B&W film developing questions

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by G.T., Jan 5, 2008.

  1. G.T.

    Rod Smith Guest

    They're fairly cheap on eBay. On average, they probably cost more than
    $0.50 (if only for shipping -- the motor base weighs more than a drum),
    but the nature of eBay and the current market for darkroom equipment is
    that if you're willing to wait, you can find what you want pretty cheaply
    -- maybe even for $0.50. Unfortunately, eBay's not responding for me right
    now so I can't check on current auctions and prices. Do a search on "drum"
    in the photo section; that'll give you an idea for the current market.
    (Note that there's a check box along the left of the screen to show
    completed auctions, so you can tell what items actually sell for rather
    than what the high bid is hours or days before the auctions end.)

    Yes and no. My 8x10 drum seems to work well with 70ml of chemicals. That
    70ml will be close to exhausted by a single sheet, though, so it's best to
    use the solution one-shot. When I use open trays, I use 1l (1000ml) of
    developer in an 8x10 tray, and I typically get at least 20 8x10 prints out
    of that, which works out to 50ml per print. Of course, it would be
    possible to extend the life of the chemicals when using the drum -- say by
    using a replenishment scheme. That adds to the hassle, though.

    Ultimately I guess it depends on what's important to you and how you
    prefer to work. If you want to mix up small quantities of chemistry (for
    easy storage) from liquid concentrates, the low solution volumes required
    by a drum might be appealing. From an economic standpoint, there's
    probably not much difference, or open trays might get the nod. If you're
    using a powdered developer (such as Dektol), you'll need to mix large
    quantities anyhow, so the need for larger volumes to fill trays won't be
    much of an issue.
    Rod Smith, Jan 8, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. G.T.

    G.T. Guest

    Understood. It's Arista.EDU Ultra which I think is all they have in 120 at
    this point.
    No, I developed 24 rolls with Accufine in class, the 3 rolls with Rodinal
    are the first I've developed at home. My instructor suggested trying Xtol
    next but I tend to do my own thing. It's Rodinal for now, I've been mixing
    it at 25+1 but to get more rolls done with it I'll start doing 50+1 or

    G.T., Jan 8, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. G.T.

    Ken Hart Guest

    Motorized. Be advised: the drum tends to 'walk' on the base, so it can fall
    off if you aren't paying attention.
    The housewares (kitchen stuff) at WalMart is your friend! Various
    plastic/Rubbermaid containers will work for a washing tray. You can slao get
    containers for your chems. Pick up a Sharpie brand marker to label the
    containers (waterproof).
    If you are using RC papers, don't fret wiping the print. Just lay it face up
    on a towel to air dry. You could also get some sort of plastic-covered wire
    rack-- again the housewares department. There are numerous dryer 'machines'
    on the market for RC paper-- most all work on some sort of air drying.
    Ken Hart, Jan 9, 2008
  4. G.T.

    Ken Hart Guest

    It is easier to focus with the safelight off. Most enlarger timers have an
    outlet for the enlarger and another outlet for the safelight. When the
    enlarger is on, the safelight is off.
    Ken Hart, Jan 9, 2008
  5. G.T.

    Ken Hart Guest

    Generalization. I don't use gloves in the black and white darkroom, but I do
    use tongs-- to minimize chemical contamination.
    I found out the hard way to use gloves when cleaing the color (RA4)
    processor. I reached down in the color developer tank and within a day or
    so, I had several nasty rashes on my arm that took weeks to clear up.
    Developers basically attack the oils in the skin and for some people,
    especially with dry skin issues, it can cause problems. Don't sweat it, wash
    your hands and maybe use a skin moisturizer after a darkroom session.
    Ken Hart, Jan 9, 2008
  6. G.T.

    ____ Guest

    Nominally. Most people don't project the safelight onto the easel and if
    the light is bright enough to cause that kind of issue = making it hard
    to focus the safe light is really to bright.
    ____, Jan 13, 2008
  7. G.T.

    Pieter Guest

    I have a safelight in the enlarger area as well as one over the sink. I set
    up the print and focus with the enlager lens wide open for maximim image
    light. The last step before printing is to stop the enlarger lens down to
    the correct stop.
    Pieter, Jan 13, 2008
  8. G.T.

    Guest Guest

    :( I had a lens that shifted focus when stopped down.
    Guest, Jan 13, 2008
  9. G.T.

    ____ Guest

    They all do to a smaller or larger amount.

    I've always focused at the intended f/stop. The lens goes to f/45
    typically I use f/22. With a Micromega focuser all but the tightest
    grain can be seen. Since I color print also, I am fairly comfortable
    with using fairly dim safe light when doing b&w printing.
    ____, Jan 13, 2008
  10. G.T.

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    Acu-1 is the one-shot version of Acufine.
    Likely you'll find those 1 oz bottles hold 34 to 35 ml.
    I don't bother with a stop because the one-shot very dilute
    fixer I use does not load up with carry forward developer. Using
    a Rapid fixer concentrate, 20ml should suffice for just about any
    35mm or 120 film. My dilution when using A. Thiosulfate
    concentrate runs 1:24; solution volume 500ml. Fresh
    fix each roll, no need to rebottle or test.

