n00b Film Development

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by desame.one, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. desame.one

    desame.one Member

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    Hello.

    I'm new to shooting 35mm black & white and will be developing my own film (Ilford FP4+ and HP5+). I have compiled a list of what I plan to purchase from B&H Photo and was hoping the members of this fine forum can chime in and give their opinion(s) regarding my choices. Negatives will be scanned, so development of my negatives is about as far as my process will go for now.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    - Kalt Large Changing Bag Double Zipper with Elastic Arm Holes (27x30")
    - Paterson Multi-Reel 3 Tank ONLY (Super System 4)
    - Paterson Auto Load Adjustable Reel for Super System 4 Tanks
    - General Brand 1-3/4" Stainless Steel Dial Thermometer
    - Paterson Plastic Beaker (Ounce and Metric Graduations) (32oz)
    - Delta 1 Datatainer Storage Bottle with Liquid Level Clear Measuring Stripe (32oz)
    - Print File Archival Storage Page for Negatives, 35mm, 7-Strips of 5-Frames (100-pack)

    - Ilford Ilfosol-3 Film Developer for Black and White Film
    - Ilford Ilfostop Stop Bath
    - Ilford Rapid Fixer
    - Kodak Photo-Flo 200 Solution
     
  2. dehk

    dehk Member

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    How many reels you are supposed to put in that Multi reel tank?
    E.g. if it fits 2 i think you need to get all two, if you are only doing one roll u still need to keep the one reel with film at the bottom.

    General Brand 1-3/4" Stainless Steel Dial Thermometer , alternative, go buy a digital kitchen thermometer at walmart or equiv.

    You can also buy a plastic beaker at Walmart or equiv.

    Stop bath? go buy some White Vinegar and dilute it more.

    Optional, might wanna look for a film squeegee.
     
  3. desame.one

    desame.one Member

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    Three reels.

    Wow. White vinegar? That's awesome! What's the dilution ratio for that?
     
  4. dehk

    dehk Member

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  5. zsas

    zsas Member

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    I agree w Dehk, I have a Patterson collecting dust when I use for 35mm a single SS tank, it
    Is more "personal" feel to me.

    Also you will want a beaker for dev, stop, fix (at least)
     
  6. desame.one

    desame.one Member

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    Thanks for the link, dehk.

    I will be shooting 2 to 3 rolls per week, so I figured the 3-roll tank would be a good choice. With regard to the beakers and storage bottles, I will be purchasing several.
     
  7. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Well, Have fun and make sure you share you results!
     
  8. desame.one

    desame.one Member

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    Of course. =)
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The stop bath is actually cheaper than vinegar if you process a lot of film, but it really shines if you start printing. Somewhere on APUG there is a thread that includes a calculation of how much to dilute white vinegar.

    As you are in southern California, you may find that Freestyle would be a good alternative source for supplies.

    Get one good Paterson beaker - the rest can be kitchen supplies from the dollar store which you can check against the Paterson one.

    Personally, I prefer the AP or Arista Premium reels (they are sold under various names) - they have wider flanges and therefore make loading 120 easier, but fit into Paterson tanks. Here is a link: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/55043-Arista-Premium-Plastic-Developing-Reel

    I agree with the digital kitchen thermometer suggestion. I use something like this: http://www.target.com/p/Gourmet-Stainless-Steel-Thermometer-with-Probe/-/A-11011171

    I do, however, check my kitchen thermometer against a high quality reference.
     
  10. desame.one

    desame.one Member

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    Thanks for all the info, Matt. I truly appreciate it.
     
  11. Dshambli

    Dshambli Member

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    I see nobody's suggested any hypo clearing solution. That may be something you should add.
     
  12. desame.one

    desame.one Member

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    I'm new to all of this and was planning to use the Ilford method of rinsing after dumping the fixer. Is hypo still necessary?
     
  13. dehk

    dehk Member

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    It makes the process a lot faster with hypo.
     
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  15. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    B&W processing FAQ.

    Some suggestions:
    - ditch the dial thermometer (terribly inaccurate) for a $2 digital aquarium thermometer off eBay
    - make sure you have enough reels to fill the tank, prevents a reel riding up the centre column and leaving the developer
    - make sure the tank+reels can be used also with 120 film because you'll probably want to go there sooner or later
    - you don't need stop bath for film, just use a couple changes of water
    - wash aid is nice but again, not required for film
    - Ilford rinse method is OK but be a bit more conservative and go for more like 6 changes of water (5,10,20,20,20,20 inversions)
    - don't buy accordion bottles; they're impossible to wash and still let oxygen through
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I expect that you mean "hypo clearing agent" rather than "hypo" - "hypo" is an out of date but still rather prevalent name for traditional fixer.

