Newbie - how much do I need to process?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by rayonline_nz, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    I have read a lot about it. I am not in the USA so things can be more expensive here.

    Ilfostop and Rapid Fixer runs out to about $35US together.
    A powder developer like Perceptol is $10US that makes 1L undiluted. A liquid developer is about $35US.

    As a newbie hobbyist, I only have2 rolls of Ilford HP5+. Of course it's uneconomical to purchase $45-70US of chemicals to process (2) rolls of film.

    So how many do you suggest a hobbyist to do? Ie., collect up. Noting that many of them don't even shoot a good few rolls per month. I may run a roll every month or two, if I go on a trip I may shoot more. But I shoot color film as well.

    In addition, the Ilford Datasheet notes that chemicals last 6 - 1 months (full bottles - half bottles). The exception being liquid developers may last 36 - 24 months (DD-XX). But given the more expensive cost of liquid developers I may stick with powders and simply collect my film up and develop. Once a year?


    Thanks.
     
  2. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I'd recommend HC-110, or Ilford's counterpart, as your best bet in long-lasting liquid developer. Particularly if you keep it in tightly capped & full bottles (you could transfer it to something smaller as the volume goes down), it should easily last a year, possibly longer.

    For fixer, although I think Ilfostop will last a long time, you could eliminate any worry by purchasing hypo in bulk powder form and concoct your own solution. That way you'd only need to make as much liquid as necessary at any given time. The formulas can be very simple, and even adding some extra pizazz shouldn't be too difficult (hardeners for instance). All you need is a good scale and some common sense when it comes to handling chemicals.

    Stop-bath (if you even decide to use it) lasts forever, or you can even use vinegar or dilute straight from glacial acetic acid which also lasts forever (I have some that's probably 20 years old... hasn't lost any of its punch!).

    Same thing with hypo-clearing agent; mix it up yourself when you need it with some sodium-sulfite and a pinch of sodium-bisulfite.

    Assuming you can find a chemical supplier, this might be significantly cheaper and totally worry proof.
     
  3. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    What would it cost to have a shop do it? Or how about another forum member? I know that there's film photographers in Wellington.

    If I were doing a roll a month, then I'd use HC110, as it lasts for an incredibly long time, and it's not difficult to use. As for fixer, I'd buy it in the 1L packs, and keep it in a glass bottle in the fridge. One fellow reports a 2-year shelf life for Kodak Rapid Fix, but I've had mine go before then! :wink: I'm working with some that's four months old, and it's still OK. Basically you can keep using it until it doesn't work any more, whether from age or saturation. If you see something precipitate out, then it's no good.
     
  4. zach

    zach Member

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    Yup - Ilford LC29 is -close- to HC-110, comes in 500ML concentrate and will last forever (maybe not as long as Rodinal).

    Should be able to pick it up from the supplier I mentioned in your other thread :wink:. Seems pretty common here in Aus. Is pricey though.
     
  5. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Brian - a lab here does B/w (non C41) for about $9US a roll of 135. Not sure what developer they use. Need to ask about Kodak developers, the stores only list Ilford on the net. Don't think Rodinal would be an option. Yes, we can get LC29 but it's about $35US for the 500ml.

    http://www.photo.co.nz/newprods/newchem.htm
     
  6. Uncle Brian

    Uncle Brian Member

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    You live in Wellywood so give these guys a try, they have a lab that will do the deed for ya :smile:

    Wellington Photographic Supplies
    11/15 Vivian Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6001
    (04) 384 3713
     
  7. zach

    zach Member

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    Maco direct in Germany will wet-ship rodinal, two 500ml bottles will probably make the min international order. Vanbar aus gets rodinal occasionally too. Yeah I agree it's exxpensive. Could just buy packets of d-76, they're usually less than $10 for 3.7 litres.
     
  8. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Yep, I know. They are a tad less than the link I posed maybe 10%. NZders tend to be more familiar with the former. On their website anyway. For my low volume, I don't think I would import them. Maybe if I were importing some films from the USA I may get a powder developer and maybe a bottle of liquid if it doesn't tip the shipping fee up a tier.

    In the NZ market, I am thinking if powder developer cost 1/5 of liquids I may use that. While liquids may be used in higher dilutions for my low volume I don't think that would be much an issue. I can just purchase (fresh) powder developers more frequently than letting it sit there.

    Do you guys think 6 rolls of film for a packet of powder developer okay (6 months)? Stop bath can last 12 months and the fixer 6 months. As per the datasheets.

