Dektol in tray for over 24hrs. Why throw it away ?

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lhalcong

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I read and been told that after this many hours , the developer oxidases and not longer good. Throw it away.
I noticed that, to my inexperienced eyes, it still works and still develops prints. Why do I want to throw away. ? What is the difference with the same print developed in fresh batch. ?
 

MattKing

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I read and been told that after this many hours , the developer oxidases and not longer good. Throw it away.
I noticed that, to my inexperienced eyes, it still works and still develops prints. Why do I want to throw away. ? What is the difference with the same print developed in fresh batch. ?

Besides the fact that it will stain your tray, the disadvantage is that the Dektol will lose activity gradually.

Past a certain point, your prints will fail to attain full blacks and contrast will decrease.

Fresh Dektol is predictable. Stale Dektol is unpredictable. Predictable materials enhance the learning experience.
 

RalphLambrecht

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I read and been told that after this many hours , the developer oxidases and not longer good. Throw it away.
I noticed that, to my inexperienced eyes, it still works and still develops prints. Why do I want to throw away. ? What is the difference with the same print developed in fresh batch. ?

I mix a fresh batch soon after it turns brown and starts to smell,In my experience it loses the poer to create deep blacks at this point, which a fresh batch will give me. that said, Dektol seems to work much longer than other developers. I use it 1+2.
 

Vaughn

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For repeatability, it is better to have developer of a near-consistent qualities. For example, if a print needs a #3 filter with fresh developer, one will need to test to find the proper filter to achieve the same contrast with oxidized developer.
 

Tom1956

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I've left in the tray lots of times for 24 hours, that I only printed out of a set of strips and an 8x10, and put it to bed for the day. Still good the next night for a quickie proof, just to get a taste of another negative. Not a print I'd want to keep, of course, but just a taste to decide if it's a printing negative or a stupid one.
 

Konical

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Good Morning,

It helps to float a plastic "cover" (the kind of stuff used by dry cleaners) on the developer. Dektol and LPD will be good for several days.

Konical
 
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The thing I don't understand about open trays for 24 hours is that it is so easy to just pour it back into a storage container when you're done printing. It takes literally a minute to do, and a few seconds to clean the tray.
Do this and you don't have to worry about leaving it out.
 

David Brown

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The thing I don't understand about open trays for 24 hours is that it is so easy to just pour it back into a storage container when you're done printing. It takes literally a minute to do, and a few seconds to clean the tray.
Do this and you don't have to worry about leaving it out.

:D
 

Hatchetman

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The thing I don't understand about open trays for 24 hours is that it is so easy to just pour it back into a storage container when you're done printing. It takes literally a minute to do, and a few seconds to clean the tray.
Do this and you don't have to worry about leaving it out.


So how long do they keep using that plan?
 
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I have only been using Dektol for a short time and have noticed that it looses contrast if you save it for next day use, and that was in a sealed bottle with almost no air.

Dektol is dirt cheap. It's not worth saving unless you are just using it to make proof / contact sheets of something. In that case I certainly agree with Thomas, put it in a bottle.
 
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So how long do they keep using that plan?

Longer. Because you prevent oxidation.

But if you use a developer with short life span, it's best to test it before you use it. You could use a control test strip to make sure developer activity is still good.

The key here is repeatability. To know what to expect is important.
 

removed account4

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throw some ( couple of oz ) of the spent dektol into your 1L caffenol c
it will make you both happy
 

NedL

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I keep mine in a sealed bottle between uses... it turns yellow in a couple days, deep yellow in 3 or 4, and dark in about a week. For an important print, I'll use it up to about 3 or 4 days old ( depending on how much paper has already gone through it ) but after that the deepest blacks are affected. But THEN, if it sits in that bottle for 10 days or 2 weeks, and it has a nice dark color, I use it to top off my special brew for overexposed paper negatives. I think I read somewhere that either the metol or hydroquinone is what oxidizes first, leaving the other one. Anyway, good used dektol has its uses too!
 

Gerald C Koch

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Once again an example of a foolish economy. Paper is expensive but developer is cheap. Which do you want to save?
 
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Once again an example of a foolish economy. Paper is expensive but developer is cheap. Which do you want to save?

This is true. One sheet of 16x20 fiber paper is about the same cost as a gallon of Dektol.
 

Hatchetman

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For me time is the most precious commodity. If I have an hour after the kids go to bed maybe I could do a print. But if I have to mix the chems and set everything up and then cleanup, that's most my time used already. So instead I sit and waste time on the internet.
 
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For me time is the most precious commodity. If I have an hour after the kids go to bed maybe I could do a print. But if I have to mix the chems and set everything up and then cleanup, that's most my time used already. So instead I sit and waste time on the internet.

Which is why you have stock solution ready to be mixed with water, which takes 30 seconds.

Or, you do like I do, and use a replenished developer, which is ready to go any time you need it. It just has to be in its temperature range.
 
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Yes. 130 is a great developer too.
 

mwdake

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Another vote for Ansco 130.
I use it replenished.
I have a 1 liter bottle and after every print session I pour it back in the bottle and top up,with fresh stock. This way it lasts forever, or almost.
 

Loren Sattler

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It is not easy to determine when a developer has lost its edge. They will go a long way, but sometimes it is easier to replace it when you are not sure it is still at full strength. When I used it regularly, I would print 2 or 3 evenings on a quart of diluted developer. Then it would get pitched, probably after 30 or so 8 x 10 prints total. It is a very economical product.

As for storing it in the tray, try putting Saran wrap over it if leaving it in the tray between sessions. You will find that it will stain your tray and leave a residue after a day or two. Then you get in the habit of returning it to a bottle between sessions.
 
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You will find that it will stain your tray and leave a residue after a day or two. Then you get in the habit of returning it to a bottle between sessions.

If you use Ansco 130, buy a single stainless steel developing tray/dish. No staining...

Ken
 

PhotoJim

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Ansco 130... crazy good. Pour it back into a bottle at night and you'll get months out of it.
 
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Ansco 130... crazy good. Pour it back into a bottle at night and you'll get months out of it.

I use LPD but have a box of Formulary 130 in the freezer and wonder this: Does the pour-back accelerate the oxidation because of the aeration? I use a funnel with a 6" plastic tube to try and keep it from churning in the bottom of the jug but I often wonder if I'm worrying about nothing. (I printed some 5x7s and cleaned up already, so I get to be on the internet with the first of maybe too many glasses of wine.) :wink:

s-a
 

NedL

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Which is why you have stock solution ready to be mixed with water, which takes 30 seconds.

Or, you do like I do, and use a replenished developer, which is ready to go any time you need it. It just has to be in its temperature range.

I agree completely. Not cost but time ( my stock dektol is out in my garage and it does take a few minutes to go get it and mix up working solution. ) Which is why when my current batch of dektol runs out I've got a can of LPD to try replenished.

But honestly I don't think I've been doing any false economy. The dektol is fine the next day if you keep it bottled up tight. And I'm very conservative about making fresh... if the color is more than light yellow, or I've already made a few prints, I mix up fresh working. I'm not shy about it or being cheap about it. By the way I develop my prints in a big plastic pitcher, and the dektol and everything else stays in the bottle unless it's being used to develop a print. So in my case it's not even sitting in a tray with that big surface area....
 
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