Questions by a stressed 17 year old

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Delinquent, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. Delinquent

    Delinquent TPF Noob!

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    Hi, so my photo teacher just sort of left suddenly and a new teacher was hired but the thing is he's done all digital and nothing in the darkroom. So basically, I'm trying to teach him and my class the basics (and then some) of the darkroom. I have a couple of questions though:

    1.) What chemicals can be reused? Can they be reused for both film and paper? How often or for how long?

    2.) How will I know when chemicals have gone bad? What are the typical shelf-lives of developer, stop bath, and fixer?

    3.) For a high school class with a limited budget, should resin-coated or fiber-based paper be used?

    4.) Do enlarger lights dim over time or do they stay the same until they die out? How do I change an enlarger light?

    5.) How long should I wash the prints after the fixer?
    6.) Is a rinsing agent like PermaWash essential to the developing process? What about a drying agent like Photo-Flo?

    7.) Do all reels hold the same amount of film, or do some hold less or more than others?

    8.) How much does a changing bag typically cost?

    9.) If the enlarger does not say the aperture numbers on it, is there another way to tell which aperture you're using?

    10.) Besides using toner or lith negs, are there any tricks or interesting procedures anyone can explain to me?
    11.) Do film and paper need to be squeeged before they're hung to dry?

    So yeah, if anyone knows the answers to any of these questions, it would make my life a lot happier. Thank you. :wink:
     
  2. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    looks like someone wants test answers to me!!!!

    tisk tisk bro...tisk tisk... :):)
     
  3. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    What use is a teacher who wouldn't know the basics? (basics to a teacher that is!:confused: )


    I could give you my best guess answers but I don't think they'd be much use and i wouldn't trust them either!:lol:
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Don't save film developer once it's been mixed to working solution strength and used. Use it to capacity. If 1 quart will process 6 rolls (check your developer for actual capacity), but you only have a 2 reel tank you can use it to develop 2 rolls at a time for 3 times consecutively, but if you only develop 4 rolls, don't save it until the next day or week.

    Fixer, stop, and paper developer can be reused. Paper developer will stop producing good, rich, deep blacks when it's becoming exhausted. If you use indicator stop bath it will turn purple when exhausted. You can get hypo-check which you can use to test your fixer.

    Look on the package or the manufacturer's website for shelf life and capacity.

    Well, RC is cheaper. The main issue is that it washes in about 10 minute, as opposed to up to an hour for FB.

    Depends. Some are as simple as unscrewing the old bulb and replacing it. Others are more complex.

    It should say in both the paper notes and the fixer notes. you can also check the manufacturers' websites.

    It's usually about 10 min for RC and 1 hour for FB, but it can depend on what fixer you are using, and wash method.

    Neither is essential. Both help, and are fairly cheap. Permawash and Hypoclear get rid of fixer. Photo-flo helps the film dry without water spots.

    I have run across 35mm stainless steel reels that don't seem to hold a full 36 exp length, but most will hold a little more than 36 exp.

    Depends on size. Look it up at Freestyle.

    If you know the widest aperture, and assuming 1 click per stop, it would go f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32...

    Other than for the purpose of taking notes, you don't actually need to know what aperture number you are using to make the print. Just count the clicks, and remember that you made print A at click #4 for 20 sec, print B at click #3 for 18 sec, etc...

    Some folks swear by it, others say not to. I usually squeegee my roll film with my fingers; I'm not saying it's a good idea, but it works for me. I squeegee small prints that I'm laying out on drying racks, but usually just hang the big prints to dry.
     
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  5. Delinquent

    Delinquent TPF Noob!

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    First off Mdowdey I’m a girl. 2nd, I haven't gotten any tests in my class yet as my teacher honestly knows NOTHING (ZILCH) about manual photography & darkroom procedures. I know that sounds odd, but I never said I attended the best school, and in his defence, he has had a lot of experience w/ digital. I could wait around for him to learn but I volunteered since I had some experience to get the class rolling along so I could get in the darkroom sooner. I learned whatever I didn't know from books and websites, but the answers weren't too clear on those questions I asked so I thought I'd post and try my luck.

    Thank you by the way to ksmattfish and doc in bc. I googled some of the questions, and the answers mostly varied or weren’t relevant at all, and you just saved me a lot of time and a neckache. So once again, thanks. :wink:
     
  6. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    One question... how much % of the new teachers check are you getting paid to cover his ass?


    Ksmatt, you are a Very, very, very patient and helpfull man to answer all those q's.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I gotta do what I can to help encourage folks to continue to use the BW darkroom under the onslaught of the digital revolution. ;)
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Matt's da man, really. :razz: What's so gratifying is that the interest and curiosity are still as strong as ever, as the thrill and romance of working in the darkroom simply remains unchanged. It is its own reward. :)
     
  9. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    They'll come crawling back in the end! :confused:


    And the magic!
    Don't forget the magic!:D
     

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