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  1. #1
    bessa_L_R3a's Avatar
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    developing negs only ... what do i need?

    Hi,

    I've had it with paying for labs to do my negs. It's time to start saving money.

    1- Can I use one developer for Neopan/Tri-X/Ilford including ISO from 100 to 400 or is it better to use brand specific developer for each film brand?

    2-Should I buy a tent or seal my bathroom? If the tent is just as reliable, Id rather do that than sit in the dark.

    3-How do I keep temperature constant? This has always been my fear.

    4-Finally, what equipment should I get?

    Many thanks in advance for feedback.

    Robert.

  2. #2
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Robert,
    You do not say what format you intend to be developing. For 35mm and 2 1/4 stainless steel or plastic so-called daylight tanks are the norm. With them, you need total--and we mean total--darkness only when loading the film on to the reels and placing them in the tanks. After that step, all else may be done in room light. Some facile people don't even have a darkroom, just a changing bag for the loading step.

    Use one developer for the films mentioned. Your best bet is D76/Id11 as a starter. Keep it simple.

    You can put the tank in a sink of water at the proper temperature. It will hold the temp long enough for the development step to be completed.

    You need a tank or tanks, a good thermometer, two bottles for chemistry--developer and fixer--and some clips for hanging your developed film up to dry. Do everything in the bathroom. It is made for use of water and is probably the most dustfree place in the household.

    The processes are simple and straightforward, and the quality of results with proper technique shall be as good or better than what you have been getting from labs. There is also great pride to be had from seeing your negatives and feeling "I did that myself."

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  3. #3
    IOS
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    Im only a begginer but this is how i do it. I use a changing bag and sit in my livingroom loading the reels. i have never been in the dark at any process of film development. I use jobo tanks and reels. When i develope the film i use a 4" deep by apx 24" tub that is actualy a tub from my wet saw that is for cutting ceramic tile. I place the tub on my slopsink in the basement and fill it with water at 68f. If the water temp drops a little i just ad a little hot water to it. I never had issues with the temp dropping because i only develop one or two rolls at a time. I always use Kodak hc-110b developer but some times i use Calbe r09. Again im a begginer and im sure everyone out here will say im doing everything wrong. Developing b&w film is very easy.

    Hope this helps !


    Jim

    P.S There is so much excitment waiting for the negatives to dry and looking them with pride knowing that you did it your self !!!
    Last edited by IOS; 01-10-2008 at 09:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    IOS
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    Also there is a photographer on APUG that has a video of the process posted on Youtube, his name is jbrunner ( i think ). The video is of 120 film but the process is the same, you will also find the videos he post very entertaining.

    Jim

  5. #5
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Uhm.... you can click the link to the video in my sig. There are four parts. It's designed to be helpful. (hopefully)

    (Jim, your five bucks is in the mail)
    Last edited by JBrunner; 01-10-2008 at 09:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

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    I think you got some good advice Robert. But I might add that it’s a good idea to buy an introductory book on the subject of photography. When I started to develop my own film and make my own prints a few years ago I found that studying “Basic techniques of Photography” by John P. Schaefer helped me a lot.

    Claes

  7. #7
    Shiny's Avatar
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    Before i had the space for a darkroom, i used to load the reels under my duvet, lights off, curtains closed! Not the best way to do it, but it worked fine.

    Practice loading a dud film in daylight first before trying it for real.
    "Well, my name's Jim. But, most people call me . . . Jim"

  8. #8
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    In addition to the above, you can download the PDF at the Harman/Ilford site at http://www.ilfordphoto.com/applications/page.asp?n=31 "Processing Your First B&W Film". There is other useful info on the site.

    Have fun, Bob.

  9. #9

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    A Web site I've got bookmarked with basic information is The Black and White Darkroom. It'll give you a good overview of the process. A few more random thoughts:

    • The number of chemicals (and therefore bottles you'll need for temporary storage) varies depending on the details of the process -- for instance, whether or not you use a wash aid.
    • Some products will require additional storage bottles for long-term storage. For instance, you might get a packet that makes a gallon of developer, so you'll need one big or several small bottles to hold that gallon, plus a temporary bottle to hold the diluted working solution when you develop a roll of film. You can buy bottles from various sources or re-use bottles intended for other purpose, such as soda bottles. (The latter is risky if you've got kids in the house or if you use your kitchen for developing film.)
    • Different books, Web sites, and other resources will provide slightly different instructions. Don't fret too much about these differences, but always favor the manufacturer's instructions for times. For instance, if a Web site says to fix film for 2 minutes but the fixer manufacturer says 5 minutes, use the 5-minute time.
    • Most of the hardware you need is common stuff, such as measuring cups. Items intended for use in a kitchen, laundry room, etc., can do fine for this -- but don't use a single vessel for both photochemistry and food! The developing tank and reels are specialized photo-only products. I've seen kits, such as this one or this other one at Freestyle, that package most of the hardware you'll need together for easy purchasing. You'll still need bottles and chemicals, though. When I started I bought a "student kit" of B&W chemicals from somebody on eBay, but I don't recall ever seeing such a kit at regular Internet photo retailers. (Such kits are common for color film, though.)
    • You specified you want to develop negatives only. How do you intend to proceed from there? Scan them yourself? Take them to a 1-hour lab for printing? You can certainly do these things, but you may eventually find that you want to print them yourself in a traditional way. This will require more hardware (mainly an enlarger, but also trays, tongs, a safelight or two, and a few more odds and ends). You'll also need a space that can be made completely dark. This can be surprisingly small -- many people use bathrooms or even closets or blackout tents for this purpose.


    Best of luck beginning your own processing!

  10. #10
    bessa_L_R3a's Avatar
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    Wow, you guys are great .... many thanks for the info.

    Im developing 35mm BW only. Ill go with D76/Id11 (same product or equivalents?). Ill get the tanks, reels, and Ill do it in a sealed bathroom. Im just afraid Ill get the dilution proportions wrong, Im terrible at chemistry. Im very good at repeating processes over and over, but not with fractions, yikes.

    I have a coolscan which is great and an ultrachrome k3 ink epson so the other half of the darkroom process I dont need to learn (YET).

    Will check out JBrunners video, thanks!

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