35mm b&w processing--which chemicals recommended please?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Dean Taylor, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor Member

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    My ‘beginner’ question might be augmented by noting:

    Nikon F100, 50mm f/1.8D, Ilford HP5, Plustek scanner…I will be shooting b & w exclusively.

    Q: for someone shooting few rolls of film–say, three or four rolls per month–which chemicals (developer, stop bath, fixer, etc.) would you recommend in the interest of 1) attaining a quality image (this is paramount and supercedes all other considerations) and, 2), minimizes wastage–minimal discarded chemicals owing to aging, etc.?

    also... of the processing protocol, a noted photographer remarked: "I just wipe down the non-emulsion side of the film." question from a newcomer: is that procedure recommended, i.e., wiping just the one side? By the way, do you use cotton gloves when handling the film (b and h has them, as does freestyle)?

    and... In doing my homework before the attempt there seems to be a discrepancy regarding removing the exposed film from the cannister just prior to loading it onto the spool. That is, one procedure suggests drawing the exposed film completely out of the cannister and then spooling it (it seems clumsy, let alone potentially harmful to the film), while the second method, from Ilford, is this one:

    "Take hold of the cassette and your end cap remover and turn out the light. Lever the cap off the cassette, and slide the film spool part way out. Find the film‘s shaped leader, slot this through the light-trap opening, then slide the spool back. This saves having 1.4m/4ft 8in of loose film falling on the floor."

    thank you all!

    Dean Taylor
     
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  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Developer: Kodak HC110, Ilford Ilfotec HC or other highly concentrated liquid developer
    Stop bath: whatever is easily available to you - it really doesn't seem to go bad, and one diluted has a very light environmental "footprint"
    Fixer: any non-hardening Rapid Fix that is available to you in reasonable quantities - say a one liter package. I'm currently using Ilford Hypam in a 5 liter package, but Ilford Rapid Fixer is available in smaller packages
    Wash-aid: Kodak, Ilford and others - cuts down on water usage
     
  3. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Any fixer or stop bath won't be a problem. At about 32 films per 8 months I doubt if any developer will go bad before you finish it. Even the famous sudden death Xtol in the 5L size will be finished before it dies. It is a very good, versatile and cheap developer and one that may last longer than 8 months anyway in a winebag

    I can't think of any problems at the film rate you quote.

    pentaxuser
     
  4. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I use-

    hc110 1-31 straight from bottle

    water stop for roll film

    fp4 fixer

    photoflo
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Considering the number of films you propose taking each month I would recommend HC-110.

    Don't use gloves as they interfer with your sense of touch. Wash your hands to remove any oil. Remove the film on the spool completely from the cassette. It is not going to act like a "clock spring" and fly out. Then cut off the leader. Hold the film and spool in one hand using the thumb and last two fingers on each end of the spool. Then using the index finger to guide the film "walk " it onto the developing reel. Practice a few times in the light using a throw away roll of film. It is really quite easy.
     
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  6. LeicaM3

    LeicaM3 Member

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    easy to use + long shelf life + little waste + scans well = Diafine
    (not sure about hp5 in diafine, never used hp5, but trix works well; may be others know more about hp5 and diafine)

    stop bath is water, fixer any of the before mentioned
     
  7. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor Member

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    hello apug community!

    HC-110 it is. And, not to put too fine a point on the matter...

    The Film Developing Cookbook (Anschell/Troop) notes that developers either decrease, increase or maintain the film's rated speed. Which category does HC-110 fall into (I will be shooting Ilford HP5)?

    also... do you subscribe to the 'rolling pin' agitation method--i.e., horizontal on table, rolling back and forth?

    thanks to all!

    Dean Taylor
     
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  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Kodak recommends shooting T-Max 400 at an EI of 320 if you are going to develop it in HC-110 (dil B).

    So it gives a slight decrease for that film.

    I wouldn't use your "rolling pin" method for HC-110 developer or any other developer that gives short developing times - it would be too hard to maintain consistency in your agitation.

