New Darkroom for B&W

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by SnappingShark, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. SnappingShark

    SnappingShark Always learning. Supporting Member

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    Never developed my own film. Sure I've shot it and got it processed etc etc.

    Anyway.

    Just bought a new house and there's an ideal "darkroom" included. Totally dark!

    What do I need to develop my own Black and White images? I shoot B&W film from time to time.

    Is anybody able to list for me the basic requirements and processes? :)


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A developing tank, sink (Ideally) or at least a large tub with water, and a container into which you can drain used chemicals, and a light-tight space (room or changing bag) to allow you load the film into the tank. You will also need the chemicals, a few storage containers and a container to mix in, and a "clothes line" to hang the film on to dry. Other than chemicals, you should be able to get everything you NEED off of Craig's List for ~$20.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    TOTAL darkness to load the film onto the reel and then to load the reel into the developing tank, cap the tank, and then the rest of the process can be done in full room lighting levels. A changing bag from Kalt is handy to load the film reels if there is not absolute,total, India-ink type darkness. You need a developing tank, and film reels....I prefer stainless steel reels, stainless steel tanks, and tanks that have a stainless steel top, and a stainless steel pour-spout cap: I have and prefer my vintage Honeywell NIKOR tanks and reels, but there are other types of tanks and reels, made of plastic.

    So, I would get Kodak HC-110 developer concentrate to develop my film. A marked syringe or a small, graduated measuring cylinder, a measuring cup that goes to 16 ounces, or perhaps 32 ounces, a stirring stick, Kodak indicator stop bath, and Ilford or Kodak rapid fixer. You need some good bottles to store the mixed-up stop bath and fixer...brown bottles with screw caps work pretty well...32- or 40-ounce beer bottles work adequately.

    A timer is nice...wristwatch, smartphone, or GraLab...whatever ya got!

    Thermometer...darkroom dial thermometer, process thermometer, whatever. The thermo needs to be able to read in the 65 to 76 degrees Farenheit zone. Couple of funnels. Kodak PhotoFlo as a surface tension breaker for washed film. Film clips to hang film to dry...need a bottom clip too, in my opinion.

    If you would like to buy locally and have the choice of buying some amazing "classic" products, one of the oldest continuously-operating camera stores in the entire region is located about three blocks off of Interstate 84, aka The Banfield Freeway, just a couple miles east of the river at Hollywood Camera. Hollywood Camera Store - Northeast Portland - Portland, OR

    Ed has owned and operated the store for over FIFTY years...this is Valhalla for film shooters...and darkroom workers looking for classic types of darkroom gear! If you'd like, I could show you how to develop your first batch of film, either 35mm or 120 rollfilm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    J.B., here is a very BASIC outline of how B&W film is developed:

    Develop: load reel in dark, place in tank, cap tank. Pour in 68 degree water for a 1-minute pre-soak if desired, dump out water,then pour in measured developer amount. Cap developing tank, rap firmly tweice on hard surface to dislodge air bibbles, agitate tank with side-to-side wrist movement for 10 seconds, rap tank on counter, set down tank.

    Agitate tank for 10 seconds on the start of each subsequent minute. At end of time, dump developer out; it will NOT be re-used.

    STOP BATH: Fill tank with measured amount of stop bath, agitating more or less constantly for 30 seconds; pour stop bath BACK into storage container, it will be re-used.

    FIXING step:Immediately pour in rapid fixer. Follow directions, typically 3 to 5 minutes. Dump fixer back into storage bottle, it will be re-used.

    Washing:Begin the washing process. The easiest way is to use distilled water that is around the developing temp. Fill the tank with water, agitated for 10 seconds, let water sit for 45 seconds. Repeat this cycle 10 times. This removes more chemicals than most simple washing methods.

    Drying: WASH YOUR HANDS thoroughly before opening the tank and then PhotoFlo'ing the film reels. WRIST-SNAP! the reels VERY briskly, to remove water, then un-reel the film, and clip it at the top, so it hangs from the drying line. Use index and middle fingers to gently squeegee the film; the PhotoFlo will make the water slide right off. Add bottom clip, allow film to dry for three hours.
     
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  5. timor

    timor Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Going into film ? Noble.
    Start with some competent literature. For starter Google for "Blak and white photography" by Henry Horenstein. PDF is free to download. It looks like it is the latest edition.
    Don't worry about the sink, the idea is repeated over and over and looks like nobody will be able to print anything without one standing right beside the enlarger. If you have darkroom at home you have already sink there. In laundry room.. Unless of course you want to start your adventure with darkroom from printing 3 feet by 4 feet pictures.
    Here is blog of Bruce Robbins, an English photographer
    The Online Darkroom
    On the home page you will find piece about his darkroom setup. Don't mind his 3 enlargers, look at the size of the space and how he used it.
    Plus his blog contains a lot of interesting stuff, stuff left out from basic manuals like the one of Horenstein.
     
  6. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I'm buying that tamron 150-600, getting a divorce, and moving to Portland, OR. :BangHead:
     
  7. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There is nothing better than developing and printing b+w negs

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     

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