    Wash Aid is a good, clear generic term that avoids confusion.

    On whether it is necessary or not, there are lots of "discussions" here and elsewhere about this issue. Besides speeding the process, it adds certainty that your wash is complete, and can help you save water.

    FWIW, I prefer to use it.
     
  17. desame.one

    desame.one Member

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    MATT - Thanks for clearing that up. Now I know what HCA stands for.

    polyglot - Awesome FAQ you have linked in your signature. Gonna go back now and continue reading through it.
     
  18. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Don't get a plastic tank. Start now with hewes reels and a stainless tank. Trust me you'll thank me later.

    Don't worry about HCA right now. It's not required just starting out nor will it harm things by not using it. But when the time comes opt for bulk sodium sulfite that you mix when necessary.

    Personally I've had zero issues with accordion bottles.

    Also unless you're closer to b&h, consider freestyle photo instead - they're a lot more analog centric.

    Edit: I just read you're in socal - DEFINITELY use freestyle. Were talking less than 1-2 days shipping here as they're also in socal.

    I recommend you stick with d-76 while starting out and use a generic rapid fixer (Arista) from Freestyle.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
  19. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    I second the hewes reels. B/c nothing will make you want to throw the entire idea out the window more than learning and ruining film on cheap-o reels that even seasoned vets couldn't load.

    A few other things I'd wished I'd been told at the start:

    To get a bigger tank, say one for 6 reels, and then only ever load film on 4 of the reels. Then measure your chems out to only cover the reels w/ film. It will leave room for fluids to really move during inversion and will take care of some of the uneven development problems that are more common when you've a daylight tank that's really full.

    And on that note, also to not pour the developer into the tank w/ film through the cap, but rather to lower the reels into the tank w/ the developer in it. Again, pretty much will solve the majority of problems w/ uneven development you may run into. For this though, you'll need a space you can make dark - wouldn't want to do it in a changing bag. When I started I had a very small closet in the apartment that I could black out. I'd a tiny table in it w/ a tupperware tray to catch spills, standing room only. It was small but made the whole experiences way nicer than sweaty a changing bag.
     
  20. Juri

    Juri Member

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    Just a little warning. There will be plenty of people saying plastic reels are unusable, changing bags are impractical and using rotating for agitation will ruin your film. And yet I prefer all three with no apparent issues. So I would suggest you to try different methods and use whatever suits best for you.
     
  21. Dshambli

    Dshambli Member

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    I second plastic reels. If you go stainless, go with the Hewes reels. They're expensive, but I ruined two rolls with cheap stainless reels. I'd say you have the basics. If you keep taking advice, you're going to get ten people with twelve answers. My advice is get started with what you have and change it later to see what happens. You'll find that all this advice works but you'll find what works best for you.
     
  22. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Depending on the frequency of your darkroom work, anything battery operated has a tendency to stop working just when you need it. I'd get the dial thermometer. You can get the digital one to calibrate the dial one if you want.

    You might want some smaller graduates to measure out the Ilfosol.

    You will probably need a loupe for examining the negatives. The inexpensive 8x loupes are good for 35mm frames. Like this $6.50 Kalt.

    Some stainless film clips to hold the film while drying would be nice.

    This changing bag has an internal frame that makes it easier to work http://www.freestylephoto.biz/25001-Photoflex-Changing-Room

    The file pages come in 6x6 also, so you don't waste a frame.
     
  23. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    I use one of these, takes two 35mm films or one 120 film: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/122936-REG/Omega_455031_Universal_Developing_Tank_with.html

    I have developed two films in it -once-, the other times, i put in the reel with film first and use the empty reel to hold the film-loaded one at the bottom of the tank.
    Also, I find it more convenient mixing the chemicals when I only need 600ml of everything, makes for smaller bottles and a tidier work-space.
    - Remember that you can pick up most equipment like this for just about nothing if you check your local used-sale web page/paper and/or yardsales, no real need to parting yourself with a lot of money you can spend on film/chemicals instead =)

    Anyway, good luck and make sure to post your initial results =)
     
  24. robertmgray

    robertmgray Member

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    Definitely listen to this advice concerning the measurement of chemicals. I suffered through ruining many rolls before I learned about leaving enough room for the fluids to move during inversion. Crucial.
     
  25. fotch

    fotch Member

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    If your just starting out, you may want to process one roll at a time. Doing quanity only makes sense when you have both the experience and confidence that you have everything under control. JMHO
     
  26. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    TIMER!!!

    I think Everyone has missed one of the most important items for film development--- A TIMER!!!!

    Go to the dollar store and get a basic kitchen timer-- I like the ones that have a clip so I can clip them to my shirt front.:cool: