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Thread: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

  1. #1

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    D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    I bought one of those packets of D-76 powder that's intended for making a gallon of stock. I'm wondering if it is fine to instead measure out smaller portions of it to make, say, 500mL at a time? It seems this would be fine, but maybe I'd run into a problem of one component being out of proportion because of the powder being mixed unevenly? What if I shake it up first, would it get an even distribution? Would some component being heavier than another cause uneven distribution even if shaken up? Does this matter, should I just try it?

  2. #2

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    Re: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    No, I wouldn't split up prepackaged powder developer. D76 is cheap and has a reasonably good shelf life. A gallon package probably cost about the same as 2 sheets of 4x5 film, so it's a false savings to to cheap out there.

  3. #3

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    Re: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    Not so much about cheaping out, more about wanting it to be fresh when I use it. I don't see myself going through a gallon very quickly, because I've got several developers in rotation right now. But it says 1 gallon is good for 16 8x10 sheets, so if I stick with this for most of the next box I open, maybe I'll use it up before it goes bad from age. Depends on if I like what I see...

  4. #4
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    Mix up the gallon, store in 1L bottles filled to the top with no room for air. The full bottles of stock will last a very long time, while only one bottle is open and aging.

  5. #5

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    Re: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    Mix up the gallon, store in 1L bottles filled to the top with no room for air. The full bottles of stock will last a very long time, while only one bottle is open and aging.
    That's the ideal way to do it for maximum life.

    Keep in mind that if you open the powder and only use a small amount, the remaining powder will now be exposed to air and humidity, and will likely be bad by the time you go to make another batch. If you mix up a gallon now, and only use a small portion of it, you've only lost the cost of the remaining developer (which is next to nothing), so just buy some more.

  6. #6

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    Re: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    I have mixed this by the spoonful since i was in high school in the 40's.
    Shake the package until you are sure the settled powders have dispersed, then shake it that much again.
    The measurements for D-76 are:
    Straight - One Qt - 1/4C+1Tbs in 32Oz H2O
    1:1 " - 2Tbs in 29 oz H2O
    1:2 " - 1T +1tsp in 29oz H2O

    Be sure to squeeze al the air possible from package before resealing it securely.
    Hope this helps.

  7. #7

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    Re: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    Or if you want true small batch artisanal developer that is easy to mix, just buy the two ingredients needed for D-23 and scratch mix small batches yourself. http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/tech/D-23.php

  8. #8
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    +1 on the D-23. I have loved D-76 and am just as happy with the D-23 per Ken Lee's recommendation..
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  9. #9
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    I'm not a fan of mixing powder every time I want to develop film, simply because it's going to get chemical powder about your darkroom faster than if you did it once per gallon for example. I'm sure the d23 and d76 are quite harmless, but working with things wet is cleaner. (e.g. asbestos removal is ideally done wet)

  10. #10
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: D-76; Mixing Small Batch?

    I don't like mixing powder either. I really wanted to like Rodinal but the results with my Ilford films suck. I do use it with X-ray film still though.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

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