Paper developer question

Rollei12

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I'm trying to start up my darkroom and try printing. I have most of the products I need, just a few more things to get.

With the paper developer, I bought some Kodak Dektol. Now if I were to make the developer to package specs, I think it says it can make 1 gallon. So say I did that. Now when I go to print I can take that stock solution and use that or dilute it and pour it into the tray. Now when I do a paper or two, what do I do with that solution? My guess would be to pour that into a second container, NOT the container with the stock solution. That way you have your first container with fresh solution and your second container with your working solution...the solution I'm assuming you can use over and over again till it poops out.

Is this correct layout for working / developing prints? Or do people pour the developer you just used for printing back into your fresh developer container?

Thanks!
 

timor

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One more remark, keep all your solutions air tight. Especially those metol based. Dektol is MQ type, means metol based. Metol fairly easily oxidizes. I would suggest you divide your stock solution in smaller portions like 200 -250 ml, for one portion of working dilution. Fill the bottles right to the brim, with meniscus, to leave as little space for air and cap them. Even if the cap doesn't have the greatest seal, exchange of air would be brought to zero and stock may last even for couple of years. (Depend on how much oxygen was dissolved in the water used to prepare stock in the first place. Remember, that distilled water available in stores is usually ozonated. No idea why. If you used distilled water. Tap water may contain some oxygen as well.) Some people also use "Dust off" compressed gas (for computers etc.) to force air out of the empty space if there is not enough fluid to fill container completely.
 

compur

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... Now when I do a paper or two, what do I do with that solution?... the solution I'm assuming you can use over and over again till it poops out.

I wouldn't count on using Dektol over and over. In my opinion paper developers don't hold up well on reuse. I would recommend that if you want to save money then use as little as possible at each printing session and then discard it. Dektol is pretty cheap.

Also, I think you'll find that 'doing a print or two' will take you more than one or two tries to get right, especially in the beginning. So, you may well use up more developer than you planned for.
 

KenC

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Yeah, best not to reuse developer. You can reuse fixer to some extent because all it's doing is removing unreacted silver halides, so if you reuse some fixer you can just fix a little longer. However, developer activity is critical to getting the development you want. I expect if you reuse you will not get the same blacks you can get with fresh developer.
 

timor

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Yeah, best not to reuse developer. You can reuse fixer to some extent because all it's doing is removing unreacted silver halides, so if you reuse some fixer you can just fix a little longer. However, developer activity is critical to getting the development you want. I expect if you reuse you will not get the same blacks you can get with fresh developer.
That is true with FB papers but with RC not so much. RC contain own developing agents embedded in emulsion, so as long as developer maintain good pH level they still will be developed. This is also why sophisticated developers have much less influence on RC paper image. It is pointless to use glycin or amidol with them. :1247:
 

vintagesnaps

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The developer starts looking black eventually... at least if you use a shared darkroom with college students who don't always bother to make up a fresh batch. It gets to the point you can't get any more prints out of it (and the college kids must have given up and left! lol). Those kids...

You ought to be able to get a number of prints out of a batch. Supposedly it isn't good to leave chemistry indefinitely out open in trays anyway because of the fumes.
 

KenC

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The developer starts looking black eventually... at least if you use a shared darkroom with college students who don't always bother to make up a fresh batch. It gets to the point you can't get any more prints out of it (and the college kids must have given up and left! lol). Those kids...

Best not to share developer with anyone or share anything with college students.
 

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