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  1. #1

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    Transporting chemicals?

    In the near future I will eventually be hiring darkroom space from an artists collective that isn't in walking distance from where I live, and they require that you bring your own paper and chemistry for printing. I was wondering what the best way would be to transport my chemistry? As it is I have most of my chemistry in accordion bottles, but I'm a little worried about how they would fare being shoved in and out of a backpack. As I don't have a driver's license I will be travelling by subway, and I would be going there after work, so the chemistry would sit in my backpack throughout the workday. So what should I be thinking of before chucking my bottles in my backpack and trodding off?
    "Art is is a picture of some dude I never met smoking under a lamppost at 6400 ISO and in BW."

  2. #2

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    Bring your own print chemicals seems odd. Unless you will have your own private darkroom and sink.
    I would use non-accordion bottles of a smaller volume, so it will pack better and lighter.
    Paper chemistry can be a fair volume of chemicals to fill the trays so you need to determine how much chemicals to bring.
    Size the bottles for just the amount of chemistry you need. No sense carrying extra weight. If you only need 1 L, don't bring 2 L of chemicals.
    For any one-time chemical, bring stock solution that you dilute at the darkroom. Again to save volume and weight.

  3. #3

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    I'd suggest figuring out how much solution you will need and then take just enough stock solution to make that up, with water, at the location. Small bottles can be found from a good pharmacist or a darkroom stockist (if you're lucky!).

    Print dev is often 1+9 or 1+4 while fix would be similar. Stop bath is such a low concentration that it might be easier to mix the few drops needed with a little bit of water and then take that small amount, making the appropriate calculations to end up with the correct mix in the tray of course. All this pre-supposes that you will use the chemicals once only and then dispose of them at the site - if you have to bring them away with you then it's all different of course.

  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Most of the darkrooms I've encountered that are organized this way also offer lockable storage space (think bus station lockers). I would check to see if they have this arrangement as well.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #5

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    I've had bad luck with accordion bottles starting to leak at the pleats. I definitely wouldn't risk them knocking around in a backpack.

  6. #6

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    PET soda/softdrink bottles are cheap and close well. Therefore good for storing chemicals. So I would use that to carry or store your chemicals in. It might be a good idea to pack the bottles in a plastic bag first before putting them in your backpack, specially on the way home after putting the fluids back into the bottles. I only do B&W and keep stop & fix in 2L bottles and developper in a 1L bottle. At each printing session, I add 0.5L of freshly mixed developer and add that to the 1L "old" developer. At the end of the session, 1L goes back into the bottle (no air) and the rest down the drain. Works fine and less developer goes down the drain that way. If you do the same you would have to carry 4 bottles in your backpack; 3 PET with old dev, stop and fix and 1 bottle with developer concentrate. Storing B&W chemicals at room temperature is fine. Just keep them in the bag/dark at work.
    Last edited by spijker; 03-17-2013 at 04:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by spijker View Post
    PET soda/softdrink bottles are cheap and close well. Therefore good for storing chemicals. So I would use that to carry or store your chemicals in.
    -) putting chemicals into beverage/food containers should be avoided in any case

    -) PET is corroded by strong lyme.

    Aside of that I have to admit that PET bottles in the grade intended for re-filling would be a good container for transport technically-wise.

  8. #8

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    If you peel off the original label and write on the bottle what's in it. There shouldn't be an issue with re-using PET bottles for chemicals. Don't know about you but I don't keep my chemicals in the same cupboard/closet/room as my drinks.

    What photo chemical contains strong lime that corrodes a PET bottle? I've noticed that the Se-toner bottle has become more brittle. But it's easy to get another bottle and put the stuff into a new bottle.

  9. #9
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    I am about to try the same thing. The darkroom requires us to supply our own consumables, which is fair enough. I was planning on using soft drink bottles of around the 1.25L capacity as the 8x10 trays I plan on using 95% of the time have a capacity of around 800ml.

    Most of the other darkroom users use the PET soft drink bottles as well. They're pretty leak resistant. Just make sure they can't be mistaken for anything drinkable!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybertrash View Post
    In the near future I will eventually be hiring darkroom space from an artists collective that isn't in walking distance from where I live, and they require that you bring your own paper and chemistry for printing. I was wondering what the best way would be to transport my chemistry? As it is I have most of my chemistry in accordion bottles, but I'm a little worried about how they would fare being shoved in and out of a backpack. As I don't have a driver's license I will be travelling by subway, and I would be going there after work, so the chemistry would sit in my backpack throughout the workday. So what should I be thinking of before chucking my bottles in my backpack and trodding off?
    Transportation is no problem. I would use glass bottles. The main problem is that the temperature will change during transport. How much time will it take to reach the working temperature in the darkroom?

    Jed

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