Break large kit down to smaller bottles?

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Dave Starr

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I've got a 5 liter C-41 kit coming and am wondering if it would be better to break it down into smaller bottles after opening it. Would the reduced oxygen space in the small bottles give a longer storage life than leaving everything in the large bottles the chemicals come in?
 

glbeas

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I'd be leary of it unless you use an air displacement technique like a squirt of butane or nitrogen as you cap the bottles. I have a partial 5L kit sitting in my darkroom now in which one of the developer chemicals turned belly up after I opened the bottle, and the bottles for these are quite small to start with. The rest of the kit is very tolerant of air, the bleach even needing air to regenerate itself. If you will be using the remainder in several months I'd mix the color chems and seal it in glass bottles without air and use it soon. I personally don't trust plastic for that job.
 

Melanie

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HI
I just used the last of my 5ml color kit and it lasted close to 5 weeks, and i was using it almost once a week to do 2 to 4 rolls at a time. worked great. I did extend the developing to 3:45 min on the last few rolls. I use a home made set up to keep my developer, bleach, .... warm.
have fun with it :D
Melanie.
 

glbeas

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Melanie said:
HI
I just used the last of my 5ml color kit and it lasted close to 5 weeks, and i was using it almost once a week to do 2 to 4 rolls at a time. worked great. I did extend the developing to 3:45 min on the last few rolls. I use a home made set up to keep my developer, bleach, .... warm.
have fun with it :D
Melanie.
Were you doing it one shot?
 

Melanie

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NO. I have a small tank that i develop two rolls of 35mm in and it dose not take all of the dev etc to process the rolls. I store them in 16.9 oz plastic water battles. and squeeze the bottle intel the liquid is all the way to the top and then tighten the cap. seems to work good so far and this is the second kit that i have used in this manner. the developer i put in a small brown plastic bottle. the first kit i taped the developer bottle with duck tape.
 
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Dave Starr

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glbeas said:
I'd be leary of it unless you use an air displacement technique like a squirt of butane or nitrogen as you cap the bottles. I have a partial 5L kit sitting in my darkroom now in which one of the developer chemicals turned belly up after I opened the bottle, and the bottles for these are quite small to start with.

These really aren't small bottles. The 3 developer bottles are 500ml ea. What I'm thinking of doing is using 100ml brown glass bottles. This would be the quantity used for one liter.
 

glbeas

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I'd get something like the butane bottle and flush the air out after transferring (watch for ignition sources!), you will probably have good results. Glass is superior to most plastics as far as permeability, make sure the lid is a non corrodeable material.

Melanie, looks like you have it in good control, watch that duck tape though, the feathers tend to stick to the wet film.:wink:
I've gotten as many as 6 rolls of 35mm through one liter of C-41 extending the times per the directions on the kit, but the Flexicolor kits I got last doesn't have that option in the directions. I suspect you can do the same there but Kodak won't make any promises on the quality of the results.
 

Melanie

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Thanks, but i found that out the hard way, thats why i have the developer in a darkroom bottle now, but a small one so there is not so much air... I bought four Agfa c41 kits and am really pleased with the results. has anyone else used these kits. really are long lasting, and the temp are a little forgiving.
Melanie
 

Nick Zentena

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My RA-4 chemicals come in various small bottles. I think 3 for developer two for the blix. The componets seem to last quite awhile. I bought a fairly large kit that must be getting close to a year old. Outside of the fact some of the stuff seems to have turned to crystals and needs a good wack. Now once I mix all the stuff up together then I start worrying about shelf life.
 

b.e.wilson

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Here is my experience with dividing a set of chems into smaller containers. By way of explanation, this if for R3 chemistry (prints from color slides).

1. I found out which bottles are oxygen sensitive. For R3 it is the first developer and part B of the color dev. The first developer is delivered in cubitainer enough to make 12.5 gallons of usable mix. I had sufficient experience in the past to know cubitainers were pretty good for oxygen-free storage, so I didn't do anything with that. The color dev B was in a bottle enough to make 12.5 gallons, so that's what needed splitting.

2. I figured out how big a batch I would make at a time. It was 1 liter, and the color dev needed 40 mL.

3. So I went to a chemical supplier (fishersci.com) and found a 40 mL glass vial for sample storage. I ordered lids to go with them, not PFTE (teflon) which would have been better, but the regular rubber linings were a lot cheaper.

4. So on the day appointed I got my graduated cylindar and the part B bottle, and started pouring. I sealed up each vial as well as I could, then came back later to tighten the slack that happens as the cap liner is compressed.

5. And then, taking the lead of my grandmother in putting up fruit, I sealed all vials with parafin. Just a bar, melted over a water double pot, dip in each vial upside-down and let the air in the threads escape, and set aside to cool.

6. This is the fourth storage method I've tried, and it's proven the best by far. When I need a liter of color dev, I must open the vial carefully so as not to get too much wax in the mix, but in the end was is harmless and floats, so I can pick it out easily when it does get in a bottle.

Now, for E6 chems, the first developer and again, part B of the color developer are air senstive, but since I use only the 5 liter kit I have never bothered to protect the chems; I open them so infrequently and use them up too quick for air to harm them appreciably.
 

Claire Senft

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Prolonging the life of chemicals

Here are a couple of suggestions for you.
Firstly if you are able to aliquote your chemicals properly which means you have to know how much of each ingredient goes into a given volume you will be able to mix what you need. Of course you need to know how much of solutions A,B C etc to use and to measure small volumes with accuracy. Hypodermic syringes and pipettes work nicely.

Secondly, If you have access to a freezer you can mix the full kit and put it into individual glass bottles. Do not fill the bottles or you may have them break as they freeze.

Thirdly, If you do not want to or unable to freeze your Chemicals you can fill the GLASS bottles to the top. As you use chemistry from a given bottle you can add marbles to it at the session's end to eliminate air space. A photographic supply firm Techcheminc...www.techcheminc.com sells marles for $3.00 for approximately 100. This BTW is a very nice firm with which to deal.
 
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