Paper developer with long shelf life

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NB23

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I imagine a lot of us have that pattern of darkroom use!

I used to buy paper developer concentrate in 1 litre bottles, and drop in glass marbles to keep them neck-full as I progressively removed liquid. Nevertheless, there were occasions when I found the contents had turned brown with oxidation, and I had to abandon my planned darkroom day. But as already suggested above, you don't necessarily need to abandon the developer you prefer in favour of a Long Life formula.

Following excellent ideas from members of the FADU forum, I now buy paper developer (Ilford Multigrade Developer in my case) in a 5 litre container, which works out much cheaper than buying 5 x 1 litre bottles. On opening, I split it into 4 x 1 litre brown glass bottles, and the remainder into 1 x 500ml bottle and 5 x 100ml bottles. Ilford Multigrade Developer is used 1+9, so each of these 100ml bottles makes 1 litre of working solution, which is what I use for 16 x 12 paper. Each bottle is topped with a brief squirt of butane lighter gas. I bought the bottles from a laboratory glassware supplier, via eBay. When I have used all 5 small bottles, I break down the 500ml bottle, and when that's gone, I split down the next 1 litre bottle. This system has worked amazingly well for me.

If I want to keep working strength developer from one day to the next, I pour it into a glass bottle and give it a squirt of butane. Again, that works well, although generally I prefer to make up a fresh solution if the break is longer than a day or two.

I love it when my deveveloper turns brown. It still works beautfully.
I have noticed that it never goes darker beyond a point. That point is session number three, and it stays the same color for all subsequent sessions, even at session 500.
 

MattKing

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LPD was very hard to obtain for quite a while. I believe it is easier to find now.
The replenishment instructions can also be hard to find.
This might work:
1669082939087.png
 

Roger Cole

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I must have been living under a rock, I've never heard of LPD. I'm going to give it a try.

I suspect you’ll like it as many of us do, though it’s also fair to say at the end of the day it’s just a good paper developer, not a miracle or anything. But it is that much, a really good paper developer and much more resistant to oxidation than many so an excellent choice for those who print like I do - sometimes like an obsessed mad man for a few days then maybe not again for a month or more.
 

Tim Stapp

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LPD was very hard to obtain for quite a while. I believe it is easier to find now.
The replenishment instructions can also be hard to find.
This might work:
View attachment 322437

Thanks for posting this Matt, that's the document that I use for establishing my routine.

I have to start over after having moved and everything in boxes for a couple (3) years.
 

mshchem

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I imagine a lot of us have that pattern of darkroom use!

I used to buy paper developer concentrate in 1 litre bottles, and drop in glass marbles to keep them neck-full as I progressively removed liquid. Nevertheless, there were occasions when I found the contents had turned brown with oxidation, and I had to abandon my planned darkroom day. But as already suggested above, you don't necessarily need to abandon the developer you prefer in favour of a Long Life formula.

Following excellent ideas from members of the FADU forum, I now buy paper developer (Ilford Multigrade Developer in my case) in a 5 litre container, which works out much cheaper than buying 5 x 1 litre bottles. On opening, I split it into 4 x 1 litre brown glass bottles, and the remainder into 1 x 500ml bottle and 5 x 100ml bottles. Ilford Multigrade Developer is used 1+9, so each of these 100ml bottles makes 1 litre of working solution, which is what I use for 16 x 12 paper. Each bottle is topped with a brief squirt of butane lighter gas. I bought the bottles from a laboratory glassware supplier, via eBay. When I have used all 5 small bottles, I break down the 500ml bottle, and when that's gone, I split down the next 1 litre bottle. This system has worked amazingly well for me.

If I want to keep working strength developer from one day to the next, I pour it into a glass bottle and give it a squirt of butane. Again, that works well, although generally I prefer to make up a fresh solution if the break is longer than a day or two.

This is how I handle Bromophen, mixing up from powder. I divide the 5 L stock into full 1 liter and several 250ml bottles. I dilute 1 250ml bottle (1+3) to make a liter of working solution. I use this for a couple sessions then toss. The full bottles of stock have a very long life.
I don't use butane anymore, I fill the bottles absolutely full to the very top. Butane does work well, I was always afraid I would blow myself up.
 

