B+W Positive: Too much for a beginner?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by StorminMatt, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

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    Okay. I've never developed film of ANY kind in my life. And I know that, when it comes to developing, beginners typically start with B+W negative. But honestly, I really have no interest in negatives or printing. For me, it's all about slides, light tables, and projecting. So I would rather skip the whole negative thing and go straight to slides. Is this something a beginner should NOT take on? Is it REALLY necessary to master negative processing before taking on slides?
     
  2. AlexG

    AlexG Member

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  3. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Yes, but two ways to proceed. One is to develop negatives, duplicate them on new film via contact printing, and process that film in the same usual manner. So two sessions of development to get positives.

    The second way is directly on the shot film, but two extra steps inserted: After development, but before the fixing, you need to bleach out the developed silver (using the bleach listed from the previous reply), then re-expose the remaining emulsion to white light, develop that, and finally fix.

    So yes, you should get comfortable with basic negative development before you attempt positives, but that in itself is not difficult.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Matt, I disagree with the others.

    There's no reason why you shouldn't start with B&W Reversal at all, it's not difficult. In reality the critical stage is the first development same as when processing a negative.

    Buy a kit that's the easiest route to start with, Alex has posted a link to a US source. (If you're not in the US we can make other suggestions).

    I've known people who's only processing experience is E6 so go for it, give it a try.

    Ian
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    No reason at all except that it's an awfully expensive way to get familiar with the basics. Things like loading tanks, tempering chemistry, working out agitation, etc., are all the same but... Look, that reversal kit costs almost $30 US and you get only enough chemistry to process 4 rolls of film. You WILL screw up the first few times you process film. Would you rather screw up to the tune of $7.50 a shot or $0.75 a shot? Learn your basic chops making negatives, then go and make your diapositives.
     
  6. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    It took me a while to learn to develop and print B&W but it was worth it.

    Jeff
     
  7. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Kodak still offers a T-Max black and white reversal kit and it is around $40. I am thinking about picking on up.
     
  8. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Just use Kodak's TMAX reversal developing kit and put each chemical in for the required time at the required temperature and with the correct agitation. As long as you are getting the results you want there's no need to have a unique comprehension of the process itself. It may cost a lot though.
     
  9. Jordan

    Jordan Member

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    If you buy the Kodak kit and follow the instructions absolutely to-the-letter with Kodak's suggested films, you should be OK.

    If you are at all interested in experimentation, though, it would be far better to start developing negatives.
     
  10. Dug

    Dug Member

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    Matt - I admire your attitude. I would advise you to go for it. I do a lot of reversal processing to make original positives, then project them onto litho film to make enlarged negatives. Be warned, it may take awhile to get it right, so you should probably go for a process that uses premade off-the-shelf B&W chemicals and a couple chemicals you can get at http://www.artcraftchemicals.com/.

    The Kodak kit is quite expensive and you might as well practice and perfect the process the cheaper route. Once you really get into it, you will abandon the kit for cheaper (and better) results from your own process anyway, so why not get your hands dirty from the beginning? There are some fairly noxious chemicals involved so be careful if you have never worked around raw chemicals.

    First step - Download and read the Ilford pdf on reversal processing: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/Webfiles/20061291034093.pdf

    Second step - Following the Ilford guide, buy the Ilford chemicals from your favorite vendor, buy the other photo chems (permanganate, etc.) from Artcraft, get the sulfuric acid (battery acid) from the auto parts store. Battery acid appears to be 33% acid so modify the instructions to get the right dilution.

    Third step - Go through a bit of film and experiment with the process. There are also lots of discussions, formulas, debate, and other info on the web. Look around.

    The custom processor Dr5 (dr5.com) does a well-regarded job developing B&W slides and sometimes chimes in with nuggets of information about what works well and what doesn't. Dr 5 does not divulge much information (for good reason - it's his livelihood), but it make for interesting reading.