Newbie question about mixing d-76 developer

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by paulo_arellano, May 19, 2010.

  1. Hello, I am setting up a darkroom here in my house and purchased a package of Kodak D-76 film developer to develop my film. My question is regarding the mixture of the powder with water, is it okay to mix this in broad daylight and is it okay to store the whole gallon in a plastic container similar to a clorox bleach container? thnx btw heres my set up that i got from craigslist for an awesome price
  2. by broad daylight I meant outside , sorry.
  3. Yes, you can mix your chemicals in any light. As far as storage goes, I have used all kinds of different bottles and have never had any issues. I especially like Hydrogen Peroxide bottles, they work very well for me and only cost 99 cents...just chuck the H2O2.
    My recommendation for a 1 gallon package of D76 is to use 4 x 1 quart H2O2 bottles. Mix in a big jug, and pour into the four bottles. Fill 3 to the very brim and cap tightly, they will last quite long this way. Work from one bottle at a time and your gallon of D76 will last much longer than if you store all in a 1 gallon jug. This is due to oxidation of the developer, kept in tightly capped completely full bottles, it will last 6 months or more. In a 1 gallon jug, as you open and close it and it depletes, air will ruin the developer much more quickly.
  4. I use 2 liter empty soda bottles. The plastic doesn't react with the photographic chemicals and the lid provides a tight fit and works very well sealing over & over, again & again!
  5. Secret no mess/smell/dust recipe for mixing D76, Dektol etc. Buy a 3.8 liter/1 gallon bottle of distilled water in a PET type plastic bottle. Mark the full line. Pour out whatever is needed to bring down the volume to Kodak's mixing recommendation. Cap the bottle and nuke it until it reaches the high mixing temp. Add half the powder, recap and gently swill, invert the bottle until dissolved. Add half the remaining powder, cap and repeat swilling until dissolved, add the remainder of the powder cap and swill around till dissolved. Add some of the removed water until the level is at the line you marked, squeeze out the air, cap swill around to mix up, cool for 24 hours.
    No airborne dust, clean, no mess, no mixing pots to clean and the stock will keep for a year if you squeeze the air out. :)
  6. Paulo, yes you could mix your D-76 outside, but there's no reason to. Ventiliation is always good. But short of sticking your nose down into the little bit of dust that comes up as the powder comes out of the packet, this is not a toxic chemical. I store my darkroom chemicals in brown plastic one-gallon jugs made for that purpose and sold at camera stores. I have made use of used bottles of everything from milk to medicine bottles from a pharamcist friend. But you always have the issue of making sure they have been thoroughly cleaned out. The photographic chemical bottles are maybe $5 each and last forever, so go with the real thing.
  7. thanks for all the recommendations, I am going to finish my roll of film and develop it this weekend when my safelight arrives in the mail. I will post an update on how everything went.
  8. Distlled water bottle is clean, and the 1 gallon bottle with water is 99 cents. :)
  9. Paulo -
    When you say " develop it this weekend when my safelight arrives" I hope you aren't planning on loading film onto your reels or inserting the reels into your developing tank with the safelight on. The safelight is not safe for film. Since most folks develop their film in a light-tight tank, the actual developing can be done in a well-lit room (so, no need for a safelight once the film is inside the tank). However, loading the film MUST be done in absolute darkness. Either in a darkroom, or inside a film-changing bag or tent, etc. Do not use a safelight when loading film onto your reels or when inserting the reels into your developing tank.
    Apologies in advance if you already know this.
  10. Hey joel, no apologies needed although i do know this information already. I am waiting on my safelight to develop my prints not my film. thnx!
  11. The brown jugs and storing in a dark place will be better than recycled white or clear jugs. Otherwise....
  12. The key to mixing D-76 is to use water at the temp recommended. If cooler it will not completely mix.
  13. gotcha, thnx!
  14. Mix anywhere, store in dark jug. If you don't have one wrap a rag around the jug. Mix hotter than recommended. It mixes faster. I have always used 140 deg F.
  15. Trust me, the fumes from D-76 are nothing compared to those from a bottle of concentrated stop bath. That stuff burns your nose off!
  16. Fixer doesn't smell to good either. You'll like D-76, it's a fantastic developer and is very versatile, I used to use it a lot, but I have switched to HC-110 because of storage life and my now more sporadic film development. I just don't have as much time as I used to...
  17. If you wait overnight everything will dissolve even if the water isn't warm enough. I put glass marbles in my partially filled bottles so there's no air in there.
  18. I didn't see this, so let me say, do NOT use an old bleach bottle. Plastics are somewhat porous and its very hard to remove the old contents. I liked the recommendation for the peroxide bottle, except the ones I see are usually small. Soap bottles are also very hard to completely clean.
  19. "glass marbles" -- there are all sorts of tricks for making a gallon of developer last a few weeks longer, but for a beginner I think it's best to keep things simple. Trying to split up into multipel bottles, add marbles, mix partial batches, etc., will just lead to confusion. The easiest thing is just not to worry about developer life -- toss the stuff after about three months and mix another batch. We're talking $6 a gallon here, it isn't liquid gold.
  20. Store in a cool and dark place (back of the closet on the floor works). Other than that, everyone covered this pretty well...
    couple of caveats... if you're going to use stop bath, be very careful handling it... a little in your eye is a disaster.
    If you are having trouble with your lightproof film loading room, a trick I learned was to use an inside-facing closet, and wait until after the sun went down. That way, no matter how long I sat on the floor of the closet, I never saw any light leaks.
    Looks like you're going to have fun!
  21. Just my 50 cents.

    I just came downstairs out of the bathroom from processing my last roll of 120 B&W, in fresh D76, from my vacation a few weeks ago in Holland. (10 rolls 120) The first one of the previous 4 rolls I did in one year old mix of D76 and fixer, and she came out great. (I always start with the least important roll as a safe / test or "just in case" thingie)

    Now I just mix the D76, and fixer also, in the brown colored 1 gallon bottles from the photography supply store. I fill the bottle with about 1 quart of water, adding the whole pack of chemicals, adding the remaining 3 quart of water. Then shake it baby. Then I store them in my bathroom and wait at least till the next day (24hrs) before I use it. When I use it I always shake the bottle a bit before poring into the measuring cup.

    So far I have had no problems, and I do 135, 120 roll and 4x5 sheets. Color I send to the lab, and sometimes comes home with more dust then mine. :)

    Have fun, and a nice looking enlarger kit. I missed out on one set on GL for 100 dollar, oh well. Maybe in the future?

    Just my 50 cents.
  22. Hey guys i just mixed my two developers, the kodak d-76 and the kodak dektol in two diff 1gallon bottles with their correct temperature, my d-76 did not change color at all which worries me because i remember d-76 being a bit yellowish, the dektol did come out yellowish, is this all good? the date of expiration for the d-76 is december 2010.

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