Choosing B&W film and chemicals

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by EZzing, May 11, 2008.

  1. EZzing

    EZzing TPF Noob!

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    Greetings, We will finally set up our darkroom this summer. I will be learning the process from my 21 year old son! He is familiar with the c-41.

    This is what they used at his school.

    I would like to choose the right film and the right chemicals for a beginner like myself.

    We will be developing 120 and 35mm to start and then 4x5.

    I practically had a 45 mx enlarger drop in my lap complete with a large assortment of negative holders and nikon lenses.

    I would like to have chemicals that will be compatible with easily obtainable film off the racks here in Atlanta.

    Sometimes it's a pain to find the c-41 negative film without a bit of driving.


    thanks
    bill
     
  2. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    First off, congrats on the darkroom set up.

    If I were you, I'd order my film from the same store I'd get my chemicals. B&H or Adorama are good bets. Shipping ought to be cheaper than burning gas, IMO.:confused:

    I've always used Kodak film and their Flexicolor C-41 chemicals exclusively, so I can't give comparisons.
     
  3. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I've used the Arista C-41 set from Freestyle. Looks pretty good to me, but then again I only used it to cross process slide film.

    You shouldn't have any trouble finding color print film anywhere in ATL--that's about all that's left for consumer films these days. Any drug store or department store should carry them.
     
  4. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You might try black and white professional film, something like Neopan or TriX or TMax or something like that. Might be harder to find but simpler, cheaper and quicker to process than C41 films. I got started with gear, chems and enough film for the year for about $350.00. Processing only at this point.
     
  5. EZzing

    EZzing TPF Noob!

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    Folks, I certainly appreciate the advice!!

    I do want to learn with the easiest and fastest methods. I see Tmax every once in a while.

    We are so close to being set up to start developing. I need a few odds and ends and a bit more knowledge.

    Thanks

    Bill
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you will not find chemistry just any where these days even in Atlanta and i live here.
    you will find c-41 films most places

    try showcase.

    are you planning on developing c-41 black and white film, or traditional film with it's chemistry. each is different.
    and will call for different methods of development.
     
  7. theadamsociety

    theadamsociety TPF Noob!

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    I suggest ILFORD XP2 Super 400 B&W.
    I only use this film outdoors because it doesn't always perform properly indoors. It's a 400 though and it's not Superman. But yeah, It's really easy to process. IMO.
     
  8. EZzing

    EZzing TPF Noob!

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    Hi Ann, I would like to learn how to develop c-41 because my son knows this and then move on to films such as Tmax etc because they are a bit easier to come by if I'm in a hurry. I wonder what it is about the c-41 process that the school system likes???

    I would love to come across a list of films and the process it takes to develop them.

    I want to eventually learn color developing too as it seems there is always a rack full of Kodak gold available.

    theadamsociety, Thanks for the info. I like easy for SURE !!

    Bill
     
  9. Judge Sharpe

    Judge Sharpe TPF Noob!

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    C-41 is a color process that is used with the c-41 black and white film. This is one layer color film the other two layers are left off so it only comes out as B&W, and has no grain as such. I don't think it has the sharpness and the true blacks of true black and white film. I do not have any problem finding B&W film in 35mm and 120/220 locally at dedicated camera stores. I know that Atlanta has a Wolf/Ritz photo and should stock Ilford and Kodak B$W films. The problem with C-41 processing is that it is temp. sensitive, much more so than true B&W. I like Ilford chemicals and papers, but have had good luck with Kodak. Hard to go wrong with D-76 developer. They should also be available in the Atlanta area. Again Wolf/Ritz has it locally. Otherwise Freestyle Photographic Supplies is great to deal with- go on line and order a catalogue and drool over all the will sell you.
    Good luck
    Judge Sharpe
     
  10. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have to agree with the above. I'm a total newbie at developing but i went out and bought 10 rolls of Ilford HP5 film, and Ilford Chemicals, Ilfosol S (i think it's called), Ilfostop and RapidFixer (again, if that's what its called)..

    I've done 3 lots of film now and all of them have come out good! very easy process and if i can do it, anyone can do it.
     
  11. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    not every wolf/ritz camera store in atlanta has traditional darkroom supplies, altho, you should be able to find the film .

    developing color and printing color is a bit more touchy; i.e. temperature being one.
    c-41 process can be done at any 1 hour photo lab, so it is quick and fast.

    it is much harder these days to find a vendor who will develop traditional black and white film.
    showcase does and a place in decatur called Jack's camera will and there maybe a few others but these i know will.

    perhaps wolf's will but they send it out and then have been known to print out the negatives on color paper with color chemistry along with the other color stuff which will not give you a true neutral black and white photo.
     
  12. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    B&W paper that is designed to be processed in colour print chemicals (RA-4) still exists, but it is a lot less common in minilabs than it used to be, especially since Kodak stopped making their two versions (neutral and sepia) of Portra Professional Black and White paper.

    Best,
    Helen
     

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