Novice mistake mixing chemicals

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mikimanojlovic, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. mikimanojlovic

    mikimanojlovic Member

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    After many years contemplating to start developing my own film, I finally equipped my darkroom and bought the first batch of chemicals. And of course made a dumb mistake tonight! I got everything ready: canisters, chemicals measuring tools, etc. Started mixing the developer (d-76) and after a few minutes noticed that the powder is not dissolving. The problem is I followed the instructions to the letter! After scratching my head for a minute I realized that I followed wrong instructions! You see, if you don't pay attention, Kodak fixer bag looks very similar to Kodak D-76 bag. I mixed d-76 with cold water instead of hot! Right now I'm trying to bring the temp up to 50C. I hope it dissolves, because I'm very eager to develop that first film!
     
  2. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    You'll be OK most likely.
     
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    If not, lesson learned and hope you have more. But, doggone, you are in for some fun right about now. Good onya.
     
  4. mikimanojlovic

    mikimanojlovic Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement guys! I'll post latter tonight whether I had success or not. As of now, it looks like it's dissolving :smile:
     
  5. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Yeah, just keep at it. If you still have some that simply will not dissolve, make sure it does not get to the film. Good luck. Wow, I remember this. Cool.
     
  6. lhalcong

    lhalcong Member

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    After you are done re-heating and dissolving, pass it through a coffee filter. that will keep it pure. it will be fine and it will develop. There will be many more mistakes... I started a year ago and I have my share.... :smile: but that't the fun of it, even the biggest mistakes will uncover something new and will teach you something else you didnt know.
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Do not filter with coffee filter or anything else. Wait till tomorrow if it won't all dissolve tonight. It'll dissolve, although Dektol is the worst about getting it to all dissolve.
     
  8. senorverde

    senorverde Member

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    I think we've all been there. Assuming these are in plastic jugs, fill your tub or a large container with the hottest water your tap can produce and just sit the container in it for several minutes. Shake, look for undissolved powder and repeat if necessary. When I was mixing Ultrafine's generic D76 powder I too didn't get my water up to temp and had quite a lot of undissolved power.
     
  9. mikimanojlovic

    mikimanojlovic Member

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    Thank you all for the advice and encouragement! Developer finally dissolved. I put the 1 galon plastic bottle in a 5 galon bucket and filled with hot water, and the temp eventually got up. After a few other mistakes and lots of clumsiness I managed to develop the film! My first! Got a few scratches while trying to put the film on the reel in a changing bag :sad: have to learn how to do it better.
    Well, at least I finally started developing, and it's gonna be a fun journey.
    Next to enlarging and printing, but that's gonna be another day.
     
  10. senorverde

    senorverde Member

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    I actually had a smile on my face when I read this. We've all been there, and you're certainly not going to be the last! It took me a good dozen rolls of film to actually get it on the reel and even then my first strip only rendered two usable frames (120 format). Glad to see that you had success with everything. Printing isn't as difficult as developing, in fact, it's more fun. Tell us how you get on and if you have any problems, you know which forum to visit! :laugh:
     
  11. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I never tried to spool roll film on in a changing bag. I always felt hat would too constricting. You need more room than a bag affords. Take your stuff to the privy. Block the edges of the door. Then turn out the lights. Wait a few minutes for your eyes to adjust and then block that one little light leak you missed. Then sit on the hopper and spool on your film out in the open. You'll find it both easier and safer for the film re: scratches. And welcome to the dark side.
     
  12. mnemosyne

    mnemosyne Subscriber

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    just a little sidenote:
    It is not ideal to shake a container to dissolve developer powder. Better is to use a proper tool for stirring or just let the container sit
    for several hours and wait. The reason is that shaking will introduce a lot of oxygen into the solution and might lead/contribute to
    premature failure of the developer.
    In all the years I have once experienced problems with a premature failure of Xtol and it was
    the one time that I was in a hurry and shook the container vigorously to speed things up ... D76 might be more robust
    in that regard than Xtol, but for a beginner it is still better to learn proper procedures right from the start.
     
  13. dorff

    dorff Member

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    Well, can't argue with the second part of that sentence. But with developing, one can at least follow directions to the tee. With printing, one has to make many more decisions and use discretion - lots of places where things can go wrong for the novice. I would say that doing your first printing under the guidance of an experienced printer, that is also a good teacher, can make a huge difference in enjoyment of the art.
     
  14. dorff

    dorff Member

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    I have frozen ID-11/D76 to preserve it for longer. I am not sure whether it has the intended effect, but noticed that after thawing, the metol had precipitated from solution. I then re-heated it in a bucket of warm water, and got everything dissolved again in a while, maybe half an hour. I don't think one can really stuff up the developer, but generally it is advised to dissolve a little bit of the sulphite first (in the case of ID-11 which is split, or if you make a home-made version), then the metol, then the rest of the sulphite. Once the solution is loaded with sulphite, it is much harder to get the last metol dissolved. Temperature is about all that helps. Excessive temperature causes degradation of the developer. 40-50 deg C is good enough.
     
  15. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Don't let this discourage you. Learn from your mistakes and move on to the fun world of the darkroom. Most important, read the safety instructions on how to handle chemicals.
     
  16. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I invested ina magnetic stirrerand can highly recommend it. it also came with an adjustable heating plate;makes mixing chemicals a lot easier and simpler
    :cool:
     
  17. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I invested ina magnetic stirrerand can highly recommend it. it also came with an adjustable heating plate;makes mixing chemicals a lot easier and simpler
    :cool:
    I feel like a real chemist now.
     
  18. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Rodinal
    hc 110
    tmax
    all come in a bottle. just add water.