Shelf life of Phenidone

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foolscape
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Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby foolscape » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:51 pm

Hi all,

I was attempting to develop a negative with POTA, which I mixed from chemicals on my shelf. It only has 2 ingredients: Sodium Sulfite and Phenidone. The Film Developing Cookbook says that it should have an orange color due to the oxidation of the Phenidone. My first batch was clear, so I thought I must have had some cross-contamination. So, I made a second batch. It was clear too, but I decided to soup the film in it anyway. Well, they turned out blank. I bought my Phenidone in 2006. I haven't used it very quickly, but there is only a little left. Should I toss it and buy fresh? Does Phenidone go bad?

--Gary


Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:16 am

foolscape wrote:Hi all,

I was attempting to develop a negative with POTA, which I mixed from chemicals on my shelf. It only has 2 ingredients: Sodium Sulfite and Phenidone. The Film Developing Cookbook says that it should have an orange color due to the oxidation of the Phenidone.

My first batch was clear, so I thought I must have had some cross-contamination. So, I made a second batch. It was clear too, but I decided to soup the film in it anyway. Well, they turned out blank. I bought my Phenidone in 2006. I haven't used it very quickly, but there is only a little left. Should I toss it and buy fresh? Does Phenidone go bad?

--Gary
It seems that your Phenidone has gone bad from your description. But why do you want to make POTA?

POTA only keeps a few hours after mixing, requires long-ish developing times and produces negatives that are often too low in contrast even with Kodak Technical-Pan.

You could contact Michael Maunder from this link, as he has a wealth of experience with specialist developers and I have always found him helpful.

http://www.speedibrews.free-online.co.uk/

foolscape
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby foolscape » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:57 pm

I wanted to use POTA for a night scene where there was too little available light. There were lights in windows and street lights, but not enough. I shot 6 sheets. Two were done with PMK, 1 with Ilfotec-HC 1:31, and one stand developed with a diluted Ilfotec-HC. None worked. I got lovely highlights, but no shadow detail, even though I added plenty of exposure for resiprocity. I wanted to try POTA as an experiment. I was going to develop for a half an hour in attempts to bring out the shadows.

--Gary

Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:41 am

foolscape wrote:I wanted to use POTA for a night scene where there was too little available light. There were lights in windows and street lights, but not enough. I shot 6 sheets. Two were done with PMK, 1 with Ilfotec-HC 1:31, and one stand developed with a diluted Ilfotec-HC. None worked.

I got lovely highlights, but no shadow detail, even though I added plenty of exposure for resiprocity. I wanted to try POTA as an experiment. I was going to develop for a half an hour in attempts to bring out the shadows.

--Gary
Speedibrews Celer-Stellar and Celer 422 are low contrast speed enhancing developers designed for photographing stars and planets through a telescope, particularly with Kodak Technical-Pan.
Another option would be to try Ilford Microphen which provides a genuine speed increase over developers like HC-110.

Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:45 am

Out of curiosity, what film are you using for night scenes?

foolscape
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby foolscape » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:19 pm

I was using Tri-X 320, but my usual night film is HP5

foolscape
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby foolscape » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:23 pm

Speedibrews' web site states that it no longer does mail order. I wouldn't know where to get it. I can get Microphen here in the States.

Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:24 am

foolscape wrote:Speedibrews' web site states that it no longer does mail order. I wouldn't know where to get it. I can get Microphen here in the States.
Silverprint in the UK sell Celer-Stellar.
http://www.silverprint.co.uk/ProductByG ... PrGrp=5016

It is probably worth sending an email to Speedibrews first for advice though.

Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:14 am

foolscape wrote:I was using Tri-X 320, but my usual night film is HP5
Gary, you may find Andrew Sanderson's night photography photo's to your liking. He often uses HP5 Plus and (I think?) ID-11 (D-76) diluted 1+3 with partial stand development to control contrast.
There are a set of exposure tables on the page of this link. http://www.thewebdarkroom.com/?p=373

He is also a master printer and endorsed by Ilford.

foolscape
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby foolscape » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:41 pm

I think I have a book written by him about night photography. I'm not at home, so I can't be sure it's him, but I've seen some to the shots before.

foolscape
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby foolscape » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:51 pm

Keith Tapscott. wrote:
foolscape wrote:Speedibrews' web site states that it no longer does mail order. I wouldn't know where to get it. I can get Microphen here in the States.
Silverprint in the UK sell Celer-Stellar.
http://www.silverprint.co.uk/ProductByG ... PrGrp=5016

It is probably worth sending an email to Speedibrews first for advice though.
It's not on their list of chemicals that they ship worldwide, probably due to toxicity.

--Gary

IanG
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby IanG » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:16 am

In my experience Phenidone has a very long shelf life, I have some Ilford Phenidone from the early 1960's that's still as good as new.

Ian

foolscape
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Re: Shelf life of Phenidone

Postby foolscape » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:10 pm

IanG wrote:In my experience Phenidone has a very long shelf life, I have some Ilford Phenidone from the early 1960's that's still as good as new.

Ian
I'll make some E-72 paper developer to test it. I'm a bit perplexed, tough, because POTA only has 2 chemicals plus water at 125 degrees F.

--Gary


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