Adox 50 developer...warning

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by mjferron, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. I recently posted about the high contrast of Adox 20 and decided to try another roll under stricter conditions. 2 hours of hard work which should have landed a keeper or two went down the drain as the 8 day old Adox 50 developer (already premixed) was total junk.
    I thought it looked rather orange but said to myself nah, I just mixed this stuff a short while ago. (Freestyle says it lasts 6 weeks) It has to be ok. Well I got a 95% clear film for all my troubles. First time in the six years I've been messing with B&W film.
  2. How was it mixed? did you mix it with Distilled or filtered water? Can we have all the details? Just the facts Just the facts.
  3. Filtered tap which has never given me problems before. I now just use distilled for my final photoflow rinse.
  4. What bottle was it in? Come on give up everything ...... We need to now...
  5. 1L of mix in a brown half gallon bottle. Kept in the cabinet under the sink. This time of year it's been keeping a constant 64 degrees F.
  6. Plastic, glass how was it cleaned what was in it before.. all the facts...
  7. Plastic, new, rinsed with plain water and a vigorous shake.
  8. Ditto, Larry's inquisition. We really need to shake you down for every detail in order for this to be relevant for future reference and fair to the manufacturers of the film and chemicals. (Not that I have any personal stake in the latter - never used the stuff, probably never will.)
  9. New bottle? Was it used to store anything else.... As LEX said we need all the facts... I have nothing to do with them ether but we need everything to figure out what happened including the type of lid on the bottle.
  10. "Not that I have any personal stake in the latter - never used the stuff, probably never will."
    LOL and I won't again if someone can't explain why a pricey developer can't last 8 days.
  11. New means new Larry. Purchased at my local dealer. Made for photographic chemistry. Needed another one. Standard plastic cap.
  12. That is what we want to know... So please let us have all the facts or we will just have to waist our Money to find out what the frigg you had happen... Then again Lex won't lose his money others will.
  13. Don't think there are any more facts then the ones above. Maybe I a got a bad batch.
  14. I see we are getting no place here. As I season all my new bottles with acid or base depending on what is to go in them and then also if switching contents soak in a neutralizing solution.
    Sorry you had something bad happen...
  15. Never heard of seasoning new bottles with acid nor have the 5 or 6 developers I normally use "ever" had a problem with a fresh bottle rinsed and flushed out with fresh water.
    "I see we are getting no place here." Damn you are making a religion out of this Larry. I keep a tidy shop. No sloppy procedure ya know?
  16. Nope it is not a religion and seasoning with acid? I season with the contents that will be in them... Most developers are base... I use baking soda or borax for those.... Xtol is the only acid developer I use. And vinager or a little stop bath diluted works there. as Plastic has memory.
    Religion Nope I have faith no religion and as Lex said to paraphrase We need to learn more befor we point fingers... because It could be something so simple it gets overlooked in the simple facts of where we went on Monday. :{-)
  17. Well when you get an expensive developer that mixes at 24-1 and is enough for 5 films do you waste 1 films worth on seasoning the bottle? Especially when you also bought 5 films? Tell me if you think a brand new bottle rinsed in fresh water was the cause of a developer not lasting 8 days? Facts please.
  18. Well then I would mix it 1 shot and use it for 1 film at a time or use it to develop all the rolls at one time.. I am not being an Ass Hole brother, just wanting to know.
    No you season with the type not the developer... And please don't get me wrong I just wanted to know as I have been using a few different Rollei films recently.
  19. Well the bottle says mix 24-1 and it's a very small bottle to boot. I don't feel I could get an accurate measurement if I mixed one shot for 35mm. Too small an amount to gauge by my older eyes. A tiny bit one way or another would make a difference for an already sensitive film. Again the info says the mix should last 6 weeks. I'm not saying anyone is an Ahole nor am I overly upset over a failed experiment. I had my reservations about using these products to begin with. I am PO'ed about one paticular shot gone that will be hard for me to duplicate.
  20. Well I know that if you contact Maco/Rollei on their home page they will make all things right.. and yes I am an older person also. :)
  21. Michael, I understand you're experienced with darkroom work. But one of the things I've learned online - and I know Larry can vouch for this - is that many problems described on this forum over the years turn out to be operator error.
    Very rarely does it turn out to be a problem with the equipment or material. But occasionally it does. So we try to sort out what's what.
    For example, when someone states "my negatives came out completely clear", and they swear they did everything correctly, most of the time it turns out they accidentally used fixer as the first step. But that fact often turns up only after we've thoroughly debriefed the complainant, step by step. Meanwhile, if a casual reader Googles a problem and reads only the initial complaint, they'd get the mistaken impression that the entire industry making films and darkroom chemicals must be full of drunken incompetents.
    So, considering the potential for confusion, as well as the previous discussion about Adox 20, it seems reasonable to ask specific questions to eliminate operator error as a possible factor. If there actually is a problem with the materials, this may help to resolve it.