Philippe-Georges

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Hello
Can you recommend a B&W paper developer with long shelf life ? I usually like to print for two or three consecutive days, with intervals of several weeks.
Which developer would you recommend ?
The developer will be kept in dark air-tight bottles at room temperature.
Thank you
Joao

Home brewed E-72, a health friendly DEKTOL, formulated by Chris Patton from Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, lasts for weeks and weeks...
 

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BMbikerider

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Are you talking about undiluted developer in a bottle or partially used developer rebottled after your session and then reused?

My take on this is use a set quantity for a session and then dump it. Paper is the expensive side of this so it is not worth risking poor quality, just for the sake of a few liquid ounces of stock developer..
I always buy Ilford Multigrade in 5 litre cannister. When I have to open it, I first decant it into 1/2 litre glass bottles and screw the tops on securely. The 1st 1/2 litre is further split into 100cc bottles which is enough for an evenings session(depending of course how many prints you will be making). The stock can be diluted from 1-9 up to 1-14 and the weaker dilution gives enough developer to print 12x16 with full coverage of the paper in an open dish. I do however, when using the weaker dilution extend the development time to 1.5 mins.

Buying a 5 litre container works out at less than half price of buying individual 1 litre quantities.

My current 5 litre container, now split up of course, is close to 3 years old and still no discolouration. I split my printing with printing colour RA4 so it does last me a very long time. Each session to me can be costed in pennies (Cents to you) and is, as far as I am aware the cheapest way to get consistent results every time
 

eli griggs

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Ansco 130, hands down, longest high quality paper developer, with blacks second to Amidol only.

Expose your paper negative for a full maximum tray time of 3 minutes and you'll never look back.

Some of the old timer greats would add a pinch of Amidol to their Ansco 130 for a little bump up in blacks, but do no do this to stuff you plan to use again.

Ansco 130 has a very long tray life of over a year, it'll turn dark as coffee, and I've used and reused it over two years without issue.

Buy your Glycin (no a typo) fresh from Photographers Forumalry, and mix up all 100g for stock storage, there are others here that'll tell you what to do, and do no worry about having brown glass or plastic storage, light does no bother this stuff.

At the least, do some real reading about this great developer and look at the images good photographers get from using it in their darkrooms.

Cheers
 

baachitraka

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snusmumriken

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do no worry about having brown glass or plastic storage, light does no bother this stuff
While that is of course true, and brown glass is surprisingly no cheaper than clear glass, I still like to use brown glass because it immediately looks 'chemical' and isn't going to be confused with mother's gooseberry wine. At least, that's just what I tell myself. At the same time, my chemicals stay in the darkroom, are properly labelled and no-one in our family is daft. So maybe it's just that I have an aesthetic for my darkroom.
 

GregY

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I never had issues with either Neutol or Ilford MG developer......without decanting them. They're not my favourites but i use them at times because i can buy them locally (well not Neutol anymore). I prefer Ansco 130 and LPD. I'm with the folks who consider the price of paper, rather than squeezing every possible print out of a few 100mls of print developer
 

eli griggs

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While that is of course true, and brown glass is surprisingly no cheaper than clear glass, I still like to use brown glass because it immediately looks 'chemical' and isn't going to be confused with mother's gooseberry wine. At least, that's just what I tell myself. At the same time, my chemicals stay in the darkroom, are properly labelled and no-one in our family is daft. So maybe it's just that I have an aesthetic for my darkroom.

I agree that a well labeled chemistry collection is a large part of a good darkroom workflow.

I've been through various long term solution storage over the years and will use and leave a small photograph line using the large square Gladware with lids, standing.

I also have several new or newish photo brown jugs of plastic, that I've no used, because I found that the heavy Ragu plastic jars, with a plastic separator between the metal lid and mixed chemistry, works well, but needs a lot of cleaning to rid it if grease and tomato stains.

Wine bottles work, but are slow pouring, liquor bottles are OK, in a dark darkroom, and brown glass and plastic beer bottles are also great.

Currently I like medium & large Mason jars, with the white plastic lids made to fit them (and I believe they will fit Ragu bottles) and Boston Brown 1 litter glass bottles and Brown Hydrogen Peroxide bottles, which are the easiest to clean from original purpose, a tap water rinse and dry.

