Can I use just one beaker for mixing up developing chemicals?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by handle2001, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. handle2001

    handle2001 Member

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    Hi All!

    I ordered a bunch of stuff from B&H yesterday to get started developing my own black and white film. I'm starting off with Ilford chemistry since I'm shooting with Ilford film. I ordered a set of borosilicate graduated beakers from Amazon that comes with 1000, 600, 250, 100, and 50mL beakers. I read somewhere before that people often use 16oz plastic cups for holding working solutions, so I didn't think having four 1000mL beakers would be necessary (I need 600mL of each working solution to develop two 35mm rolls at a time), but now I'm curious if using the same graduate to mix up the developer as the fixer is going to deplete the fixer quicker than otherwise? Or will mixing up the stop solution in between mitigate this?
     
  2. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    Find containers that will hold 600ml of your mixed chemicals. I use plastic pop bottles, one for each chemical. I use one graduated cylinder to measure out the water and chemical, into the pop bottles. I rinse the graduated cylinder between chemicals.
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Using separate graduates for dev and fix helps to avoid errors and contamination.
    But, as kbrede indicates, using one is fine if you rinse well between solutions.
    I have several graduates of various sizes, and shapes, but I use them interchangably.
    My practice is to rinse immediatly after pouring whatever chem, any time it's had any chem in it.
    (sometimes including the chem called "H2O":smile:)
     
  4. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    One graduate should work. I only use developer once but reuse fix for several times. I found that graduated brown glass pharmacy bottles are perfect for the fix and have been using the same ones for forty years. A pharmacist gave them to me so you might go that route. I use Ilford ID 11 for film and mix 5 L stock solution and make the working sol. from that or Pyro PMK. Both working solutions only used once. For printing I only use chemistry for one session except Ammonium citrate for pt/pd which I replentish as needed. I use separate graduates for the pt/pd chemistry.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  5. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    It's no big deal to have a separate one for each and it's much better from a chemical hygiene standpoint. I have three 1L beakers and three 100ml graduates. Each is labeled with what goes in it so there's much less chance of using, say, the developer beaker to make fix and then using it for developer. When I develop film, I have all the chemicals mixed in their own beaker and ready to use before I pour in the developer. This way, I can just pour the used whichever back into its beaker and clean up afterwards and concentrate on the agitation and timing. I think this method cuts down on the likelihood of putting them in in the wrong order as each beaker is clearly marked.
     
  6. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Graduates are just for mixing, IMHO. I rinse well between chemicals. I mix fixer by the gallon and use well washed winshield washer gallon jugs for storage. For film, I mix developer stock solution by the quart or liter, and use Di Saronno Amaretto bottle for storage. I just like the looks of them. Developer is diluted to working solution just before use and then discarded.
    Keep everything washed well and you'll never have a problem.
     
  7. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    If you mix stock all in the same day. I would mix in order, dev, stop, fix. Rinse well after mixing each chemical. Never had a problem. If you are concerned, just get 4 plastic buckets from the dept store and mark them; dev, stop, fix, other. And use them dedicated to each chemical.

    For developing, smaller quantities, I just used the 16oz plastic measuring cup for mixing and holding the chemicals, each is labeled; dev, stop, fix, hypo clear. If I was mixing smaller quantities, such as Rodinal, then I would take out the small graduate cylinder to measure that. Then into the 16oz measuring cup. This was back when I was in high school, the 16oz plastic measuring cup was a lot cheaper and affordable for me than a photo graduate.
     
  8. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Another option to consider for your working solutions of dev, stop, etc. Empty plastic peanut butter jars. I have a set for 35mm marked for both 10 and 20 ounces for doing either one or two reels. Each is permanently marked for its particular chemical. After filling, if you need to temper the chemicals, the screw-on lid is handy for sloshing them a bit to raise or lower the temp. without fear of spillage.
     
  9. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    One beaker will do just fine. Mix the solutions in the order you use them (developer, stop, fixer), and rinse the beaker out after mixing each one. Five rinses with water will thoroughly clear a glass beaker. I store my stock solutions in pop bottles. Try to keep separate bottles for each solution, but you can rinse them out the same way you do glass.
     
  10. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    I never understood the paranoia about using the same container to mix dev/stop/fix as long as it's rinsed out between uses. The remote chance that a few molecules of "x" chemical may stick around leaves the contamination at parts per zillion, and so what? All the fuss about cross contamination only to wind up putting all of the chemicals into the same film development tank during use.

    Just give it a good warm water rinse between mixing your chemicals and you'll be fine. Maybe a good wipe down with a disposable paper towel if you want to be extra cautious.
     
  11. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I basically have 2 mixing vessels. One for acid chemicals, for stop and fix and one just for developer.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    My advice would be to develop a system that allows you to carefully ensure you never cross-contaminate chemistry. You can use one graduate with rinses between each step, or separately identified/marked/coloured multiple graduates - just make sure your system includes appropriate spacial or temporal safeguards.

    Then use your system each time, without fail.

    Some chemistry is very susceptible of contamination - a s bath developer like Diafine comes to mind - so it deserves its own specialized version of your system.

    FWIW, I do not dedicate graduates to particular chemicals. I depend on temporal and spacial safeguards (including thorough rinsing) to protect me.

    It is worth noting, however, that if you are going to share your darkroom with others, dedicated graduates are a very good idea.
     
