Thanks Ralph, I'm hoping that this will put an end to any longings I had to move ahead in the digital world. Ultimately, the only prohibitive factor has been the cost of processing. By year's end, I will be making prints optically in my basement. (here's hoping!)
16 oz of PhotFlo will last a long time. What sort of clips will you use to hang the film, and is the location still air?
The first few time you do this, use a written check list and tick it off as you go. Label the solutions. I prefer to use a stop clock or a kitchen clock with a second hand for timing - easier to keep an eye on while I am tidying up. But then my phone won't run apps.
i like to the gralab process timerssuch as the gralab 300.they are my process timer of choice, because i can set the time and it runs backwards to zero.
Grahamp, I'll be using state-of-the-art wooden clothespins. The location will have some circulation due to an HVAC return, but probably not enough to cause a breeze.
I will definitely use a checklist, and my phone app keeps individual timers for each step all on the same screen.
Thanks for the info about Photoflo.
You use stop bath 5 times? I have only ever used one application of stop bath.
I wouldn't use wood. Wood absorbs chemicals and in my printing process it can happen that I use the same clips for negatives and prints. Plastic or metal clips can be properly rinsed. Also 5 times stop bath might be overkill. I do 2.
Originally Posted by rwreich
For the final rinse (photoflo) I use filtered water. I have very hard water where I come from.
If you could find a location away from the air duct, I highly recommend moving the drying to it. Even the slightest dust being moved by the HVAC will find its way to your negatives and then dry on them. Meaning, you won't be dusting them off.
One stop bath is sufficient, and for film may even be replaced by two or three rinses in water. Its purpose is to stop development and to preserve acidity in the fixer (developers are all alkaline). A good rinse in water stops development, gets rid of 99.9% of the alkali, and the effect on the fixer is negligible. I don't use stop bath for film any longer, and suffer no ill effects in the results. If you make the rinse quick, then the fixer effectively acts as final developer arrestor (due to the acidity).
Agree about wooden clips - to be avoided. Clothes pegs in plastic should be okay. I prefer my darkroom stainless steel clips, as they do not cause a dimple in the film, and have a really good grip.
Don't hang the film to dry in an open room. A dust free cupboard is maybe better. I hang films in my darkroom and close the door for an hour or two. Dust that settles on the emulsion when still wet will embed, and be impossible to remove later.
You don't mention storage of the film after it has dried. May I suggest Printfile negative sleeves? The 6 frames x 7 strips ones are what I use for 35 mm. For 120 I use the 3 frames x 4 strips (for 6x7). The same ones work for 645 as 4 frames x 4 strips. Don't use the 4 frame width type sleeves unless you can help it, or your scanner only accommodates 4 frames of 35 mm. The reason is that it is easier to browse your negative sleeves if they are A4-sized (flat) and stored in a ring-binder as a single page.
To clarify my post #16 - I do a 2 X stop bath but with water only. I don't use any chemicals in the stop process. I also do a 2 X fix. I have 2 fix solutions made up A and B. I split my fix time in two halves, for example 2-3 minutes in Fix A, pour it back into the bottle, fill up cannister with Fix B and fix for another 2-3 minutes, pour fixer back into Fix bottle B. I always test my fixers with a small piece of film. It lasts ages.
This is when thinking about it and writing about it is FAR more complicated than the actual process. Go for it!
If I may suggest just one thing. If you are going to mix up ONE GALLON of D-76, may I suggest using lots of smaller bottles than one BIG bottle? Exposure to air is what kills the developer. If you fill, say 4 1 liter bottles and start using just one, then the rest will remain perfectly good for long time.