My very first roll

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by JBoontje, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. JBoontje

    JBoontje Member

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    First of all, I hope that I will look back at this post in a few years, reading this story about my first developed roll of film. Probably with a big grin on my face :D

    I prepared everything into detail, made myself a Word document with everything I needed and I wanted to get it started this evening.

    I sealed a small room which we use for storage against light, I waited until it was dark so no light would get through the window/doors. I put everything I needed on the right places, I was ready to go. The lights go out, and I start loading the film (Tri-x 400 test roll, havent got a clue what's on it). Everything goes pretty well, I didnt cut the edges off that smoothly, but I gave it a try anyway. It loads onto the reel, and just as I reach the last bit of the roll, I notice some very weak light coming through the door that I had not noticed before. I realized that it was light from downstairs, I forgot about that (D'oh!)
    I finish the roll with my back against the very weak light anyway, lets see if I made a mistake here. I dont really think I did, my hands covered most of the roll and it was hardly visible, but we'll see.

    After I got the roll in, I turn the lights on and start mixing the chemicals very precisely. D76, Amaloco S10 stop, Ilford Rapid Fixer. This was a mistake, I had never thought of getting it in the right temperature, because it was around 20C in the room I was working and I thought my chemicals would balance to 20C pretty soon. They didnt.
    So I put them next to some heating pipes... the temperatures didnt start to rise. I looked for a solution on the internet, and there it was: I could try to surround them in hot or cold water. Thats what I did, and my D76 finally reaches 20C.
    I did not measure the stop and fixer, I only had one thermometer with me. Another mistake.
    I pour the developer in, which was way too soon, I did not set my (mobile phone) stopwatch yet. I keep on agitating as I prescribed in my preparations, and develop 5 seconds less according to my stopwatch.

    This goes on for a while, making a bit of a mess... probably developed it a bit too long... ruining lots of toilet paper, but the whole process seems to work. After I put my fixer in the tank, I realize that I did not hit the tank during the developing process to prevent bubbles. How could I forget about that? I check the preparation-sheet again, and it seems that I forgot to write that part down.

    When I cleaned the negatives with a chamois(?)/wash leather sheet, I noticed that they actually got dirty because of that, so I had to get the spots out after that. Removed the largest part, I think I'll have to clean them when the negatives are dry.

    All in all, I think I did pretty well. My film is hanging to dry (yes, I used Photoflo), and I expect some uneven develop stains because of the bubbles. I also wonder how the negatives will react to the hotter stop and fixer temperatures, they were both around 21-23C instead of 20C when I poured them in.

    Things I learned:
    -Get the timer right before you pour the developer in!
    -Get rid of ALL the light, even on the floor down below
    -Get a chemical-towel, dont keep on using that much toilet paper
    -Prepare your chemicals BEFORE you load the tank with film, this will result in more time to balance the temperature
    -Dont forget to hit the tank to prevent bubbles
    -Get more thermometers for each chemical

    I will try to post the results here, as long as my scanner allows to scan decent images. I would also like to thank you all, it would have been a lot harder without APUG's help :wink:
     
  2. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Congratulations on your first roll of film. If you have difficulty maintaining the developer temperature at 20 C, you have the alternative of adjusting the development time to suit the actual temperature of the developer. Ilford has a chart for this.
     
  3. Dave Pritchard

    Dave Pritchard Member

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    Congratulations. I am sure you will tune up your process as you go. It is good to learn to get results without a perfect darkroom. You can't learn without a few mistakes.
     
  4. Jim Taylor

    Jim Taylor Member

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    Congratulations! It'll get easier with each roll you process from here on in! We all learn most through our mistakes!
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Good job man. the hardest part is over. Next roll, omit wiping film with anything, just soak film in a solution of 3 or 4 drops of LFN in 500ml of distilled water for a couple of minutes,drain and hang to dry. save the used LFN sol for future use. Do NOT wipe film with anything.

    Rick
     
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Sounds like a good first start, especially working on your own.
    Skip wiping the negs altogether. Especially in heating season, they will dry fine without any help.
    The slightly elevated temperature of your stop and fix won't be a problem.
    You can use one thermometer, just rinse it between chemistry. One is preferable actually, because two may not agree. The actual temperature doesn't matter as much as being consistant.
     