  13. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    You may find yourself ordering some Paterson graduates. The 600ml borosilicate graduated beakers (I have some by Pyrex and another maker) are marked off in 50ml measures and stop at 500ml (the other graduates are similarly afflicted). Not terribly useful for measuring 600ml, unless you're willing to mark it with a Sharpie and keep renewing the mark periodically. They're great for having the chems ready to pour, but frankly I feel like I wasted my money.
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if you were doing wet-plate work
    and mixing your developer and fix
    in the same container without rinsing
    i would say, yes, you should be afraid.

    but regular b/w chemistry ..
    just "wash and wear" as vidal sassoon used to say.

    good luck !
    john
     
  15. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    I use the same set of beakers, usually just one of them. A quick rinse between stages and a good rinse at the end.
     
  16. Robert Ley

    Robert Ley Subscriber

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    If you use concentrated Developer (Ilford DDX, Kodak T-Max, HC110), etc. you really only need a 1L measuring cup. I use cheap plastic ones. They look like the glass measuring cups only plastic, graduated in cups, liters and onces. Get three, one for each chemical...Developer, Stop and Fix and mark them as such. If you use liquid concentrate fixer and you should, then any 1 gallon/4 liter plastic bottle will do for the fix and the stop. Get yourself a collection of Graduated cylinders to measure small amounts of Developer (10cc, 50cc, 150cc, 300cc) If you have to mix up dry chemicals in large quantities(Xtol, D-76, etc.) a plastic household bucket works well. Above all, don't obsess over this, it ain't rocket science.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Examine your film developing tank(s) to check on the maximum amount of solution you will need to develop the films you intend to develop.

    Then buy one or more graduates that are at least that size.

    I have some 600ml plastic kitchen graduates that I paid about $1.75 each for that serve me well. Plus some 1 litre ones for which I paid even less.

    And a 45ml Paterson graduate for measuring smaller quantities.
     
  18. handle2001

    handle2001 Member

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    Thanks to everyone who replied or sent a private message! My set of graduates arrived today:
    DSC02460.JPG

    I went to a big box store to look at plastic kitchen graduates and they wanted $3 apiece for plastic 1L measuring cups. No thanks, I'll make do with plastic cups. It sounds like as long as I rinse the mixing graduate thoroughly between chemicals I should have no trouble. All the stuff arrives tomorrow and I'll be processing my first roll of Ilford Delta-400. I'll be sure to post the results here! :smile:
     
  19. Noble

    Noble Member

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    I'm actually surprised that more people didn't disabuse you of some erroneous notions. First of all there is really no need to have so many beakers. Also beakers are not precision measuring devices. I use them if I need to measure large quantities of fluids such as 600mL. When you buy beakers from reputable places they will tell you the marked lines are for general use and should not be used for precise measurements. I would use graduated cylinders for precise measurements. So if you need 45 mL of a developer stock solution don't use a beaker to measure that out.

    Before I purchase beakers or graduated cylinders I plan out how I'm going to mix everything. This has saved me from buying a bunch of stuff I don't need... and missing stuff that is critical.

    There is no need to buy everything from one manufacturer. People routinely develop Ilford film in Kodak chemicals with no problems. D76 is sort of a benchmark developer and you will be able to find a recipe to develop every common B&W film in it. I am not recommending it I'm just illustrating that being that rigid about that sort of thing isn't helping you. There are definitely things you need to be anal about when it comes to developing film but getting everything from one manufacturer definitely isn't one of them.

    I am not familiar with the Ilford chemicals but most chemistry is mixed up and then stored for months. And the mixing usually doesn't really require that much equipment. I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be. I will speak about some Kodak chemistry. First of all I use Kodafix which is a hardening fixer. I like it because it comes as a liquid. The liquid is enough to make one gallon of fix. So you find an empty gallon container and dump all the Kodafix in. Then you fill the container to the top with water. Be sure to stop before the top so you have some air in there. You need to invert the container a few times to ensure everything is mixed. Then top it off with water. I would have a smaller container to pour 1 liter of fixer into and then store the remainder of the gallon. You will now use the fixer out of that one liter container. The fixer can be reused many times before it is exhausted. You don't mix it up each time and you certainly don't discard it each time either. Once the fixer in the liter container is exhausted or you've run a predetermined number of rolls through it dump its contents and get some fresh fixer from gallon container. So I don't use any beakers or graduated cylinders to mix fixer.

    I use a water stop bath so I don't need to use any chemicals for the stop bath. It's cheap, environmentally friendly, and effective. I do mix up stop bath for developing paper in the darkroom. Again though I mix up a gallon batch. So that only happens every few months. I use a glass graduated cylinder to measure out the stop bath fluid. It's one of the graduated cylinders I use to make my developer. But since I never need to do both on the same day the cylinder has been run through the dishwasher by the time I need to use it.

    Developer is where things get tricky. First of all all developers I've used have an issue with oxidation. So if you use something like XTOL you have to mix up a big batch and then store it in multiple sealed containers. If you use something like Rodinal you can mix up just what you need each time you use it and you don't need complicated measuring equipment. I use a regular plastic kitchen measuring cup and a medicine dropper. That's it. I don't like Rodinal for higher speed film (400 ISO, 3200 ISO) but it works well with 100 ISO and slower film.
     
  20. handle2001

    handle2001 Member

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    Everything you say makes sense. :blink:
     
  21. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    after your first roll, you'll feel like a proud papa!

    have fun - welcome to apug.

    jvo