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Thread: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

  1. #1
    John Olsen
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    New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    I mixed my first batch of Dektol from the new, plastic packaging and panicked when it turned dark brown. So dark I couldn't see if the crystals on the bottom of the pot were dissolving. I've read posts about Kodak changing some suppliers and I guess this is another example of inadvertent product change. I went ahead and used it, returning to a negative that I had been working on. The result seems to be identical, so my concern was for nothing.
    If you're mixing Dektol, notice if the crystals in the bag are a pale sand color - that's the stuff that will mix to a dark brown with a disgusting scum on top. But it works.

    [IMG]PalouseFalls I LFF by John Olsen, on Flickr[/IMG]

  2. #2
    Photographer
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    Re: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    A friend gave me a number of old (really very old) packages of Dektol. They mixed up brown like yours, but work fine. Interesting that your new developer looks like very old developer.
    Keith Pitman

  3. #3

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    Re: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    But can stain trays and paper base...

    Steve K

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    In 35 years I have never experienced brown developer altering paper color. Maybe it is because I use acid stop bath.

  5. #5

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    Re: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    Even though achievable contrast range and d-max might seem ok (but are they up to spec?), I might worry about possibly accelerated oxidation rate and solution capacity.

    Hate to sound cynical...but I've just got this feelin' that the days of fresh, reliable, and consistent pre-mixed (both powder and liquid) developers might be numbered!

  6. #6
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Re: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    When I first mixed my new batch I thought I did something wrong. As you said, though, it prints fine.

  7. #7

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    Re: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    That has to be oxidation, not a good thing. It will be interesting to see how long the stock solution lasts. Of course we don't know to whom Kodak has outsourced their production, but it sounds like the packaging is letting air in. I'm just old enough to remember when developer came in cans... that ended in about 1973. Open one of those cans today and I suspect the contents will be as fresh as the day they were packed.

  8. #8
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    Why risk and worry about one's prints for a couple of bucks worth of developer?

  9. #9

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    Re: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    The brown color is definitely the result of oxidation and not optimal, even if it works. Your stock solution shelf life is likely shorter.

    I'm sure Kodak Alaris would like to know their packaging is not doing the job, so please report this to them! If they never hear from people that have such problems, they'll never make any changes.

    Best,

    Doremus

  10. #10
    John Olsen
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    Re: New Dektol Mixes Dark Brown

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    The brown color is definitely the result of oxidation and not optimal, even if it works. Your stock solution shelf life is likely shorter.
    That's a useful warning. I'm going to attach a note on my stock bottle and pay attention to shelf life. My previous stock solutions would last the full six months.

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