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Thread: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

  1. #1

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    A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    This morning I mixed what might have been my bizillionth gallon of D-76 and the amount of little black flecks of whatever it is that floats around in the stuff seemed excessive enough to warrant filtering the fresh solution through cheesecloth.
    My questions are---what are those black flecks and do they need to be in my D-76 for some reason I'm unaware of?
    And---has anyone else had a bounty of those black flecks show up in their D-76 recently? Should I be concerned?

    Incidental info: I started with a clean Patterson Graduate cylinder, the solution stirred with a Delta blue copy of the Kodak yellow stirring wand. Water is bottled distilled water. I do nuke or heat some of the distilled water prior to mixing to get the overall temperature up past 133 deg F for mixing---this in either a clean ss saucepan on the range, or a clean Pyrex mixing cup in the microwave. The D-76 was manufactured by Alaris and purchased just a few days ago.

    FWIW: I've always noticed two or three black flecks when mixing D-76, however never so many as these before.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #2

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    Re: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    I haven't used pre-packaged D-76 for a very long time--mix my own--but, in general, you don't want any particles floating around in your developer. The potential for problems in the emulsion during development is nothing good! FWIW, I never heat the water beyond 125F and I've never had any issue with all components going into solution.

  3. #3

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    Re: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    I haven't used pre-packaged D-76 for a very long time--mix my own--but, in general, you don't want any particles floating around in your developer. The potential for problems in the emulsion during development is nothing good! FWIW, I never heat the water beyond 125F and I've never had any issue with all components going into solution.
    What is it? I haven't had this adventure mixing other developers, only with Kodak packaged D-76
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #4

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    Re: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    On those rare occasions when I resort to D-76,I only mix it from basic chemicals and have never had flakes. One Of my students uses my darkroom on occasion and mixes packaged D-76. She also has not seen this problem.
    I would suspect the saucepan.Also, heating it above 125 deg may cause a small reaction between 2 or more of the components resulting in the specks you see. Also, if filtering is necessary I am a strong believer in filter papers, or at least paper coffee filters, not cheesecloth.

  5. #5
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    Re: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    Maybe the hot basic water is cleaning something loose in your storage jug?

  6. #6

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    Re: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    Thanks!

    I heat only a small amount of distilled water to 130-ish degrees to warm up a much larger amount of cool water so the entire solution doesn't reach anywhere near 133 degrees, but that might be the problem.

    I used cheese cloth for filtering just because it's what I had at hand.

    My storage jug is amber glass, but the flecks materialize in the Paterson Graduate Cylinder, this is before the solution gets funneled into the storage jug.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #7

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    Re: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    I have had the same problem--actually, it's never caused difficulties for me, I just assumed it was normal. Does it start appearing before you have processed film with it? I always assumed it was something precipitating from the film into the solution.

  8. #8

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    Re: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    hmmm, a buddy mixed some Dektol the other day and saw some black flecks in the mixing pail as well. First time ever. Dektol also wasn't clear. but tests showed it processed film and paper fine.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  9. #9

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    Re: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    Most dry chem has some debris, dirt, something in it, as at some point it had to be shoveled during mfg...

    Filter it out... I use a Melita #6 coffee filter in a funnel... There are different ways to fold it for best flow...

    To test, put a piece of unexposed film in developer (in roomlight), and film should turn dark grey/black in about 3 minutes, and it's good...

    Steve K

  10. #10

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    Re: A D-76 observation---any guesses?

    Thank you!
    Well, I'm glad I haven't been hallucinating!
    The few black flecks haven't been a problem in the past but this time the amount was over the top, hence the reason I asked.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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