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Thread: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

  1. #1

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    Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    I have always gotten Kodak Dektol as a white powder.

    Just purchased a 19.4 oz bag with an expiration date of April 2023. It is a brown powder.

    Has it been reformulated or did I get a bad bag? It did not come in the usual foil packages but a plastic bag.

  2. #2

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    Re: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    I don't use Dektol any longer, but there is at least one thread dealing with this on the forum. Try a Google search for site:largeformatphotography.info dektol+brown
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
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  3. #3
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    Brown = dead on arrival.
    my picture blog
    ejwoodbury.blogspot.com

  4. #4

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    Re: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrancisF View Post
    I have always gotten Kodak Dektol as a white powder.

    Just purchased a 19.4 oz bag with an expiration date of April 2023. It is a brown powder.

    Has it been reformulated or did I get a bad bag? It did not come in the usual foil packages but a plastic bag.
    It should be white, always.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    As discussed previously, it has been noted there is a contaminant that causes it to turn brown when mixed. However, I have used it and it still works fine.

  6. #6
    Benjamin's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    There was a March 2020 product update by Kodak that advised about Dektol being brown when mixed. Nothing about the powder itself.

    "Dektol batches with date codes of August 2019 or later will exhibit a dark brown solution when mixed. However, image quality is unaffected. The color is due to an impurity which not photoactive. Our manufacturing as well as an outside lab have tested the dark colored Dektol batches: Sensitometry Dmax, Dmin, paper speed, and image tone match the Dektol standard. We are working on the source of the impurity so we can get the appearance back to normal."

    You can find the full Kodak release at the bottom of the B&H Dektol page.

  7. #7
    John Olsen
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    Re: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrancisF View Post
    I have always gotten Kodak Dektol as a white powder.

    Just purchased a 19.4 oz bag with an expiration date of April 2023. It is a brown powder.

    Has it been reformulated or did I get a bad bag? It did not come in the usual foil packages but a plastic bag.
    I mixed my first batch of brown Dektol on the day I had my septic system pumped. The similarity was unsettling. However, the brown mixture stayed active just as long as the white stuff had. There was one exception though: On two separate batches I noticed early exhaustion when developing Ilford RC while the Ilford FB was still coming out great. It was so confusing that I ended up cutting my exhaustion expectation to 50% of previous to be safe.

  8. #8

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    Re: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    Brown means major oxidation, and the sodium sulfide will not absorb excess oxygen in solution and will not keep well... Out of the new package is inexcusable... Send it back...

    What's up with these new packaged chems?!??? I have old raw chems in glass bottles, some over 70yrs old and still good... White crystals and mix well...

    Proper color for new mixed solutions are clear to light/medium straw color... If dark enough, might stain something (film/paper/developing gear etc)...

    Steve K

  9. #9
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    Why buy KODAK chems?

  10. #10

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    Oct 2019
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    Re: Is Dektol supposed to be brown?

    Brown Dektol is a recent, well known issue. Kodak had a product update about it, as noted above, and is not replacing it. I've been working through a batch of cappucino colored Dektol that I mixed last December. I haven't noticed any issue with it. It works fine, and I don't see any staining on my prints.

    I'm developing in a Jobo drum, so it's not a problem to me. If I were developing by inspection, it might make things harder.

    I'm surprised to hear that the OP's package was dated 4/2023. I thought I heard that Kodak had corrected the issue.

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