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Thread: Chemistry (again) use after time

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Chemistry (again) use after time

    Hi guys,

    sorry I should ask this sort of question; again.

    But I'm pretty insecure if it comes to chemicals because I do not want to miss a 4X5 negative because it was not okay.

    Anyways. I have chems mixed up and stored in black collapsible since 10 weeks ago, only used one.
    Today I'm shooting again and want to develop them tomorow with those chemicals.

    Am I safe to do so?

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2015
    SooooCal/LA USA

    Re: Chemistry (again) use after time

    The other chems will be fine, but for the developer, you can pour a little into a glass graduate, give it a sniff, see if it's clear, then stick a piece of 35mm undeveloped film into it, and time it where it should turn dark grey/black in about 3 minutes... It's good then...

    Steve K

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Re: Chemistry (again) use after time

    As LabRat already stated, fix and stop will be fine. When it comes to developer it's a different story. It depends a lot on the developer you have mixed. To name two extremes: Rodinal and it's clones has to be used shortly after mixing and will go bad within hours of mixing, XTOL stock at the other hand will last for months and will probably be alright.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Oregon now (formerly Austria)

    Re: Chemistry (again) use after time

    Quote Originally Posted by neildw View Post
    ... Anyways. I have chems mixed up and stored in black collapsible since 10 weeks ago...
    10 weeks is a long time to store a working solution of a developer. Or, are you referring to a stock solution and, if so, which developer? Some have very long shelf-lives as a stock solution, some not so long. And, believe it or not, the accordion-style bottles are not the best when it comes to storing developer. They are made of a more gas-permeable plastic and thinner than other, non-flexible bottles. You may want to consider storing your developer in other bottles. PET bottles are great as is glass. As for getting rid of the air in a bottle; either use smaller bottles and/or squeeze the air out of the bottle (with PET bottles, of course).

    Some general comments about utilizing chemistry efficiently and, at the same time, ensuring that they are fully active:

    If you only develop film occasionally, then find a developer that has a stock solution with a very long shelf life, like Rodinol, HC-110, PMK and several others. Then, use your developer one-shot, mixing just what you need for a batch at a time.

    Acetic-acid stop baths last longer than citric acid ones at working strength. If you use a citric-acid stop, like Ilfostop, then use it one-session, i.e., don't save it for more that a few days at the most. I use it for only one day and then discard. However, if you use an acetic-acid stop, like Kodak Indicator Stop Bath, then you can store the working solution until its capacity has been reached (when the indicator begins to change color, or when the recommended number of rolls/sheets have been run through it).

    A working solution of fixer can be stored for a while and re-used until its capacity has been reached, or its lifespan is over. This latter depends on how the fixer is stored. Ilford's recommendations are my guideline:

    "Unreplenished ILFORD RAPID FIXER working strength solutions should last for up to:-
    6 months in full tightly capped bottles
    2 months in a tank or dish/tray with a floating lid
    1 month in a half-full tightly-capped bottle
    7 days in an open dish/tray."

    Source: Ilford tech sheet available here:

    I recommend reading it for this and lots of other very useful information about fixer.

    If you really are keen to not ruin a negative due to chemistry failure, then the time spent learning about things will really pay off.



  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Re: Chemistry (again) use after time

    Hi all,

    Thanks for feedback already.

    Concerning developer and chems I use Tetenal Colortec. And use demineralized water.
    and maybe I should consider glass storage 'brown' bottles?

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