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Can frozen chemistry be saved?
Old 03-28-2004, 12:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The heat went out in my darkroom some time last week, and, while signs of spring are showing, it's still hitting -30 some nights. Does anyone know if darkroom chemistry that's been frozen can be salvaged? All B/W stuff - ilfosol s, DD X, x-tol, indicator stop bath, hypoclear, etc., no C-41 chemistry. I don't really want to experiment and ruin some film, but there's a fair chunk of "frozen assets" out there that I'd like to save if I can. Any advice appreciated. - Tim
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Re: Can frozen chemistry be saved?
Old 03-28-2004, 01:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never had that experience, but I typically go with the "when in doubt, toss it out" philosophy. Simple arithematic to me ... thirty dollars or so in chemistry (been a while since I purchased b/w soup -- can you tell) vs. possible priceless negs.

Besides, have you ever tasted a beer that was frozen and then thawed out? On that basis alone I give it a "bleech" vote. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Dave
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Re: Can frozen chemistry be saved?
Old 03-28-2004, 02:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, tastes skunky and flat even after you pick out the broken glass! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] I thought it picked up the funny taste from the bottom of the cooler!
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Re: Can frozen chemistry be saved?
Old 03-28-2004, 05:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OK - here's the caveat: I'm a chemist - but I'm NOT an expert in photographic chemistry. These "guesses" are based on pretty considerable knowledge of chemistry and a fair acquaintance with b/w processing as it was done 30 years ago.

Short answer: the fix, stop, and hypoclear solutions are OK - just mix well before use. The developers are P-R-O-B-A-B-L-Y OK if you mix them thoroughly before use.

When a solution freezes, there are changes in the local composition - so that the freezing developer may experience a change in solution acidity as it freezes. This COULD cause deterioration of the developing agent or some other component in the solution. Depends in part on how long it took to freeze. If there is no chemical reaction during the freezing process, then you should be able to simply remix after thawing. The developer is the solution most likely to experience a reaction with a change in acidity; stop, fix, and hypoclear are quite unlikely to change.

Frankly, if it's a large investment for you, I'd mix the thawed solutions carefully and run a test roll. But even if the roll is normal, you need to realize that the shelf life may be seriously altered by the freeze-thaw cycle.

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Re: Can frozen chemistry be saved?
Old 03-28-2004, 05:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. I've got about $150 worth of chemistry out there, but I don't have to replace it all at once to get back in business. I think I'll take Dave's approach of "when in doubt, throw it out," but curiosity is chewing on me too and I may just mix well and process a couple of test rolls for the heck of it. I'll let you know how it works. - Tim
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Re: Can frozen chemistry be saved?
Old 03-28-2004, 05:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Who am I to disagree with a chemist? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

John makes some valid points and I was concentrating more on the developer than the other parts of the process. If it were me, I'd still dump the developer -- but keep in my mind that I am very cautious when it comes to the well-being of my negs. I've always been a one-and-done processor. That whole concept of replenishing developers just seems like too much a crap shoot.

Good luck with it and thanks to Doc Ford for filling us in on the science side of it, too.

Dave

Pretty day today so shot some shadows for fun.

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