Any feedback on Silvergrain brand chemistry?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bluezebra, May 22, 2009.

  1. bluezebra

    bluezebra Member

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    Hi all,
    I'm new to the forum. As i said in the 'welcome' thread, i have just recently opened up a community darkroom in Boston. Right now we are using Sprint chemicals because they are cost affective and easy to deal with. However, coming from an environmental dork background, I'm extremely interested in using more eco-friendly chemicals like the Silvergrain brand. Does anyone have any experience with these or any other more eco-friendly chemistry that they could recommend?
    Thanks
    Andrea
     
  2. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    Andrea,

    I looked into some environmental matters when I started using my current darkroom, and the largest concern seems to be putting silver down the drain. This can be mitigated by placing steel wool in the bottom of your waste bottle and leaving to convert before pouring the spent fix down the drain, without silver.

    Tom.

    EDIT: Investigate local regulations...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2009
  3. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Before following Tom's advice, look into local regulations for disposal of all chemicals (but especially fixer). A community darkroom is likely to generate enough spent fixer to attract attention (read: big fines or worse) if you do things wrong.

    Concerning the original question, I've long used DS-14 print developer (and the DS-10 and DS-12 film developers). DS-14 is the mix-it-yourself predecessor to the Silvergrain Tektol line of print developers. I've also tried Tektol, but I've only used a couple of bottles of it, since I prefer the flexibility of being able to mix my own from scratch. In any event, these developers work fine, in my experience. I generally require slightly longer developing times than I do with Dektol or D-72, but the results are indistinguishable with the VC RC papers I generally use. I've not done side-by-side comparisons with a wide variety of papers, though; there may be subtle differences when using some papers.

    FWIW, one issue, which might even be more important than the environmental one, is that some people tend to get sensitized to metol over time. If you use metol-free developers, your users are less likely to end up getting rashes in your darkroom. That sort of experience is likely to be a very negative one, so at least providing the option of metol-free developers seems like a good idea to me. (Tektol uses phenidone rather than metol, but there are other phenidone-based developers, too.)
     
  4. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I normally wear reusable nitrile gloves while tray processing.

    Tom.
     
  5. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Ryuji, the man behind the chemistry of Silvergrain, is quite approachable and a Boston guy. He can give you chapter and verse about what's in what. He's a member here - but would be more helpful by email. rs@silvergrain.com