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  1. #1

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    Home brew success

    Last weekend I mixed developer from raw ingredients for the first time.

    So easy to do, and the resulting ID-68 works perfectly using the Microphen time for HP5+ at 400 EI, at least based on negative scans.

    Will have to find time for some proper film testing, and to find out how well it works when the HP5+ is pushed to 1600 EI, but very happy with the initial results

    Ian

  2. #2
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    Home brews

    Good move!

    While I don't use ID-68, I have started mixing all of my DR chemistry from bulk chemicals. If I ever desired to mix ID-68, the only chemical I would need is to buy is Phenidone.

    I started down this path when I found it harder and harder to find reliable supplies of liquid chemistry. I already mix my negative developers, Kodak D-23 and a variation of Ansco 17M, as well as stop baths and film and paper washing aids (aka Hypo Clearing Agent). As soon as my stocks of my paper developers and negative and paper fixers are exhausted, I will be mixing those, as well.

    Mixing your own has a number of advantages. One is that you can mix any quantity you desire. For example, when I mix D-23, I make a 4.06-litre mix, which fills my one of my glass (nominal) 1-gallon bottles to the rim. You can also mix very small quantities for special uses. Three years ago I needed a pint of D-11 (not ID-11), and made exactly what I needed, no more, no less.

    You can also modify formulas, if you desire. I use as my main negative developer a modification of an old Ansco formula, 17M. In my case, I have doubled the amount of sodium metaborate, and reduced the amount of hydroquinone by 1/3, which meets my particular needs.

    I don't recall ever having seen Ilford ID-68 for sale as a packaged chemical, so there is another obvious advantage, mixing chemistry which exists only as a published formula. There are plenty of of those about!

    One last advantage is that I believe that it's cheaper, over the long haul, than buying premixed chemistry.

    Happy mixing!!

  3. #3

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    On a two occasions separated by decades I have been shown how to develop b&w film, first 35mm and more recently 120. I have recently decided to develop my own 120 bw from here on (T-Max 100 to start). I would like to make my own solutions from scratch (D-76 as an arbitrary starting point). Where do you suggest I purchase the makings?
    "Get over it."

  4. #4
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan160 View Post
    Last weekend I mixed developer from raw ingredients for the first time.

    So easy to do, and the resulting ID-68 works perfectly using the Microphen time for HP5+ at 400 EI, at least based on negative scans.

    Will have to find time for some proper film testing, and to find out how well it works when the HP5+ is pushed to 1600 EI, but very happy with the initial results

    Ian
    ******
    Excellent. Now that you are hooked, you will never go back; well, hardly ever.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  5. #5
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    Ian, well done, way to go. I have never bought and used packaged developers in 25 years of doing BW film. I always liked to mix my own devs thus having a large variety of recipes.

    On a two occasions separated by decades I have been shown how to develop b&w film, first 35mm and more recently 120. I have recently decided to develop my own 120 bw from here on (T-Max 100 to start). I would like to make my own solutions from scratch (D-76 as an arbitrary starting point). Where do you suggest I purchase the makings?
    Well, it depends where you are located. There are many suppliers of photo chemicals on line. I'm in Ontario, Canada and use this one from Montreal. Some chemicals are not good at crossing borders so you may consider and check that out with the supplier.
    Mihai Costea

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    Than meets the eye." - Neil Young

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  6. #6

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    Certainly cheaper. I've been using Ilfotec DD-X for HP5+, fantastic developer but costs me £15 for enough concentrate to make 5 litres working solution, and I tend to go through phases of using colour or slower films so a couple of times have thrown out half a bottle of >6 month old concentrate. Microphen powder dev costs ~£4.50 per litre stock. I worked out the cost of ID-68 to be around £0.70 per litre stock!

    rternbach, I was given a copy of The Darkroom Cookbook for Christmas. I recommend it as a good explanation of how the various categories of photographic chemistry work as well as a lot of formulas.

