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  1. #1

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    Developer question.

    OK,

    After much reading and asking a few question I am reading to buy some new chemicals. My objective is to get away from Kodak chemistry only because with all the talk of them not going to make film any more I can only assume that they will also stop making chemicals.

    I want to find a developer that will be around for as long as I will be taking pictures so I can learn the developers traits and master it so to speak for consistent results without having to worry about always changing. I plan on using film for a very long time.

    For now I am using;
    TMAX Developer
    Kodak Indicator Stop Bath
    Ilford Hypam Rapid Fix
    Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent
    Ilford Ilfotol Wetting Agent

    Now that supplies are getting low it is time to buy in bulk and stock up.

    I want to try some Rodinal as I read that it shelf life is just amazing. With Rodinal will I still need stop bath or just a water bath and will the rapid fix work or do I need a different type. Is hypo clearing agent needed?

    Ok, now for the next part. I have been reading and it seems the popular developers are Pyrocat-HD and X-TOL. Since X-TOL is Kodak I am afraid to use it then they stop making it then what. So since I am green sort to speak I am open to find a developer and use it. If I do the Pro route what chemicals will I need? I read that you do not need stop bath and I am assuming that you will also need a different type of fixer than the rapid fixer.

    So what would I need to buy to develop with the developer. Also will this developer in a Jobo rotary processor?

    I am also going to be processing by trays but the times when I go out for a week+ I will have a lot of shot and the rotary from what I have read is the way to go for bulk processing or when the wife need the bathroom or I need to process in the daytime, then the daylight processor is what I will be using.

    I just do not really know what chemicals to get.

    Oh the films I shoot are as follows;

    120
    ACROS 100
    Delta 400, 3200
    TMAX 100, 400, 3200, I am moving over to ACROS and delta as I like the film and I have a backup to my old friend TMAX.

    For 4x5 this is all uncharted territory for me. I am trying some Ilford HP5+ and will probably go the Delta route as well.

    If the Pyrocat-HD developer is the way to go what are all the chemicals to get me going. And the same for Rodinal.

    If any other developer is recommended I am willing to try as I am starting from scratch here and am very open to listening.

    But since all I know is;

    D-76 and TMAX developers I really do not know how to develope with other developers (Fix, stop, hypo, etc...).

    Also I am planning on starting to make contact sheets, so what developer, stop, fix would you recommend for using paper? I will use a luster paper and when I am ready to actually print I will be looking at a fiber-based paper.

    Thank you again,

    Kev

  2. #2
    wiseowl's Avatar
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    From a "stocking up for the future" point of view, have you considered going down the powder developer route, ID11, promicrol etc? These will have a siginificantly longer shelf life than liquid developers.

    Cheers

    Martin

  3. #3

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    Photographers Formulary carries alot of the developers (eg, rodinal, dektol) & other darkroom chemicals currently marketed by Kodak, Agfa & other companies that frequently drop products many of us become reliant upon. And their TF-4 fixer doesn't require a stop bath or hypo clearing. Buy from them & similiar companies (eg, Bostick & Sullivan), and you help guarantee sources for your darkroom supplies.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  4. #4
    PJC
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    Greetings,

    If you really are concerned about the future, your best investments would be in a good scale and a magnetic stirer. Couple these with the Darkroom Cookbook and the Film Developing Cookbook and you'll never have to rely on Kodak, Ilford, Agfa, etc. Stocking up on premixed chemicals is not a wise plan IMHO; even some raw chemicals don't have a long shelf life. Good sources for raw chemicals are Artcraft, Bostick & Sullivan and Photographer's Formulary. unblinkingeye.com is one online source for numerous formulae.

    Regards, Pete

  5. #5

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    THanks for all the responses and I really apprecaite them but it really doesnt answer my question. for example with Rodinal does it need a water bath of a chemical bath and if so what kind? I will ahve to et the book mentioned but in the mean time I need to buy chemicals as I am almost out and I am relly looking to you know have the experience that I lack in knowing what to get to make the different developers work.

    I went to the site of Photographers Formulary but the problem I run into is that I do not knwo what uses hypo what doesnt and the type of fixer needed or not needed.

    I just do not want to mess my negs up.

    Thank you,

    Kev

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto
    THanks for all the responses and I really apprecaite them but it really doesnt answer my question. for example with Rodinal does it need a water bath of a chemical bath and if so what kind? I will ahve to et the book mentioned but in the mean time I need to buy chemicals as I am almost out and I am relly looking to you know have the experience that I lack in knowing what to get to make the different developers work.

