TMAX developer shelf life?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by rick_jack|1, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. Hi,
    I have about 10 unopened bottles of Kodak TMAX concentrate, it's well over 10 years old. Does anyone have any experience using this
    developer expired? I normally would try a test roll but the only TMAX film I have left is 120 and I hate wasting a roll of that. I do have Tri-X
    and Delta 100 in 35mm bulk, has anyone tried those films with that developer, if so what dilution and time?
  2. Pretty much, if a developer is dark brown, it is too old.
    Tan or light brown is usually fine.
    There are times for Tri-X, and Delta 100 should also be fine.
    Kodak says two years for concentrate, but that doesn't say open or factory sealed.
    Usually that means full, but not factory sealed.
    It looks like it comes in clear plastic bottles, so it should be easy to see if it is brown.
    I would test it on Tri-X, but if it is mostly not brown, likely it will work just fine.
  3. Thanks. I will test it on some TX. This stuff is at least 10 years old. When our photo department at work switched to digital everything film went. Film, paper and chemistry went into the garbage, the Color enlargers, Nikon's, Hasselblads with their lenses went to a salvage dealer for pennies. Being the government we were not allowed to touch it. I was able to sneak some chemicals and about 30 boxes of color and B&W enlarging paper out. I hope the B&W paper is still good, I'll find out soon. The chemicals in pouches and cans are still good. I could fill my pool with Dektol.
    thanks for your reply.
  4. I have had good and bad results with old B&W paper. I have had what I believe is 50 year old paper work fine. I have had paper a few years old that wan't good. (Both given to me, so I don't know the storage conditions.)
    Color enlarging paper should be kept cool.
    I have bought old Nikon parts for low prices, though probably not yours.
  5. Rick, I have successfully used six-year-old T-Max developer by extending the standard time by about 50%. With ten-year-old T-Max developer, maybe you'll have to extend the standard time by 100%. Or maybe it won't work at all. Shoot and develop a test roll to find out. You can easily find the standard times for Delta 100 or Tri-X by searching the Internet.
  6. BTW TMAX developer is not just for T-grain film. It can be used with any B&W film. It just got it's name because it came out around the same time as the then new Kodak T films.
    Now back to the original Question. I too found an unopened bottle in the back of a cabinet and it was over 10 years old. It worked fine. But as said try it on a test roll first.
  7. Yes T-Max developer works with, and times exist for, other films, but it sounds like it is especially optimal for T-Max.
    Among others, there are times for T-Max 400 at EI 3200 for TMax, TMax-RS, and Xtol, but not for D-76 or HC-110.
    Actually, I have never tried TMax, TMax-RS, or Xtol, so I can't say much about them.
    It would be interesting to see TMax 400 at EI 3200, though.
  8. From the TMX data sheet:
    You can also use other Kodak developers for pushing these films; however, T-MAX Developer and T-MAX RS Developer and Replenisher produce higher-quality tone reproduction (better shadow detail) under these conditions. ​
    This is in the section on push processing.

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