Hi guys thanks for all the help, I have ordered all the equipment and it should be coming hopefully by the end of the week I guess the only thing left is for me to get out shooting in the mean time so I have some rolls to develop!
Thanks for the offer polyglot but I'll first have to test out the enlarger to see if the haze actually will have an effect on the prints and its probably best for me to start practicing before spending even more money!
Nige, I'm in Camberwell, I did have a look at the melbourne camera club when they had that open day going on and even had a look at the intro to b&w course but unfortunately it clashed with my work schedule. When is the next meeting for the printmakers group? Hopefully I would be able to come down.
it's usually the last Monday of the month but the next one is matting and framing prints for our annual exhibition which is probably not that interesting (unless you want to learn how to cut a matt!). If I remember, I'll post what the next one is about when it becomes known.
I'm going through the same process. Been developing film and scanning for quite a while but I have been looking on eBay for darkroom stuff. Most if it was mainland located and pick up only but I chanced upon a setup at a market here in HobArt for $60 with no lens.
As a birthday present my bathroom is being fitted with blackout curtains to make it quickly convertible.
I look forward to taking the next step...
So I've been developing a couple of rolls and sometimes I get rolls that turn out fine for the start and the end but in the middle there are no numbers on the film. So I assume this means that I haven't developed long enough, or something is wrong with the agitation? Also does anyone have any tips on evaluating negatives?
No numbers generally means no development. I take it images don't show up in that part of the roll either? Or they show up but are really thin?
How are you agitating? Assuming you're using a paterson tank or similar, the usual way is to do an inversion every second for 60s at the start, then 10s of inversions at the start of every minute.
Development time/temp/agitation lead to contrast, and you just need to be shown what a "good" level of contrast looks like. If you have completely transparent patches on the film, they will come out completely black, i.e. are under-exposed. Sometimes (e.g. night scenes with unlit areas) this is unavoidable but for most circumstances, it's undesirable. A common fault is to have black hair become an unexposed black hole (clear on the film) with no detail.
Yeah no numbers and no images on that part of the roll. The film was neopan 400 and I developed it for 11 minutes in rodinal 1:50, the agitation I used was to use the spinner which was recommended to me by the previous owner of the tank. I did 30 seconds constant agitation with inversions at the start and then every minute for 10 seconds I used the spinner. I guess I must have been a bit conservative with the spinning because I have read that too much agitation can cause quite a lot of grain when using rodinal.
Anyway I developed a different roll of tri-x and that turned out great probably because I ditched the spinning method and did normal tank inversions instead. So I think problem solved! The only other issue I have noticed is that on some of the rolls there are dark blotches on the film. I guess these are drying marks?
Odd, I've always been a spinner not a swinger, and have had no problems.
Yeah, the spinner is used mostly at the start to dislodge any bubbles, but I find that one drop of photoflo in the tank does that better. Just stick with the inversions. If you're spinning, I think you need to spin really hard to get sufficient fresh developer to the middle parts of the roll - just think of the physics of it, there's nothing forcing the exhausted developer out of the middle. With inversions, you have air bubbles rushing through the whole roll, turning the developer over completely.
These dark blotches, are they in the silver layer or on the film surface? If the latter and they look like waterdrops, they could be drying marks. If they're denser regions in the silver, it's likely you have poorly-mixed developer but I've never seen that with Rodinal, only powder developers like D76.
I would assume that no development in the middle must mean that the film was not loaded onto the reel properly in that part. Did you notice the reel unroll unevenly after development?
I've just had another look at the film and I think the blotches are waterdrops. I'm not too sure if I loaded the film on properly but it seemed to unreel fine at the end. Although I guess these being my first ever developed rolls problems are to be expected and I do have some usable negatives.
One more question though, I know that stop bath and fixer can be reused and that I can tell the stop has been used up when the colour changes but how do I tell if the fixer has been all used up? Is there just a roll of thumb that you can use fixer for x amount of times?