Info and suggestions on developing
Old 06-24-2015   #1
teleparallel
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Info and suggestions on developing

Hello

I'm finally about to take the plunge in developing, and I need some info before purchasing the chemicals and equipment.

Well, browsing around, I know I need a Tank and Reels, the developer, a stopbath, and fixer. So from freestyle, I choose: their steel tank, with two reels; LegacyPro Ecopro developer(Xtol equivalent); and LegacyPro Powder Fixer(kodak equivalent as well).

I plan to make acetic acid stop bath.

Other useful information: I'm using Kentmere 400 as main film(EI 800), and keep that in mind in any sugestions for developer, as Xtol seems to work nice on kentmere(based on web results). Also, I live in Brazil and I need to import the chemicals, so they must(!!!) be powder.

Now, my inquires:

Any advantages in plastic tanks? I saw a video of someone loading a steel reel super fast, and wondered if it's easier, compared to the plastic ones. Yes? No?

Does Hardening fixer has any effect on image quality? Any concern on that? How many rolls can I fix get from a gallon? After I dilute it, do I reuse it? Store it? How do I know if it's gone bad? Any storage tips? Should I absolutely get another fixer?

Does ascorbic acid developer lasts as long as any other? Any advices on it? Any other choices for developer? Would Ilford ID-11 be a better choice?

As I intend not to spend lot, everything is planed ahead. So I plan to get initially material for 40 rolls, to keep the cost per roll down. Keep that in mind as you make suggestions.



Well, thanks!
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Old 06-24-2015   #2
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I took the plunge a few years ago, so will offer my 2c;

Plastic vs Steel; the debate continues - each has their supporters. If you're on the cheap, try and find some used ones - a quick search of the 'bay saw lots for ~$20

Fixer - I don't know the difference between hardening and not. I bought the cheapest bottle I could dilute to 1+9, I think its Tetenal.

I assume you mean ascorbic acid STOP, not developer? Technically, a stop is not required - but is useful if you are panning on reusing you fixer. I use some kodak stop with is super concentrated. I've gone through ~50 rolls and its half full still.

You can do a test to see if the fixer is exhausted - http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subsc...xhaustion.html

FWIW, the developer is the only thing that really effects the photos (assuming the rest actually works), so I try not to skimp on that, but even then I use ID-11 at 1+3 which is super cheap, maybe 50c/roll.

My advice, if you are trying to do things on the cheap, get used reels and tank, and check the available dilutions. For instance, Rodinal can be used at 1+100 I believe, making it super economical.

Good luck
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Old 06-24-2015   #3
Bill Clark
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I currently use Paterson tanks which have plastic reels. To me, it's a good way to start as they load quite easily, starting from the outside and the film works its way to the inside of the reel. After I hang the roll of film to dry, I thoroughly wash the reels, tank and the other pieces after each time I develop film and let them dry overnight. I have extra reels if I'm in a rush to develop several rolls immediately. This is how I started my film developing journey, long ago.

I have stainless steel reels and tanks. The reels are loaded from the center. I find the 35mm reels can be a pita for me as my fingers are large enough to present a challenge sometimes, getting the film started.

You don't need to use hardening fixer anymore. The film is OK with non-hardening fixer. With hardening fixer the wash time is longer.

I would start with either ID-11 or D-76 developer and stay using it for quite a while until you get it down to where you get consistent results.

Stop bath is pretty reasonable as it's quite concentrated. And it has an indicator that is yellow which means it's a go to use; then, when it's exhausted, it will turn purple.

Have fun!
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Old 06-24-2015   #4
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I would really try to get it right from the start, so this would be my advice:
1) - go for a 4 reel steel tank and buy the Hewes 35mm reels. Hewes reels are a must, otherwise loading film will always be a nightmare. Why 4 reel tank and not 2 reel?
- Because this way you economise on chemistry and time, also with more liquid there is more temperature stability and less risk of exhaustion with dilute developers. My 4 reel tank works with 900cc of solution. BTW, why steel and not plastic? - Because you need less developer, because they last forever if well kept and because there is less chance of streaking on film.
2) - go for Xtol or D76 and learn how to use it well, try various dilutions and times/EI values, and agitation schemes, in order to know this stuff by heart. Remember not to dilute too much as you will get more grain, and not to agitate too little, as you will get streaks and uneven edges.
3) Do NOT waste your time on stop bath. With development times around 10 minutes - indicated anyway for ease of reproducibility, the stop bath is redundant, and it can actually increase grain. I just develop and go to fixer right away without even a water rinse. Use the fixer one shot and forget the stop bath hassle. I have never used the hardener and don't even know what is it supposed to harden - never had problems with scratched emulsion.
4) Developer and last rinse should be made with demineralised water. Add some clear alcohol and photo flo to the last rinse. Alcohol is able to dilute some impurities that the water won't. After hanging films, pour the rinse solution on the strips and pull them away from vertical at the bottom for a minute, to let the drops slide away along the edges of film. I've never had drying drops in negatives thanks to that technique ( learned it from Roger Hicks).
5) Sacrifice some film at the beginning to make the experiments with exposure/development. Shoot a roll of 36 of the same scene exposing every 5 frames from -2 stops to +2 stops, later cut the film into 3 roughly even pieces, and develop them at: recommended time, 50% shorter and twice as long. Then see what you like best, fine tune it and you'll be ready to go.
Have fun.
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Old 06-25-2015   #5
teddy
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Quote:
4) Developer and last rinse should be made with demineralised water. Add some clear alcohol and photo flo to the last rinse. Alcohol is able to dilute some impurities that the water won't...
This is interesting. I have a Paterson 4 Developing tank, how much alcohol would you use on 1600mm of water? Would like to try this technique!

