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Clayton F-76

Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:52 am
by rmolson
Problems with Clayton F-76

I have run into a problem with Clayton F-76. First off I am not a novice, but a retired professional. I switched to Claytons F-76 fromD-76 as I am not doing a large amount of personal work anymore. And D-76 becomes unstable when stored for long periods or over 3 to 4 weeks even in filled and stoppered bottles. I decanted a quart of F-76 into 16 -2 oz brown glass bottles fully stoppered. I have been getting very good results for the past 3 to 4 weeks and then disaster struck. I normally dilute F-76 1:15 to equal D-76 1:1 as the 1:9 times of FP4 are too short, with my city water which come in at 72.The other day my roll processed for 7 ½ minutes at 72 degrees came out grossly underdeveloped. The first thing I did was checkout the camera, a Bronica SQ, battery and shutter speeds were all in working order..
I know the drill, back to calibration tests of the film and developer.. My question is two part. Has anyone else experienced a sudden loss of activity with Claytons F-76 with normal storage? And two does any one know of a method of testing a developer concentrate before committing a days worth of shooting to development?

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:45 am
by Digitaltruth

I can't explain the underdeveloped roll you have experienced, but let me assure you that F76+ is a very reliable product and has a long shelf life, even in half-full plastic bottles. I am currently using a bottle of my own which has been half-empty for about 9 months and is still performing well.

F76+ is phenidone-based, unlike D-76 which uses metol as its primary developing agent. Phenidone has a much longer lifespan than metol and is preferred by most users who are seeking improved keeping qualities.

We sell a lot of F76+ and the only time I have ever heard of a bottle going bad was when it was exposed to heat and light for a prolonged time. This would be true of any other film developer.

Of course it is always possible that some unexplained circumstance has caused a problem with the developer, so I would recommend running a clip test on a small piece of film to check whether the problem reoccurs. If it does, then you should dump the bottle and replace it. I'm sure your working methods are good, but Clayton do not recommend decanting the bottle and it is possible that some contaminent entered the chemical during the decanting process. If you store the plastic bottle in dark, cool conditions it should last for a considerable length of time.

Although we sell Clayton products on the Digitaltruth web site, these comments are my own personal observations and are made entirely independently.

Clayton F-76plus Developer

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:57 am
by Lowell Huff
I am disapointed in the poor performance of our F 76 Developer for you. With rare exception, we have many very satisfied users of our product. You did not identify which film you were using, but if it was Kodak 100 TMX
film; the processing times are 50% longer than Tmax 100 as printed on the label. When Kodak changed the label name about one and a half years ago, the deveoping time made this huge change. Obviously an emulsion change.
Any time you have a question about Clayton Products, you can reach me at 800 231-8872 x 104 or


Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:48 pm
by rmolson
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I have just finished running some clip tests. The F-76 worked very well. Apparently my earlier problem lies more with me or possible cross contamination. A condition I have since corrected I am now using only distilled water for the dilution and a dedicated thermometer and graduate for the developer only.
Sincerely R Molson