    I went to the site of Photographers Formulary but the problem I run into is that I do not knwo what uses hypo what doesnt and the type of fixer needed or not needed.

    I just do not want to mess my negs up.

    Thank you,

    Kev
    Kevin, I have used Rodinal off and on for about 35 years. It can be used with an acid stop bath or with a plain water rinse. It really doesn't care which you use. With most films, I dilute rodinal 50:1 (1 part Rodinal to 50 parts water) to make a working developer solution. The Rodinal concentrate has a very long shelf life. Search this forum for Rodinal references, there are a lot of them.

    Getting familiar with developer formulas and mixing your own from scratch is the most flexible way to go IMO. A lot of formulas have been published on this forum and there are a lot of them on the Unblinking Eye website and others.

    As a general rule, I use a water rinse instead of an acid stop bath when developing film. I use an acid stop bath when developing prints.

    I use non hardening fixers with both film and prints. Film and prints wash faster and with less water when a non hardening fixer is used. I am currently using Photographer's Formulary TF-4 alkaline, non hardening fixer.

    You can easily mix your own alkaline, non-hardening fixer. Ole has published an excellent alkaline, non-hardening fixer formula in an APUG thread. When I run out of TF-4, I will start mixing Ole's brew.

    However, for the time being, you can get started with a bottle of Rodinal and a bottle of either Ilford Rapid Fix, Agfa Rapid Fix or Photographer's Formulary TF-4 alkaline non hardening fix. These non hardening fixers all can be used to fix both film and prints.

    For a print developer, Kodak Dektol is a safe choice. D72 from Photographer's Formulary is essentially the same as Dektol. In addition, the official formula for Kodak D72 is available, so you can mix it yourself. In a pinch, you can develop prints in Rodinal (search for the APUG threads on this subject).

    Keep film and print fixing baths separate. Don't use a batch of fixer that has been used to fix film to also fix prints. It will probably stain the prints.
    Tom Hoskinson
    ______________________________

    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  7. #7
    Jorge Oliveira's Avatar
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    Kevin
    I've always mixed my chemicals (for over 30yrs...).

    - The difference between devs is not so big as it may seem. The Film Developing Cookbook will lead you in the right direction.
    - It's more important to use a dev until one is fairly familiar with it before trying a new one.
    - For papers it's the same - there are basically warm tone and cold tone ones, from there on dillution will cover about all your needs.

    In the WEB, take a look at:

    http://www.darkroompro.com/frames/index.html
    http://www.jackspcs.com/index.htm
    http://www.pofig.net/photodb/mainMenu.do

    Re ascorbate devs, Patrick Gainer (he posts on APUG from time to time) has done a nice job.

    Here's the start page for his devs:

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/VitC/vitc.html

    HTH

    Jorge O
    Curitiba - nice place to live, if you don't care about the weather...

  8. #8

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    Kevin,
    I just posted an image in the Experimental Gallery that I developed using Rodinal as a paper developer. While the negative is not as sharp as I would have liked, the results did convince me to try Rodinal again as a paper developer. I used a 1+10 dilution, but I think you could work with that and find what works best for you. PF has basically a Rodinal kit, you just add water or if you want to order the real thing, I suggest the 500ml bottle if you plan to try it as a paper developer. The 125ml bottle does not last very long as a paper developer. BTW, get a copy of the Darkroom Cookbook, it really is a great reference.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto
    OK,

    After much reading and asking a few question I am reading to buy some new chemicals. My objective is to get away from Kodak chemistry only because with all the talk of them not going to make film any more I can only assume that they will also stop making chemicals.

    I want to find a developer that will be around for as long as I will be taking pictures so I can learn the developers traits and master it so to speak for consistent results without having to worry about always changing. I plan on using film for a very long time.

    Now that supplies are getting low it is time to buy in bulk and stock up.
    I fully understand your concerns. I'm experimenting with mixing my own formulas for the very same reasons.

    Steve Anchel's Darkroom Cookbook and Film Developing Cookbook are surely the first requisits you need. Then you need a good scale and preferably an automaric stirrer.

    If you want to start experimenting with developers, I suggest you start with the D23 2-bath developers described by Steve. They are really simple to mix, give very good results, require only three relatively harmless components (5 gr metol, 100 gr Sodium sulfite, and either 15-60 gr. washingsoda or 20 mule team borax per liter). And it's really difficult to spoil your negatives in a 2-bath developer. You can't really go wrong with this. Afterwards you can try mixing more difficult stuff.

    Good luck,
    Gilbert
    Wilbert
    http://www.photovergne.com
    Cours photo en Auvergne



 

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