I think too many starting photographers buy expensive plastic darkroom-ware when it's better to buy good film or paper, and use some of these storage solutions that pass through your and your friends and neighbors recycling bins.

Making good quality negatives and prints is the first goal, there is all sorts of suitable containers that can be recycled until your darkroom is well established.

Cheers
 

Roger Cole

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I never had issues with either Neutol or Ilford MG developer......without decanting them. They're not my favourites but i use them at times because i can buy them locally (well not Neutol anymore). I prefer Ansco 130 and LPD. I'm with the folks who consider the price of paper, rather than squeezing every possible print out of a few 100mls of print developer

It's not so much about saving money as just not mixing up some every time and having to order developer more often. Seriously. Sure, diluting working strength from stock is quick and easy. I am also lazy. :wink:
 

GregY

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Roger, we have different issues, here in the mountains of western Canada for six months of the year I have to raise the temperature of my darkroom & it's easier to mix fresh chemicals than to bring trays of previously mixed to 20 C.
 

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I am very enthusiastic about Moersch’s ECO 4812, long shelf life and high predictability. https://www.moersch-photochemie.de/content/shop/positiv/110/eco_4812

I have had very good experiences with that, too. Really good stuff.
And even a bit better in my experience is ADOX MCC developer. It uses the original Agfa MCC developer formula, and that formula was the latest, most modern and sophisticated paper developer formula Agfa introduced to the market, with all their R&D knowledge.
 

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I switched from using Dektol 1:2 way past its recommended shelf life, to using Ilford MG developer 1:14 "one-shot" (i.e., discarding at the end of the printing session). This way I knew my paper developer would always give me consistent results.
 

Philippe-Georges

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I have had very good experiences with that, too. Really good stuff.
And even a bit better in my experience is ADOX MCC developer. It uses the original Agfa MCC developer formula, and that formula was the latest, most modern and sophisticated paper developer formula Agfa introduced to the market, with all their R&D knowledge.

That about the AGFA developer is only too true, but when 'it' happend in 2005, I had to find a replacement, that's how I ended up with Patton's E-72, and it stayed...
 

eli griggs

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When I find my Morgan and Morgan, or if somewhere here has the time, I'll look up that Agfa/Adox formula and see if it's composition (ADOX MCC/Adox developer) is listed for making yourself.

That's one of the things that made that collection even more notable to me, over the last forty plus years; the ability to read for yourself old formulas.
 

albada

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That about the AGFA developer is only too true, but when 'it' happend in 2005, I had to find a replacement, that's how I ended up with Patton's E-72, and it stayed...

In E-72, have you had any trouble with precipitate forming due to its absence of sequestering agents? Or do you use distilled water?
Any trouble with sudden death from the Fenton reaction?
 

Philippe-Georges

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In E-72, have you had any trouble with precipitate forming due to its absence of sequestering agents? Or do you use distilled water?
Any trouble with sudden death from the Fenton reaction?

I use demineralised water, the kind of what my wife pours in her steam flatiron...
Mix at a temperature between 30°C and 40°C.
Take your time to mix the sodiums thoroughly by adding them bit by bit.
If the mixture looks turbid, it wil slowly clear up while in use, don't worry, it wouldn't affect the developing characteristics of E-72.
The eventual white sediment in the developing bath can easy be wiped off with a wet dishcloth...
When, after a long and intense use, the E-72 suffers a "sudden death" then simply discart it by bringing it in at a recycling park...
But, I always top off the work solution after a printing session. Every time I pour the developer back in the brown bottle, I have systematically to top off about 10% of the total volume due to carry over and evaporation. If there is less than 10% to top off, then discart a little (recycling park!).
 

otto.f

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I have had very good experiences with that, too. Really good stuff.
And even a bit better in my experience is ADOX MCC developer. It uses the original Agfa MCC developer formula, and that formula was the latest, most modern and sophisticated paper developer formula Agfa introduced to the market, with all their R&D knowledge.

Thanks for the reminder 😁, I still have a bottle somewhere, I'll see how it does after 3 years or so.
 
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