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Thread: Developed my first B&W film.

  1. #1

    Developed my first B&W film.

    I must say it was a thrill opening up that little inversion tank and seeing images on the 120 film I just developed.
    I do have a few questions though:

    I used Kodak TMAX RS developer. If I want to develop 2-3 rolls one after the other, can I use the same developer? Or do I throw it away after each roll?
    How do I tell if the fixer has gone bad?
    Can I use the above developer for printing?
    How do I develop 4x5 in the inversion tank?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Developed my first B&W film.

    Congrats! You have entered a brave new world.

    A. It all depends on the capacity of the developer. Kodak has this on it's data sheet. I generally don't use film developer for more than one session. I'd also rather gnaw off a foot or two than replenish.

    B. Get Edwal Hypo Check.

    C. No.

    D. You shouldn't. There are a number of options for LF developing in the articles section on this site. I started out with a dip and dunk system. I really don't like shuffling negaives in a tray. Photographer's Formulary sells a tray for developing 4 sheets in a paper developing tray. I've heard that it works well.

  3. #3

    Re: Developed my first B&W film.

    Thanks Gary. I will look again at the Kodak site. The inversion tank holds 600 cc of developer. You said you don't use it for more than one session, but how many rolls in
    that one session. I'll check it out.

    Cheers

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    1,904

    Re: Developed my first B&W film.

    One of the advantges of using large format is sheet film. You can expose and develop each one according to the situation and scene in front of you. Developing sheet film in a closed tank removes this opportunity. This is one of the reasons I like trays. In almost 30 years of tray development I have scratched may one or two pieces of film.

    A step by step description of my tray developing process is in the Free Articles section of the View Camera web site

    www.viewcamera.com


    steve simmons
    www.foto3-2008.com

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Re: Developed my first B&W film.

    As mentioned by steve, there are plenty of folks who have had good success with tray developing. I don't want scare you away from it. I ruined the first batch of negatives I did that way, so I never went back. I have done single sheets that way since then because I can just pick ip the tray and agitate it without touching the negative. I just won't do multiple sheets

    My sessions aren't ususally that long. My time to shoot these days is limited due to my day job, so I generally never have to process more than 3 or 4 rolls of 120 film, and a liter of developer will do that just fine. I play it very conservitive, and don't test the limits of the film developer. Last week, I developed 10 sheets of 4x5 in a liter of HC110, and retired that batch afterward. I've gone mostly to single-use developers like PMK Pyro. HC110 can be used this way because you use so little of it. By the time I'm done with them, my developers aren't usually mildly tired, much less exhausted (PMK's rapid oxidation notwithstanding). So, I'm probably the wrong person to answer this question.

    By the way, that Steve Simmons guy in the post above this one. He's a really good resource for this stuff, and he puts out a good magazine. I'm a subscriber.
    --Gary

  6. #6

    Re: Developed my first B&W film.

    I used a 4x5 tank when first starting, but it took a lot of developer to fill. I switched to an 8x10 Unicolor drum and roller. The drum holds four sheets and the drum and roller are available on Ebay for about $30 total. It gives consistent agitation and repeatable results.

    There is an article on the site about using the system for chromes as well. The technique works for B&W, but is much simpler and needs much less developer than many other techniques. I use 135cc of TMax RS for my TMax film, though I could probably use less.

    Great for me when I was beginning (and now, since I am still a newbie!)

    Michael A. Heald

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Re: Developed my first B&W film.

    Most people use fresh developer every tank/dish of film. You can reuse most developers but it makes things a bit tricky as you have to alter the time and quality can apparently suffer depending on the developer used. The manufacturers' data sheets will have tables showing how to reuse their developer.

    A couple of ways of testing fixer: I use Tetenal indicator test strips and a clearing-time test (put a bit of undeveloped leader in some fresh fixer, swill it about a bit and time how long it takes to become clear (typically 15-30 seconds in rapid fixer mixed at film strength); make a note of this time; repeat every time you reuse that fixer; when the clearing time doubles discard and make a new batch of fixer.

    Use a standard paper developer. With a few exceptions, you generally use different developers for paper and film.

    I have used the Jobo 25xx series reels and tanks since I started 5x4 a few years ago now and have never felt the need to change. You normally use some form of roller (I use a CPE-2) system but you can invert them if you wish but they will use a lot of chemical that way (over a litre). Others prefer different systems - the Jobo "Expert" system is very popular but more expensive. See what looks right for you in your price bracket and give it a try.

    Good luck, Bob.

  8. #8

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    Re: Developed my first B&W film.

    I just remembered... Photographers' Formulary makes a universal film and paper developer.

    http://www.photoformulary.com/Deskto...ion=0&langId=0

    I've never tried it, but it's been around for a long time.

    --Gary

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    261

    Re: Developed my first B&W film.

    A little off topic but I had shot some T Max 400 but during processing I quickly realized that some of my chemistry (developer) was over due for recycle. Mixed fresh D-76 (little choice there) & stop bath & (KodaFix) fixer. Processed shots seem to have magenta stain in mid areas but not along the edge? Any one else run into this problem before in b&w processing?

  10. #10

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    Re: Developed my first B&W film.

    I ran into a magenta stain when I first started processing my own film. It was on, you guessed it, T Max 400. I was told by folks on this very site that I needed to fix the negatives longer. I've watched films clear during fixing, and it seems to happen from the outside, moving inward. This could be the same for the removal of the magenta stain. Try fixing the negatives again, and the stain should go away.

    --Gary

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