Complete Noob Needs Help

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:21 pm
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Complete Noob Needs Help

Post by Mystic1 »


I have three rolls of various B&W films that I have shot, which I'd like to develop on my own.

I haven't done any developing since highschool, and back then, we didn't have to do the chemical stuff on our own at all.

A friend of mine (who I'm unable to reach, now) hooked me up with some supplies, but I'm a little unclear on which order to use them in.

I have a roll of Kodak Plus-X 125 that I've got reeled up and in a tank..
I have the following chemicals:

Heico Perma Wash (in the 32oz bottle, undiluted),
Kodak indicator stop bath (16 oz, undiluted),
Kodak Photo-flo 200 solution (16 oz, undiluted),
and a giant brown bottle of HC110.

I also have a spare, empty brown bottle labeled "STOP" on the lid.
Both brown bottles are 1 gallon.

In which order do I use these chemicals? For what amounts of time? I looked up the film & HC110 on the front page, and it says "3.5", which I read as 3 minutes, 30 seconds. But, 3:30 in which chemical? And in which order?

Also, how long can my undeveloped negatives sit in the tank on the reel before I should worry about them?

Any help would be most appreciated.


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Post by noexit »

First, do you know how old your developer is? Developer only lasts a few months in a full bottle, and even less in a not so full bottle. Also, in the list of stuff you have, you don't list a fixer. You'll need that to clear the developed silver from the film so that you can actually use it.

To develop the film:
1: develop for indicated time
2: dump out developer and pour in stop right as the dev time is up. Stop time isn't critical. Just a few agitations should do.
3: dump the stop back into it's bottle and pour in fixer for indicated time
4. return fixer to it's bottle and use the Perma Wash (I don't use it, I just use water)
5: rinse and drop a couple drops of photo flo just before you remove the film for drying.[/quote]

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Post by noexit »

Jason Sprenger
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:09 am

Complete Noob Needs Help

Post by Jason Sprenger »

Hello to this Forum and Mystic1,

I recently began developing my own film some 30 years after my photographer father showed me "how" and am hoping that my experience will prove useful.

I too develop PX-125 and TX-400 and I am using HC-110. For a friend, I developed a few rolls of HP 5+. I only have 25 rolls of experience, but I believe I understand where you are coming from. I chose HC-110 instead of D-76 because of its long shelf life in concentrated form.

Here is a summary of my usual procedure.

Developer = Kodak HC-110 Developer Concentrate
Stop Bath = 6oz. Kodak Acetic Acid in a gallon of water
Fixer = Kodak Rapid Fixer and Hardener, Solutions A & B in water to make one gallon.
Clearing Agent = Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent mixed to make one quart
Photo Flo = Kodak Photo Flo Film Drying Agent

300ml of liquid per roll of film in Jobo tank model 1520. One roll used in figures below. I chose the development time I did as the temperature at my house often exceeds 68F (20C) by a few degrees. I am considering diluting the HC-110 further and increasing the time.

PX-125 comes out good for scanning. TX-400 is a little thin in contrast but certainly manageable for me. I'm still playing around with it. Understand your mileage may vary.

Developer - 9.4ml in 300ml of water - 4 minutes - Invert 20 times to start, then 5 times every 30 seconds.
Stop Bath - 300ml - 30 seconds - Invert continuously.

Fixer - 300ml - 4 minutes - Invert continuously for 30 seconds, then 5 times every 30 seconds.
Rinse Film - 30 seconds - Place under tap, dump tank.
Clearing Agent - 75ml in 300ml of water - 2 minutes - Invert 5 times every 30 seconds.

Wash Film - 5 minutes - Place tank under tap, dump and refill every minute.
Photo Flo - 1.5ml - 30 seconds - Invert continuously.
Final Rinse - 30 second - Place tank under tap, dump and refill approximately 3 times to clear the foam. (Probably not necessary)

I have a 300ml graduate for processing one roll of film and a 500ml for processing two. When processing two, I increase the amount of other chemicals proportionally as you'd expect. I quickly rinse the graduate each step along the way.

To measure HC-110 and Photo-Flo, I use a syringe obtained at a //SPAM// for administering medicine to children. I dispose of the developer, stop bath and Photo Flo solution immediately after use. The fixer I retain and will reuse until exhausted.

From your message, it looks like you are missing Fixer. Since you have Indicator Stop Bath, you can mix it up and reuse it until the color changes.

I use a clearing agent after fixing. This is not required but I do it to speed things up. If you don't use a clearing agent, add 15 minutes to the washing after applying Fixer.

Ansel Adams in "The Negative" recommends developing film within 72 hours of exposure. Not always practical but a good guideline. I understand that being tardy to development results in fogging of the image. But regardless of the time, develop it, see what's there.

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