Do powdered developers really expire?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by farkle-mpls, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. I mixed up a 3.8-litre pack of D-76 yesterday that had expired in summer 2010. Tested it today, and it developed the film as I would have expected from in-date developer.

    Plastic package; no evidence of tearing or breach. The powder was free-flowing and white, and there was no discernible brown in the resulting stock solution.
  2. "Do powdered developers really expire?"

    Yes, but it can take a long time.
    I was given some ancient (decades old) one pint packs of Ilford ID-11 that were found in a disused college darkroom that was being dismantled.

    The internal packaging consisted of thick plastic sachets, but the developing agents in part A were browned through oxygen permeating through the plastic. Even the cardboard surround had been stained brown - through the plastic!

    I made up a batch: The solution was yellowish and a quick clip test showed that the activity was less than it should have been.

    I remember that small quantities of developer came in glazed paper sachets at one time. Those paper sachets would turn brown and useless within a couple of years. Larger quantities came in metal cans that would keep indefinitely.
  3. I have a "Kodak Direct Positive Film Developing Outfit". Note, not the later TMax version.

    Chemistry in cans and bottles. Some day I will see if it works.

    One part has a can with powder, and a bottle inside the can.
  4. I found a package of Ilford ID11 I purchased in the mid 80’s. Worked every bit as good a new.

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