Thank you!

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Old 06-25-2015   #6
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No special stop bath needed. I use tapwater as "stop bath". Fixer keeps on working- a litre of fixer i use for at least 10-12 rolls, never had issues with it. Also it doesn't go down in time (gets dirty tho). After 10-12 rolls i usually throw the fixer out "just in case", or uise it for non-critical film (like tests or fun film) with extended fixing time.
I did test it once in a while but i could never see any real exhaustion. It just gets a bit slower after 10 rolls but still clears the neg nicely.

I use rodinal and diafine to develop - rodinal doesn't fit your "powdery" requirement but diafine does. My one-gallon Diafine dilution stoerd in 3 separate bottles is lasting years and years. Gets dirty so once in a while i filter it, and gets less and less but i still have the 3rd 1L bottle unopened - for like, 5-6 years. Doesn't go down with time. Disadvantage is, you cannot "tweak" development by time or temperature. But i expect your Kentmere400 will be 800-ish in Diafine.
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Old 06-25-2015   #7
sevo
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As you are in the tropics, you might require hardening fixer if you have no access to reasonably cool water and want to print to some traditional papers or to develop ancient or odd films (made prior to the mid seventies, by small off-brand makers or for special purposes). It is not needed for current mainstream film, as all of that is factory pre-hardened and will stand processing up to colour film temperatures (38°C).
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Old 06-25-2015   #8
mfogiel
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@teddy
I probably add something like 5% of total volume, so in your case it would be 80ml.
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Old 06-25-2015   #9
teddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
@teddy
I probably add something like 5% of total volume, so in your case it would be 80ml.
Great, thanks for your reply. Will try it next time.
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Old 06-25-2015   #10
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I purchased steel tank and reels few weeks ago for dirty cinefilm developing.
Just can't handle it at all even at daylight. Exchanged it to classic Patterson, which I use for years and no problems to reel films in.

I'm not using stop bath at all for BW film. Water does the job well, between developer and fixer.
And kodak powder fixer is not one shot. I'm using it for months and dozens of rolls.

The real thing OP is missing - Kodak Photo-Flo. But it is sold as liquid only. OP needs to google Kodak Photo-Flo alternative.
Here is one result.
https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...ad.php?t=40032
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Old 06-25-2015   #11
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i use kentmere 400 more than any other film.
and i develop it in the laziest of method.
my most recent gallon of developer was D76.
i developed almost the whole gallon this way:

50ml of developer +250ml of water.
i stand develop it for 25mins at 30c with initial agitation,
followed by 4 turns every 10mins.

I know, this is sacrilegious but I have been developing
this way for a long time.

the attached picture was done on the contax tvs III with ev-1
2015, roll 194.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg zraw-roll-194-km400a800-contaxtvsiii-AA011-Edit.jpg (38.1 KB, 14 views)
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Old 06-25-2015   #12
Martin Carone Santos
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Hi. I'm from Brazil too. Here is better a hardening fixer. Or a separate hardener, as sodium alumen.

A good developer to start with is D-76. But you can always mix your own formulas. Cheaper and, sometimes, the only way to use some developers. A good choice would be D25, made for 24C.

Plastic or metal reels is just a matter of personal preference. Any will give you decades of good services - if you get good quality things.
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Old 06-26-2015   #13
teleparallel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Carone Santos View Post
Hi. I'm from Brazil too. Here is better a hardening fixer. Or a separate hardener, as sodium alumen.

Why is it better to get hardening?

Cool! Nice to meet you.

Acho que podemos falar português também! Não é difícil conseguir os químicos?
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Old 06-26-2015   #14
teleparallel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
I would start with either ID-11 or D-76 developer and stay using it for quite a while until you get it down to where you get consistent results.

