My B&W Film Processing List, Help Please!

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by BTilson, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. BTilson

    BTilson TPF Noob!

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    Based on research and some luck and hope, I have compiled a list of things to buy so I can begin processing my medium format B&W film at home. Please look over this list, and recommend any changes, additions, subtractions, etc. I have never done this before, so I want all the input I can get.

    Thanks!

    Here is the list:

    27" x 30" Changing Bag
    16oz Plastic Graduate (2)
    1" Stainless Steel Darkroom Dial Thermometer
    Universal Developing Tank With Two Adjustable Reels (Can handle 120 Film)
    12ml Syringe
    Kodak HC-110 Developer
    Kodak Fixer (Power for 1gal)
    Heico Perma Wash (1qt)
    Kodak PhotoFlo (16oz)
    Stainless Steel Film Clips (10 pack)
    Film Squeegee (Big enough for 120 film)
    Stopwatch
    Misc Chemical Storage Containers and such
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There's a series of articles on b&w photography, including darkroom work, on this site. It specifically covers all necessary items and chemicals.
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    It looks like a good list. My personal habits would dictate a few modest changes:

    1. Minimum of 3 graduates. Dedicate on to developer, one to fixer, and one to be shared by all the post-fixer chemicals. They're cheap and having dedicated graduates for the primary chemicals avoids the need for careful cleaning in the middle of a chemical mixing session and reduces the chance of serious error.

    2. Be sure the Misc. Storage Container sections included a series of matched beakers/containers that can comfortably hold a full tank's worth of chemicals. You should always mix the chemicals for a processing run in advance and allow them to all adjust to a uniform temperature. Merely mixing the developer, starting the processing run, and then mixing the fixer while the developer is in the tank is bad practice for a number of reasons.

    After a while getting your feet on the ground, I would suggest that you consider the addition of a very good alcohol/glass thermometer in addition to the SS dial thermo. This would be used to check the calibration of the dial thermo perodically and not for actual temperature measurement of chemicals. Dial thermometers can easily get out of adjustment. BTW, when you choose a dial thermometer, be sure to get one that is adjustable. Such models will have a hexagonal "nut" behind the dial where the stem joins.
     
  4. BTilson

    BTilson TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the input. That is a good point about having 3 (or more) graduates. Also thanks for reminding me about the B&W articles on this site, Torus. I had skimmed over them before, but forgotten about them.

    <edit> Post # 400!
     
  5. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In addition to what's already been said, I would recommend a stainless steel developing tank. It uses less chemicals and after you get the hang of it, the reels are actually easier to use than the 'easy' twisty kinds (IMO), and it being steel, holds the temperature longer than the plastic ones. I have one reel for 120 and one for 35mm, but the same tank will hold two 35mm reels. I switched to stainless when my film kept getting stuck and bent while trying to twist them in. I don't know if it was some kind of buildup on the plastic reels or what, but it's much better now.

    Personally, i'd ditch the film clips. Save some money, go to the 99¢ store and get a bag of clothespins. What's the syringe for? Never felt the need for one..
     
  6. BTilson

    BTilson TPF Noob!

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    Syringe for mixing small amounts of chemicals? I dunno lol. An article I read somewhere said they were invaluable... and good point about the clothes pins. Thanks for that!
     
  7. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy TPF Noob!

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    I second this notion.

    Using HC-110 as a one shot requires making measurement in terms of 6.3ml and such. The syringes come very much in handy with this developer.
     
  8. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ah, I see.. I use Clayton f76 and Arista liquid chemicals, no syringes required..
     
  9. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd agree that a syringe makes mixing small batches of developer easier--however 12ml is too small... Dillution B of HC110 needs about 16ml of developer per 500ml, consider that.

    I'm not so sure that the perma wash is necessary.

    What do you plan on using as a stop?
     
  10. CW Jones

    CW Jones TPF Noob!

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    only thing I will add for now... Squeegees are so useless!
    do you have a hand with at least 2 fingers? if so use your fingers. sometimes little pieces of stuff will get stuck in the squeegee and will scratch your film and potentially ruin your prints... just something to consider...... your fingers work fine. that and get some cloths pins cuz they will do the same as the clips lol
     
  11. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy TPF Noob!

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    I don't bother with a squeegee or my fingers. I just give the film a few hard shakes into the sink while it is still on the development reel. THis method does a great job of getting the excess water off, and has no risk of scratching.
     
  12. randerson07

    randerson07 TPF Noob!

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    I use HC110 and Rodinal, and do not use a syringe. I went and did some conversions from a metric conversion site and figured out how many tablespoons or teaspoons were needed for a 35mm or 120 roll. I then used water into said spoons and poured them into my 650mm graduate. I then took a knife and a marker and marked the water line. I know just pour my developer into the graduate up to said line and then add water. Its not exact at all, but its consistent.

    Call me lazy, but I also just estimate water temp. I used to have a glass thermometer, but it broke. I remembered where abouts I needed my faucet to be to get to 68F and now I just set it around there touch the water see if it feels about right and go to town.

    I also forgo the changing bag, Ive never used one but I find throwing a towel under a closet/bathroom door and having space to work in very easy.

    I use plastic reels but will be ditching them soon, they are about a year old now and are starting to do as Bhop said. They are kinking my films once in a while. Instead of twisting Ive been just pushing the film onto the reel, this works for 120, but for a 36exp roll of 35mm it will just kink if I try to push it on.
     

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