The Film Developing Cookbook

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by arigram, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I already have the Darkroom Cookbook but I want to learn more about film developing should I consider The Film Developing Cookbook?
    Does it contain all the recent developments in film and chemicals?
    I am at this point because of availabillity of brand chemicals considering to mix my own. Should I bother?
     
  2. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Cookbook

    Arigram-you'd do better to get yourself a copy of the Photo-Lab iindex. Most of the info in the darkroom cookbook was taken directly from that journal. Aside from that the cookbook section here on APUG is probably the most interesting around. I would closely reread the thread on Patrick Gainers Vit-c developers. I recently started usong these and they are just the cats meow. You owe it to youself to do the same. I mean 3 ingredients to make a great developer that will be fresh each time you use it? Just do it!
    Regards Peter
     
  3. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    I will second the Photo-Lab index.

    Mixing chemicals is not necessarily cheaper. I once figured compared Dektol and D72. They were almost the same. The advantage is you can make non commercially produced developers. Two part developers are one example. Home made D76 will get little pieces of precipitate in it after several weeks. The commercial product will not do this.

    You need a good scale to measure small amounts. This will be $100 or more. Almost anything is ok for sodium sulfite as it is non critical and does not effect activity.
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I haven't seen the Photo-Lab index, so I can't comment on that.

    But I do know that this site is a better source for film developing tricks and developers than the Film Cookbook! Besides, plenty of us already have it, so any question is bound to get ten (conflicting) answers within hours.

    I found a cheap electronic scale on ebay when I started out. Just had a look around (in German, but something like this is better than mine - and cheaper) and found http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=70342&item=3868269062&rd=1 .

    There is a bit of difference between $100 and EUR 17.99!
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    My digital scale was even cheaper. I want to say $11. The cost of a scale shouldn't stop anybody today. I rarely use the scale for B&W and just go with the spoon method.

    I mix most of my stuff. I'm not sure about cost but it sure is convient. Plus the stuff is always fresh. It can even be easier then some commerical chemicals. If you want to make up a print developer that needs to be diluted you don't mix up a stock first you just make it up diluted. That makes it easier to get all the chemicals into solution. The same thing with film developer. When my film developer goes into the tank it's never more then 30 minutes old.

    The film developing book is okay but if you have the cookbook I don't see much point unless you want a complete set of books.
     
  7. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I don't know if you noticed, but the most expensive part of D-76 and many other developers is the sodium sulfite. It should be cheap as dirt, but isn't.

    A good scale for weighing very small quantities can be had at a sporting goods store where it is sold for weighing gunpowder. The one I have is calibrated in grains, weighs as little as 1/10 grain, and cost me about $30 US.

    The developers our previous poster was raving about have no sulfite. The ingredients to make a water silution for one time use cost about a quarter for a gallon. The stock solution in glycol or TEA costs more, but is still more economical than D-76 or Xtol. It may cost about $20 a liter, but a liter makes 50 liters of working solution.
     
  8. BarrieB

    BarrieB Member

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    Who publishes ' The Film Developing Cookbook ' ? ( how many pages, price etc)
     
  9. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I have both the darkroom cookbook and the film developers cookbook. The film developers cookbook also explains why certain chemicals do certain things and will help you understand why you would use as certain chemistry for different situations. I highly recommend it - that you read it cover to cover - It is more than a recipe book. In my darkroom, they are both -must-haves-
     
  10. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    From my library information
    Author: Anchell, Stephen G.
    Title: The film developing cookbook / Stephen G. Anchell, Bill Troop.
    Published: Boston : Focal Press, c1998.
    Other Authors/Titles: Troop, Bill.
    Material: xii, 163 p. ; 26 cm.
    Table of Contents: Display Full Table of Contents
    Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 137-138) and index.
    ISBN: 0240802772 (alk. paper)

    Prices vary, but it should be around $25 for used... 35 for new

     
  11. MSchuler

    MSchuler Subscriber

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    I'm not sure what you mean by *necessarily* cheaper. I just did a quick calculation to see how much making my own hypo clear would save: using the Kodak HCA formula I found it would cost about $1.85 per 5 liters of working solution and using only sodium sulfite it would cost $0.72 per 5 liters of working solution. For comparison, a liter of Ilford Wash Aid (which makes per 5 liters of working solution) costs $8.18 at B&H. Maybe
    some other formulas/chemicals would be more expensive?
     
  12. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    We all are in this fer different reasons. That said, I don't know why you would need the cookbook unless you are going to do a lot of experimentation. That said, this site is the best for getting ideas, formuli, and dev times for jist about anthing you might want to do.

    I use 4 developers:
    W2D2+ for my 4x5 sheet film (apx100)
    Rodinal for most general developing
    Diafine for when I want to go out and play WeeGee or I want max depth of field from my old 6x6 folders in poor light
    homebrew 777 for that 100 film speed glowing portrait look

    Sure some things in the Photo-Lab Index look neat to try, but ask yerself if you are willing to put the time and money into optimizing more than one or two of them.

    tim in san jose
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Three, there are a few who swear by the two ingredient D23.
    From three chemicals quite a few developers can be compounded.
    That's got me wondering. How about D23-VC; one-shot of
    course? My understanding is that A. acid is short lived at
    working strength when at use in tank or tray. Dan
     
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  15. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    How long must a one-shot developer last at working strength? It doesn't matter what the ingredients are, if I'm not done with it within an hour, it goes out. I have used paper developer with no sulfite and find it still working the next day. Ascorbates are not the only 3-ingredient developers with little or no sulfite. A few years ago, a pound of sulfite cost me $4.50. It's a lot cheaper in bulk, I know, but it is still the major cost of some developers like D-23 and D-76.

