Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by hammy, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. hammy

    hammy TPF Noob!

    Aug 6, 2005
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    Are there basic chemicals to start with?
    Basic brand/model of developer, stop, fix, paper... so on.. ?
    I get so confused when I go in my camera store. They have a lot of different types of papers and developers and powers and blah blah blah, what should I start with? :confused:
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Nov 8, 2004
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    Where am I now?
    The only photo chemicals that have any differences are the developers.
    Fix and stop are more or less the same throughout so you are OK buying the cheapest to start with.
    Developers - both film and paper - are different.
    Different film developers have different properties. For example:
    Fine grain developers minimise grain structure but usually at the cost of slower film speed.
    Developers to increase film speed, but at a cost of increased grain and loss of sharpness.
    High acutance developers to increase sharpness but at the loss of film speed.
    And so on.
    You only need to worry about these when you get to the stage of understanding about them.
    Starting out you are best to use a good general purpose film dev. The oldest, and best, all round film dev is Kodak D76/Ilford ID11. Choose one or the other as they are near enough identical.
    The other option for a beginner is a two-bath developer like Diafine. This requires two 'developments' but is worth the fiddling because temperature does not matter too much, nor does development time and the chemicals keep working for ages. It's almost foolproof and gives good results.

    Paper developer gives different working properties and print tonality. Again you only need to worry about it when you get there.
    Your best bet for starting out is a cheap brand resin-coated multigrade paper and a general purpose RC paper developer.

    When you are starting out keep it simple and cheap. Worry about the fancy expensive stuff when you have the basics pinned down.
  3. Boop's_passion

    Boop's_passion TPF Noob!

    Jan 16, 2006
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    Thanks Hammy! I am having some the same issues. Looking around at this forum, I feel like I just started out in photography and I have been taking pictures for years. This is an awesome, amazing place. :mrgreen:

    Thanks also Hertz! That was great information.

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