Empty Developer Bottle Blues

Credits: fartstorm

I’ve decided that I like to process my own film but once again that decision rears its ugly head…What next? Do I go for a different developer or continue to explore D76 Kodak powder. Coffenol intrigues, but I’m told there’s a stench. Is it really that bad? Would the neighbors complain? What chemical stores well? Any of them “dangerous”? Shelf life? So many ideas!! In any case I will certainly not be stopping so soon after I just got started.

written by fartstorm on 2012-08-19


  1. asharnanae
    asharnanae ·

    hm..... I use Suprol by champion for B&W developing, just happens to be cheap and I have never had a problem with it yet. It mixes 1:9 with water. I have stored some in a mostly cool dry cupboard at work for years (we bulk buy) and as long as it doesn't have loads of spare air in the bottle (we use 5lt ones) getting to the chemical it last ages. So I sometimes decant it to smaller bottles once I open a big one, to save it longer.

    For colour I use Digibase C41 chems, they are great and last well, I buy a pack that does 120 ish films and cost about 40 pounds, you can mix up just enough chemical to do one film at a time if you want, and the mix does 10 to 14 films, so as long as you store it air safe, like the B&W chems, it seems to last very well. I use mine so much I have not had a chance to truly examine open shelf life though. unopened the seem to last years though, as I had a pack a work stored for a while and its still fine now.

    I have always wanted to try Cafenol, never got around two it, but i'm thinking the smell is probably not that bad... most stuff in photography smells to some degree, using some of the Colorvir toners is quite stinky as they can have glacial acetic acid or sulphurous chems in them. As long as your not processing in your broom cupboard, with the door closed, I can't see much of a problem. It might build up if you do lots of films at once in a big canister, I once hand wet developed 8ft long by 2 ft wide rolls of paper which I had exposed..... DAMN now that was bad.... even with the extractors on full I probably should have worn a full gas mask.... got a quite light headed and eye watery. anyhoo, i'll stop rambling.....

  2. fartstorm
    fartstorm ·

    @asharnanae Thanks for the input. I'm a bit of a rambler too, so all is forgiven.

    My "darkroom" is my changing bag and my kitchen sink. My family is concerned about ventilation and vapors and other V words. Color processing is still only on the horizon for now.

  3. fartstorm
    fartstorm ·

    I decided to go with the D76 again. It was just too easy for results I was happy with to abandon right away. 2 gallons worth of powder for about $15.