    Ryuji Suzuki's ascorbate developer with salicylic acid shows promise of having long storage life. It's too soon to make generalizations, especially those promoted by the Film Developing Cookbook. Not that it doesn't have some good information, but it does tend to promote some Old Wives' Tales. General rules about the relationship between solvency and grain are not really so general, though they are quoted often as the reason one developer is better or worse than another. Enough.
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have _The Darkroom Cookbook_, but not _The Film Developing Cookbook_.

    If you really want something that goes into much greater depth, I'd recommend Grant Haist's _Modern Photographic Processing_. It's out of print except as an on-demand reprint, and even marked up copies are fairly expensive, but once you have it, you'll know why it commands such a price. Much of it is a compilation of other research, but its value lies precisely in its thorough review of virtually everything of importance published until about 1979 and excellent documentation, so if a passing reference to some mercapto acid fixer catches your fancy, you'll have a few citations, and you can look them up.

    I only have vol. 1, which contains all the info on developers, which is what I'm mainly interested in.
     
  17. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Sodium Ascorbate may not provide a high enough ph to
    activate metol well. An ascorbate D23 may not be possible.

    Of course I would have to order PHOTO grade or better
    ASCORBATE to make a two chemical D23-VC. P. Formulary
    supplies, at last look, only the acid.

    Then again ascorbate alone might activate phenidone;
    D23-VCP. Ever give that a try? Dan
     
  18. Brook

    Brook Member

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    Regarding sodium sulfite, I see it in Kodak containers for $9.99US per lb at photo shops, but my local swimming pool supplier sells the identical stuff in 50lb bags for $65.00US. Sodium carbonate and hypo are even beter deals in bulk. I wish my favorite developing agents had more universal uses.....

    Brook
     
  19. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    How does one get hold of a copy of the photo lab index? I understand they are quite old and out of print.
     
  20. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    Grant Haist has many new copies of the 2 volume set for sale for $175 plus $5 for shipping. Haist himself as well as his old colleagues in Rochester are accepting orders and the book will be shipped directly from Grant Haist.
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  22. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    The PLI is still available new from Morgan & Morgan. Having said that, for B&W stuff you would probably be better off looking for an older version, they're on eBay every so often.

    -Mike
     
  23. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    I have both. I must say that I consider the Darkroom Coolbook the more useful. Both bools are full of "conventional wisdom" of which some is not universally true. A fine-grain developer may have lots of sulfite or none. A fine-grain developer may have low pH or high. It may be concentrated or dilute. High acutance developers are an enigma. You may find what you think is high acutance, and when you look closely, you see tonal distortions. It may be that is what you want. You must be careful when you mix a formula that is proclaimed to be this or that because it contains this or that or because it is diluted 1+1000 or=== you name it. Wait til you have tested it against what it is claimed to be better than.

    I have gotten noteworthy or notorious for some things, mostly for putting ascorbic acid in everything, but also for using organic solvents for stock solutions. My objective in most cases has been cheaper and/or longer lasting with quality as good as D-76. I don't use any more sulfite than is needed, not because it is a dreadful menace, but because it turns out to be the most expensive component of many developers and is not necessary for getting the qualities I want. If I can make a gallon of developer that costs less than a dollar to make and has all the qualities I need, I think that is worth passing on. Enough preaching.
     
  24. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Amen Brother! - BFWIW - Both cookbooks are very good at taking someone from magic soup to an intrinsic knowlege of the basics. It was the gateway for me that got me off all that store bought stuff and convinced me it was ok to roll my own. I still use them as fall back references and sometimes conventional knowlege is adaquate for the non-inventor types - like me. I am confident in mixing up chemistries that someone else designed and enjoy knowing what function each component has in the operation. I will likely not experiment with substitutions or changes to produce different results. There are some wonderful and brilliant folks right here that do that and share. So I can spend more time making negatives and less time pondering the magic soup. - AND MANY THANKS to all of you here that do share - it makes this type of art so much more rewarding.
     
  25. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    I second Peter's recommendation of the Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) developers. Cheap, non-toxic, and excellent results.

    I don't agree that you need a good scale. Get a good set of kitchen measuring spoons; in Greece, they'll likely be the metric variety rather than the teaspoon or tablespoon variety here in the U.S., but that's easily adjustable. Then look up the chart of gram/teaspoon equivalents in Henry Horenstein's "Beyond Basic Photography." I've been using the teaspoon measurements for all my chemical processes for nearly 30 years with absolutely fine results. The plain fact is, though this is horrifying to the more science-lab types, is that very little in photochemistry demands extremely fine measurement precision.

    1 teaspoon sodium carbonate
    1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid
    4 ml. 1% Phenidone stock (1/2 teaspoon--1 g-- Phenidone dissolved in 100 ml 90% isopropyl alcohol)
    1 liter water

    For some films, e.g. Delta 400, you may want to substitute sodium metaborate for the carbonate to give reasonable developing times.

    Fine grain, excellent tonality, long scale with plenty of shadow detail. What more can one ask for?

    Larry
     
  26. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    FYI Larry, you can use half as much carbonate for Delta 400. It's counterintuitive that you can use the same volume of carbonate and ascorbic acid, but it works. 10 mins at 74F gives a contrast range of 1.2. The grain is nice, but the accutance isn't exciting.