Chemical Questions

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by oriecat, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    Do you usually use stock or working solutions?

    If mixing up working solutions to use later, do you need to worry about the water temp? It's just gonna change anyway...

    When mixing from a powder, is it ok to shake instead of stir?

    How can you tell when paper developer is exhausted? Or do you toss it each time, like you do with film dev.

    Same with hypo-clear. I've always been told to toss it each time, but the bag says it can be used on 150-200 8x10 films. How does that equate to rolls of film? I'd rather not toss it each time if not necessary.

    None chemical - if testing your darkroom for light leaks using the coin trick thing, do you have the safelight on, since that is how you will normally be printing anyway, or do you test out the total darkness?

    Also, anyone have a good site that explains how to align the enlarger? I am almost ready to set it up, so I will need to get it aligned and have no idea how to go about that.

    Thanks!! :)
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I mix up stock solutions, which are then diluted into working solutions as I need them.

    When mixing up stock solutions I follow the manufacturer's advice on water temp.

    I shake, but I was taught to stir. My teacher never said not to shake. I usually take 1/2 the water, add the powder, shake, add the rest of the water, and give it another shake or stir.

    Paper developer is exhausted when you can no longer get solid blacks no matter how long the exposure. I use paper developer until it's exhausted. Wrecking a print with bad dev isn't as dire as wrecking film with bad dev.

    Hypo-clear is one of those things that should probably not be used to exhaustion. I'd go with about 1/2 the manufacturer's recommended capacity. You may find that this is about your fixer's capacity, in which case you can replace them both at the same time. I use hypo-check to see if the fixer is exhausted.

    You can check whether your darkroom is light tight without the safe light on. Then check if your safelights are too close or too strong with them on.

    A trick I use to see if my enlarger was aligned was to scratch an "X" in the center and each corner of a throw away neg. Project the neg as large as you are going to print, and use a grain magnifier to see if they are all in focus. Mine were, so I don't know what the next step is you find that yours are not. Remember, aperture on your enlarger works the same way as on your lens; as you stop down you get more depth of field. So an enlarger that is out of alignment at f/5.6 may not have problems at f/11.
     
  3. Tyjax

    Tyjax TPF Noob!

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    Hm, I was gonna answer but Kmatt has wrapped it all up very well. Ditto to all he said. I really second the Hypoclear. I usually go about half manufacturers specs.
     
  4. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hypo-clear is that a generic name for Kodak Photo-Flo
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Hypo-clear is a wash aid that eliminates fixer, reducing film and print washing times. "Hypo-clear" is Kodak's brand name. Ilford I think just calls it wash aid. "Hypo" means fixer.

    "Photo-flo" is Kodak's brand name for a rinse that help eliminate water or mineral spots on drying film.
     
  6. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Can Photo-Flo be mixed for working stock and reused?
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Photo-flo comes in "200" and "500" types from what I've seen. These are different concentrations. The number represents how many parts water to one part photo-flo. So a little photo-flo goes a long, long way for most home darkrooms.

    I don't reuse photo-flo. I mixed up a gallon of stock solution, and it went gross (moldy) before I used it all. So now I just add a few drops to 32 oz of water when I need it. Go crazy, add ten drops; it seems to be sort of like dish soap to me. Concentrated photo-flo won't hurt your film.
     
  8. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    Is hypo-clear even necessary? I used a university dark room last year. WE only had hypo-clear for about a month. After that we just used water. Is this bad or is it an acceptable substituion that just atkes a little more time.
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Hypo clear is recommended by most manufacturers to reduce wash times and increase archival quality for film and fiber papers. But no, it isn't absolutely necessary. Just make sure you wash good or the fixer will come back to haunt you.
     
  10. Tyjax

    Tyjax TPF Noob!

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    I use a wash aid to reduce wash times. I make my own photo flow from scentless dishwashing detergent. Something along the lines of the very tip of my finger in the soap to 32 oz. Works for me.
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Awesome tip, Tyjax. I knew it was just dish soap!
     

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