B/w chemistry - small sizes.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by rayonline_nz, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Hi, I am just getting into b/w developing myself, have a camera club buddy who can get me some equipment for free.

    The Ilfotol - is this only in 1L bottles? The dilution is 1+200. That woudl be heaps despite the 3yr shelf life....

    The fixer can still be had for 500ml right? I have been told that maybe Ilford Rapid Fixer does 5L now only. Not sure if that is here in New Zealand. I read up on B&H and Kodak's fixer is only in 1 Gallon or near 4L sizes? That's powder and mixed to that size. Their professional Rapid fixer seems to be a similar size.
     
  2. jamespierce

    jamespierce Member

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    Within reason fixer doesn't go off, it just gets exhauseted from usage. Developer concentrate lasts quite a while (3+ months), but it will start to go brown; unless you have a vertical slot processor with a floating lids it only lasts about a day mixed up. Stop bath etc all seem to last forever. If you can start with standard Ilford liquid and evolve from there.
     
  3. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Thanks. I have been reading Ilford's data sheets. Their powder developer stocks after mixed last 6 months in full bottles. Stop is 5yr, plenty. Fix is said 6 months and Rinser is 3yrs.
     
  4. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    If you can get it LC29 has a good shelf life and is available in small bottles. Quite concentrated so goes a long way. Good general developer.
     
  5. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    If you can get hold of either Adonal or RO9 one shot, both of which are new names for Rodinal film developer, normally available in 500ml bottles,they have the best shelf life of any film developer bar none, it lasts forever, indeed, I have used rodinal from bottles that were at least 25 years old, black as anything but working as well as new, and at 1/50 a bottle lasts a very long time, as far as fixer goes then the concentrate lasts a lot longer than 6 months, I have bought 5 litre containers that last me well over a year, nearer 18 months,as for stop bath, you really don't need it, just use 3 changes of water as a stop, with 15 inversions per change
    Richard
     
  6. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    If you can get small dark brown glass bottles with a screw top from a Pharmacy, say no more than 100cc then you can decant the stock solution into them and use one bottle at a time. Shelf life is greatly extended even with part used bottles. If you really want to help even more, you can use glass beads to displace the developer in the bottles and exclude almost all the air. I got a load of mine from a junk shop from old costume jewellery which was broken up and the shop owner was just going to throw them away.
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I don't know about New Zealand, but 1 liter packet is about 1/2 the price of 1 gallon packet. Unless you use very little, there's no price advantage for buying small.

    I now use Ilford Rapid Fixer. (the liquid kind) Although the datasheet says use within 6 months of opening, it remained good for well over a year. Perhaps longer but I used it all by year and a half mark. As far as developers go, I use D-76 (Ilford ID-11) Mix 1 gallon and put them in 8 oz (250cc) bottles. They last at least 9 months. Again, because of price difference, it makes no sense for me to buy any smaller.

    I tried mixing my own also. At the quantities I buy, the chemical cost is actually higher than buying pre-mixed.
     
  8. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    I would suggest buying bigger volumes of chems then. There is no better cost savings than being able to mix up what you need, not to mention the PITA taking all those extra steps just to make the volumes of what you are forced to make not to go bad. And when the world ends.... you can still develop film.. :wink:
     
  9. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    I probably won't do more than 20 or even 10 rolls a year. I do color slide too and that stuff with the computer :D

    The powder Ilford developers at the recommended 1+1 is fine. 1L of stock mixed up can do 6 rolls in that 6 months time, adhearing to Ilford's advice.

    I have set up my spreadsheet for it.... Will get to test the fixer then .... Won't be replenishing the others though. Re: Ilfotol. That is a dilution 1+200. For a 300ml tank that uses 1.5ml only. Ilfotol only come in 1L sizes? So as a developer only in the rinse that's a lot of liquid right? I don't have the facilities to do wet prints yet .....

    Will use smaller glass bottles, probably easier to manage, a bottle per 2 rolls of development.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Ilfotol is a wetting agent. It will last you a long, long time.

    I had a small, 250ml or so glass bottle of Photo-flo (the Kodak alternative) that lasted over 20 years, due to the fact that I only used it for some of my film.

    It is the least expensive chemical you will lose.