    HC-110 is economical enough to render any small amount of "waste" inherent in using inversion agitation unimportant.
     
  9. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Firstly, welcome to APUG.

    There are endless answers to your questions and you've got a very good selection to begin your adventure. Once you have settled on your selections, stay with them for as long as you can. Don't change a developer until it tells you: I can't deliver what you want. Then you know better what you are looking for in a developer. You won't need the pillar-to-post routine so many of us go through.

    As far as rolling, you probably won't encounter the situation unless you plan to develop 6 or more rolls at a time. You will probably need a single or double roll stainless steel tank to develop 1 or 2 rolls with inversion agitation.
     
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  10. Sundowner

    Sundowner Subscriber

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    I use HC-110 all the time. It keeps forever. Use the 1:31 dilution...1/2 ounce in the graduate, then fill to 16 ounces for a small tank. Simple.

    I use Kodak's stop bath, but you can use whatever stop bath you like. Doesn't make much difference. The concentrate lasts forever (sort of like HC-110)

    I use Sprint's Record fixer. Great stuff. Also...lasts forever. I use a hardener with it.

    PhotoFlo is essential for clean negatives. After I wash the reels, I have a spare pitcher of PhotoFlo-ed water by the side...my method is this:
    1. Dump the last wash water out of the tank.
    2. Pour the tank full of PhotoFlo water.
    3. Gently agitate the tank...just swish the water around. After one minute of swishing, discard the water.
    4. Repeat Step 3.
    5. Unroll the negatives from the reel directly into the pitcher...let the roll form a loose "tangle." Then pull the negatives out of the pitcher, squeegee-ing between CLEAN fingers as you go. Re-squeegee them a second time hanging in the air, and then pin them to dry. Presto...water-spot-free negatives!

    Also, I'll second Diafine...great stuff and it lasts forever once mixed. However, it can adjust your film's effective speed. Be mindful. Diafine is great because it's not time or temp-dependent...but then again, I don't watch HC-110 very closely either. :cool:
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I also agree with HC-110, but if you would like something that maybe can give one-third of a stop (perhaps) more shadow detail, you might want to try T-max developer.
     
  12. albada

    albada Member

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    If image-quality is more important than everything else, then I suggest Kodak XTOL.
    Of all popular developers out there, XTOL gives the finest grain, as well as nearly the highest speed. The package will produce 5 liters of developer, which I suggest putting in 5 1-liter bottles. That's 20 rolls (assuming 250 ml/roll undiluted), which you shoot in 5-6 months at your rate. After mixing, XTOL lasts for 6 months, which means you won't be discarding unused developer.

    Enjoy!

    Mark Overton
     
  13. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor Member

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    thank you all for the generous sharing of expertise!

    re: HP5 and HC-110

    Q: generally speaking, what is to be gained by using an 'H' dilution for double the minutes that a 'B' dilution cites?

    That is, what effect does a more dilute soup with longer soak have on the image quality--e.g., more accutance, contrast, etc.?

    Best,

    D.
     
  14. Sundowner

    Sundowner Subscriber

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    It means that I don't have to time it as accurately, to my mind...but mostly because it's easy to mix for the tanks that I have. 1/2 ounce, fill to 16...1 ounce, fill to 32. I'm lazy.

    Edit: Longer wet times can also make the grain more pronounced, so I've heard...but I don't keep the film wet for that long, regardless. I've heard that after 30 minutes, it could be an issue...mine is rarely wet for longer than 20. So I've never checked on it.
     
  15. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    You can't go wrong with D-76. It's a great re-usable developer, which I find is the most economic way to use Paterson tanks.

    I usually use HC-110 for sheet film since i only need 6oz for my roll tubes.
     
  16. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor Member

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    thanks so much for the generous sharing of expertise!

    re: HP5, HC-110

    to continue...

    What is to be gained by using the 'H' dilution for 10 minutes--versus the 'B' for 5 minutes? From what I've read the more dilute soup with a longer stand will have its effects on--what?--accutance? contrast?

    much obliged

    Dean