New to film, do I have what I need?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by FocusDave, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. FocusDave

    FocusDave TPF Noob!

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    As the title says, I'm new to developing my own film (b&w). I already have the developing tank (single roll) and 35mm reel, and I'm about to place an order with BH Photo for the following:
    -developer
    -stop bath
    -fixer
    -measuring syringe and graduate (not sure what volumes I needed on these, 6 mL and 150 mL, respectively?)
    -film squeegee

    The folks at my local camera shop said that a plain old bottle opener will work to open the film canisters, and I was planning on just using string and paper clips to hang the film up to dry. Am I missing anything?

    In case any of you are curious, I'm shooting with a Minolta X-700 with a Rokkor 50mm f/1.7 lens. Right now there's Kentmere 100 film in the camera and I have a roll or two of Ilford 100 to save until I have some practice developing.


     
  2. unpopular

    unpopular Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would get a 500ml and 150ml graduate, skip the syringe. You'll need a good thermometer. I use this one:

    pHep 4 pH Tester, HI 98127 | HANNA Instruments USA

    It also measures pH. Which is good in case you get into more advanced topics, but any darkroom thermometer would work.

    I would also suggest you get a a plastic tub from target or walmart. I like to use a water bath to keep the temperature stable. Nothing too big, the kind you might use in the kitchen to wash vegetables work fine.

    You're also missing photoflo or similar washing agent. This will help prevent water spots.
     
  3. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    forgett the film squeegee. You will need some storage containers for the the fixer as it is mixed from concentrate and can be reused. ALso would recommend hc110 developer as it can be used as a one shot developer. Don't mix the whole bottle as it will oxides out.

    go to ilford's website and check out their pdf files of developing negatives,
     
  4. KenC

    KenC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    +1 on the hc110 as a one shot, unless you're shooting tmax film in which case tmax developer is better.

    I found that photoflo didn't completely eliminate spotting, but that washing the film briefly in distilled water and wiping with a squeegee gave me no spots at all.
     
  5. 1holegrouper

    1holegrouper TPF Noob!

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    lightpad and loupe
     
  6. Proteus617

    Proteus617 TPF Noob!

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    Skip the 150ml graduate and get a 250 or 500. You want a graduate that is at least the size of your tank. The syringe will help you measure photoflow. A good timer will help quite a bit. You can use a cheap kitchen timer, but find one that displays seconds or has a minute hand that sweeps. Digital timers that display only minutes are a PITA. Also, don forget negative sleeves.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  7. unpopular

    unpopular Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That is a good point, and frankly, you can't really have enough graduates.
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    LPN is a better wetting agent (IMHO) and it comes with a dropper type cap. a few drops in distilled water works like a dream.
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't think paper clips will be strong enough - not to mention heavy enough to pull the film straight. Get some real film clips. Wooden clothes pins at the very least.

    I don't know what tank you got, but 150mL will not cover 1 roll of 35mm... You'll need a graduated cylinder at least 300mL. Also a bigger one for mixing fixer, stop, etc. 1000mL would be good. Good graduated cylinders are expensive... In my experience, the cheap ones are not very accurate. They're probably close enough though - just depends on how much of a perfectionist you are, lol.

    Buy a few 10mL syringes (also good for measuring HC-110 or Rodinal - anything that you're going to be using very small quanties of). The numbers tend to wear off after a while, so you'll want extras.
     
  10. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You won't need anything to open the film cartridges if you don't re-wind the film all the way back inside it. When you re-wind the film, as soon as you feel/hear the film release from the winder side, stop re-winding. This leaves a few inches of film leader sticking out from the cartridge. Just trim it square and then load it right onto the developing reel from the cartridge (in the dark of course).
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  12. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    just an old fashion "church key " does the trick;)
     

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