    With respect to the rest of the chemistry, I'd suggest that you do an exercise. Estimate the least number of rolls you will develop in six months. Then add up the cost of all the chemicals you will be using on those rolls, assuming you will only be able to use them for that length of time. Divide that total by that number of rolls - you will have the maximum cost per roll.

    Bet you turn out to do more film, and that the chemicals will last longer than six months.

    And for film developer, consider HC-110 or the Ilford alternative or the current version of Rodinal - the concentrates last a very long time.
     
  11. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    May have a look at the Kodak wetting wet then ....

    I have all those figures there on my spreadsheet. In NZ it is least 2x than the USA prices. For a complete set of chemistry is $76US. So for this 6 months, powder developers does 6 rolls according to Ilford or 13 rolls if a more diluted solution is used. Maybe 6 rolls for the 6 months. How much is b/w film, I import from the USA. $6US a roll? 6+76 = 82/6rolls = $13US.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'm sure the Ilford Ilfotol will also be very long lived. It is just a concentrated surfactant, so oxidation isn't an issue.

    Just for clarity, you only mix up what you need each time, leaving the rest of the concentrate in its original container.

    Using Ilford's data sheets, 100ml of stock ID-11 has the capacity to develop one film, so if you dilute ID-11 stock 1 + 2 one litre of stock will develop 10 rolls.

    The Kodak regular (non-hardening) fixer is available in powder - Ilford doesn't make a powder fixer. The Kodak fixer will fix 26 films for each litre of working strength solution.
     
  13. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Yep, aware of the storage lifes as by the manufacturer.

    The liquid developer like the ID-XX can sit for 24 months in full bottles. It however cost $50US equiv here for the 1L conc size. It quotes 13 rolls of film (1+4), it doesn't quote any for a higher dilution. This is $3US/roll. Compared to ID11 which is $1.45US/roll again sticking to its suggested 16 rolls for that 1L mixed up stock solution (1+1).

    Seems to me that powder is the way to go. I can mix up the entire packet for each 6 months, people say you shouldn't mix partial packets of powder.

    The Ilford fixer is liquid. That last 6 months according to them, longer if I test it etc ... Again with the powder, it has to be mixed up a stock anyway....


    Kodak doesn't provide these datasheets like Ilford online. I have tried to look at their website and the Tech Pubs.

    The Ilford washing aid is - 3yrs in its conc form liquid in full bottles. When it is mixed to a 1+200 solution the life is just 7 days. Yeah .. the 1L size Ilford provides does 666 rolls of film, yes for 3yrs but that is heaps, I certainly won't even use 1/6 of that over the 3yrs. Prob less than 1/12.
     
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  15. clayne

    clayne Member

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    The following you don't have to worry about for years:

    Powdered chemicals.
    Stop bath or any other basic acids.
    Photo flo unmixed or equivalent.

    The rest will either oxidize or sulfur out eventually (fixer). My suggestion is to shoot more film but 20 rolls should be fine for 5L of chemicals over a year.
     
  16. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Ilfotol is available in 250ml and the equivalent from other manufacturers comes in even smaller pack sizes. You mentioned that it is a "washing aid" - no it is not. The Ilford washing-aid (used to remove fixer by-products from fibre-based paper) is called "Washaid" and is not required for film. Ilfotol is a wetting-agent, to be used in the last rinse of the negs before drying them, and is not required for paper.

    If you want to use ID11, then remember to dilute the stock solution immediately before use, not at the time of mixing. If you buy/mix a film developer in a one litre packing (liquid devs are also available in much smaller pack sizes) then split it into smaller bottles with no air and use them in turn. If you wanted a more economical Ilford liquid developer then look at Ilfotec-HC, which can be thought of as the Ilford equivalent of Kodak HC110. If economy is very important then you can use D-76 in place of ID11 and it is half the price, or less. Liquid developers are also available from other manufacturers at half the price of DDX.

    Is the reason for using Ilford products (apart from the excellent quality) local availability? It might be cheaper to order from Europe, USA or Japan?
     
  17. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Shopping is the first answer. You may not find just the thing you want in a small size, but you can probably, with enough work, find something suitable. Homebrew is the other answer. One of the reasons I bought a good scale and started mixing developers and fixers from scratch was that I didn't really do that much darkroom work. Putting things together from their ingredients allowed me to mix small batches right when I needed them. (The other reason for doing this was that I like to experiment.)
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You can basically ignore the 3 years limit - it will only apply if you expose the Ilfotol to the most harsh of circumstances. Surfactants are generally quite robust. Developers are a bit different.

