Buying Chemicals For Developing Film For The First Time!
Yes, as the long title suggest I am now planning on buying my first batch of chemicals from Macodirect. Now obviously there are 20 different developers and whatnot out there. I am only going to develop B&W to begin with, to start of easy you know.
I am shooting mainly with Ilfords (HP5 and stuff) and Kodaks (Tri-X etc). What chemicals would you think I should get? I asked Macodirect and they recommended Rollei RHS developer, can't be that bad huh? So I thought I'd get:
Rollei Wetting Agent
Rollei RXA Fix
Rollei RHS Developer
Planing on using water as stop, should be alright no? Anyway, my question is can I re-use these developers and stuff or is it a one time use only? And as a person who is very new to this but can't wait to get my hands on it, these chemicals shuold do the job don't you guys think?
Any info would be lovely, especially if anyone knows if I can re-use these chemicals :-)
XTOL gives great results with fine grain and is very forgiving. It last a long time and is cheap. I use it full strength.
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I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
We all have our own favorites. Just pick something to start with. It may be D-76, XTOL, Rodinal, whatever. Any fixer will do, and water is very good stop bath, you just have to dump & fill again the tank at least three times with water to ensure very good fixer life. Wetting agents are also almost the same.
Later, you will find that by selecting the developer you can control the image quite a bit, but there is no such as "bad developer" and "good developer". It's up to your personal taste. Some developers can be reused and some developers are used as one-shot, but some one-shot developers such as Rodinal can still be quite economical. Fixer is normally reused until a point, which is usually something like 10 to 15 rolls of film per liter of diluted solution.
I would start with a liquid developer to begin with. Easier and quicker to get going for a newb and potentially much less messy. I would suggest HC110 or the Ilford equivalent. Name fails me.
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To start and learn use the developer only one time. Use the fixer only two times. This is safe.
When you have developed several rolls successfully look at how to judge extending this or not.
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you could also add a stop bath, that will extend the life of your fixer
The OP asked about RHS and you guys talk about D-76, XTOL, Rodinal and HC110...
Yes, RHS is OK.
In the 1+7 working solution you can process consecutively up to 5 films.
Fill the used bath into an airtight bottle, with as little air space as possible.
You'll find here several hints on storing (bottles, preserving gas)
I'd get anything that is a "General Purpose Developer." I don't know if Rollei High Speed is considered general purpose or not, but if it is, the name is a bit confusing. It makes it sound something like Ilford Microphen (a special-purpose developer designed to use in push processing), even if it really is not.
If you are not using a stop bath, rinsing your film with agitation a few times (without exposing it, of course) should prevent almost all of the carry over from the developer, which will help your fixer out.
There is also hypo clearing agent (HCA), which comes after the fixer and before the wash. This makes washing more efficient, so that you can use a wash time half as long as you would have to use without the HCA. Water conservation is a very important consideration in the world today, and since photography already uses so much water, I try to be as circumspect as possible in my use of it. However, as Photo Engineer has pointed out, the use of HCA means that there is also the creation of however much load the HCA puts on the local water treatment facilities. Putting anything but water or human waste down the drain should always be considered closely, as a socially responsible rule of thumb. Call your local water district, and ask them whether there is any problem with dumping 20 g/L of sodium sulfite and 5 g/L of sodium bisulfite down the drain, and tell them how often and how much you would be dumping. If there is a problem, you can still use the HCA to save water, but you can bottle it up after use and dispose of it at a hazardous materials collection site, or cover it with mesh and let it evaporate outdoors.
This brings up the issue of chemical disposal. As mentioned above, check with your local waste water authority about your spent chemicals. The basic understanding for the low-volume home user to have here in the U.S.A. is that you should not dump used fixers or toners, and that you should try to make other solutions as neutral as is easily possible before dumping them, by mixing them with other spent chemicals. If in doubt, you can always take any photography chemical to a hazardous waste disposal site, where there will be trained people who know exactly how to handle the stuff. Even if something is fine to dump down the drain, this cannot hurt.
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I'm going to guess that dealing with Macodirect is particularly convenient for you. That is an excellent reason to deal with them.
I read through the information on their site relating to the chemicals you asked about. They each seem quite appropriate. Personally, I would add stop bath and a washing aid like Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent, but you can function without them.
One thing I did note is in the information for the Rollei RHS Developer, where it is described as "highly compensating: Virtually any film exposed at their nominal speed have the same developing time."
To me, this means that if you use this developer, you may gain ease of use at the expense of some of the flexibility and adaptability of other developers. For a beginner, it probably makes good sense.
It may be that there is a large community of users of this developer that you could go to for advice. Alternatively, Macodirect may be able to provide excellent after sales service. I expect though that there are more people here and many other places who can give advice respecting some of the other, more commonly encountered developers (D76/ID11, XTol, HC110, etc.)
In any event, be sure to have fun!
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I have to comment on that:
Originally Posted by AgX
RHS is a rebranding of a developer popular in the Netherlands:
AM 74 by Amaloco, who stopped business in 2008.
In general this developer is stated to be beneficial for the more speedy films.
BUT strange enough HP5Plus and Tri-X are the only films, out of a list of 16 common films, Amaloco stated to give only rank-3 results with AM 74, whereas all others resultet in rank-1.
(I just realized this exception.)