Scale Recommendations for Measuring Chemicals

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by GregY, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. GregY

    GregY Member

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    After using lots of developers Formulary 130, Neutol Wa, LPD, Formulary Amidol,
    I've gotten the chemicals for mixing Amidol for contact printing on Azo & Lodima.

    Does anyone have some recommendations for inexpensive (digital :whistling:) scales for weighing amounts less than 250grams?
    I know there are lots out there....any likes & dislikes...
     
  2. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I *think* we're allowed to use d*g*t*l scales... :smile:

    Searching eBay will find you lots of incredibly cheap "jeweler's scales", with ranges around 100 to 200 g and claimed accuracy of 0.01 g. I don't really believe the latter, but I don't need that kind of accuracy either, and many of them literally cost only a few dollars. I ended up getting a ProScale LC-50, I believe, from a seller called "Old Will Knott Scales"---so far it works fine.

    Obviously this is the low-end solution. I can't prove that I wouldn't get better results with a more expensive, more known-precise lab scale.

    -NT
     
  3. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    If you have one in your community, check out a local Head Shop, they are likely to have highly accurate low price scales in stock, no I'm not joking, you might want to call ahead before you go, but they should have what you are looking for. Tell them what you need the scale for, and they will point you to what you need.
     
  4. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    If you wanna stay analog, get an Ohaus triple-beam scale. Never needs batteries either; it will last the rest of your life.
     
  5. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    http://canadianweigh.com/

    I use a "My Weigh" (forget which one.. about $100), they work just peachy and the accuracy is quite good, and repeatable
     
  6. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    I've used a My Weigh digital scale in the kitchen for years (also purchased from Old Will Knott) and I've been pretty happy with it. They offer a pretty wide range of models, I'm sure they have one that will do what you want.
     
  7. GregY

    GregY Member

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    Thanks folks. That gives me a good place to start. HB...I remember the triple beams from school. My darkroom is a little small to have one sitting out & really I'd rather buy another 454g of amidol and a cheaper scale. I do use a Pentax digital spot meter so my soul is already impure though....but thanks for the thought
     
  8. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I got my digital scales via Ebay from China. Capacity is 300 grammes with a precision of 0.01 grammes. Amazing price too, $13 all up, shipping included!
     
  9. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I've been using an inexpensive Acculab GSI-200 after a good scale went bad on me. I use closely calibrated, extremely good scales at work and have some items that I weighed there to double check occasionally and it has stayed very accurate. Load cells tend to be less accurate at their extremes and this is worse with lesser grade scales such as mine. If I need to measure something like 5g, I will put a 50g weight on the scale and tare to that point. The 5g increment is then likely to be more accurate. I use a firearms reloading scale for small amounts, too. Mine is a simple balance from RCBS. I have my recipes on spreadsheets that also calc the grains equivalent for small amounts (15.4324 grains per gram). This is great for getting your restrainer chemicals and their typical small amounts measured accurately. I've been working around the 200g maximum quite easily by measuring incremental amounts to the total.

    Maybe I've just been lucky with the little Acculab but I can recommend it from single example experience.
     
  10. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    I also have an Acculab (mine is a model VIC-511) that I'm quite happy with. That said it was cost quite a bit more that the ebay china scales but in the long run will probably be cheaper.
     
  11. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I've got a nice one I bought through American Science & Surplus (www.sciplus.com) for under $20 I think.
     
  12. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I started out with a triple beam scale, but later went to an Acculab digital scale and have never looked back. The digital scale settles down much more quickly, resulting in making developers and other solutions much quicker and more pleasurable, so that I can get back to making photographs sooner. My digital scale, just like my digital light meter, and my digital darkroom timer, are just tools that work better than analog ones. They don't make my analog photography any less "pure."
     
  13. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Great idea. Thanks.
     
  14. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    I also have two "My Weigh" units - one in the kitchen gets used every day to measure out the dog food. The Tare function can be quite handy when mixing stuff. And one of my scales did come from someone in BC called "Rollins papers and stuff."
     
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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  16. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    I got a nice little digital scale at the closest pawn shop. $30, I think.
     
  17. thisismyname09

    thisismyname09 Member

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    I have one of these. They're quite accurate and easy to use. The one I have can weigh more than 2kg and it's accurate to 0.1g.
     
  18. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I have a My Weigh one that fits in the palm of my hand. Perfect. Cheap.
     
  19. FRANOL

    FRANOL Member

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    And for liquids there is a plenty plastic 3 ml graduated pipettes.
     
  20. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I have bought two of these;
    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/precision-digital-pocket-scale-300g-max-0-01g-resolution-15004 . Both work perfectly after more than a year of use. Suitable for accurate and repeatable measurements starting from about 0.10 g. Repeatability seems to be +/- 0.01 g. Calibration has not shifted during the year of use.

    A calibration weigh is a must if you want precise measurements: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/digital-scale-calibration-weight-100-grams-15761 (mine is really close to 100g, three or four decimals IIRC when checked on high-accuracy lab scale)

    Power saving mode is a minus, as well as blue backlight. Red would be more suited to darkroom and easier to read :smile:.

    So, even cheap Chinese product can actually be very good. Beware that even if you find somewhere scale many times more expensive , you may get exactly the same Chinese stuff rebranded. The "real" scales that come with real guarantee on accuracy then are VERY expensive.

    I have also a DealExtreme scale with 0.001 g resolution up to 20 g, it is of same quality. And then I have bought the very similar looking scale from Ebay for weighing up to 2000 g. These all cost less than 50 USD together and cover a broad range of measurements from 0.01 g to 2000 g with amazing accuracy of about +/- 0.002 g -- +/- 0.01 g -- +/- 0.1 g.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2011
  21. chakra

    chakra Member

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    Hi,
    I mix a lot of darkroom chemicals at home and have so for a few years now. What I found is

    1. Cheap and small scales do not handle repeated darkroom use well. I had two scales, bought on the auction site, that no longer work.

    2. You must get a calibration weight and a scale that allows calibration. You'll be surprised at how many off the shelf scales are out of calibration.

    3. Secret! You can test your setup using cheap readily available test weights. The coins of most countries have precisely specified weights. For US coin weights check http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/?action=coin_specifications

    4. One way to get around a less accurate scale is to make a larger quantity of, say, developer. The requirements for accuracy are much less if you are making 10 liters as opposed to 500ml.

    I ended up discussing reliability with a local science supply store and they suggested a cheap model that they had received the least complaints for. Nonetheless, the cheap scales are a good way to start.

    -Santanu
     
  22. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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