    And Kodak has a huge number of datasheets online - its just that the volume makes it hard to find the one you want.

    Most of the most valuable ones are found through this link: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/databanks/filmDatabankIndex.jhtml

    The most useful one for your purposes is probably this one: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/e103cf/e103cf.pdf

    That table is found under the "Chemicals" sub-link on the first page I linked to.

    If you want a powder developer that will develop 60 rolls of film from a single package, buy a 5 litre package of Kodak X-Tol, mix it up and split the five litres into five 1 litre bottles.

    Use one of the bottles as your working solution, and the other 4 litres in a simple replenishment regime (70 ml per film).

    It should last longer than the projected 6 months, but even if you decide to toss what remains after 6 months, it will still work out to be very economical.

    I would suggest, however, that you include two packages in your initial order - you will save on shipping.
     
  19. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Hi all,

    I don't think shipping is an option. Maybe eBay from Asia?

    B&H basically charge a min order of $40US for delivery. Ie one roll of film. Freestyle has been my choice, their films are a bit more but cheaper freight. However a single bottle of 500ml rapid fixer liqiuid cost $20US for freight. If it was 2x 500ml bottles the freight becomes $30US.

    I go to Asia somewhat annually so I could pick it up there but not sure if they are as cheap or what ....

    I want to keep the quantities down. I don't shoot enough. So I prefer a 1L made up (undiluted) using a powder developer than a 1L of liquid. The powder ones here seems to be cheaper per roll or film. Even if I did the suggested 6 rolls for the ID11 (powder). Compared to say 16 rolls of IDXX. Yes there is LC29 but I just won't use enough of it, it suggest I could do between 16 rolls to 50 rolls by diluting it more and it last 36 months in full bottles according to them (unmixed concentrate), much of it would be thrown out...

    I think the ID11 or similar would be the way. 6 or 13 rolls for the 6 months. This is a first timer so I prefer something easier to work with too...

    250ml of Ilfotol? I did my search at the mailorder giant B&H, thanks. I was basing it on them, they only did 1L.
     
  20. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Just use powders then. There's very little difference, they weigh less, last way longer, and are easy to mix. I'm in the US and I use powder developers.

    On top of that, you don't *need* a rapid fixer for the volumes you're doing - a standard sodium thiosulfate fixer will work just fine and this is easily purchasable as a powder. Mixing is brain-dead easy. The only reason that rapid fixers are liquid is because ammonium thiosulfate is not stable as a powder.

    Stop bath? White unscented vinegar. Photoflo? That you should buy in liquid form but a single 500ml bottle of PF will last you literally *years*.
     
  21. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Photographers Formulary and a scale is most cheap. No penalty for mixing a liter.

    D76 or ID11 has a 6 month life after which it dies slowly. 50% full bottles are good for a day, no more. After that activity goes up rapidly, then dies fast. It is not predictable. I have done tests, very careful accurate tests.

    Rapid fixers are good for 6 months, after which they sulfate out. You need this type for TMax and Delta films. For others you need plain old powder sodium thiosulphate types from powder or Rapid types also work.

    For home developing you must decant what you make into small one time use bottles.

    Beware of Sodium asbsorbate developers that do not turn brown as they go bad, Xtol, and the liquid Ilford developers. Actually you do not not how old they are when you buy them and depend on stores stock rotation. Bad developers=low contrast.


    Do not even think of breaking down a gallon bag to make smaller ones. #1 the chem are not necessarily mixed !00% and #2, they are packaged in a nitrogen atmosphere to retard oxidation.
     
  22. clayne

    clayne Member

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    50% full bottles of mixed D-76 concentrate do not go dead nor rise rapidly in 24 hours, cmon.
     
  23. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Something you might consider is HC110. It's a concentrated syrup that lasts forever and has results similar to D76/ID11. you can also stock up, as the unopened shelf life is great.
     
  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Similar but definitely not the same when it comes to upper midtones and highlights.
     
  25. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    That would depend on you dilution.
     
  26. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    On the same note, PCTea is incredibly cheap and super long lasting. XTol-ish performance.