Storage Life Question About D-76 Solution

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by narke, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. narke

    narke Guest

    I mix D-76 from raw ingredients. Formulas are always in the spec of 1
    litre, but I heard that I can only storage the developer for 2 weeks in
    the normal temperature. My question is:

    1) I think 1L is too much for me for I only take 2 rolls per month.
    Could I only mix 1/4 L every time from raw ingredients (of course, I
    will use 1/4 quantity of every ingrdients) ?

    2) Is there any way to prolong the storage life of D-76? I got AP
    platic black jug, does it help?

    Thanks in advance.

    narke, Mar 28, 2005
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  2. D-76 should last a lot longer than 2 months. I use packaged D-76,
    which may have a longer shelf life than the home mixed variety, I often
    take six months to use up a gallon. I have had D-76 last nearly a year.
    Kodak gives six months as the shelf life in a filled stoppered bottle
    but Kodak figures on shelf life are usually very conservative.
    Try storing in glass bottles rather than plastic. Even the best
    plastic allows some air to penetrate. Also, when you mix it use water
    which has been boiled for about five minutes and allowed to stand and
    cool. The boiling drives off dissolved air and also removes some
    Try putting just a pinch of sulfite in the water before mixing the
    Metol, for a liter about 5 grams is right. The Sulfite tends to absorb
    any dissolved oxygen but is not present in sufficient concentration to
    keep the Metol from dissolving.
    In general large volumes of developer last longer than smaller ones
    because the surface area to volume is smaller.
    I also suggest mixing the buffered version of D-76 rather than the
    original formula. The original tends to increase in activity over time,
    the buffered version does not.

    Kodak D-76d Buffered Fine Grain Developer
    Water (at 125F or 52C) 750.0 ml
    Metol 2.0 grams
    Sodium Sulfite, dessicated 100.0 grams
    Hydroquinone 5.0 grams
    Borax, granular 8.0 grams
    Boric Acid, crystaline 8.0 grams
    Water to make 1.0 liter

    This formula has the same activity as fresh D-76 and maintains that
    activity during storage.
    Richard Knoppow, Mar 28, 2005
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  3. narke

    narke Guest

    Thank you very much for the advice and the D-76d formula. But you dont
    answer some of my questions.

    1) about the 1:1 question
    2) There is no packaged D-76 for sale in my city, so I have to mix it
    at home. For this kind of solution, what's the shelf lift?

    narke, Mar 28, 2005
  4. narke

    John Guest

    I reviewed your original post and didn't see any question
    about the 1:1 dilution.
    This begs the question, why mix developers much more than
    prior-to-use ? Theoretically D-76d is probably good in a full bottle
    for a year and 3 months in a half full bottle but there are many
    factors that play into that. Factors such as :

    1) Do you use distilled water
    2) Will the developer be stored in a cool dark location
    3) Are you using glass bottles
    4) Will you be using a surfactant ?

    In the FWIW category I would recommend D76H mixed immediately
    before use.

    Kodak's D-76 H

    Water @ 125F - 750ml
    Elon - 2.0 g
    Sod. Sulfite - 100.0g
    Borax (gran.) - 2.0g
    Water to make 750ml


    John S. Douglas, Photographer -
    John, Mar 28, 2005
  5. narke

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    I've always thought that a good one, D-76 without hydroquinone.
    May as well scratch the borax. It's only there because of
    H. quinone's OH radical formation.
    Minus the borax leaves a weak D23. He might do better mixing
    up a one fifth liter of D23 and use it 1:2, as you say, at time
    of use. I was using an 8 - 80 gram, metol - sulfite D23; a
    one eighth batch for one roll.
    Has he a good scale? Helps with small batches. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Mar 29, 2005
  6. Kodak says 6 months in a filled and closed bottle but
    I've found that to be very conservative. The Kodak Labs
    paper which described the actvity rise problem and gave the
    buffered formula shows tests of D-76. These show that over
    about a 2 month period the activity rose to the point where
    development time for a given contrast fell to a bit more
    than half of the time required by fresh developer. The
    buffered developer showed no rise. If you use the developer
    quickly there is no problem with the original but, since you
    are mixing your own, and since you have boric acid for
    fixing baths anyway, why not use the better formula.
    Richard Knoppow, Mar 29, 2005
  7. narke

    narke Guest

    I reviewed your original post and didn't see any question
    about the 1:1 dilution.

    Sorry. I want to ask: How to get a 1:1 solution. Follow the D-76
    original formula, and, every time when prepare to dev, get the
    original solution and add the same volume water to make?

    BTW: I also make sure what dose the 'cold water to make' precisely
    mean. i.e, in the D-76 original formula how many water used? 1 liter
    or 1 + 0.75 liter?


    narke, Mar 29, 2005
  8. narke

    narke Guest

    Richard Knoppow,

    Thanks. I like to follow your advice and go to D-76d. Two question
    about it,

    1) while d-76d can be substitute for d-76, can d-76d 1:1 be
    substitute for d-76 1:1

    2) What's the different in the develop time between d-76d and d-76 (or
    d-76d 1:1 and d-76 1:1)

    narke, Mar 29, 2005
  9. Sorry, I see I mis-read the question. D-76 diluted 1:1 does not last
    long. Kodak recommends diluting just before use and discarding the
    developer after use.
    Home mixed stock should have the same shelf life as the package
    form, Kodak states 6 monthes in a closed, capped, bottle. My experience
    is that it lasts longer.
    Richard Knoppow, Mar 29, 2005
  10. D-76d has exactly the same activity as D-76, that is, for
    fresh developer the times are exactly the same for both
    whether stock or diluted. The advantage of D-76d is that its
    activity is stable with time. If you are going to use up the
    developer within a few days it will make no difference which
    you use.
    Since you are mixing your own you can mix the equivalent
    of diluted D-76 but with optimum sulfite. This would be:

    Water 750.0 ml
    Metol 1.0 gram
    Sodium sulfite, dessicated 85.0 grams
    Hydroquinone 2.5 grams
    Water to make 1.0 liter

    This should have about the same activity as diluted regular
    D-76 but will have very slightly finer grain.
    Richard Knoppow, Apr 2, 2005
  11. Seriously though, using extra sulphite to activate the developer and leaving
    out the Borax is an interesting theory, but have you personally tested this
    formula? If so, how do the dev times compare with regular D-76/ID11 when
    diluted 1:1?
    Keith Tapscott, Apr 2, 2005
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