    The A. Thiosulfate concentrate looked to be going bad the
    little I've been using it. So now I use S. Thiosulfate, film and
    prints. I doubt it ever goes bad. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jan 13, 2008
  11. G.T.

    Guest Guest

    Guest, Jan 14, 2008
  12. What lens, focal length and film format? I can't see any point in
    stopping down so far (particularly with shorter focal length lenses for
    smaller formats) since diffraction effects are going to cut down on
    sharpness and obviously depth of field is no problem here! And think of
    the time you'll save with shorter exposures!
    George Mastellone, Jan 14, 2008
  13. G.T.

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    One tray, one tank. Very similar. Big difference; tray with
    safelights on. Nice to see what is going on which is very easy
    when using Graded paper. A high level of yellow-ish orange
    safelighting can be used. Emergence times are impossible
    to measure if a tank is used and developing to completion
    less certain.
    Single tray processing takes some more solution volume
    than does the tank; a quarter liter or a little more.doing
    8x10s. I use developer and fixer one-shot very dilute
    and as with film, mentioned in an earlier post,
    needs no stop; develop, fix. Saves a lot of
    space and cleanup time. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jan 14, 2008
  14. G.T.

    ____ Guest

    I don't want a shorter exposure than 12 seconds. Format in the above
    case 4x5, focal length 150 mm. Darkroom work should not be a speed race
    ____, Jan 15, 2008
  15. G.T.

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    I keep a sponge handy for the purpose. Wet and squeese
    dry before use. Wipe both sides. RC then dries very fast. Prop
    or lay to dry.
    I've quite RC and have gone all FB. Still sponge though.
    Afterwards the prints are sandwiched twixt layers of non-woven,
    hydrophobic polyester sheets and a special water resistant but
    vapor permeable corrugated board. The print dryer.
    Extremely inexpensive, extremely light weight, extremely,
    portable, extremely compact. A slow and gentil dry for
    FB prints. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Jan 15, 2008
  16. G.T.

    Ken Hart Guest

    I keep a sponge handy for the purpose. Wet and squeese
    dry before use. Wipe both sides. RC then dries very fast. Prop
    or lay to dry.
    I've quite RC and have gone all FB. Still sponge though.
    Afterwards the prints are sandwiched twixt layers of non-woven,
    hydrophobic polyester sheets and a special water resistant but
    vapor permeable corrugated board. The print dryer.
    Extremely inexpensive, extremely light weight, extremely,
    portable, extremely compact. A slow and gentil dry for
    FB prints. Dan

    I have what I think is perhaps the best print 'air-dryer' that I've ever
    owned... My studio building at one time was a grocery store. When I bought
    the building, the seller left me a gift of every bit of trash that he had
    accumulated! (Ever try to dispose of three 10' produce cases? The size is
    one problem, the freon is the second prolem!) One of the items that I kept
    was a bread rack. It's a metal stand, about 6' high, on wheels, that holds a
    dozen plastic vented trays, each about 2x3'. Since the trays are plastic, I
    can wash them off to prevent any chem buildup. It's a great gadget for air
    drying prints, and if you hang around the rear of your local grocery store
    after dark, you may be able to snag one!

    Actually, if I need to dry prints fast, I just feed them into the wash rack
    of the minilab. Done carefully, this even works with fiber prints getting
    them about 75% dry. Doesn't everyone have a minilab in their darkroom?!
    Ken Hart, Jan 16, 2008
  17. It depends on the fixer. Ammonium thiosulfate in acid is
    capable of bleaching metallic silver in a relatively short
    time. The problem exists mostly for the very fine grain
    silver of printing paper rather than film but fixing times
    should not be much extended beyond the time needed for
    complete fixing. The bleaching effect is why rapid fixer is
    diluted more for prints than film.
    The bleaching takes place only when the fixer is acid,
    neutral or alkaline rapid fixer does not bleach silver.
    A good mild reducer for removing dichroic fog from film
    can be made by adding about 15 grams per liter of citric
    acid to standard film strength rapid fixer. Dichroic fog is
    a deposit of very fine silver on the surface of the film.
    Citric acid, in this application, is a sequestering
    agent for the silver.
    Richard Knoppow, Jan 26, 2008
  18. While not exactly on topic as per Richard's post, allow me to point out as
    per the main topic of B&W film developing that one of the most important
    items in the BW darkroom for both film developing and (especially) print
    processing is a good audio system. A plain radio is fine, but a tape deck,
    a CD player, and especially a MP3 player (with its long play ability) is to
    be recommended. For me at least, such a device makes those long and already
    enjoyable darkroom sessions that much more enjoyable.
    Lawrence Akutagawa, Jan 26, 2008
  19. G.T.

    G.T. Guest

    Oh, my last instructor definitely impressed that upon me!

    G.T., Jan 26, 2008
  20. G.T.

    Guest Guest

    I have no audio equipment in the darkroom... except a metronome. :)
    Guest, Jan 26, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.