Need advice of chemicals + film when starting out

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Connahhh, May 26, 2008.

  1. Connahhh

    Connahhh TPF Noob!

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    I recently got the urge to start to develop my own black and white 35mm and (when I make the plunge for the Bronica Sq-a) 120. Currently, my shopping cart at Adorama looks like this.

    *Adorama Stainless Steel Daylight Film Developing Tank for Two Rolls of 35mm Film or One Roll Of 120/220 Film
    *Kodak D-76 Black & White Film Developer, Powder to Make 1 Gallon.
    *Kodak Photo-Flo 200 Photographic Wetting Agent, 16 Ounce Bottle. (I know what you're thinking, 16oz is enough for the rest of my life, but thats the smallest they had)
    *Kodak Indicator Stop Bath For Black & White Films And Papers, 1-Pint Bottle To Make 8-Gallons.
    *Kodak Professional Fixer with Hardener for both Black & White Film and Paper, Powder to Make 1-Gallon.
    *Adorama 2 oz., 50ml Plastic Graduate
    *Adorama One (1) Quart, 32 oz., 1000ml Plastic Graduate
    *Adorama Stainless Steel Film Developing Reel For 35mm Size Film (2 of these)

    Okay, so now that you know where I've started, I need a little more help.

    First off, before I make this purchase, do I want d-76? I heard it's a learning developer which is what I need. What kind of film works best in D-76? I want to shoot some Tri-x 400, HP5+, and Pan F. Would you chose D-76 for that?

    Do I need anything else or am I missing anything?

    Thanks!
     
  2. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here's some ideers.

    #1. Steer clear of powders. That's what an old photography prof told me for beginners. Spend the WEE little more and make it easier.

    #2. I couldn't get D76 in iquid so just get the HC110 and mix it to Dilution 'B' for film.

    #3. For fixer I got the Kodafix nd it mixes 1:63.

    #4. Practice. Practice. Practice. Have a roll of film to sacrifice to the gods of practice and get it down pat in a lit room for loading. And when you're ready, run through it a time or two first with water for all stages so you get it down right.

    Here's a link to my process and gear that might help you out. And do not hesitate to ask any questions you might have. We'll walk you through it.


    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum221/50712-beginner-s-guide-b-w-processing.html

    And as for film to developer, the possibilities are endless. See the Massive Dev Chart at http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.html
     
  3. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    I'll be brief.
    The stainless steel tank is excellent but a beginner might find a plastic tank with plastic spirals easier to use.

    Waste a roll of cheap film first by practicing how to load the spiral first in daylight then in the dark.

    Developer - ID11 and D76 are identical. Tri-X, HP5 and Pan F will all develop well in ID11. I even developed TMax in ID11 and it worked well.

    Hardner is not really needed - any shampoo will suffice as long as it claims to leave hair shiny as this means it contains paraformaldehyde.

    Stop bath is optional - use water or vinegar. Water washes the develkoper off the film. Vinegar/Stop Bath (it's all acetic acid to me) will halt development and wash the developer off the film. The only reason to do this is because it makes the fixer last longer.

    Fixer - this is sodium hydrosulphate - as used in brewing wine. This washes the undeveloped layers of emulsion off, leaving the developed layers.

    Wetting agent is not needed.

    You would be best buying three accordian bottles. Mix your developer and put it in one bottle then compress it until no air is left. Label the bottle (very important).
    Mix your stop bath if you want one and do the same with another accordian bottle.
    Mix your fixer and do the same with another accordian bottle.

    Now you have 3 bottles labeled Dev, Stop and Fix. Don't get them confused.

    You need a thermometer that will measure between 10 and 30 degrees C and a funnel.

    Develop at room temperature - just read the temperature of your developer and develop at that temperature. The tables will come with the D76/ID11.

    Do make sure that there's no tempterature difference between the solutions or you could get reticulation. I did with Efke film once and it made for an interesting effect.
     
  4. Connahhh

    Connahhh TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Chris and Rhys!

    I figured to start out I would just go ahead and buy the things that are "recommended." AKA, stop bath, wetting agent. That way I know it's me messing up and not the way I'm doing things. When the chemicals run out, I may or may not buy more. The reason I got a metal tank/reels is that my Dad had a 120 steel reel from awhile ago, so I figured I would keep it consistant.

    I decided to stay with D-76 and picked up some Tri-x and HP5+, both 400. I apprecciate the suggestion though, Chris.
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    D-76 can conveniently be used one-shot when diluted 1+1 (ie 1 part stock solution to 1 part water). That is how I use it for most films. It's a good, versatile developer.

    The hardener in the fixer you give the link to is ammonium alum, so there's no need to add shampoo! Hardeners are not usually necessary for modern Kodak or Ilford films, but there's no real disadvantage to using a hardener for normal film processing.

    That particular Kodak fixer contains mostly sodium thiosulphate ("hypo", sodium hyposulphite, Na2S2O3) as the active ingredient. This is commonly available for lowering the chlorine content of pools and ponds, but I've never heard of its use in winemaking. It does also contain a small amount of the preservative sodium metabisulphite (Na2S2O5) which is commonly used in winemaking. It's probably a good idea not to get those two confused. The ion I know of as hydrosulphate is HSO4-, so sodium hydrosulphate (NaHSO4, better known as sodium bisulphate) would be completely different.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    Yes. You are correct. I did make a blooper there. With a belly full of barbecue and a house full of guests, it isn't surprising - lol.

    Sodium Thiosulphate (hypo) - the stuff that makes you fart when it gets in your sandwiches. That stuff lasts forever. I have heard of it being used to sedement wine.
     
  7. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Like others have said, stay away from the powder--liquid is easier to mix accurately and almost as cheap, HC110 concentrate will last forever on the shelf.

    I'll also 2nd the suggestion of the plastic film reels, they're a lot easier for a beginner to load.

    I'd also add:

    -A syringe for measuring developer instead of a cylinder--can be found at any drugstore in the baby section.

    -Two funnels--fixer and stop is reusable so buy some funnels to make less of a mess when refilling your storage containers.

    -Changing bag (unless you have a darkroom)

    -Film leader retriever--cheap, and allows you to cut the leader and get a start threading the film reel before turning off the lights.


    Good luck!

    One final note: DO NOT make a partially diluted working solution of developer as the instructions say... mix up the final dilution from the concentrate every time you develop. Also, photo-flo is optional, personally I use tap water for everything and then just rinse the film in distilled water at the very end--distilled water has no impurities so you should get no streaking or spots... I'm really cheap, and even save the distilled water and reuse it three times, but I don't recommend that, LOL
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  8. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Loading those steel reels can be a pain. I suggest the Paterson tank/reels.
    They are so much easier to load.

    And, do you have a changing bag to load your film onto the reel and into
    the tank? I recommend one and they are cheap.

    Practice loading your reel in daylight first using some junk film.

    Have fun.:wink:
     
  9. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    I started with plastic but went over to steel because I could load the steel reels while wet. The plastic had to be bone dry or they would jam every time. It was also easier to clean the steel reels.
     
  10. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just realized I said 1:63 for the fixer. Hope you read the instructions (1:3) and didn't take the advise of a 36 handicapper.
     
  11. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    Those stainless steel reels can be a pain if they are warped. Otherwise, if you're lucky to get a good one, they're a snap.

    I would also go with liquid developers for convenience sake... unless, of course, you're mixing your own formula from scratch.
     
  12. darker@

    darker@ TPF Noob!

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