Little help with developing?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Luke, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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    Hi.
    I'm just about to start developing my own black and white, I've done it before at school but never on my own, and our teacher was somewhat wasteful. I can't afford to be wasteful. My question goes out to people like torus34 and stingray and others who know a lot about doing black and white.( hi will, until now i've just been getting stingray to do my film for me :p).
    So i have some DD-X, and some delta 400. and some standard fixer.
    now i've read several thingos on how to dilute, and many give different ratios etc. 1:3, 1:1 etc.
    now, how will different dilutions effect develooping time, reusability of developing dilution, consistency of quality etc.
    and what should i use bearing in mind i want to:
    - always have a consistent quality to my delta, as i bulk roll, and should be getting every roll exactly the same except for what photos are on it of course.
    - as much reusability of developer as possible while maintaining good results.
    help guys? thanks.
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First, let's start with an assumption: The manufacturers know their products. They really do, you know.

    If you check the various Kodak data sheets, you'll find it stated that 1 gallon of fixer will process 100 8x10 sheets of film. That's 8x10x100 square inches.

    35mm film is 1 3/8" wide. A 24 exp length is about 46" long. That comes to 63 square inches. For 36 exp, it's 64" long and 88 square inches. The rest is simple division. 1 gallon of fixer will process 125 rolls of 24 exp and 90 rolls of 36 exp. If you're using 120 film, you now know how to work out the math. The quantities are optimum. You might want to reduce them a bit as a safety factor.

    Kodak also states the life of the mixed fixer. I'll leave it to you to explore their site and retrieve that information. If you store the fixer in a plastic bottle, see if you can squeeze the sides when you cap it to drive out most of the air. Same with the developer bottle.

    Ilford Ilfotec DD-X is a one-shot developer. That means that you mix up the amount you need for one tank of film, process the film and throw out the developer. The mix ratio is one part developer and 4 parts of water.

    Figure out how much your tank holds. Divide by 5. That's the amount of developer to use. Add 4 times that amount of water and you'll end up with exactly enough for your tank.

    The Ilford data sheet for DD-X is readily available on line. In fact, I knew nothing at all about the developer before I downloaded the sheet this morning. It contains a whole lot of other useful information.

    Once you've processed a specific film using the exact manufacturer's directions, adjusted the ISO rating if required to give good negatives and consistently get acceptable negatives, you're ready to experiment with procedures other than that recommended by the manufacturer. You're on your own, but you will have a solid standard to judge against.

    PS: Process your film at 20 degrees C. Fixer temperature is not critical. Wash water should be cool. Time development to the nearest 5 seconds. Follow the data sheet for agitation. Process each roll in the exact same way.

    PPS: I never re-use film developer. I want consistent results. Re-using developer means that the time will change as the developer wears out. The loss of one great negative because I scrimped on developer is not worth it for me. If you wish to keep costs down, take your time and be sure that the picture you're about to make is exactly the way you want it to be before you click the shutter.

    PPPS: If you're saying, "Yeah. That's what you say. But what if you were using DD-X for the first time? What would you do?" I'd do it exactly the same way.
     
  3. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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    oh cool i see, I genuinly thought that there was some formula for using less developer or something that was backed byt he manufacturer. in that case, i will develop like this, and probly buy some powder developer too, as it looks as if my 1 litre bottle will only do 20 tanks or so and ive already got 3 waiting.
    tanks ;)
    (I love puns)
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wish you the best!!
     

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