If using rapid fixer, the rated capacity is 20 rolls per litre of working solution assuming 1+4 dilution from concentrate. Best way to check is to measure the clearing time of a film scrap and fix for twice that long at least. Once the measured clearing time doubles compared to fresh fixer, that batch of fixer is exhausted.
So I still haven't managed to completely build the darkroom yet mainly because I've realised that the shed outside is bloody freezing at night! However I have managed to develop a couple more rolls and today I tried stand development with rodinal 1:100 for 1 hour. As I don't have a scanner I borrowed my dad's d90 and macro lens and then in aperture I inverted using a preset I found on the internet and then just used the auto-enhance adjustment (clearly I have no idea with post-processing!).
Anyway here is a result from Centre Place, Melbourne after a tiny bit of cropping due to the fact I couldn't cut a perfect rectangle to act as a film holder.
Here is a link to a blog with my first experiments, the most recent one is the stand development.
I think my main question is if I have made the image look too 'digital' because my negatives came out quite flat (which is apparently meant to happen in stand development) I did up the contrast quite a bit.
I don't know what you mean about too digital, but theat second photo looks awesome.
sorry to come in a bit late, but can I make a couple of suggestions?
Don't stand develop - it can easily lead to uneven development and/or flat negatives. Try agitating for 1 minute - 1 inversion every 10 seconds. Bang the tank at the end of the first minute on the table to dislodge any air bubbles. Then agitate 2-3 inversions every minute - this should up your contrast, and give even processing.
You can re-use your stop and fixer. If the stop is indicator stop it will change color when exhausted. If it's not then ditch it when you ditch your fixer. As Ploygot suggested mix up 1 liter of fix, and then fix the recommended number of films and ditch the fix. Same goes for stop - mix 1 liter and then ditch when needed.
Don't mix less, because if you mix up enough for 300ml you can kill the fix in 3-4 films, as the silver build up in the fixer will mean that when you are fixing a film it will still clear, but rather than removing all the unexposed silver it will start to add some back to your negatives. The film will look fixed, but even with correct washing it will fade/contaminate in storage (it's happened to me, and I've been processing film for 30 years..)
Best advice I was ever given is not to skimp on chemistry - it's the cheapest part of the whole process, and you don't want to ruin your photography just because you wanted to save $1 on some chemistry.
Also - do you have a thermometer? I was in my local chemist last week and they had some small digital thermometers on the counter for $4.95 each..You need to keep all chemicals around 20C (plus the wash if you can - if not you can decrease the wash temp slowly to avoid any chance of retculating the film) to get consistant results.
Regarding enlarger lenses - I would throw the Astron in the bin and get a decent lens (I use one once - my first enlarger was a Durst F30 with a Astron lens. I did some prints, but they were no where near as sharp as the prints I did at school. I kept the enlarger for a while, but got a Nikkor lens like the one on the school's enlarger) .
The Astron was always a cheap 3 element lens that came from a variety of manufacturers (it was distributed by R Gunz - Astron was their "own" brand). They are easy to fix (my camera technician hat is now on) by unscrewing the rear element - this should get you to the surfaces with the fungus on them - wipe them with soapy water, then clean them with a cloth and they should be fine..
I'd suggest looking for a good second hand lens - a cheap one like a f4.5 Minolta 50mm will set you back maybe $20, and they are sharp. I remember a guy I worked with bought one 25 years ago, and I tested it in the work darkroom (I was working for a photographer as a b&W printer) - in a 12 X 16 print you couldn't see the difference between it and a f2.8 Minolta Rokkor or a f2.8 EL Nikkor - both the sharpest 50mm enlarger lenses I've used. If you are looking for a lens let me know -I should have a decent spare lens around the place you can buy cheap...
And no - I don't think the images look too digital. Done correctly you shouldn't be able to tell the difference between a print from a good scan and a print from a enlarger. The trick is learing how to do a good scan...or learning to make a good print...which in many ways is easier of the two..
Note to self - read all posts thoroughly before commenting....
POLYGOT offered you a f2.8/50mm Rodagon (or similar) for $30. Grab it - it's a bargain....I paid a couple of hundred for the one I had :-)
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So just an update. I haven't gotten around to setting up a darkroom at home because after looking at the costs for getting the additional chemicals and making the room dark proof, as well as finding an easel and paper it just hasn't become cost-effective. Particularly as I will be going overseas from sep-feb for uni exchange I've had to start budgeting, and I don't think I would be able to use up all the chemicals before they expire.
I've been thinking instead I should find a darkroom to hire/ a darkroom course/ maybe a helpful apuger wouldn't mind showing me the ropes?
Having just decided to take this course of action I haven't fully researched darkroom hire but besides the melbourne camera club are there any other recommended places, or are they the best.
Oh and I thought I would attach some images that I developed on the weekend. It's Ilford hp5+ at box speed. The photographs aren't amazing but I'm happy with the development. I don't have an scanner so I used my Dad's d90 and macro lens, inverted it in photoshop and moved the curves a bit.
MCC is certianly cheap at $5.00 a go. You just need to join the club (http://www.melbournephoto.org.au/) . Look here too http://silvermine.org.au/darkroom/
Green blue, it's very hard to tell with the method of digitisation, but if they were my negs I'd increase development time. They seem lowish in contrast.
You don't need to be that light proof, just develop and print at night
pentax 6x7,canon eos 300, crown graphic 4x5
Yes, this is a problem for me. I can't print when the F***ING neighbours have their porch light on!
Originally Posted by NDP_2010