  22. Understand Lex and I am certainly not above mistake but that soup turned orange on me. Like spoiled milk you know when it's gone bad. My Tupperware containers with prepped mixes are all marked. Chems come out of the cabinet one at a time. Everything is read once more before being poured in the tank. There was a faint photographic image on the film and I mean faint, look hard in the light faint. Fixer first and none near the end of process would not have done that. I just wrote Freestyle who sold me the products and I'll see what they have to say. They've been fine to deal with so maybe they have an answer.
  23. 1 liter in a 1/2 gallon bottle means about a quart of air sitting on top of the developer. Not a good thing. :(
    The special note says the concentrate lasts 6 weeks once opened, assuming you are mixing one shot and not topping up the concentrate bottle with water to prevent oxidation. See:
    Sounds like your working solution died in the bottle due to oxidation.
  24. Is this Adox Adolux Adotech? 50ml bottle?
    I used it a couple times while travelling in Europe. I mixed it in whatever was available, to develop the 35mm Adox 20 I was shooting then.
    The negs came out a bit thin. Only after did I read the directions that said it was a one-shot developer. I did all my rolls in the same 1-liter solution, one after another. I do not remember it changed any color. A really non-eventful developer. I suspect you had something added to it, by accident.
  25. I appreciate that Bob. Still that's one fast oxidation. This is why I love Clayton F60. Mix one shot, no problems. I always liked Delta as well :)
  26. I use Hc-110 Dilution H Diafine and Rodinol all one shot. My Acufine I replenish or use diluted 1 shot depending...
    Learning a new developer can be a hard lesson.
  27. RA4 paper developer working solution dies almost as quickly in a bottle half full of air, esp when it is just mixed with nicely aerated tap water and doesn't have used solution returned to the bottle. Once you aerate it once in a print drum, it's dead in under 5 hours just sitting there. I even tried to save some overnight for a test, used it in a tray for an hour or so and poured it back into a bottle filled to the brim. It was useless in 18 hours.
    My D76 stock made with distilled water is still good after a year in an airless 2 liter soft drink bottle. :)
  28. Michael
    There is plastic and plastic
    The best plastic bottles I use ,are the category of the coca cola bottles.I noticed no coloration of the bottle even 3 months later with every kind of developer, for film and paper,stock or working dilution.I think air (oxygen) doesn't penetrate it.
    With other kind of plastic bottles I noticed varying degrees of brownish coloration of the bottle after it was empty.May be air penetrates It and the developer becomes oxydated.
  29. Larry,
    I've never seasoned any of my containers, but since you think it's important, I feel compelled to mention that Xtol is not an acid solution. Undiluted Xtol has a pH of about 8.2, and given its sensitivity to contamination, your acid "seasoning" is probably not a very good idea, if it has any effect at all.
  30. Brown glass bottles in the same size for one use are the only thing to use. Plastic lets oxygen in spoiling the chemicals.
  31. Thanks for the Info as I have not mixed my Xtol I have I still have too many other developers to use first.
  32. Not sure what developer you mean, I never heard of an Adox 50 developer. Do you mean Adotech?
  33. Robert amsden wrote:
    "Brown glass bottles in the same size for one use are the only thing to use. Plastic lets oxygen in spoiling the chemicals."
    If so why does Kodak ship oxidizeable colour developers in plastic bottles, topped with an inert gas? PETE plastic as used in soft drink bottles can maintain a pressure of up to 75psi in the bottle. That doesn't sound very gas permeable to me, see below. A nice table on gas pereability of various plastics, plus info on wine fermenting and storage tanks too. :)
    Yes, glass is best for it's lack of permeability, but it is a pain as you either have to displace the air or purge it with inert gasses everytime you remove some of the contents. Brown glass is bad as you can't see the crap remaining in the bottle, and besides, you are storing the chemicals in a dark room, usually in a cupboard which blocks out what little artificial light that exists there.
  34. "Do you mean Adotech"
    Yep that's the one.
  35. When Freestyle says the opened developer will last 6 weeks I believe it refers to the concentrate.
    The diluted developer was oxidized by air.
  36. Michael; orange developer means it is oxidized; shot. You developed your film in shot developer. It really doesnt matter HOW it got shot; what matters is in the future you learn that orange or brown developer is bad; thus make up new developer instead of assuming.
  37. A far better title of this thread should be a warning not to use orange or brown tired developers on good films
  38. Once one sees orange developer one should not use it one anything of importance; one can get no development or little.

    It is sort of like bad milk or eggs; you toss it out.
  39. How new the milk, eggs, developer is does not matter if they are bad; what matters is you discard the bad stuff; knowing it is bad just by looks.
  40. Taken that in the initial use it worked fine, but was orange before using it again, storage seems to be the moment things went wrong.
    Being a chemist I agree with Kelly Flanigan that the solution turning orange is likely to be due to oxidation and thus makes the solution probably useless.
    1)I would check if the screw cap of your bottle contains an O-ring and whether this is well in place.
    2)there are extremely robust plastics, so a plastic bottle specific for photo developing chemicals is highly unlikely to be the cause.
