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  1. #11
    Fast's Avatar
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    Well written! Takes me back to the first time I did that. Terror, exhilaration, excitement.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast View Post
    Well written! Takes me back to the first time I did that. Terror, exhilaration, excitement.
    Ah Ha! I knew I was not the only one to have this experience!

  3. #13
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    Congratulations on that first roll...

    Not sure if you're looking for advice or merely company, but if it's the former:
    - you should expose your film more, probably one more stop on the first frame and about 2 or 3 more stops on the latter ones. The shadows are lacking detail.
    - you're maybe over-developing a little. This is usually due to poor temperature control (you should be well within 1C); you can adjust your development time if you're sure your temperature is right and consistent. This depends on how you intend to print and the lighting conditions you're in, so don't change your time just yet, just do a few more rolls and be very careful of temperature.
    - when inverting B&W scans, set the black-point no lower than the border density, i.e. the border of the negative should be completely black not dull grey. Otherwise your image itself will have no blacks.

    You might also get something from the FAQ in my signature.

  4. #14
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    You can test fix time without risking exposing the film to light. Snip off the 35mm leader, or a narrow piece of the end of a roll of 120 film, and test it in the light.

    Put a drop of fixer on the film. Wait about fifteen seconds. Drop the film into the fixer. Watch. When you can no longer see the spot where fixer got a head start, that's your clearing time. Double that for non-T-grain films, and triple it for T-grain films. If your fix time has doubled from what it was with fresh fixer and that film type, discard it and mix anew.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  5. #15

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    I've used Patetson reels for 40 years or so.

    Here is a simple trick that may help getting the 120 started on the reel.
    It gives the stiffness and guide to get the roll started in to the flanges...


    Cut a piece of the film box to be the same width as 120 film and about 2 or 3 inches long.

    Before you go in the darkroom or changing bag slide this piece of card along the reel tracks into the beginning of the reel but not past the little ball bearings. Now when in the darkroom or bag take your film and slide it along the card until it is past the ball bearings and pull in a bit more then remove the card and load in the normal way. You see the card acts like a guide and makes those springy films easier to get started.

    I most often reverse curl the first 1/2 inch or so of my film before loading to help with the springiness.
    I still have the same bit of card I cut out of a Fuji box a couple of years ago, I only replace it if it gets lost or too banged up.

  6. #16
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    Great Post

    Takes me back like it was only yesterday!

    And the excitement of those first negatives! Wow!! Look at that...there really are some pictures there!!

    Now...are they any good, how can I tell?

    Great stuff. Keep it up and you will feel like a pro in no time. That's when you'll screw something up and your precious negs will come back clear. What!! What the heck!!! What did I do wrong now? I thought I had this figured out?

    At least that is how it worked for me. I still mess up once in a while, just to stay in practice.

    Just wait till you try color. But it is great fun and I love every minute of it.

  7. #17
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    Great first attempt. I suggest you save a whole lot of time and use the Ilford washing method. It has worked for me for 27 years and no sign of deterioration in my first negs. Photo flo is a final rinse to aid even drying although I use Tetenal Mirasol, similar but also with a fungicidal property. Anyway, keep up the good work.

  8. #18
    micwag2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    Congratulations on that first roll...

    Not sure if you're looking for advice or merely company, but if it's the former:
    - you should expose your film more, probably one more stop on the first frame and about 2 or 3 more stops on the latter ones. The shadows are lacking detail.
    - you're maybe over-developing a little. This is usually due to poor temperature control (you should be well within 1C); you can adjust your development time if you're sure your temperature is right and consistent. This depends on how you intend to print and the lighting conditions you're in, so don't change your time just yet, just do a few more rolls and be very careful of temperature.
    - when inverting B&W scans, set the black-point no lower than the border density, i.e. the border of the negative should be completely black not dull grey. Otherwise your image itself will have no blacks.

    You might also get something from the FAQ in my signature.
    Always open to advice, but company is nice too. I did realize that they were under exposed. It was the first time using that particular camera and I wasn't paying attention to my settings. As far as inverting the scan, I just discovered that setting in photoshop elements. Set the black point? How's that done?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    You can test fix time without risking exposing the film to light. Snip off the 35mm leader, or a narrow piece of the end of a roll of 120 film, and test it in the light.

    Put a drop of fixer on the film. Wait about fifteen seconds. Drop the film into the fixer. Watch. When you can no longer see the spot where fixer got a head start, that's your clearing time. Double that for non-T-grain films, and triple it for T-grain films. If your fix time has doubled from what it was with fresh fixer and that film type, discard it and mix anew.
    This sounds interesting and I will most definitely give this a try. So is this what it meant on the bottle when it said "Dilute 1:3. Fix at 65-70°for 5-10 minutes or twice the clearing time."

    Quote Originally Posted by mwdake View Post
    I've used Patetson reels for 40 years or so.

    Here is a simple trick that may help getting the 120 started on the reel.
    It gives the stiffness and guide to get the roll started in to the flanges...


    Cut a piece of the film box to be the same width as 120 film and about 2 or 3 inches long.

    Before you go in the darkroom or changing bag slide this piece of card along the reel tracks into the beginning of the reel but not past the little ball bearings. Now when in the darkroom or bag take your film and slide it along the card until it is past the ball bearings and pull in a bit more then remove the card and load in the normal way. You see the card acts like a guide and makes those springy films easier to get started.

    I most often reverse curl the first 1/2 inch or so of my film before loading to help with the springiness.
    I still have the same bit of card I cut out of a Fuji box a couple of years ago, I only replace it if it gets lost or too banged up.
    I knew there was a trick to this. I know what I'm doing next time. Thanks.

  9. #19
    polyglot's Avatar
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    The Curves (or Levels, if you dont have Curves) dialogs are the best way to adjust your scans.

  10. #20

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    Ahh, your post takes me back to the nervous anticipation of my first roll. I was expecting everything to go wrong but to my amazement it all went well for me for my first development. From reading your great description I think the reason that my process went more smoothly in comparison was in the preparation. These are a few of the things I did to make the process run smoothly, and may help for your next go too...

    I did a lot of reading of forums and such, looking for any tips or traps to avoid, and I also got one of the old-timers from my photography club to show me one-on-one how to go about it prior to going solo. This meant I knew what to expect regarding the tape, scissors, etc. I reckon you've progressed past that stage though.

    I practiced loading the reel in daylight a few times with a sacrificed roll of film. I figured that a few bucks spent on one wasted roll of film for practicing may save me a few wasted films and lost images if I mangled the process in the bag when trying to do it for real. That meant that I knew exactly how to find the guide-slots in the reel, etc.

    This is the best tip I can offer: I typed up an easy step by step guide and printed it out to have alongside me during the processing. It just shows each step of the process, short and to the point, and how long to do each one for. At the top I also have a list of the individual developing times for the few films that I regularly use. An easy-to-follow checklist like this will avoid the panic mid-process. Even after plenty of experience I still keep the checklist there to follow every time.

    As I mentioned, my first go went great, and do did the next few. But I have to admit that after that I had a bad run of films that would get jammed part way while loading them on the reel, resulting in kinks and bends

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