Home Made B&W Developers.
How many of you here on apug actually mix your own film and/or print developers from the basic raw constituents? If you do, which formulas do you make?
I am curious to know what you make and why you do it.
pc-tea, pmk, pyrocat-??. These all beg for home brew as no one is mass marketing then. Yes there are those that will package up premade or kits. But as these, and other formulas come from individuals, not companies, they are ripe for experimenting. I mixed it I need to test it. I can tweak the formula to meet my needs. That somethng I have not done much of but is an option.
D-76 is a standard developer, although not one I use.
Ansel Adams - The Negative
For film : Sandy King's Pyrocat HD
Caffenol VC (testing stadium)
For paper : Chris Patton's E-72
Last edited by Philippe-Georges; 07-29-2009 at 09:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
(freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)
PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...
Well you know I do Keith.
Pyrocat HD for my films, and ID-78 for my prints, but also a great many other formulae for high & low contrast film & print development, toners, intensifiers, bleaches, chromogenic developers/toners (for B&W papers) etc.
Home-made is what rekindled my photographic interest. I go through stages where the "art/vision" is driving me and then find myself enjoying the diversion of the tinkering that comes with getting the chemistry to add a dimension that I'm after. I've settled somewhat on PyroCat MC as my go-to soup with most films when I need something that assures good, solid prints. The developer controls highlights in difficult lighting situations, gives a glowing skin tone rendition that I like and has simplified the worst of my negative scanning issues.
One note: If you approach this as a move to some sort of economy, be warned..... By the time you build up a good cross section of photo chemistries, high grade scales, stir mixers, etc, etc, you'd need to be in some sort of high volume, production mode to see any economies. If you kept it at its simplest, perhaps it could provide some modicum of economy such as with some kitchen measure D-23 or the like and a simple paper developer. If you're anything like me, you'll be needing some odd item such as Pinacryptol Yellow to give that interesting concoction a try and the slippery slope begins!
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Pinacryptol Yellow, I have a good supply, I paid £20 or £30 for the complete stock of Photochemicals from Hogg Lab Supplies when they stopped selling them. A few Kilos of Pyrogallol, 15-20 Kg Hyroquinone, almost as much Metol etc etc, plus a 200 yr supply Photo flo, Benzotriazole and many other useful chemicals, all that was missing was the normal lab chemicals like Carbonates, Sulphite etc
I mix rodinal, FX-1, and Ansco 130 from scratch. I just follow the photographer's formulary formulas available on the web. It saves money and (shipping) time to have a bunch of raw chemicals and a cheap digital scale. Besides, the rodinal kit has been discontinued by the formulary and i have been using rodinal for a few years now, so i know how my stuff behaves. The FX-1 and beutler's is just easy to make and I use so much of the Ansco 130 (as my primary paper developer) that it saves money to mix it myself.
various Amidol formulas
home made wt formula
I use homemade Ansco 130 for prints and PMK for film on a regular basis. I also make homemade D-76 too.
I've dabbled with some other formulas occasionally.
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?
I keep a large selection of chemistry on hand. I will often mix up standard formulas - D-76/D-72/Microdol - if I only need a litre and have run out of the packets. It can be fun to fiddle around with odd formulae and alternative processes.
If you buy S. Sulfite, S. Carbonate, Glacial Acetic and S. Thiosulfate in bulk from a low-cost supplier then compounding your own chemistry can make economic sense. Add some Metol, Hydroquinone and P. Bromide from a photochemicals supplier and some boric acid (roach powder) and borax from Sainsburys and you are set to go for the bulk of black and white processing.
Some of the cheapest of developers are strictly DIY: D-23, Gainer's Vitamin C/Phenidone formulae, Caffenol, POTA. Pyro and Rodinal can be very cheap if you compound them yourself, though they are a bit of a PITA to make and are cheap enough in package form.
Although there is much debate, using kitchen measuring spoons to measure out chemicals works adequately well. Metol, which fluffs up, is the only one that gives much trouble with the teaspoon method, but if you can figure the volume of the cylinder in which your 100gm of metol resides you can figure it's density in grams/teaspoon (5ml volume).