I was given an OLD bag of D-76 developer made by Kodak. From the looks of it, it looks to be from the 90's or earlier.

It is still sealed; however, feeling it there are clumps (probably from settling).

Is this developer still usable? If not, then what is the lifespan of unused and sealed, powdered chemicals?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ photo.net/black-and-white-photo-film-processing-forum/00bcNG \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Apr 14, 2015 at 2:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @inkista Thanks! That was my gut feeling; however, have you had any personal experience? It is a paper\foil bag and not the new plastic ones. I have one of those that I purchased last week (exp in 2017). So my guess is the expiration is within five years (to be very generous). \$\endgroup\$
    – SailorCire
    Apr 14, 2015 at 2:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nope, which is why I let it go as a comment. :) photo.net also has a thread on stop bath vs. a rinse. \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Apr 14, 2015 at 3:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd try it and see. Not on your best film and masterpiece compositions though. It may produce some interesting effects if it has deteriorated a bit \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2015 at 7:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @laurencemadill - if the chemical went bad, the film will be just underdeveloped. Really not worth the experiment. \$\endgroup\$
    – MirekE
    Apr 14, 2015 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


Developers contain several chemicals that are sensitive to oxygen. The chances are that they deteriorated a bit. D76 is not so expensive or not so special and I would recommend to get a new one. If you decide to use it anyways, check the color of the solution after you mix it together. It should be pretty much colorless. Any (likely brown) coloration is a sign of oxidation of the development agents.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.