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  1. #1

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    pulling the trigger...

    so i'm definitely going to start developing my own black and white film. shooting ilford pan f+ and fp4.

    i gather that hewes is a general favorite for a reel. is there a reel that will work for 35mm as well as 120 (for future use)? i'm totally lost on the tank.

    also, someone mentioned a bag that is light proof. can someone give me more details on that?

    and i'm also totally a n00b with chemicals and the amount of variety is somewhat overwhelming. any suggestions for a guy just getting started?

    are there any really good standard books i could read relating to b&w film and development?

    is there anything else i need that i'm not mentioning?

    thanks
    -Jake

    Photography by the seat of my pants.

  2. #2
    rthomas's Avatar
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    I'm not aware of any adjustable reels on the current market - but I know my Mom had several for some plastic tanks she got in the 1960's. They could do 35mm, 120, and 127 sizes; you might find some used if you look hard...

    Henry Horenstein wrote a great book entitled Black and White Photography.

    Most of all, experiment and have fun!

  3. #3

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    no doubt about experimenting, i'm looking forward to it. just looking for a starting point really.

    if i need a different reel for the 120 down the road that's not a biggie, for some reason i thought i had seen reels that did both. could definitely by my mistake.

    thanks for the book suggestion, i'll check it out.
    -Jake

    Photography by the seat of my pants.

  4. #4
    Alan W's Avatar
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    Congratulations and welcome to the (highly addictive) world of B&W! I've been using Patterson system reels for over ten years now and find them ideal as they'll take 35mm and 120 and 220 film all on the same reel and they're easy to adjust,just be sure to get a tank big enough to hold at least 4 35's or 2 120's (it's probably called the system 4).Readily available on e-bay.My own preference is for Ilford 100 and 400 depending on the application and I've also settled on Ilford dd-x as a developer.Remember,it's all good,and,experiment.Good luck!

  5. #5

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    Love the Patterson system!

  6. #6

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    the paterson system looks pretty nice and is in the budget range. we might have a winner.

    how about film changing bags? any experience.

    thaks again.
    -Jake

    Photography by the seat of my pants.

  7. #7
    fotch's Avatar
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    Plastic reels usually adjust, stainless steel do not. Pros & cons to each. I like both. Prefer SS for manual processing, plastic for rotary (Jobo). Some say you need Hewes SS to load easily, myself, never found most brands SS a problem. For me, plastic would cause more loading problems, except the Jobo seem to work fine. YMMV

    Good Luck
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  8. #8
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of patterson reels, but they need to be bone dry to work well. I learned on SS reels and converted later.

    If you can, avoid using a changing bag. It works, but I think it will be harder to learn with. If you can manage to light proof a closet or bathroom, you will be much happier. I used a closet and did film loading at night so I I didn't have to worry about light leaks around the door.

    If there is one recommendation I can make, it is to get a few rolls of film (cheap is fine) and learn how to do it in the light before venturing into the dark.

    For developer use something simple like D76 or HC110. Stop bath really isn't necessary...just rinse with a few fills of water. Any brand of rapid fix is fine.

    Lastly, go to your local library and get a basic darkroom book to understand all the steps needed.
    Last edited by Mark Fisher; 07-07-2009 at 08:14 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: forgot to answer whole question!

  9. #9
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Check out the July issue of CiM. We published a beginners series and this month is processing your own black and white film. It should cover the basics really well and give you a good starting point.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BimmerJake View Post
    so i'm definitely going to start developing my own black and white film. shooting ilford pan f+ and fp4.

    i gather that hewes is a general favorite for a reel. is there a reel that will work for 35mm as well as 120 (for future use)? i'm totally lost on the tank.

    also, someone mentioned a bag that is light proof. can someone give me more details on that?

    and i'm also totally a n00b with chemicals and the amount of variety is somewhat overwhelming. any suggestions for a guy just getting started?

    are there any really good standard books i could read relating to b&w film and development?

    is there anything else i need that i'm not mentioning?

    thanks
    I have plastic reels that collapse and expand to be used with 35mm and 120. I cant remember the name of the tank and reels. I bought them at a photo store, and there's not a name on it anywhere (and I threw away the box when I opened it). Might can find something similar on ebay if you want plastic. You shouldnt have trouble finding metal reels and tanks, either.

    For a developer, I use Rodinal. It lasts forever, and it can be used at 1:25, 1:50, 1:100 (or higher) dilutions. It's not a fine grain developer, but it'll work well with fine grain films like Pan F+ and FP4+. I use it with 35mm HP5+ and dont have problems with big grain (but "big grain" is a subjective term, though).

    You'd also need a stop bath and a fixer. I use the Arista stop bath and fixer from Freestyle because it's cheap (and so is Rodinal, btw), and they're also a sponsor of APUG.


    I dont use a changing bag. I just turn out all the lights in my room, go in the closet, stuff a towel in the crack under the door, and load my film in there. That works perfectly for me.

    that's really all the advice I can give. I know it's not very helpful, but that's my two cents

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