Darkroom chemicals

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by MssYone, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. MssYone

    MssYone TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering if anyone could tell me which chemicals are the best and safest to use in developing and printing? (B&W) Are there any sites that could tell me about this? Thank you!
     
  2. Randall Ellis

    Randall Ellis TPF Noob!

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    Any chemical can be 'safe' or 'hazardous' depending on how you use it. As long as you follow the directions and use common sense you should not have any reason to be concerned. Standard household chemicals can be far more dangerous than photo chemicals if misused (for example, NEVER mix windex and bleach, ever).

    If you want to keep things simple, look for a vitamin C developer (XTOL if you want to buy pre-prepared), use water for a stop bath, and use simple hypo for fixer. Short of using a pyrogallol based developer, you're not going to be dealing with anything more sinister than you do when you clean your house...

    - Randy
     
  3. MssYone

    MssYone TPF Noob!

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    Thank you Randy! Maybe you could answer another question for me... I am building a darkroom in my basement. I have a old school furnace (boiler) and the hot water heater down there. Are the chemicals flammable? combustible vapors? I am installing ventilation fans and so forth.
     
  4. kitedemon

    kitedemon TPF Noob!

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    I have further advise, I mix vast amounts of all of the above 50l plus a week generally and for small personal use a liquid is the easiest you can mix what you need to use and not have the hazards of powders in air. Liquids mix what you need and then you are done. With that in mind you might look at Hc110 developer. I love xtol but is isn't that much 'safer' just different chem check the whmis sheets before you buy you'll see. A respirator (acid gas filters) isn't a bad idea either.
     
  5. Randall Ellis

    Randall Ellis TPF Noob!

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    Powdered chemicals should be mixed in a well ventilated area, but generally speaking unless you are mixing raw ingredients most all of the powdered commercial products are coated to protect them from moisture in the package so they give off very little dust unless they have been badly handled.

    As far as combustibility, no, nothing that I've ever used for photographic purposes has been flammable or combustible in any way. According to the MSDS sheets that I've seen for photographic chemicals, that should not be an issue. If in doubt look up the MSDS online or at your local library - the librarians can help you find them if you have difficulty tracking them down yourself.

    Good luck, and have fun! (oh, and ask questions if you have them...)

    - Randy
     
  6. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your general, modern chemistry is very safe as long as you are safe. Use protective gear. Keep things well ventilated. Make sure you have a nice open workspace. There are as many chemistry combinations as there are photographers using them so I won't wander into what to use. Do make certain you have a different film developer and paper developer. The other chemicals can be used for either. I generally mix what I am going to use on a session by session basis, or 'one shot'ting my chemistry. How do you intend to store it and for how long? Just curious since I kinda broached the subject.
     
  7. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    I don't know of any b&w chemicals that are flammable, but some color one contain benzyl alcohol, so I wouldn't use them too close to an ignition source.

    I'm glad to hear there are still people who are into darkroom work.:thumbup:
     
  8. darkroom sa

    darkroom sa TPF Noob!

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    love the smell of darkroom chemicals .... enjoy
     
  9. jokyrock

    jokyrock TPF Noob!

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    thks this helped me for knowing more about dark room.
     

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