making a chemical purchase need advice
so i am getting an order together and need some advice to make sure there isnt a compatibility issue
i am getting
arista oderless fixer
arista hypo wash
arista indicator stop bath or the oderless????
kodak photo flo.
also getting arista edu 4x5 film
and some bottles
should i get the air evac or just the cheapy brown bottles
should also say that i will be using coffee developer sometimes also.
thanks for any help
None of these items require "colored bottles". We do package them in Black bottles as a mareketing advantage.
Drop the evacs and brown bottles.
Originally Posted by rkmiec
I've a slew of clear, glass, Boston Rounds in
a variety of sizes. Boston Rounds, a laboratory
standard for many generations. Inexpensive.
Second best, check out Schweppes and other
beverage bottles. CLEAR plastic bottles and a
selection of sizes. HUGE variety from which to
Split large volumes to smaller for good keeping.
Check the caps for repeated good sealing. Dan
The air evac bottles have always seemd unnecessarily gimic-y to me. I'd go for the plain ones. Your opinion or mileage may vary though.
I would go with oderless stop, and change it often. Not so much because it's oderless, but because it presumably has less stuff in it. But I'm not bothered by the smells of most darkroom chemistry.
Everything else seems fine
skip the stop bath and hypo wash entirely. use plain water for the stop bath (it's better for your film, and reduces the prevalence of pinholes). rinse for a minute, then into the fixer. hypo wash for film? not necessary. just wash it properly. you can use the ilford low-water wash method, which i've used in the past. currently i find it easier to use a homemade film washer:
get a plastic quart-sized paint mixing container from the hardware store (or something similar). punch a couple of small holes in the bottom. when you're done fixing, give your film a quick rinse under the tap, then fill up the container with water. let a slow trickle of water into the container for ten minutes. much of the water will drain out the bottom, and with it the remaining fixer. jiggle the container once or twice to make sure there aren't any unmoving areas of water in the container.
i mostly develop 4x5 using the taco method, so this works for both film on reels and taco'ed 4x5. flat sheet film would require some modification.
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The best (free) bottles I have found are those from veterinary or medical clinics, that the sterile water comes in. Ask if you can set up a recycle bin, get all you want. 1 liter and 250ml sizes. Strangely enough, the sterile water has an expiration date, so they usually dump perfectly good water before trashing the bottles. Totally unnecessary.
Ask also about an irrigation syringe, as you will need one to meter your Rodinal.
Contrary to popular lore, stop bath does not cause pin holes; and water does not stop development, only changing the pH stops development.
Skip the commercial stop bath. For film, a good rinse in clean water (use distilled if your tap water is high in minerals) 30 seconds to a minute with mild agitation. If you insist on an acid stop bath, make your own with white vinegar (grocery store stuff) mixed 1 part plus 3 parts water. Use once and discard for film. For paper, you might want to check the "feel" of the paper in the bath. When the paper doesn't loose the greasy feeling from the developer after about 15 seconds, time to change the bath.
For film, hypo clearning agent is still nice to use if you have selected a hardening fixer. The stuff you list above does not have hardening agents (I think). So using HCA is optional with film in this case.
Anyway, all good stuff, you will enjoy the Rodinal. Personally, I just use the powdered version of AristaFix. I don't find the odor to be bothersome at all (minimal odor and I have decent ventilation). For film, I don't use an acid stop and if I'm using a staining developer I use TF4 instead of an acid fixer.
Somebody mentioned getting a syringe for measuring out the Rodinal. That works great just be sure to keep it clean. Rinse well between uses. If you decide to use other chemicals in small liquid quantities, try and have a dedicated syringe for each. Minimizes the possibility of cross contamination.
By the way, another bit of random advice. Browse your the equivalent of your local dollar store (everything for $1). Look for plastic funnels, large plastic tubs, etc. I picked up some large plastic tubs that I use to help me rinse sheet film. They only get used for final rinse in distilled water and I've taken the trouble to make sure they are very smooth inside. Also I have a several plastic measuring cups and a some larger 5 gallon buckets that I've "calibrated" using a graduated cylinder. You can never have too many liquid holding vessels!
Also, lately I've seen lots of variations on kitchen timers for $1 and $2 (convert to your currency). Something else you can never have to many of are little minute and second settable timers.
Wooden spring type clothes pins or better yet, plastic ones are nice to have for hanging sheet film to dry. Just be sure you clip only as much film as it takes to hold it up, don't pinch the image area.
Any way, lots of ways to re-task everyday objects. Keep your eyes open.
I don't know of any incompatibilities in the chemicals you've mentioned in your original post, rkmiec. As to odorless vs. indicator stop bath, that's a matter of personal preference. As others have said, you can use water, if you prefer. Vinegar will also work (you'd need to dilute it a bit, but I don't recall the precise proportion). IIRC, Arista's odorless fixer is a sodium thiosulfate-based fixer, which is likely to take a bit longer to work than rapid fixers based on ammonium thiosulfate. OTOH, they've got a lot of products in their lineup, so my memory may be incomplete or faulty. AFAIK, all ammonium thiosulfate rapid fixers ship as liquids, so if the product you're considering is a powder, it's not a rapid variety. You might consider Photographer's Formulary TF-4 or any manufacturer's C-41 fixer; both are inexpensive rapid fixers. (C-41 fixer works just fine with B&W film and paper.)
Concerning bottles, I agree with others that you should forego the collapsible bottles. In fact, if you want plastic bottles, you should avoid HDPE (recycling symbol 2) bottles in favor of PET (recycling symbol 1) bottles. Personally, I favor glass. I re-use Snapple, RBC root beer, and other glass drink bottles.