How to develop your own B&W photos


sanfong

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Dec 4, 2007
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If I read this thread earlier and see the "tools" used in the steps shown in the photos. I would not have bought whole set for $100 plus... :( Good stuff btw!! :thumbsup:
 

MagnumLite

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Mar 7, 2010
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Hello, Iam just starting into B&W and into darkroom and would like to ask some questions.
May i ask what is the "proper" washing method for washing film for "ARCHIVAL"?
Yes, and i have read through countless threads and people even have their own version of the famous Ilford washing method.

After looking at the photos posted by Nikkornos over in the mf/lf forum, it has kinda startled me to question my techniques which i have learn.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/medium-large-format/964832-share-some-mf-photo-part-6-a-48.html#post8067424

Do i need to soak the film? How long do i need to soak it for? How many inversions maybe 5/10/20? Do i need to HCA, what does optional mean? if i dont use HCA, will my film rot in 5 years time?

Maybe a general guide and lots of tips would help. The last thread or developing guide written by Streetshooter is in 2003.
Maybe some shifus can share their techniques?

Many thanks,
Georgie
Hi I'm a newbie as well, also did a lot of research on the net, I think you might be confuse by some of the information. With regards to pre-soaking the film, this is highly debatable especially so since you did not state if its B&W or Color. In most instance for color, pre-soaking the film in water is to "acclimatise" the film since this processing is temperature sensitive, by doing a pre-soak you will not give the film a "temperature shock" when you actually start the development with your chemicals therefore your pre-soak temperature must be the same as your chemical's temperature. As for B&W, the prescribed Ilford method for their film do need a pre-soak, whereas there is mentioned of pre-soak for other type of film. I have done both with and without pre-soak for Ilford films, the outcome is the same.

Archival of film or if you are preserving the film, the development process will not be a factor because the environment will be the one factor which will determine if your film will rot in 5 years time or not. If you intend to keep the film forever or longer, store the negatives in archival negative sleeves, or between interleaving negative sheets (thin paper), in an acid-free museum quality storage box or better still in your dry cabinet, especially in Singapore where the humidity is high. Alternatively you can use those acid-free box which I use to store my comic collection and add silica gel packet to keep it moist free.
 

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Ansel

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Apr 30, 2003
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Hello, Iam just starting into B&W and into darkroom and would like to ask some questions.
May i ask what is the "proper" washing method for washing film for "ARCHIVAL"?
Yes, and i have read through countless threads and people even have their own version of the famous Ilford washing method.

After looking at the photos posted by Nikkornos over in the mf/lf forum, it has kinda startled me to question my techniques which i have learn.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/medium-large-format/964832-share-some-mf-photo-part-6-a-48.html#post8067424

Do i need to soak the film? How long do i need to soak it for? How many inversions maybe 5/10/20? Do i need to HCA, what does optional mean? if i dont use HCA, will my film rot in 5 years time?

Maybe a general guide and lots of tips would help. The last thread or developing guide written by Streetshooter is in 2003.
Maybe some shifus can share their techniques?

Many thanks,
Georgie
Specifically to answer your question about archival methods. You seem to have read a lot, so I'll not try to teach you any new techniques other than to share my experience. In Singapore, the main threat of destruction is actually humindity which leads to fungus growth. Most old negs are ruined by fungus before anything else. If you can store your film safely and free of humidity, then we can talk about the other stuff.

1) Archival grade, acid free, polypropylene or polyester-made sleeves. Using anything made of PVC is suicide!
2) HCA not really required, but washing method and time cannot be compromised. That means, washing in slow *running* water for 15 minutes or slightly more. Basically you just do not want any residual fixer on the negative.