    3) the temperature of storage does not seem a problem (see
    4)There is a very small chance your gloves were of a material (latex) or were powdered that was not sufficiently resistant and your solution was contaminated with it leading to a subsequent reaction
    5)Although unlikely human error, happens to the best e.g., unnoticed spill of fix in the developer
    6)wrong mix at the plant, e.g, too little potasium hydroquinone sulphate (see
    What to do?: i would send the comapny an email ( and tell your story+ state batchnumber/lotnumber of the bottle and ask if they have suggestions or if they had complaints about this lot or batch?
  41. Kelly,
    Lots of developers oxidize enough to discolor long before they're too oxidized to develop film. I've been using 510-Pyro that looks like used motor oil for almost a year now, and it works perfectly. Most replenished developers oxidize enough to discolor after a few uses, but go on working reliably, sometimes for very long periods. Rodinal is famous for discoloring AND for long shelf life. Before you disparage the OP for expecting his recently mixed developer to develop his film, perhaps you should think more carefully about the range of experiences that inform the decisions of others.
  42. Jay, Rodinal only has a long shelf life when opened but not mixed to a working solution. When you mix it the working solution's life may only be a few hours.
    Edit: The OP did mix all the concentrate and stored the working solution, approx 1 quart, in a two quart bottle. He has not indicated if he did or did not pour the used developer back into the two quart bottle as well.
  43. Bob,
    I'm aware of the differences in keeping properties between stock solutions and working solutions; I was just making the point that discolored developer doesn't automatically equate to bad developer, as Kelly suggested, and it would be far more helpful to provide an explanation of these differences than to make misleading generalizations in a disparaging tone.
  44. Bob no used developer was put back in the bottle. I always use once and dump no matter what the developer. In the end I'm surprised the mix didn't last more than a week. D76 in similar bottles doesn't do this and neither does my ID-11 that's a few weeks old now filling just half the bottle. Used it tonight and it's right on. Clear and potent.
  45. Coloring may occur and the solution may still work, but it is an indication of oxidation, which may in the end lead to a useless solution.
    Since no solution was poured back into the bottle for reuse, something with the bottle or the mix seems to be the problem.
    i would check if the cap is really tight by filling the bottle with water screw the cap on and hold it upside down for some time.
    An only partially filled bottle ofcourse also means more oxygen available for oxidizing the solution and may thus reduce the storage life.
    Sometimes you never find out why, you use a procedure a thousand times without any problem and than it fails once. (i have worked in a science lab and know how difficult it can be to figure out what went wrong)
    But still, if the bottle does not leak, I would send an email to the manufacturer, because it might be an erroneous mix and they would like to know if somethings wrong too and may be willing to help you with advice or might be even sending you new chemicals.
    Loosing images though is always painful.
  46. If I remember what Adotech is, it's used as a low contrast developer for shooting document films for continuous tone work. These developers are quite dilute. The ones like POTA and Technidol have a working solution lifespan of minutes, not hours. These are typically phenidone based developers. A better solution for many people is using Ilford Microphen diluted 1:5. The Microphen stok solution has a much better shelf life than something like Adotech. By diluting it 1:5 for use you get the benefits of the phenidone but a much lower concentration of sodium sulfite.
  47. Jeff I appreciate that. Guess my big mistake was to mix the whole bottle. I'll look into Microphen.
  48. Hello I to the group:
    (1) Having developer "turning orange or brown" really should raise RED flags; thus "if in doubt" you run a test and do not assume.
    I too have used ill looking developer; beer; milk or eggs too. If in doubt I test it instead of ruining something. `
    With old Kodak Kodagraph developer for lith films it looks like light tea colored even when freshly mixed.
    I friend in the 1970's had some roll film developer that was orange/brown that he swore was good and worked that day; I used it and ruined a roll.
    With an unknown developer or food it is better to chuck it than risk getting bad results; or test it if in thrifty mode.
    How long a new batch lasts depends on the surface area exposed to the total volume. A container that is bigger has less area exposed. In an open tray developer can go bad in less than 1 day; sometimes a few hours.
    For old D76 here I just mix up 1 gallon and place the stock 1 gallon in GLASS wine bottles; it fills up 4 completely and the 5th alot. Stored under the sink where it is dark; the raw stock brew lasts me over 1 year. I often mix it 1:1 and always chuck it after each usage. I have used it sometimes after 2 years when the bottles were still full. A 1/2 full bottle lasts about say 2 to 4 months.
  49. I've used Adox CMS 20 and their Adotech developer in the past, but I don't use the film frequently enough to use up the developer before it goes bad and thus have only developed two rolls with two bottles of their developer. Anyways, I just bought another batch of 5 rolls and one bottle of developer, but hadn't decided if I should shoot all five rolls and develop them all at once, or develop as it shoot, being sure to top off the concentrate with water to help prevent oxidation. In any event, I had always assumed I would just add the water to the original glass bottle that the developer came in.

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