    Ian
    Last edited by Stan160; 03-24-2009 at 09:16 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Duplicate text

  7. #7

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    naeroscatu & stan160, thanks for your replies. I had gotten a copy of "The Darkroom Cookbook" earlier this month and, looking at the MATERIAL SOURCES section for North America, I see .dr-5, Freestyle and Photographer's Formulary in bold. Can you suggest one over another? Alternatively, since I go to Boston, MA once in a while now, I can try a bricks and mortar storefront. Something about browsing for tangible items irl that is lacking in hyperspace.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rternbach View Post
    I would like to make my own solutions from scratch (D-76 as an arbitrary starting point). Where do you suggest I purchase the makings?
    Here are some of the suppliers I've used, in alphabetical order:

    • Art Craft -- This is one of three dedicated photochemical suppliers I've used. They've got a good selection, although not quite as good as Photographer's Formulary, and moderate prices.
    • B&H -- The general photography superstore offers some photochemicals, mostly from Photographer's Formulary.
    • Digital Truth -- This site is the smallest of the three dedicated photochemical supply sources. (They seem to be branching out and selling film and other stuff, too.) Their prices are fairly good.
    • The Chemistry Store -- This site has general-purpose chemicals for hobbyists. They lack some vital photochemicals, like metol and phenidone, but they've got excellent prices on other items you're likely to need in bulk, such as sodium sulfite and sodium thiosulfate. Their shipping charges tend to be a little high, though.
    • Local supermarkets, etc. -- You can find sodium carbonate (as Arm & Hammer Washing Soda), ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder), and a few other items in local stores. You can save a lot on shipping by buying locally, but see below....
    • Photographer's Formulary -- This is the premiere dedicated photochemical source. They've got higher prices than some competitors, but a bigger selection.
    • Summer Bee Meadow -- This outfit is dedicated to soap making. I mention it because they're a good source for sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, which many other places refuse to ship.


    I recommend you start with just one or two suppliers, if possible. Buying from several will just drive up shipping costs, eliminating any savings on the items themselves.

    One extra comment: If you buy from a dedicated photochemical supplier, the chemicals you get ought to be of suitable purity for use in photochemistry. This might not be true of other sources, so be aware that there's a risk. That said, I've used items from all these sources (including supermarket sodium carbonate, several items from The Chemistry Store, and potassium hydroxide from Summer Bee Meadow) with no obvious problems in the results I get. Overall, I'd say that using such sources is reasonably safe for hobbyist purposes, but there is some risk. When using extremely oddball sources, such as supermarket items, research them extra before using them. (Note that the iodine in table salt can cause problems in some photochemical formulas, so you should definitely not use iodized salt for formulas that call for sodium chloride.)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by srs5694 View Post
    Here are some of the suppliers I've used, in alphabetical order:

    • Art Craft -- This is one of three dedicated photochemical suppliers I've used. They've got a good selection, although not quite as good as Photographer's Formulary, and moderate prices.
    • B&H -- The general photography superstore offers some photochemicals, mostly from Photographer's Formulary.
    • Digital Truth -- This site is the smallest of the three dedicated photochemical supply sources. (They seem to be branching out and selling film and other stuff, too.) Their prices are fairly good.
    • The Chemistry Store -- This site has general-purpose chemicals for hobbyists. They lack some vital photochemicals, like metol and phenidone, but they've got excellent prices on other items you're likely to need in bulk, such as sodium sulfite and sodium thiosulfate. Their shipping charges tend to be a little high, though.
    • Local supermarkets, etc. -- You can find sodium carbonate (as Arm & Hammer Washing Soda), ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder), and a few other items in local stores. You can save a lot on shipping by buying locally, but see below....
    • Photographer's Formulary -- This is the premiere dedicated photochemical source. They've got higher prices than some competitors, but a bigger selection.
    • Summer Bee Meadow -- This outfit is dedicated to soap making. I mention it because they're a good source for sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, which many other places refuse to ship.


    I recommend you start with just one or two suppliers, if possible. Buying from several will just drive up shipping costs, eliminating any savings on the items themselves.

    One extra comment: If you buy from a dedicated photochemical supplier, the chemicals you get ought to be of suitable purity for use in photochemistry. This might not be true of other sources, so be aware that there's a risk. That said, I've used items from all these sources (including supermarket sodium carbonate, several items from The Chemistry Store, and potassium hydroxide from Summer Bee Meadow) with no obvious problems in the results I get. Overall, I'd say that using such sources is reasonably safe for hobbyist purposes, but there is some risk. When using extremely oddball sources, such as supermarket items, research them extra before using them. (Note that the iodine in table salt can cause problems in some photochemical formulas, so you should definitely not use iodized salt for formulas that call for sodium chloride.)
    Thanks for the above. I am going to be doing this on a small scale so the extra costs associated with pro-chemical suppliers shouldn't be a deterrent. I guess I'll go with Photographer's Formulary and get everything possible through them. Hopefully this will be a way to decrease variables in order to get accurate and reliable results which are my greatest concerns.

  10. #10

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    city chemical

    my friend owns this and is/was a major supplier to the others....stocks over 10,000 chemicals and is located in West Haven, Ct. check the website this is a great source for east coast photographers
    best, Peter

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