    Getting some prints done at WPS so will have a browse in the weekend. :smile:
     
  9. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    fix for some reason goes bad in my experience...however if you just buy PURE HYPO from the pool supply store, it lasts for years and years and years. I got some that was from the 70's...took a little water one...but just break off a chunk and you're in business. I only recently started using rapid fix (prepared) again since I go through LOTS of chemicals and I used up the 50 lbs of hypo....I also need to cut down on fix times and mixing times---so the liquid rapid fix is for me....

    for you--hc-110 for sure--mix it one-shot--a little dose at a time using a syringe---keep the syrup in the bottle...do that with hypo you mix up just before use and you'll NEVER have chemicals go bad or have to worry about them. I've had hc-110 in a bottle for like 4 years...the last like 3/4 ounze was useful...the stuff had turned to dark "pepsi" color a LONG time before and it still worked fine. gthat Stuff is amazing.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    You don't need Ilfostop, just use a couple changes of water. Get a 1L bottle of Rapid Fixer, it'll last for a few years after opening and has enough capacity to do about 100 films. Agree with the suggestions for LC-29 as that seems to be very available (in Australia at least) whereas HC-110 or Rodinal probably require you to make an international purchase. All of those liquid devs will last a year as concentrates (or 20 for Rodinal) after opening if you protect them from oxygen. D76 is cheap and will happily last a year in full bottles after making it up.

    If you just want to shoot a bit of B&W and not develop it yourself yet, try XP2+. It's C41 film so can be processed at any 1-hour lab, usually for (much) less than they will charge to process a real B&W film.

    Edit: you should be able to buy a 250mL bottle of LC-29, which at 1+19 will make 5L, which is enough for 15 rolls of film. Surely you can shoot 15 rolls in a year or two?
     
  11. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Thanks, I will have a look at the store tomorrow but won't get the chemicals till I have some b/w put aside for development. If I am picking up a Tetenal C41 Press Kit from the USA, I might be able to get a few items for b/w there as well and take adv of the shipping cost. Ilford are available for shipping but Kodak's stop bath and fixer isn't. Kodak's Photo Flo is in a smaller size, hence cheaper, may get that instead of the Ilfostop.

    I am wanting minimal grain and high sharpness with Delta 100 / T-Max 100 and the classic coarse contrast Tri-X 400. What developers do you suggest? Just so I can keep this at the back of my mind ...
     
  12. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    WPS in a few months may have 250ml of working solutions mixed up - and I presume the same to the stop bath and fixer :smile: But i will see how much it cost. I guess like other things here with film, they will charge a pretty penny for it and it would probably be less economical than their OEM packets off the manufacturer which is already 2x or 3x to the USA.

    I think it would be $$ and if it is might just get some chemicals from the USA like Ilford which is allowed to be shipped when I buy my film. A powder might be the best for me being 1/4 or 1/5 of liquid developers. For me even with the powder - it would probably expire than me not using it up, hahah. I could buy it when I need to collect my film up ... 3x or 5x with that fration ratio ... so it's the same or more than the the longetivity of liquid developers.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    For clarity, Photo Flo is a wetting agent, whereas Ilfostop is a stop bath - not the same. You may have meant Ilfotol though, which is Ilford's version of wetting agent.

    In any event, even small bottles of either version of wetting agent will do many rolls of film - you use tiny amounts.

    For coarse contrast - Rodinal. You will lose some speed though.

    Fine grain and high sharpness - XTol (diluted).

    If you are concerned about costs, a bag of X-Tol that makes 5 liters can probably be had for less than $10.00 from the USA - get two!
     
  14. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Oh yep. I should have worded it better. If I get some chemicals from the USA when I buy my film. I cannot import Kodak's stop bath or the fixer but I can with Ilford - stop bath and fixer. I can import both Ilford and Kodak's wetting agent but Kodak is cheaper at half size so prefer that :D

    I will just see what happens with my lab, they said they would provide 250ml working solutions, but going by how much the OEM bottles/packets cost here already, I imagine - negative economy of scale to kick in.

    Cannot get Rodinal. :D
    I am thinking to get powder cos they cost a lot less and the conc stuff while lets you process a lot more, for my low usage more than half the bottle probably go off, haha (even in its conc state)!
    Probably end up with Tmax 100, Delta 100 and Tri-X. Been considering ID-11 for both films. XTOL may be another if they can get it in. If I remember correctly XTOL is a powder right. I heard John Sexton uses D76. So that might be another option if it's powder. So many to choose.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2012
  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I bet you could import the Kodak powder fixer, but not the Kodak Rapid fixer. And the problem with the Kodak Rapid fixer is most likely not the fixer itself, but rather the highly acidic hardener that Kodak insists needs to be packaged with the fixer.

    And I expect that the problem with the stop bath is that the Kodak is more highly concentrated.