Old Dektol.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by raucousimages, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Just over one year ago I mixed up 5 gallons of Dektol stock. It has been in an completely full air tight container with no bubbles at all. It has turned a light brown with no debris at the bottom or floating in it. Do you think it would even be worth testing? Anyone had experience with stock like this? I am just coming back to the darkroom after a bad injury last year.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Might well be OK, it's definitely worth testing. MQ devs do oxidise but usually turn a deep brown rapidly if they've gone off.

    Ian
     
  3. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    It's probably not optimal, but the good thing about print developer is that you can test it with minimal cost and without jeopardizing irreplaceable images. Give it a try.

    Be sure to test that it can develop your paper to a deep black before you spend a lot of time and effort with it.
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    It's probably fine. I've been shooting pinhole cameras with paper negatives. Since the cameras are unreloadable in daylight, I end up developing just a sheet or two often rather than saving them up to go on darkroom sessions. I keep the 1+3 working solution in a pickle jar between shots, usually with at least a little air. It turns a deep brown and starts taking a bit longer to develop, but it lasts for a very long time. If I was doing serious printing, I might notice my contrast shifting a little bit or something, but for my purposes I don't really care for pinhole negatives. It always develops to deep black and my exposure times don't change. The only thing is I start noticing it takes longer for the image to come up and then I leave it in the developer proportionately longer. If your stock solution is only slightly brown it is probably perfectly fine. As long as the image pops in a timely fashion I would consider it good.
     
  5. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear racousimages,

    Give it a try. Dektol has great legs.

    Neal Wydra
     
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Yes, Dektol does have "great legs." It is also worth noting that even the freshest Dektol is not water white, but more like a straw color.
     
  7. tkmusgrave

    tkmusgrave Member

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    I Recently Had a similar problem with old chemicals and they seemed to work just fine. give it a try, you've got nothing to lose.
     
  8. brianmquinn

    brianmquinn Member

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    What type of bottle did you store it in?
    If it was glass with a tightly sealed metal cap it will be good for years.
    Plastic will let oxygen in THROUGH the plastic and ruin the developer.
    Still it is worth testing if you can still see through the bottle.
    If it is dark as Coca-Cola forget about it.
     
  9. DannL

    DannL Member

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    I just finished a bottle of old stock Dektol. It was probably about a year old. It developed a strange musty smell. And even though it seemed to develop prints just fine, I chose to mix a new batch of stock.
     
  10. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Subscriber

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    I've had a gallon of Dektol in a wine bladder for 12 mo. and it hasn't changed color in that time. I keep it in the garage fridge and last time I used it it was fine.
    Murray
     
  11. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Many feel there is no such thing as "Old Dektol". Once you cannot find or see a print in the tray because the developer has turned black, then give it another day. :wink: