First time Developing Question
Hello All you APUGers- I need some guidance. I trust what you guys say on here, so that why Im posting this here..
I just acquired my first enlarger set and i plan to start printing my MF work. At the moment though, Im in Tokyo ( i live in north Japan) and I would like to buy the chemicals/equipment that I need to at least develop because I cant have it sent by mail. I went to Yodobashi Camera, and they still have a very decent darkroom section, but I was lost on what I should get.... Can someone please direct me on what I should get and quantities to get me started on just developing my own film (for now Im scanning he negs). I wont get down there that often, so i have no idea..plus there were tons of types.. liquid..powder etc and all kids of equipment...
Heres some facts that might help:
Camera: Hassy 500cm
Film: FP4 or HP5
A good start would be Jason Brunner's film developing videos; http://www.jasonbrunner.com/videos.html
Ilford also has some getting started information; http://www.ilfordphoto.com/applications/page.asp?n=9
For developing the film you need;
A developing tank and reel
Stop bath or water
A place with water available for washing the film afterward
A dark (no light at all) place to load the film. Can be a closet, a windowless bathroom, a changing bag, or whatever.
A dust free place where you can hang the film up to dry and some sort of clips for holding it during drying.
For printing you need;
At least 4 processing trays large enough for the biggest paper you want to work with.
A place where you can wash the prints after processing.
A room where you can set all this up, that can be isolated from external light sources.
The stop bath and fixer are the same chemically for film and paper, but they generally use different concentrations, and film shouldn't be fixed in fixer used with paper.
You'll need a lot of miscellaneous stuff like jugs to store the mixed chemistry in, a thermometer, graduates(s) to measure with.
I'd recommend starting off with developers that can be prepared from liquid concentrates. For film, Kodak HC-110 is a good choice that has a long shelf life. Ilford makes a similar developer. Many people like Agfa (formerly) Rodinal. If Sprint chemistry is available there it's also a good choice.
Most "rapid" fixers are supplied only in liquid form.
For paper developer, Kodak Dektol is the classic standard, but is supplied in powdered form. Ilford has paper developers in liquid concentrates.
As far as chemicals are concerned I've been doing fine with powder Kodak D76 and Fixer, and concentrated liquid Photoflo. Stop, I use water out of the tap and the same for the rinse. Follow the directions when mixing, and if I can do it just about anyone can. If they have Rodinal get some and give it a try after you've done a bunch with the D76.
Someone above gave you the list of supplies to buy. Don't forget something for negative storage.
As for a dust free area for drying, I use my bathroom to dry my negs. While I'm rinsing my negs I run the shower for a short while to raise the humidity--not too much but just enough to knock down the dust that might be in there. Hang the negs for about three hours, carefully cut, and store.
Add to the list an enlarger timer, a timer for use while developing film and two more trays for archival prints ( a second fix, selenium toner, clearing - before washing ) also some screens to let prints air dry. Since you can't receive chemicals by mail what about UPS? If not you are limited to what is locally available. It's best to learn the limits of one and get the most out of it before switching. Each one mentioned before are good and it matters what works best in your hands.
A trip to the local library might help. Hopefully they will have a darkroom guide or book. I would be great to review the whole process first.
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Does Yodobashi Camera have either email or telephone contact that you can use? If so, I would consider asking them.
The answer you get may be biased a bit toward maximising their profit, but maybe not. And in any event, you would have the answers here to help you evaluate their answer.
I would hazard a guess that one thing that is missed most by many on APUG is photographic suppliers that you can visit who actually have stock as well as people who can advise you.
In case you don't already have it, here is the link to a very useful document from the Ilford website (in the Getting Started section):
Ilford's "Processing Your First Black & White Film"
Good thinking, I forgot about the internet. :o
Originally Posted by MattKing