if you mix your own chemistry from raw chemicals
why do you do that(benefits)and what is your favorite formula?
Its the only way I know how to get D23.
Also, I mix D76 and Dektol (D72) from scratch simply because I enjoy doing it that way....even though home brew D76 is more expensive than store bought.
how can that be?
Originally Posted by BradS
I want to be in total control of my process and don't want to be left in the lurch when a product disappears. None of the developers I favor are sold as commercial products..
Apart from alternative processes, where I make up from raw chemicals, I buy chemicals ready made, such as D76, Amfix etc. in the same way as I would not try an construct my own Leica.
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
It has been a couple of years since I've done the cost analysis (and prices for raw chems have only increased) but, here in the US, commercially packaged D76 is definitely cheaper than mixing it yourself (comparing the gallon size package). If you buy the smaller quart sized bags (are these even available anymore?) then, the commercial package is way more expensive.
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
Essentially, the cost difference comes down to the cost of Sodium Sulfite, distilled water and shipping. Here are a few assumptions:
1) The gallon size package of D76 is available locally (no shipping costs).
2) use tap water with commercially packaged D76, there is no need for distilled in this case.
3) mix home brew in distilled water (adds $1.29 per gallon)
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
I used to mix my own Pyro because it was pretty cheap to mix from raw and I could just make as much as a needed. Shipping from the USA of the liquid form of this stuff put me over the edge for price, so this was the best. Also, I used it to make some D23 because many of the chemicals were the same and I always wanted to try that developer. But I haven't used these developers in a few years, so I stopped doing it. I would love to know what chemicals make a HC-110 replenisher for my 8x10 tank, but have yet to do the research. I found a formula for LPD paper developer and I was so excited that I could get the chemicals here in Canada, but when I got a quote for the equivalent of 3 cans, it was $42 as opposed to $24 at B&H, so I said forget it. Sometimes you hit, sometimes you miss.
I like the added control of mixing my own chemistry, the greater choice of formulas, and the ability to mix the amount that I need when I need it, so there's less waste and my developers are fresh. In general I find it less expensive to mix from bulk chemicals for the quantities that I use, and some of the formulas I use aren't available commercially.
Film and print developers that I use regularly are ABC pyro, Michael A. Smith's amidol formulas for Azo/Lodima and for enlarging papers, Ansco 130, and Paul Farber's Acufine-like formula.
Occasionally I experiment with others, just to see what they do, and sometimes I make albumen prints. I've also gone through the occasional monobath phase when I've been particularly limited for working space.
It's not as interesting to experiment with stop baths or fixers, though for some processes I use plain hypo, or I'll use a 1% sodium metabisulfite stop with an alkaline fix.
It makes me feel like a mad scientist.
Cheaper to ship raw chemicals (except formulary) than liquids.
I don't get in the darkroom that often so pre mixed stuff could go bad before i get to use it.
It's fun having control over every step of the process.