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  1. #11

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    For lith developers it is quite a bit cheaper and I'm darn sure it makes me sound interesting when I tell a caller I can't talk now because I just added sodium hydroxide and I have to keep an eye on the exothermic reaction.

  2. #12
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    if you mix your own chemistry from raw chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi ralph

    i do that for ansco 130 ( formulary 130 ) paper developer because the formulary is
    the only place to get glycin, and they sell it in a kit form ( the developer ). the mix, in stock solution
    lasts for over a year, so i buy about 5 or 6 gallons at once and process film and paper in it.
    its a great developer, and if it was sold in a can i would buy it in a heartbeat.
    i originally bought it because i was told it was the same as gaf universal developer, something i used
    years ago, that was left in a studio i rented. it was in the darkroom for 20 years before i got to it, and had
    seen 20 harsh and no so harsh new england winters and summers ( was on the windowsill of a semi-open window )
    i mixed it and used it full force one summer processed film and paper with it, and LOVED IT.
    unfortunately gaf universal and ansco130 aren't the same thing but it didn't stop me from using it
    i later learned the actual recipe for gaf universal, which is very similar to ansco130 just a teensy weensy bit different

    i also mix raw chemicals for caffenol ( sumatranol ) c .. only cause it is easy to mix and things are at the local grocery store.
    i took a leap of faith and bought a bunch of green coffee beans and now sell kits for sumatranol c, so if someone doesn't want to
    deal with searching for the ingredients i can supply them

    why do i use it? when mixed with a shake of ansco 130, i like it better than any other film developer i have tried .. beautiful grain, and tonality.
    can't be beat, well it can be beat if you don't like that sort of thing

    john
    Happen to have that GAF universal developer formula? I have about 150 feet of 70mm GAF film and a pack of 4x5 GAF I would love to use their product on. I would also consider just buying it from you already made haha


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  3. #13

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    One advantage is that you can have fresh stock in just the quantity you need at any time. Another major advantage is that you can mix up things that are not on the market commercially or are hard to find. The disadvantage is that there are many excellent proprietary formulas that are not available. A minor (or maybe major) advantage is that you can experiment.

    I don't do that much black and white work any longer, so I value being able to make D-76 as I need it. I also make Defender 54-D for prints, which I prefer to Dektol (D-72, which you can also mix). I also mix up F-34 as a cheap, near neutral, non-hardening fixer. Stop bath is trivial and very cheap. From time to time I experiment with other things - a lot of other things, including alternative processing. There are a huge number of formulas available out there, and you can find something appropriate to any of your black and white needs.

  4. #14
    eclarke's Avatar
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    Making chems is a fair bit less complicated than making a Leica!!

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
    It makes me feel like a mad scientist.
    Amen! I think that's my real reason. I do like PC-TEA and Caffenol C, which are the main things I mix from scratch, but if I'm really honest with myself, I have to admit I'm doing it because I like the mad-scientist vibe.

    PC-TEA is a winner of a developer, though, and seems to have declined in popularity here as compared to a couple of years ago. We need a new round of people taking it up. It's only slightly more complicated than D-23: (P)henidone 0.225 g, vitamin (C) 9 g, and (T)ri(E)ethanol(A)mine 100 ml. You need to heat up the TEA for the ascorbic acid to dissolve; I use a baby-bottle warmer (retired from its original use!). Use at 1+50, with starting dev times the same as for Xtol 1+2.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  6. #16
    eclarke's Avatar
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    I have an extremely complete formulary with a little over 100 photography chemicals. When I see a reference to a developer, instead of speculating about it, I can make it myself and gain some real knowledge. It all depends on how much you really want to know about the process!

  7. #17
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Another factor that I've thought about is that if you're the kind of person who likes to experiment, experimenting with chemistry is a lot less expensive than experimenting with, say, lenses or camera systems, and is just as important in the effect on the final image.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #18
    erikg's Avatar
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    if you mix your own chemistry from raw chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    Amen! I think that's my real reason. I do like PC-TEA and Caffenol C, which are the main things I mix from scratch, but if I'm really honest with myself, I have to admit I'm doing it because I like the mad-scientist vibe.

    PC-TEA is a winner of a developer, though, and seems to have declined in popularity here as compared to a couple of years ago. We need a new round of people taking it up. It's only slightly more complicated than D-23: (P)henidone 0.225 g, vitamin (C) 9 g, and (T)ri(E)ethanol(A)mine 100 ml. You need to heat up the TEA for the ascorbic acid to dissolve; I use a baby-bottle warmer (retired from its original use!). Use at 1+50, with starting dev times the same as for Xtol 1+2.

    -NT
    Agree with that for sure! PC-TEA to my eye gives all of the benefits of xtol without the issues with keeping properties.
    I've long enjoyed mixing my own: film and paper developers, toners, it puts me closer to the process, science guy style.

  9. #19

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    My favorite film developer is a substitute for Rodinal which was developed during WWI when this developer was not available. It uses Metol and hydroquinone in place of paraminophenol.

    There are a lot of developers which are useful but not made commercially. You have to mix your own.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #20
    Trask's Avatar
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    Like others here, I enjoy the ability to make developers that aren't available on the market -- maybe it's my personal Grail quest, seeing if I can bring something unique to my photographs that can't be bought off the shelf. And yeah, the mad scientist thing, too!

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