Developed my very first roll of B&W film! Questions and my story.
I want to thank once again all those here that have responded to questions and comments in my other threads to help me along with getting started. I wanted to try this for 30 years but, life circumstances never really allowed me the opportunity to have a go at it. Times have changed for me allowing me to pursue the things i have set aside for so long.
For those interested in reading them here is where my previous thread is. http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/1...gth-1-1-a.html
So here it is. The day I have been waiting for. The wife is out of the house, the cat is sleeping, my motorcycle is fixed, and I still have some spare time. OK, developer mixed correctly, stop bath ready, fixer mixed to the correct ratio, and wetting agent ready. Great.
Now let's get the film on the reel and into the developing tank. I'm developing a roll of 120 and will be using a patterson universal tank. Set the reel to the correct width and put it in the dark room bag with the film. Put my big arms into the arm holes of the bag......what the heck!? Why can't I put my hands on the tank? It's like it's in another section of the bag. Take my hands back out....oh....there's 2 zippers and i only put it in the first one. Jeez. Unzip both zippers and properly insert the tank and film. Ok, put my big arms back into the arm holes of the bag. I've never put 120 film on a reel before but, how hard can this be? After all, I read that with the Paterson reel you can "walk" the film on by moving the ends of the reel back and forth. That's what the little check balls are for. Take the roll of film and carefully start to unwrap the paper, ok found the edge of the film, this is it, I'm putting it on. Wait.... where on this reel do i start it? OK I can feel the area where the check balls are at.....no wait do I hold it this way? Or the other way? Damn this film is curled. Damn paper. Stuff is getting in my way. Crap, I almost had this thing started. I'm sure i can slide the film into the reel here. Got it! Crap it slipped out. Try again. This paper, and ugh, the curl of the film! I'll get this yet. Ok, got it again and........yes it's on! Carefully walk it on with the Paterson "walk your film on action" of this fancy reel! Damn Paper! What the!? Crap, the paper is taped to the film at the end. Really? Should I be surprised? I was wondering how they attached the film to the paper anyway. And now i know. Think I put scissorrs in the bag? No. Ok, carefull remove the tape. Seriously, did they have to use such strong tape or is it just me? Ok, film is on the reel and reel is in the tank. Out of the bag it comes. Success! And it only took 20 minutes. I can only improve from here.
Got my D76 developing times chart seems good. Graduated cylinder with developer sitting in warm water to bring it up to temp, 70° perfect, 6 1/4 minutes developing time. Let's go! Ok in goes the developer. Crap how many times do i agitated this? I only read this 100 times already and i can't remember this? Oh yeah rap the tank dislodge air bubbles, air bubbles...bad thing. Rap Rap. Gently invert the tank for 30 seconds. A small amount of developer drips onto my hands...crap tighten the lid more, sheesh. Great now my hands itch. Thoroughly wash out graduated cylinder, measure out stop bath and warm it the same as the developer. Don't forget to invert the tank every 30 seconds!! Get the graduated cylinder of stop Bath out before it gets too warm. Invert the tank! Don't forget the tank! Do i need to rap it again? Eh, rap it again can't hurt i suppose. Rap, Rap. Ok times up! Pour out the developer and in goes the stop bath! Time....time, sheesh how long am i supposed to stop this for? Flick Flick Flick through my trusty NYI developing B&W workbook. Stop bath timing is not critical half a minute is usually plenty....so the book says. Wait til i put that on APUG and get different opinions on that, not that different opinions are bad. Focus! Agitate gently ok. Crap!! I forgot to warm the fixer! Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap! Measure it, warm it get, it in! I put the stop bath in, do you have any time before putting the fixer in or does it have to go in immediately? What will happen if I let it sit for a minute or two? Aww heck, I don't know. Ok it's close enough I suppose. In it goes. Agitate for 30 seconds. Gently! Then 10 seconds every minute after that. Wait....how long do i fix this for? Book says manufacturers recommended time. Now where's that bottle? Ok label says "Dilute 1:3. Fix at 65-70°for 5-10minutes or twice the clearing time." Clearing time? What the heck is clearing time? What does that mean!? Must be another term for fixing time or time in the fixer. Heck i dont know. 10 seconds every minute! Agitate! Agitate! But gently please. Ok, back to how long am i fixing this? 5-10 minutes....twice clearing time? 6 1/4 minutes! Same as developer, at least that's my guess and i'm flying with it. After all none of these images may turn out anyway, i was testing the camera i used to see if it was working properly. I could post on APUG but it's a little late for that now. Ok out goes the fixer and it's wash time. Graduated cylinder with enough water to fill the tank, a few drops of wetting agent. In it goes for a few minutes. Gentle agitation. Off comes the lid and wash under running water. Damn this sink has no hot water. Wonder what the temp is coming out of this faucet? Got it! Mix some of the hot water in my warming container with the tap water. That'll bring the temp up! Pour it in swish and dump out. Did this for about 10 minutes. Ok washing is done, let's see what i got.
