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Thread: Another lab bites the dust

  1. #11

    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by seezee View Post
    Best bet is to start simple. A single drum, no roller, or trays. You can use the 'taco' method in a $30 Paterson Universal tank with fine results. If you decide you want to keep developing your own, then you can think about a motor base or (heavens to Betsy!) a Jobo.
    Very true! I'm seriously considering that. But I am also leaning towards tray developing. I am taking a developing class at Art Intersection in Gilbert. So I should get plenty of practice with some variety to learn how I want to go.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tucson AZ
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    1,248

    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    It turns out that the repair to my Jobo won't be as expensive as I had thought so I'm sending it off tomorrow. I started out tray processing about 40 or 50 years ago when I had a darkroom - which I don't have any more - and the way this house is built with skylights in every room (including the bathrooms and even the big closets) it won't be easy to make one. Lately I've only done my own processing when I had more than a couple of sheets - now I'll just have to do it all the time. I'll survive.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    70

    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    This is just me, but I've been sorely disappointed every time I've had B&W commercially processed.

    I use D76 probably 90% of the time(my other developers are Rodinal and TMAX) but really any common developer will work. The process is dead simple and, as others have mentioned, requires a minimum of tools.

    D76 is generally sold as a powder, and in the most common form in the US you mix a packet with 1 gallon of hot water. I usually let it sit for one day before using. The most common ways to use it are either "straight" or diluted 1:1. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages-diluting 1:1 tends to reduce contrast but gives "sharper" negatives with better defined grain vs. straight. Watch your developer capacity, as 16 oz. of 1:1 is roughly 1x135-36, 1x120, or 4x4x5. If doing 2 rolls of 135-36 in a two-roll tank(16 oz) straight is necessary. The SP-455 tank holds four sheets and 16 oz, so is fine straight or 1:1. If you are smart with your storage, bottles have a shelf life of ~6 months after mixing, and packets last a very long time.

    For roll film, used tanks and reels are virtually give away items. I prefer stainless steel, although that can start a war. Plastic is easier to learn to load, but I found stainless a lot easier and faster once I got over the small learning curve.

    For sheet film, I splurged and bought an SP-455 tank, which I love, although there are plenty of alternatives out there. I seem to recall that there's a Kickstarter for a 5x7 version-I haven't kept up as I don't do 5x7.

    If you're going to scan, you don't even need a full blown darkroom. You can use a changing bag to load your tanks, and then process in daylight tanks under room light.

    I do E6 with the Arista kit. I prefer to let a lab handle it and do so for all of my 35mm and some 120, but don't have a local option for 4x5. The concentrated solutions have a long shelf life, but once diluted they go bad quickly. Thus, I wait until I have enough to use them to capacity(which is why I often mix 120 in with sheet film) and then use the chemistry to exhaustion. Each run takes me an hour or a little more, so I will usually set aside a weekend and put in 12 hours or better on a Saturday doing nothing but processing film. If I don't get finished, they usually are okay the next weekend, but I wouldn't want to push beyond that. The other issue is that B&W is generally done at room temperature, while color(both E-6 and C-41) are done at elevated temperature-105F or 40.5C. I generally run the process start to finish with my chemical bottles and developing tank sitting in the bathtub filled with water. I let the bottles sit for a while to come up to temperature, then drain and refill to get to the target temperature. Fortunately, the first developer is the main step where time and temperature are absolutely critical-the other steps are done to completion so I just extend their time a bit since the tub will generally have dropped a few degrees by the time I get to them.

  4. #14

    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    It all sounds simple. Hopefully the first time goes without issues, but I am sure there will be something. Always is no matter how simple.

    Just like taking the photograph. Seems simple enough, but first time I loaded film cockeyed in some holders, then I forg to close the shutter and pulled dark slide out part way. Then I didn't get the film holder in all the way. About 95%. Then I kept confusing myself on shutter speed. All that on a simple task. All rookie mistakes.

    So I expect my first few times developing to yield around. 75% success rate.
    Last edited by Steven Ruttenberg; 1-Oct-2017 at 17:10.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tucson AZ
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    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    Developing of B&W is as has been said really straightforward. I "learned" how to do it when I was 4 because my father wanted "help" - not sure he really understood just how "helpful" a 4 year-old would turn out to be, but he had a good sense of humor, so all was well.

    Probably the biggest issue will be getting the agitation right, but it isn't rocket science.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    3,317

    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    We fortunate to have a local lab in Citizen's Photo in Portland, Or. Very convenient to be able to drop off film and pick it up in a reasonable amount of time, usually next day for color negative.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    34

    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    As a person that develops both c41 and E6 regularly at home in my Jobo (and sometimes black and white in my jobo when Im feeling lazy, although I like the tray method best for black and white sheet film and hand inversion tanks for black and white roll film because of the way the highlights turn out) I highly recommend doing it all yourself if you can buy a new Jobo (usually a new Jobo can be had for the price of jobo parts and the headache of shipping that thing somewhere to get it fixed). For me the convenience of doing my 8x10 color negatives immediately after a shoot when I'm super excited to see the results is priceless. Plus I do some other local photographers' film (including a very very famous Minnesotan LF guy who may start going through me next week, very exciting!) and that pretty much pays for my chemicals, which I order from Freestyle. The satisfaction and savings, along with the aforementioned convenience, have made it quite a fun and pleasant thing to DIY all my film and I highly recommend it!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #18

    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    This is a big reason I want to develop my own film. You hit the nail on the head.

  9. #19

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    SooooCal/LA USA
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    962

    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    This is a big reason I want to develop my own film. You hit the nail on the head.
    Yea, and you can bring out the Walter White/mad scientist in 'ya...

    I used to mix my bulk chems outside, with my scale + mag mixer, and my neighbors would (politely) ask "what kind of potions are you mixing" ??? ;-)

    Good times...

    Steve K

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,404

    Re: Another lab bites the dust

    I have been getting my 35mm processing and scanning here: http://www.precision-camera.com/photo-lab/
    I switched to them because of the superior quality of their scans compared with other places I had tried. Note that they also process sheet film.

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