  7. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Congrats!
     
  8. gamincurieux

    gamincurieux Subscriber

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    Dev, adjust time for temp (I bang the tank sharply once on the bench after the first couple of agitations to dislodge bubbles)..... stop/fix (temp not so important)..... then wash (bang tank again sharply for bubbles, then let sit)... empty...... fill tank with distilled water/surgical water for irrigation (can get from supermarket, normally used for filling your iron, or the second from pharmacy) with photoflo......... hang up to dry where you're not gonna get dust on it (I use a drying cabinet, can get them for a song these days). Don't wipe the film with anything. As an ear surgeon once testily said to me 'The only things that should ever have to be put in your ear canal are my instruments - DO NOT clean them!!'. With distilled water you're unlikely to get water drop drying marks at all, especially with Photoflo. Get a proper timer, don't use your phone. All the gear you could ever need is on Ebay. It's really that simple :wink:
     
  9. mablo

    mablo Member

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    Congrats! You did much much better than I did light years away (some 12 months or so... :wink:

    You might want to try a changing bag so you don't need to wait for the dark or be afraid of leaking light rays.
     
  10. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Congratulations.
     
  11. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Congratulations on your developing your first film :D

    We all make mistake, it is part of the learning process - but you seem to have made a good start and know what to improve for next time

    Hopefully next time will be better and the mistakes get fewer as time goes on.

    It is not necessary to have a separate thermometer for each chemical - a brief wash in running water is OK as long as you go Dev > Stop > Fix.

    When you go Fix back to Dev, the Thermometer needs a good wash under running water

    The temperature of the Developer is very important (try to get within 1degC of 20C ie 19 ~ 21C)

    The Stop and Fix temperatures are less important but they need to be within 2C of the Developer temperature to minimise thermal shock to the films emulsion.

    I find running the film through two adjoining (ringless) fingers to be as good a way as any to wipe roll film without scratching or leaving a deposit.

    Before I pour in the developer, I always do a mental check list to make sure I am ready to start, check the Developer temperature one last time, start the timer and then begin to pour.

    Personally, I find when I have poured in the Developer, all my concentration is on agitating the tank and displacing the air bubbles - so I start the timer a moment before I begin to pour, rather than wait until after the developer is in the tank. You might be different but this way works best for me.

    Also, I use a large Tray (20x16 inches) to put my Tank and Chemicals in - its good for catching the splashes and spills, which I clean up after I have completely finished

    Good luck :smile:

    Martin
     
  12. JBoontje

    JBoontje Member

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    Alright, thanks for all the encouraging replies. :smile:

    I decided to start enlarging the same roll today too, also the first time on my own. I started at around 12:30 and finished at 17:00, I think I only got out of there to eat and drink.
    I think I spent at least 2 hours on preparation, being creative with the limited electric sockets was quite a challenge :smile:
    The scale warmer saved the day, I never imagined that it would be that useful. Even though the attic I worked in was quite cold, it kept my chemicals at a firm 20 degrees Celsius.
    Written all of my experiments down, and saved the stop and fixer in bottles.

    Not everything went right though, I accidentally spilled half of the developing solution by accidentally pushing against it. I feared that it would start smelling pretty bad, but I tried to clean most of it with the towel I took with me. No bad smell, luckily. Lots of it landed in between cardboard boxes, I hope it didnt do any damage. I had to add more solution because at least half of it (250-300ml?) was gone.

    Out of the 5-8 negatives I enlarged (I used at least 25 sheets in total on these negatives), none of them showed bubble-damage. By looking at the rest of the negatives, it seems I got away with that.
    Even though it was a test roll with not many 'good' shots, I had fun experimenting with times.
    Exposing a sheet for 8 seconds, 25 sec development, 30 sec stop, 30 sec fix seems to work pretty well, even though I dont really seem to understand the way light-timing and development timing connects. 4 seconds would give me slightly less shadows.. will try some more things later on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2009