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  1. #31

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    The least toxic working soluiton may be PC-TEA. It contains phenidone, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and triethanolamine (TEA). TEA can be mixed safely with the other chemicals in a water bath. Once diluted 1:50 for use it contains all three chemicals in very small quantities. There is no metol and there isn't even any sodium sulfite. Stop bath can be plain water or a mixture of water and citric acid. Whether you use a sodium thiosulfate or amonium thiosulfate fixer, it needs to be treated with some respect.

  2. #32

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    This thread should not be a podium for people to promote their favorite developer. What counts is the children's safety. Of all the developers mentioned Xtol remains the safest choice. As a bonus it's already widely available while the ingredients for various homebrews are not.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  3. #33

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    I was given my father's pre-war Kodak 6x9 folder in the mid 50s. I was nearly 10. Everything was manual. No coupled rangefinder - nothing.

    I managed to learn how to use it, including loading the 120 film with help. I was just an ordinary kid. We are in danger of seriously underestimating kids' abilities. If they find things interesting they will learn quickly. They will make the odd mistake and learn even more quickly from so doing.

    If the ratio of adults to kids is right and the supervision needed is thought through then things will be OK. An adult can do the chemical mixing initially then the kids can do the shaking and timing. next time the kids do the mixing and shaking under adult supervision. When the film is processed it will produce that " I made this" feeling in the kids. That's very precious. You know that feeling.It's the same feeling that Marconi got when he first sent radio waves across the Atlantic.

    I applaud your efforts to bring a bit of fun and sense of achievement into the kids' lives. Just remind the "barnacles on the backside of kids' progress" of F.D. Roosevelt's famous saying: "We have nothing to fear except fear itself"

    Best of luck

    pentaxuser

  4. #34

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    Here is my take on this. If you are dead set on developing film in your kids school you are going to have to do it with whatever chemicals are already in the school otherwise it might take you forever to get approval to bring in new chemicals. Look over a list of what is in the school and if you can't process film with it your kids are going to have to process at home, it's a lousy answer but by the time you get developer and fixer into the school your kid might be in college.

    Now making prints, that's another story, here in the states there is a product called "Sun Prints" it is basically pretreated Cyanotype paper that only needs water to fix it, you should be able to find a similar product in your area. The kids could use it to make contact prints, and as an added plus with Cyanotype process you can actually see the process happen. You can see the paper turn a lighter blue, then you can see the negative image on the paper when you remove the negative, and you can see the positive image form when you wash the paper. All you need is sunlight and water and you can have an archival quality print, if the kids don't like the blue images you can tea stain them using a mug of hot water and 5 tea bags. Make tea, soak washed cyanotype for 30 minuets in tea, wash for one minuet in water, and dry, now you have a B&W photo.

    Best of luck to you.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  5. #35

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    An excellent use for outdated paper is to make photograms. There are no chemicals involved at all. Just have the children arrange some objects on the paper and expose to sunlight until the exposed areas turn brown. When viewed in subdued light the images will last for some time. You can discuss why the image forms and why the image will not last.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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