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Thread: Long life opened liquid paper developer

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Anglesey, North Wales, UK [53.3N 4.4W]

    Long life opened liquid paper developer

    I'm after suggestions for a paper developer that has a long shelf life after the liquid concentrate has been opened
    I use very little developer 270ml in a Jobo tank [for up to six 4x5 (paper) negatives] and do not develop many over a longish time. Consequently my developer seems to become useless long before I've used it up.
    I changed from 1L bottle to 500ml bottles, but wonder if I need to go smaller though the cost per ml increases as the volume decreases.


  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Long life opened liquid paper developer

    Your technique in a Jobo is a limitation

    I use only Ilford PQ from gallon concentrate bottles in trays

    Which is development by inspection, not time

    I buy PQ by the gallon, mix as directed a diluted gallon one at a time, stored in brown glass gallon bottle and pour off the top, never shaken of stirred, Mr Bond

    I often use smaller trays with much less than a gallon of mix and may develop less than than capacity, so I pour all but the dregs back in the bottle

    When development obviously slows I recycle all the old mix

    I do something similar with TF5 fixer in 2 gallon floating lid tanks

    I check fixer with test strips, 2 ways, bits of X-Ray film and a little bottle of something out of production

    Lastly I also use DIY Citric acid stop on PAPER
    Last edited by Tin Can; 20-Nov-2021 at 06:38.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: Long life opened liquid paper developer

    Decant into smaller glass bottles, Bob's your uncle!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Re: Long life opened liquid paper developer

    If you're not married to tank processing, have you considered buying raw chemicals & just mixing up D76 as needed. Works well as a one-shot paper developer (by inspection in a darkened bathroom).

    Alternatively, go the marbles/protectcan route in glass bottles for any remaining concentrate of your choice.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Newbury, Vermont

    Re: Long life opened liquid paper developer

    Moersch 4812 paper developer is great stuff - amazing shelf life...both of the concentrate after opened and of working dilutions, long open tray life also (even in very large trays), high capacity, amazing D-Max, neutral to slightly warmish tonalities (depending on paper) and as a true bonus - while it lives dies fast, allowing for great print to print consistency until it quickly (and quite visibly) goes down. A bit pricy initially, but don't be deterred by this, as its large capacity and long keeping qualities equate with extreme cost-effectiveness.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Re: Long life opened liquid paper developer

    No reason to do anything differently or change developers. You just need to add something to the bottle to prevent oxidation. I use Butane which is "flammable" of course. You could use the stuff they sell for paint or wine. The Butane works fine for me and you can get it at the drug store for refilling lighters. Cheap too. Just don't smoke around it, duh. You only need the smallest amount.

    Hope that helps you.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2018

    Re: Long life opened liquid paper developer

    I use the smallest bottles of Ilford Multigrade developer. I shoot Dust-Off in the bottle, and store it in the fridge. Seems to work ok for me.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Re: Long life opened liquid paper developer

    deleted - misread the original question

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Re: Long life opened liquid paper developer

    If you have a litre or 1/2 litre bottle of concentrate that isn't being used up quickly, simply open it to begin with then top up a 1/2 litre bottle (if you start from 1 litre) to the brim, then a 250ml bottle, leaving enough to use in the short term in another 250ml bottle which will be the one you use first. The smaller bottles will, of course, be reusable and you can get them from any online photographic place (maybe even a pharmacy). Note that plain polythene bottles for drinks etc. will eventually leak air through the walls, glass is good or PET. As to specific products, I can also recommend the Moersch developer which performs for a number of printing sessions if bottled up afterwards. Also, if you can use trays instead of the Jobo tanks it will make things much simpler.

  10. #10
    Lost mike rosenlof's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1998
    Louisville, Colorado, USA

    Re: Long life opened liquid paper developer

    here's a thread over on photrio, suggesting HC-110 and some sodium carbonate to raise the pH. Haven't tried it, but it's been done...

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