How to know if mixed D-76 has expired?
Old 11-29-2018   #1
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How to know if mixed D-76 has expired?

How do I know if mixed D-76 is still working fine, just looking at it? What are the signs that it has expired?

I have some D-76 in 150 ml glass bottles, just to the top. I mixed it like 2 years ago. In theory, it is good only for 6 months, but I know that it could last more if it is kept in good conditions, without air exposure.

I opened a bottle and it looks good, the same as before, as far as I remember, which is a bit yellowish.

If it looks good, does it work well? Or not necessarily?
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Old 11-29-2018   #2
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Probably not. I've used it a year out, and it was definitely weakening. Yours might work, but not with its full potency, making it difficult to know how long to process it. If you really want to know, test strips are the only way. Me, I'd just dump it out and mix more -- D76 is very inexpensive. Fresh is always best, especially at $9 USD a gallon.

"Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in." -- H. D. T.
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Old 11-29-2018   #3
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Why sweat it. Pay another $7, mix some more, and move on.

Of course if your pictures aren't worth an extra 7 dollars then give it a shot and see what happens.
You gotta love a fast lens;

It is almost as good as a fast horse!
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Old 11-30-2018   #4
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Thank you.

Yeah, probably you are right.

But for me it is not as cheap as for you. Here the one gallon packet costs like 18 dollars, and the dollar rose a lot this year, more than 100%, so basically it is not so cheap to shoot film.

Anyway, I am interested in quality, but it would be a pity to throw away developer already mixed if it is as good as before, so that it is why I am interested in the facts.

Maybe I will do a little test and if it doesnít convince me, I will have to mix some more D-76.
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Long-term storage of developer
Old 12-05-2018   #5
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Long-term storage of developer

For several decades I have stored mixed working solutions of developer and other solutions by breaking it up into convenient volumes, then freezing them in plastic bottles. The historical concern over freezing solutions is that one or more components may precipitate out of solution at freezing and then not dissolve back into solution when rewarmed for use. I have not experienced this problem. I do this to preserve E-6 solutions when I have no projected use for surplus mixed solutions. I do this with working dilutions; I would not try this with concentrates without testing, as precipitation could be a much more likely problem. This also allows the purchase of more economical (larger) volumes, storing the solution.
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Old 12-05-2018   #6
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The old rule was, "When in doubt, throw it out." But at $18 a package, I can see why this old rule is subject to review. But film is no longer cheap, either, so is it worthwhile to sacrifice a roll to test the developer? For two year old developer, I suspect not. So maybe it's time to pitch it out, mix new, and resolve to use it within, if not 6 months, then maybe no longer that 8 or 9 months? One way to do this is to save a few rolls of exposed film until you have enough to use all or most of your D-76. Another idea might be to switch to XTOL, which has a one-year storage life. Of course, you have to mix 5 liters instead of 1 gallon! I think Kodak decided to offer XTOL in no smaller than 5 liters, to encourage us to shoot lots of (Kodak) film!
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Old 12-05-2018   #7
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Then there's Rodinal and HC-110 that last longer than we do . Peter
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Old 12-05-2018   #8
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There are a couple of ways to do a clip test with developers, but they are pretty fiddly. It's probably best to dump it and just start w/ a fresh batch. My D76 never lasted more than a few months once it was mixed, but that was when I lived in Florida and had trouble keeping anything cool at home in the summers. I agree, it would be a waste to throw out good developer, but 2 years of storage is really pushing the envelope with D76. If it bugs you to think of the expense, just think how bugged you would be if you shot a roll of film, knew you had some great shots on it, and they were ruined by old, weak developer.
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Old 12-29-2018   #9
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Hi... I did the tests.

1) First, I developed a film leader (totally exposed to light) with ambient light, looking how it got gradually darker. At the time recommended for normal processing at 20ļC, it was black. How much black? I donít know, I took the film and observed it closely, it was dark. Then I immersed it again for 2 minutes, to see if it went on getting darker. I donít know for sure if that happened, probably not, cause I couldnít see any difference.

2) Then I developed a strip of film with the same mix I used for the leader. And I think it came out just fine. I compared the negative with others I processed and I donít see any difference in density.

I also used my 2 years-old mix of fixer (Ilford Rapid Fixer), which I previously tested watching the clearing time. It was just like before. And I know that it is possible to fix a lot of rolls with a mix. So, in my case, the six months recommended by Ilford for a solution of this fixer were also too cautious.

Some days later, I developed another roll and it turned out okay too.
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Old 12-29-2018   #10
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Buy a scale and some chems, mix for $1 per liter. Put in 4 or 8 oz bottles for 1:1 or stock. Write down mix date. In a sealed bottle, it will be perfect for 6 months after which it slowly loses activity.

You can test anything with 6 exposures, 12" of film. But do not because I have done it for my D76 already. Ordinal is good for 10 years, 1998 to 2008. I will not do it again.
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Old 12-30-2018   #11
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A can of Bloxygen and some glass bottles will be well worth the investment. I have bottles of several sizes, and transfer concentrates like HC-110 and DD-X to them as well as the Perceptol I mix up from powder. Top off the glass bottle with a shot of Bloxygen (argon gas iirc) andseal. They no longer go bad. Even partially filled bottles last.
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Old 12-30-2018   #12
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Two year old D76 stock solution? If you use it at that rate you will be throwing out much of it.

Sporadic film developers like us save money and consternation by switching to HC110 and Rodinal.

Bring back the latent image!
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