower strength, if you want the same result.

    Imagine that the 2 first sheets have a low exposition (say most the scene was black) or not exposed at all... in that case the developer is not used at all and it remains fresh.

    If the two first sheets were fully exposed (a very white scene) then developer experiments some degree of exhaustion.

    I'd recommend you practice the "drop" test:

    Lights open throw a drop of developer on a film end each 30s, separated by 1cm aprox, after 20 drops (say 10min, or max development time you consider) then fix it. Make a test with fresh developer, with semi-used and with a well used developer, or with old developer mixed time ago...

    Then compare what densities were achieved in each case...

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Pacifica, CA
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    1,532

    Re: Re-using Film Developer with Sheet Film

    Ive run three batches of seven through a single mix of D-76 1:1 all the same day and had 35% drop in contrast index (I included sensitometry sheets in each run).

    So if you were developing two runs of sheets in one day, a full load and a few stragglers... Then I think you would be OK if you gave the second run something like 10-15% more time than the first run.

    But oxidation would be a big deal if you left the mix two weeks.

    Id either wait and develop later... Or develop now and toss the developer.

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    11,847

    Re: Re-using Film Developer with Sheet Film

    I consider any degree of change in performance unacceptable. There's no need for it. D76 can be replenished, but why bother? It's infamous for shifting anyway. I once used it, but learned you either had to use it fresh, or let it plateau after about a week before use. There are better developers to choose from.

  6. #16
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    Maryland, USA
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    5,312

    Re: Re-using Film Developer with Sheet Film

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    D76 can be replenished, but why bother?
    ...
    There are better developers to choose from.
    That's exactly why I use Rodinal, almost always at 1:50. The dilute developer is a one-shot.
    It has worked exactly the same for me for over 50 years.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

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