After all that I am pround to say that indeed images have appeared on my film! I have acheived some level of success! Hmm, I'm working at setting up my darkroom but it's not ready yet. So how am i going to view these things so I can see how i actually did. Sure I can take them to the local camera shop and have them scanned but where's the fun in that? Let's see, my D70s with the slide duplicator? No, the negs aren't going to come close to fitting, no surprise there. Let me lay them on this white paper and take a picture of the negative and i'll see how it turns out. Not too bad. Not perfect but not bad either. What else? Since laying them on the paper seemed to work for a photo, I wonder how well they'd scan if i just put them on the glass of my flatbed scanner and scanned them? I don't have any film adapters for them but what have i got to lose? I was surprised at the scanning results.
Test20001 by jmsnoopy650, on Flickr
Test20001edit by jmsnoopy650, on Flickr
After inverting and using convert to black and white under the ehance button.
Test20002 by jmsnoopy650, on Flickr
Test20002edit by jmsnoopy650, on Flickr
I think my exposure and focus was off on this one.
test40001 by jmsnoopy650, on Flickr
test40001edit by jmsnoopy650, on Flickr
Not sure if these were my exposure or developing. Opinions?
Not bad at all for your first time. This helped me a lot: Massive Development Chart
Not a bad start. Youtube may have some good videos to provide learning by example.
It's not a big deal to get a little developer dribble on your hands. Either have some clean water handy to rinse your hands in regularly; I dip-rinse my hands after every agitation just so I don't transfer any developer to anything else in the darkroom. The other option is disposable gloves.
It's OK to err on the side of generous with fixing. If you fix for an hour you might go too far. Especially as the fixer diminishes in performance with re-use you can err on the side of caution. After 1 minute in the fixer, open you tank and inspect the film in normal light. It will be milky turning clear. That's how you see clearing time. With Kodak film, you don't have to spot on with temperature of non-developer chemicals and water. Some films you can damage the emulsion with temp changes. Part of Kodak's quality is resistance to this.
The pink look to your film means you didn't rinse it enough. I'd refix it for another 5 minutes and then wash it for 30 minutes. I doesn't have to be continuous wash, just change the water every 5 minutes or so.
You could make a black mask border and photograph the negatives with a macro lens up against a window to get a digital copy of them. You could also do cyanotypes if you want an analog process for printing that doesn't require a darkroom. If you don't like the blue, you can tone cyanotypes to another color.
Really? Isn't that risky... what if it isn't fresh? Fix can take a while if it's getting old. Best to do this with a test strip I would think.
Originally Posted by jp498
Thanks for the replies. I wanted the post to be as fun as i had doing the first time developing. Keep the replies coming, I like feedback.
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Continue to have fun! It's a great start. I like the first picture quite a bit.
Work on your metering technique. Your negatives are underexposed. If you expose more, you may need to shorten your developing time a little bit, to avoid blocked up highlights.
If you have a room in your house that you can make completely dark, you should learn how to make contact sheets. You need three trays for your chemicals, a flat surface, a sheet of glass, photo paper, and a light that you can switch on and off easily (like a 15W light bulb). That will tell you more about how you're doing with film developing than scanning ever will. You can still scan the contact sheets.
Keep up the good work!
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
I've done it countless times. I start washing and putting away things while fixing is happening, and that includes the top parts of my combiplan tank and/or patterson tank.
Originally Posted by sbattert
This respected guy exposes film to light at the end of the developing cycle putting them into stop bath; more than a whole step before my suggestion.
I support the cyanotype notion. Dirt cheap and nice, quick results. Just coat, give a whistle with the hairdryer till its dry and 5-10 minutes in sun, then after a wash its good. You can even coat and dry in somewhat dim ambient light.
Good to know... I'm still learning. So, once you wash off the developer, development is paused and light safe as long as it doesn't touch any more developer. I have always been afraid to check the negatives until I've fixed them. Now, prints on the other hand, I turn the light on after a minute in the fix.
so do I.
I turn the light on after a minute in the fix
Anyhow, good first result. Getting the film onto the reel takes practice. I wasted a film to practice with, and still keep it to hand for a "rehearsal". The tape at the end isn't so bad. Just make sure its either ripped off or folded over or the sticky causes havoc.
I use Ilford chems exclusively and their sheets on times, dilutions etc are easy to follow. The only really critical temp is developer. The stop and fix only need to be approx the same temp. I use a (slightly extended) Ilford wash system - fill the tank invert 10X, empty, fill the tank invert 20X, empty, fill the tank invert 30X, empty, take the lid off fill again with some flo. twizzle, take out cut - hang. Then a quick squirt from a squirt bottle with a little more flo mix. Clean negs every time now!
To me the most fun is actually in printing, so try and get an enlarger and a space you can use as a dark room!
Last edited by mr rusty; 03-14-2013 at 03:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.