Longevity of film developer

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by David Nebenzahl, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. OK, so this may not exactly be news to some of you, but I just
    discovered that sometimes at least, film developer lasts a lot longer
    than you think it should.

    Specifically: just souped a roll of film (FP-4) in some D-76 that had a
    date of 2005 on my label (full strength). I shot the roll as a focus
    test for a camera I just rebuilt, and thinking that the developer was
    suffering the effects of age, I gave it considerably more than the 8-1/2
    minutes that was called for, just in case.

    Looked at the film after rinsing it: it was waaaaay too dense. I shoulda
    used the given time. The developer seems to be just as strong as the day
    I mixed it. (It was stored in a PETE drink bottle, which may partially
    explain things, as it's less permeable than polyethylene.)
    David Nebenzahl, Dec 28, 2009
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  2. Reasonably, yes. It's a Pax M4, which has a really simple leaf shutter.
    Hard for it not to be (at least somewhat) accurate. I can test it with
    my shutter speed tester, but the exposures seem to correspond well. I'll
    probably do that the next couple of days.

    Next roll is going through my Pax M2. Same shutter mechanism and lens.
    David Nebenzahl, Dec 28, 2009
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  3. Ack! Posted that too soon.

    Turns out the shutter speeds for that camera (the Pax I shot the roll of
    film with) plus another one were pretty far off--like almost twice as
    slow as they should be at most speeds.

    Still, that means the exposure would have been off by 1 stop, not a huge
    amount, so my original premise that the developer I used is still
    practically full strength is correct. It's just that the over-density
    wasn't helped by the slow shutter.
    David Nebenzahl, Dec 28, 2009
  4. Thanks for the tip. I did check it, and the edge printing (text and
    coding) is maybe a little darker than dark gray, but definitely not
    black. Parts of the negative *are* black. So I guess I overexposed the
    film, and that the developer may be a little less than full strength,
    but still capable of pretty close to proper development.
    David Nebenzahl, Dec 29, 2009
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