Stop bath is pretty reasonable as it's quite concentrated. And it has an indicator that is yellow which means it's a go to use; then, when it's exhausted, it will turn purple.

Have fun!
I why ID-11/D76 is so nice for starters? Xtol is weaker in any sense? One thing I did not mention is that I like the Eco-frendly stuff. I do like the fact that ID-11 I'd have Ilford tested development times.

Stopbath is hard to get cause it's liquid, but they are small so still a possibility. Acetic acid is easy to get, on the other hand.
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Old 06-26-2015   #15
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So, no one said anything on how fixers are used. If I dilute suppose 1+4, put it in a bottle and reuse it until it depletes it's usage?

Also, I saw Arista products in the freestyle in website, and anyone using it's fast non hardening fixer? Kodak fixer is out as it doesn't last too long. Arista is super cheap, is powder, and non hardening.

Finally, longer development, at lower temperature, generates stronger grain? Did not expect that.
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Old 06-26-2015   #16
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Acetic acid is fine as a stop bath... but you really don't need it, just use a water.

Fixer: dilute it, keep it in a bottle and reuse it over and over. I reuse fixer as long as it fixes... you can always refix underfixed film with some fresh fixer
I don't think it's possible to overfix as long as you don't forget your fixing film for several hours or days

If you take D76 or xtol, it doesn't really matter. Either will be fine (I would take xtol).
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Old 06-26-2015   #17
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I found Ilford Rapid Fixer for a not really good price, but like 18 USD equivalent and it fixes up to 120 rolls. If anyone used Arista Fixer on the other hand, I'd like to know.
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Old 06-27-2015   #18
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Another vote for tap water instead of stop bath. Just keep it, and everything else, at the same temperature. Changes in temperature, especially water that is colder than the developer or fixer, can cause reticulation. As for higher temperature developing, the Film Developer's Cookbook recommends either D-25 or D-23. They are easy to mix from powder - D-23 is just metol and sodium sulfite - and I believe both are available from Freestyle. X-tol is a great developer and, if you do six to eight rolls a week, you can replenish it. Otherwise, 1:1 or 1:3 give you times that are long enough. Straight developer at a higher temperature will give times that are too short; that can lead to difficulty pouring in and out and staying at the recommended time.
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Old 06-27-2015   #19
Martin Carone Santos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleparallel View Post
Why is it better to get hardening?

Cool! Nice to meet you.

Acho que podemos falar português também! Não é difícil conseguir os químicos?
Because the high temperature softens the emulsion! Always use hardening fixer or, if you prefer, a hardening stop.

Creio que não é possível escrever apenas em português. Qualquer coisa me mande inbox. De todo jeito, modo geral os químicos mais comuns vc consegue sem problema, como metol, hidroquinona, sulfito, etc.
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Old 06-27-2015   #20
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I've also been using a tap water rinse/wash as a stop bath. I advise using distilled water for developer mix and final fotoflo rinse. I assumed I could just use tap water but those results were not up to the standard of when I used distilled.

I like the plastic Patterson tank kit. I have a two-roll (35mm) tank and I think I would rather have that, plus another two-roll tank than a four-roll tank. In case I want to use different developers at the same time, or process at different timings? I dunno - I'm just exploring that option now, after spending too much time running 10 rolls a couple of weeks ago.

Where in Brazil are you? I'm hoping to get back down there in October - to Rio and Florianopolis. If I/we remember, maybe I could bring you something. I live ten minutes from Freestyle.
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Old 06-27-2015   #21
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I only process two B&W films at home, ACROS and Agfa SuperPan 200. And infrequently at that...

--
Equipment:

Paterson 2x35/1x120 tank
Darkroom Thermometer
Timer
Kodak HC-110
Ilford Rapid Fixer (non hardening)
Photo Flo 200
String and clothespins for drying film
Changing bag or tent
Set of calibrated 500ml plastic beakers (5)
Set of gradulated cylinders: 10ml, 100ml, 1L
1 gallon water jug
Paper (coffee) filters

--
Prep:

Fill gallon jug with filtered water
Mix developer quantity for 1-shot use
Mix fixer for 1-shot use
Let stand and temperature stabilize overnight

--
Process:

Take temperature of developer
Calculate processing time for film (see film data sheets or notes)
Load developing tank
Pre-soak with water : 1 min
Developer per film time with agitation per film
Chuck developer and use fresh water stop rinse
Fix per film time with agitation per film
Chuck fixer
Rinse 2x
Fill, soak 1 minute, empty -- 10x
Dilute Photo Flo
Fill, soak 30 sec, empty
Hang film to dry
Wash all equipment and let air dry

That's about it.
G
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