Gearing up! Need help!

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Canosonic, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. Canosonic

    Canosonic TPF Noob!

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    So, finally found some spare money in my pocket and I decided to try out B&W analog photography! Before, I've done only digital.
    I have a couple of questions:

    #1 The camera I'm gonna choose. Canon EOS 50 or Canon EOS 30. I think I'll go with the older version (50), just wondering , does it have Eye controlled focusing? Is it a good choice overall?

    #2 Enlarger. Can't afford that.:( Can I just develop the film, make contact prints, choose what I want and bring developed rolls to a dealer and have them enlarge it? Is it expensive? I mean, if I get the enlarger, when will it redeem itself?

    #3 Chemicals. This is all what I'm gonna need, right?:
    Kodak D-76 Developer
    Kodak T-Max Fixer
    Amaloco S-10 Stop bath
    Print WA Print Developer (for the contact prints)
    That's all, right? I would have just stuck to Kodak, if all the chemistry was available in Germany.
    There's also an Ilford starter kit with paper that makes things 10 times easier, but they ain't giving me a stopper. How can you go without it?
    And is it OK too skip the detergent?

    #4 Paper.
    I don't get it. Is the paper for contact printing the same for simple printing?

    I think that's all for the moment.
    Thanks in advance.


    P.S. Happy Valentines day!
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi;

    Sounds like you've got the b&w bug. Sehr gut.

    There's a series of articles on this forum which cover b&w photography, including simple 'cookbook' instructions on film developing, contact printing, enlarging, etc. There are 7 in all. You'll find them near the top of the main page under 'Articles of Interest'.

    If you have any questions about anything in the articles, just PM me and I'll be glad to assist.

    You're in for a great time. B&w provides all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies to explore.
     
  3. Canosonic

    Canosonic TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!
    actually I have these questions after reading your cookbooks on B&W film photography.
    Thanks for those instructions , BTW.
    I didn't find the answers for these, they're probably stupid questions, so decided to post them here.
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK. Let's take them in order.

    On cameras: I've never owned a Canon. so cannot advise on specific models. I've never found manual focussing to be a problem, though. I suspect the only place where it might matter would be in very low light situations.he sutofocus might be superior.

    Yes, you can certainly develop your film, make contact prints and pick out the negs you want to print. It's best to cut your developed roll of film into strips of 4, 5 or 6 negatives each.

    Enlargers. You can probably get a basic enlarger used on eBay for about $US100 or so. Accesories such as contrast filters and an enlarging easel will add to the cost.
    As to when it will pay out compared to commercial processing, you can do the math. It may pay out rather soon if you go and order lots of 11" x 14"' prints.

    On chemicals: I suspect the Ilford kit will do just fine. A stop bath will make your fixer last longer, but you can use a simple water bath between developer and fixer if you wish. A separate bottle of short stop shouldn't be too expensive, though -- it's basically acetic acid. Some short stops have an indicator which causes the bath to turn color when it nears exhaustion.

    Paper: contact paper is less sensitive to light than enlarging paper. That's the main difference. Enlarging paper, grade 2 or 3, will do very nicely for contact printing. If you use a variable contrast paper, you can get some control of contrast by using a dimmer switch in a line to a 4 watt 'night light' bulb. Put the night light about 3 feet above the surface where you will put the paper. Dimming the bulb slightly with the dimmer switch will make the light more 'yellow' and will change the contrast response of the paper. You'll have to experiment a bit to find a setting which works well for you.

    I think that covers it. Keep those questions coming. I scan this site daily.

    Jim/Torus34

    PS: There are no stupid questions. Some answers, though, ...

    J
     
  5. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes.

    The expense of lab prints depends on size and number of prints and their
    particular price structure.

    But, I have to say, for most people, to get the most from B&W photography
    you really have to do it all yourself. Processing, printing -- everything.

    You may be disappointed with B&W prints from a lab. Many people
    are. They expect them to look like the great prints they see in
    magazines, books and museums but they often turn out looking
    rather pale, flat and boring.

    When you shoot color you can often get away with having a lab do
    all the wet work but not so with B&W. Not if you want to get the most
    from the medium and have great looking B&W prints like the ones you
    probably saw that inspired you to get into B&W film photography.

    I don't say that to discourage you but rather to encourage you to
    do it all yourself. It's fine to get some prints done in a lab at first
    but be prepared -- they may not live up to your expectations. To
    really get great prints you have to do it all yourself. :D
     
  6. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As someone who shoots black and white film and is thinking about starting to develop my own, what is the difference between and your developing? I know you can push / pull the film, and do other tricks, is that what you mean? Or more a control of quality? As in I care a great deal about my film but the lab tech could care less if the grain is the size of boulders?
     
  7. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was speaking mostly about printing in my post above because canosonic
    asked about having prints done by a lab. There's an infinity of ways to
    print a negative and most labs choose the easiest and fastest way which
    is usually not the way the great B&W prints are made -- the ones we see
    in books, magazines and museums, etc. that first inspired us to take up the
    art of B&W film photography. B&W printing is an art unto it self apart from
    the art of shooting.

    But, you asked about film processing. There is a lot more it then just
    pushing and pulling. After you've gotten some basic film developing experience
    under your belt I highly recommend the book The Film Developing Cookbook
    by Anchell & Troop as well as their companion book The Darkroom Cookbook
    for an in-depth look at the art and chemistry of film and paper processing.
    These books (especially the first one) delve into the theory of film
    development and give a good idea of the world of possibilities that exist
    and how these affect the final image in ways you may have never known.

    However, save all the fancy stuff for later. First things first. Do go ahead
    and start developing your own film. Start by choosing a popular general
    purpose developer like those from Kodak, Ilford, etc. and have at it. It's
    fun and you'll learn a lot. After you feel confident with the basics you
    can delve further. ;)
     
  8. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    have u considered medium format? or are you set on 35mm?

    have u considered a hybrid setup: develop your negatives and then scan and print digitally.

    just some things to think about.

    also you should look into a liquid concentrate developer, its far easier to mix up in small amount for one time use. hc110 is a common choice.
     
  9. Canosonic

    Canosonic TPF Noob!

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    No, I'm firm with 35mm. I don't have enough money for a med.

    Never thought of that. Can I scan developed film? Because as far as I know, they scan only negatives?


    I think that's exactly what is Ilford offering.
     

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