A few chemical questions


TPF Noob!
Apr 7, 2009
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so here's the deal, my neighbor just gave me all of their darkroom equipment today and the only thing i have to get are the chemicals (which i think is a pretty amazing deal!.. i got a Durst F30 enlarger, good?)
i took photography last year but it was only 1st year photo and it was a high school class so we learned more about the camera then we did chemicals so I'm a little lost on a few things. so question #1: wheres the best place to get chemicals? id rather not use powders and am hoping they aren't to expensive
#2: is there a difference between photo developer and film developer?
and #3: whats the best thing to do with the chemicals after your done using them for the day, do you just pour it back into the bottle?

i would ask my photo teacher but i moved recently so that's kind of not an option..so i hope these questions aren't to silly :D
where do you live? that will help guide you to a local store to buy the chemicals you need. Freestyle is a good place to check, or Calumetphoto. B&H is ok, but they don't like to ship a lot of necessary chemicals.

liquid is very nice, but is heavy for shipping.

there is a difference between film developers and paper developers and as a beginner i would recommend that you use the "proper" type. Sometimes folks like to use the opposite developer i.e. paper developer for film, etc. but i think it can be confusing .

You could store your "used chemicals" , but it will depend on how long before your coming back to print.

For instance , you could put the used stop bath in a light tight container for additional use, as well as the fixer. Which developer and how many prints have been developed will determine if it is worth saving.

everyone has their favorite list of chemicals, so you will get difference answers

i would suggest for film HC110 as it is a liquid that is mostly commonly used as a one shot develoer; which means, it is used once at a specific ratio and then disgard.

stop bath, can be used with both film and paper; different ratios. Some people like to use running water instead , or citic acid.
fixer, rapid fixer. different ratios for film and paper.
paper developer , dektol, or lpd. both are basically a powder form, and you will need to mix a stock solution and then dilute it the proper ratio for printing.
Hi and welcome to the forum!

Did you take chemistry as well? If not and you have the opportunity, do so.

After a bit of learning with commercial chems there is a whole world of things you can do in an alternative sort of way.

Printing on metal or glass for instance.

Good luck and have patience. (yes I'm jealous. ;))
There's a series on TPF on b&w including developing, contact printing and enlarging. It includes information on specific developers, etc.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the articles.

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