Opened bottle of Ilford DDX - shelf life

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
178,658
Messages
2,457,479
Members
94,599
Latest member
JKFTL
Recent bookmarks
0

Bill Jamieson

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
17
Location
Stow, Scotti
Shooter
Med. Format RF
The instructions suggest that a half full bottle should be OK for 6 months. I have a bottle opened in early March this year which is still about 75% full, having been stored in cool conditions over the intervening seven and a half months. Given the hassle these days of obtaining photographic supplies I'm keen to use it - the concentrate doesn't appear to be discoloured at all but I'm uncertain as to whether or not this is a reliable indicator that the developer has not gone 'off'.
Bill
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
15,711
Location
Switzerland
Shooter
Multi Format
I've had DDX go bad on me in shorter time than that after opening it.

I would test it with a roll of film, or a clip test if you don't want to waste an entire roll.
 

Stan160

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
475
Location
Frimley, Surrey
Shooter
35mm
I had one that was still OK after 9 months (it was forgotten at the back of the shelf), but I agree, a test from your bottle is the only way to be sure.

Ian
 

Larry.Manuel

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Messages
291
Location
Kuiper Belt
Shooter
Medium Format
DD-X clip test.

Recently, my film came out underdeveloped with DD-X. My DD-X bottle was part-full for about a year. After reading about the clip test, and doing one, I found my DD-X was very, very weak. Here's what I did: put a half to one-inch diameter puddle of full-strength DD-X on a piece of film in room light. After 3 or 4 minutes, fix fully, until the rest of the film is clear. It's easy to see if the DD-X is still fully active: the spot will be dense black, like a 135 film leader normally developed. If the spot is only thin grey, the developer is tired. Mine was thin grey.

Larry in Canada.
 

michaelbsc

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
2,107
Location
South Caroli
Shooter
Multi Format
The instructions suggest that a half full bottle should be OK for 6 months ... the concentrate doesn't appear to be discoloured at all but I'm uncertain as to whether or not this is a reliable indicator that the developer has not gone 'off'.

I doubt color is an adequate indicatior, but it will turn brown if the lid isn't screwed on tightly, and it will go bad as well. I wouldn't go so far as to say the not turning brown is an indicator of goodness.

What I do with DD-X, when I open it, is decant it from the 1L bottle to several 200ml. Filling the 200ml bottles completely to the top eleminates the air from that stock completely.
 

Larry.Manuel

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Messages
291
Location
Kuiper Belt
Shooter
Medium Format
>What I do with DD-X, when I open it, is decant it from the 1L bottle to several 200ml. Filling the 200ml bottles completely to the top eliminates the air from that stock completely.

That sounds like a great idea. Especially if the bottles are glass.

I found the film clip test suggestion while reading about XTOL. That XTOL seems to elicit a love/hate state for many people. I'm beginning to use it; so far excellent. XTOL seem[ed] notorious for dying in storage. I have my five litres of XTOL stored in filled wine, beer and olive oil glass bottles, in the dark, too.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Martin Aislabie

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 17, 2007
Messages
1,410
Location
Stratford-up
Shooter
4x5 Format
Bill, I use Tetenal Protectan (http://www.silverprint.co.uk/ProductByGroup.asp?PrGrp=509) to help preserve my part opened bottles of chemicals

It puts an inert layer of gas into the air gap at the top of the bottle, so displaces the oxygen and hence preserving the chemical.

You still need to do a clip test to check the Dev is still active but its helps (a lot) and is cheaper than unintentionally oxidising a partly used bottle of DDX

Martin
 
OP
OP

Bill Jamieson

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
17
Location
Stow, Scotti
Shooter
Med. Format RF
Martin,

Thanks for the advice, although at this particular time I have enough films waiting to be processed to finish the bottle off, should the clip test prove the developer to be OK,

Bill
 

pentaxuser

Subscriber
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
16,036
Location
Daventry, No
Shooter
35mm
It depends on your tank and film size but at 1+4 then even a 120 won't use the 200mm mentioned. To save the problems of decanting it into several small bottles, each of which has to be the right size, try decanting the whole litre into a silver wine bag( empty of wine and washed out of course :D:smile: then replace into the wine box. As you withdraw the DDX the bag collapses without any air replacement. Make sure you squeeze the bag after decanting so the DDX comes up to the neck and expels all the air then replace the dispenser. I have had DDX in such a bag for 12 months without a problem.

Works for paper dev and fix as well. You just have to force yourself to drink a few boxes of wine first. A dirty job but someone's got to do it :D:

pentaxuser
 

Harry Lime

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2005
Messages
494
Shooter
35mm RF
I'm not sold on the 6 month life span. I've had opened bottles die on me on several occasions after about 8 weeks. It used to turn a little yellow and developed a rather sharp smell. Then you knew it was getting a little squirrelly.

I started to have more problems once they began to ship it in the new style bottles. The bottles aren't the problem, but something has changed.
DD-X has died on me several times for no apparent reason. I even seemed to have gotten a few that were DOA.

This really ticked me off, because DD-X was my standard developer for many years. I really liked it for push processing and Delta3200...

Now I use Barry Thornton's 2-bath and Diafine.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
OP

Bill Jamieson

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
17
Location
Stow, Scotti
Shooter
Med. Format RF
Well I've sacrificed a roll of HP5+ and done the test suggested by Larry a couple of times. The result is anything but encouraging - just thin grey circles. Looks like I'll have to order a new bottle, but better than ruining a set of negatives which would be somewhat expensive in terms of both time and money to replace.
Bill
 

vedmak

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 12, 2009
Messages
328
Location
Chicago
Shooter
Analog
ddx does not have a reputation like rodinal or PMK, therefore I would just say: when in doubt - throw it out :sad:

to me my film is worth more that the cost of the developer
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom