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  #1  
Old 22nd February 2016, 06:59 PM
Chrisvclick Chrisvclick is offline
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Default Life of paper developer

Hi all,
Only did the contacts for a couple of films the other day before work called and i had to run.. Bottled the dev because i expected to return to the darkroom later in the day.
Usual thing, ended up busy rest of day and did not get back to the darkroom till 3 days later. Tried the dev for curiosity and seemed ok however dumped it and remixed...

Anyone kept dev for a later day ? Would expect to have to squeeze air out etc...
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Old 22nd February 2016, 07:21 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
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I use a Nova slot processor and keep the developer for more than one session. You can tell when it's on the way out as the colour changes to a strong yellow, then brown. If it looks quite clear, it will be ok. If you are going to make prints for a particular purpose where quality is important, you should always use fresh developer. When I am just making prints for myself, I keep the developer until the colour change is obvious, or the prints start to lose contrast. I have used the same batch for a week on occasion without seeing any great change in print quality.
Alex
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Old 22nd February 2016, 07:40 PM
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Maris Maris is offline
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My experience is that Dektol paper developer diluted 1+2 from stock shows no significant decline in activity if left in an open tray for a day. After three days developer activity is down about 20% and after a week it's down by more than half.

For photographic paper which is developed by inspection and to completion the use of weak developer just means a longer developing time. Developing film by time and temperature demands the opposite: a developer of consistent strength.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 08:01 PM
big paul big paul is offline
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my system is ,I develope my roll of film with fresh chemicals I keep the fixer ,then I print my photos with new paper developer and some of the old fixer , I buy my dev/fix in 5L bottles as its 1x9 for dev I am not to fussy ,I am a bit more careful with the fixer ,as long as you don't over use it I cannot see any problem keeping diluted developer that you have used only a little bit we have all done it (most of us) good luck


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Old 22nd February 2016, 11:04 PM
Jerry Bodine Jerry Bodine is offline
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I'm a bit more conservative with print developer; if I intend to return for another session the next day I cover the dev to keep oxygen away by laying an oversize sheet of clear food wrap on the dev surface and extend it up and over the tray sides. It's fine the next day, but after that I start fresh.
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Old 24th February 2016, 09:19 PM
namir namir is offline
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I hardly ever dump paper-developer. Not because I used it up so fast, it canbe months between two sessions.
I used to use Calbe N113, I can't remember it ever went bad. . As Developer decreases in use (carry over into the stop bath, evaporation), I compensated this with filling up the bottle with fresh solution, from one time to another I rinsed the bottle, added a certain amount of fresh solution into the bottle (slightly overcompensate the decrease) filtered the working solution through a coffeefilter, poured it into the bottle, until it was full, and dumped what was left (I think that was hadly ever more than 5% of the bottle's volume).
Later I bought a bottle of Neutol WA, the instructions told something about a higher concentrated dilution with extended shelf-life, so I mixed that solution, and found out, that I could just do the same, as I did with N113. After N113 and before Neutol WA I had another developer, which produced a (in my eyes at that time) less pleasant tone in combination with the Agfa MCP, than N113 did before, and it "died"sometimes so I stopped using it. Some time later I didn't care much about minor differences in tone anymore (and I didn't use the Agfa Paper anymore), just used this developer again, but did the same thing, as I did with the Neutol: Used it higher concentrated. Mixed it 1+4 instead of 1+9 (or was it 1+7), and: It lasts really for a long time. I don't know, when I mixed the working solution, I use at the moment, for the first time, we moved, so I made no prints for about 6 months, before we moved, I only made prints very sporadically... I don't know, if this was only a lucky hit, and how much different products differ in that concern, I have some different products in my shelf, will report here, if I find (or if not) deviations (that may take some time...).
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Old 25th February 2016, 07:44 PM
JOReynolds JOReynolds is offline
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Default Floating lid material

In my experience the best protection for developers in a dish or tank is a floating lid, cut to size. But developers are alkaline reducing agents which will degrade most plastics over time when one side is immersed. One of the few materials that behave reliably is Plastazote LD33 closed cell, nitrogen expanded cross-linked closed cell polyethylene foam sheet, non-absorbent and water proof. You can cut it with a Stanley knife. I began to specify it in the eighties and I recently came across a diecut Plastazote floating lid manufactured at least twenty-five years ago. It was heavily contaminated with 'tar' from EP3/EP2 developer but cleaned up beautifully. It is available from eFoam 0800-0439990. They sell 5mm thick square-meter sheets for 15.
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Old 26th February 2016, 10:00 AM
MikeHeller MikeHeller is offline
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I use a Nova slot system (toaster) and change the developer after a month with Ilford Multigrade Developer at 1+9 Dilution (I generally use RC paper) at the usage temperature (nominally 20C) and top-up as necessary. I do cover the slots with the supplied pipe covers between use. I have never compared a print in fresh and old developer - perhaps I should and I might get a shock but I am stingy!!
Mike

Last edited by MikeHeller; 26th February 2016 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 26th February 2016, 10:50 AM
John King John King is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeHeller View Post
I use a Nova slot system (toaster) and change the developer after a month with Ilford Multigrade Developer at 1+9 Dilution (I generally use RC paper) at the usage temperature (nominally 20C) and top-up as necessary. I do cover the slots with the supplied pipe covers between use. I have never compared a print in fresh and old developer - perhaps I should and I might get a shock but I am stingy!!
Mike
If like me you can extend the life of developer to a much longer time by covering the top of the NOVA with heavyweight clingfilm. It is best applied when the processor is warm so when it cools down, if you have made a good seal, there will be a partial vacuum under the film and oxygen will be reduced.

I have never done it with B&W developer, but with RA4 I can get the life to be as long as 18 months, and even then it is only dumped to clean out the slots
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Old 26th February 2016, 11:28 AM
JOReynolds JOReynolds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John King View Post
...but with RA4 I can get the life to be as long as 18 months, and even then it is only dumped to clean out the slots
I once came across a leader-belt paper processor (was it Durst Epsom? I don't remember) that had a bag-floater - a bag, filled with (I think) water made of Saran, a plasticised PVC like cling film but thicker. They had a roll of it and capped it with a nylon cable tie. Water has a SG slightly lower than developer, so it floats. The bag pushed the leader belts against the tank wall. They had a tray to store it when the processor was in use. That would fit nicely in a slot processor, wouldn't it?
They used Kodak chemistry until Champion pointed out that their developer did not precipitate oxidised CD3 ('tar') because they added antifreeze to the formulation. Is that ethylene glycol?
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