Doomsday Book?

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by Kino, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Kino

    Kino Member

    Messages:
    1,730
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Reading the thread on homemade D-23 made me start thinking about last-ditch scenarios for film processing; what do we do when it all goes bad?

    It may just be a fun exercise, but I wonder if it would be worthwhile to write a "Doomsday Book" of photographic formulas for emulsion making, paper making and processing made from (now) commonly availalble chemicals?

    Kind of the "Anarchist Cookbook for Photographers", only we don't blow ourselves up in the process...

    Just a thought...
     
  2. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The various books on photochemistry, such as The Darkroom Cookbook and The Film Developing Cookbook already serve this purpose for chemistry. There was a thread about this a few months ago, and most or all of the common chemicals that go into developers are used in other industries for other purposes. Some are commonly available to consumers (e.g., sodium carbonate, ascorbic acid). As a worst-case scenario, you'd need to track down an unusual supplier for components like phenidone or metol, which today we buy from photographic suppliers like Photographer's Formulary or Art Craft. Of course, if traditional photography were to decline to the point that all such places went out of business, I suspect there'd be very little market for such a book, even free on the Internet. The main thing to add to existing books would be formulas that use nothing but what might be called "supermarket chemistry" -- things that can be bought at supermarkets, drug stores, hardware stores, etc. This would be developers like Caffeinol and Parodinal. Tips on where to buy other ingredients, such as sodium thiosulfate, might also be useful.

    Emulsion making is another matter, and I gather a much tougher one to tackle. I know that people like PE do coat their own papers today, so it is do-able. I've never looked into it in great detail, though.
     
  3. Terence

    Terence Member

    Messages:
    1,346
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  4. Mongo

    Mongo Member

    Messages:
    960
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What Terence said.

    Seriously, even if you never build a thing that Alan Greene describes, the book is a fascinating read. I learned more about emulsions than I'd ever known. I did a lot of optical work in college, so I thought that the section on lenses would be wasted on me...but even that was a great read.

    If you already have LF equipment, you could use Greene's recipes for negatives and contact printing paper if you had to...sometimes it's nice to know there will always be options.

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  5. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The name is more properly Domesday Book as it has nothing to do with doom. The Domesday Book is merely a record of everything of value in England in 1086. After the conquest William wanted to know what he now possessed. In no way was it some sort of survivalists guide as the title of this thread implies.
     
  6. DBP

    DBP Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Alexandria,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There is an excellent novel by Connie Willlis entitled Doomsday Book, however.
     
  7. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So she got it wrong too. ;-)
     
  8. Kino

    Kino Member

    Messages:
    1,730
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Terence and all others who responded; I had not heard of this book!

    Looks great!

    Frank
     
  9. markbb

    markbb Member

    Messages:
    585
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Location:
    SE London.
    Shooter:
    Large Format
  10. DBP

    DBP Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Alexandria,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not at all. Her title is a play on words of the actual Domesday Book and the plot of the novel.