Beauty of b/w stuff is that they don't really fade (black is always black), but the base material can turn yellow, or it gets attacked by fungus and other creatures dumb enough to eat it. I read somewhere that, if kept well, b/w negatives can last for 1000 years!
 

oceanpriest

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2010
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Hello, Iam just starting into B&W and into darkroom and would like to ask some questions.
May i ask what is the "proper" washing method for washing film for "ARCHIVAL"?
Yes, and i have read through countless threads and people even have their own version of the famous Ilford washing method.

After looking at the photos posted by Nikkornos over in the mf/lf forum, it has kinda startled me to question my techniques which i have learn.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/medium-large-format/964832-share-some-mf-photo-part-6-a-48.html#post8067424

Do i need to soak the film? How long do i need to soak it for? How many inversions maybe 5/10/20? Do i need to HCA, what does optional mean? if i dont use HCA, will my film rot in 5 years time?

Maybe a general guide and lots of tips would help. The last thread or developing guide written by Streetshooter is in 2003.
Maybe some shifus can share their techniques?

Many thanks,
Georgie
AFAIK Hypo Clearing Agent can remove excess fixer, it's good for fiber based paper but not necessary for film and resin coated paper.

Archival Processing
 

lualua

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Oct 24, 2002
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If the negs are precious enough(usually family shots), I soak them in a mild selenium toner. Washing is via the pressure hose in the jobo tank for about 15 to 20 minutes.
 

cristiawan

New Member
Sep 15, 2012
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Singapore
What brand of developer fixer and stop bath would you recommend for a newbie like me? Can the custom let me pass? Cos im going back to batam indonesia.
 

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raytoei

Senior Member
Jan 14, 2010
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most common fixer is the ilford rapid fix,
this is a one litre liquid and diluted in 1+4,
and used between 12-20 rolls for about 120-150ml
of the fixer. ruby sells the fixer.

alternatively you can buy powered fixer from freestyle,
i still have a pack that makes 5Litre (!).
Lastly, if you hunt around the net, you can probably do
a DIY fixer, as the science isn't rocket. Oceanpriest is
one of the more adventurous on this forum, he can
probably advice you more.

If you buy ilford fixer, and don't open the foil on the bottle,
i am sure customs should be okay.
if you want to playsafe, download the msds information
so that you can show customs that it
isn't hazardous material.

google is your best fried to find this msd for ilford rapid fixer:

https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=msds+ilford+rapid+fixer&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

hope this helps.

raytoei
 

yeekhai

New Member
Feb 14, 2009
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Bukit Batok
i m interested in developing my own B/W film too, but still cant decide due to my concern of how to dispose of the chemical. Dont want to add all those heavy metal to reservoir where our water coming from. understand only the used fixer need some treatment. How you guys doing it? Thanks in advance.
 

ykc2011

Member
Jul 7, 2011
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Hi: I recently started developing my own B&W film, and was wondering if I could post a few photos here for comments and guidance?
Thus far, all the info I've gotten are from online sources. Would appreciate some feedback on how I can improve my process to get better photos. Thank you all.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vintagenikon/8323194063/" title="Fushimi Inari-taisha by yeoyeoyeo, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8497/8323194063_418a6e06fa.jpg" width="500" height="335" alt="Fushimi Inari-taisha"></a>

Fuji Neopan400 developed using Kodak HC110 (dilution B) for 5 minutes @ 20C. 5 inversions every 30 seconds.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vintagenikon/8320407577/" title="Shinjuku Gyoen by yeoyeoyeo, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8355/8320407577_0724cc816b.jpg" width="338" height="500" alt="Shinjuku Gyoen"></a>

Kodak 100TMX developed using Kodak HC110(B) for 6 minutes @ 20C. 5 inversions every 30 seconds.
 

losheng

New Member
Oct 29, 2006
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Singapore
There are two level of protection that you can take to help your films last longer:

1. To fix the film properly so as to remove unexposed silver halides, and then to clear the emulsion of fixer after fixing. The clearing of fixer can be done by sufficient washing, or to save on washing time, through the use of Hypo Clearing Agent. So the use of hypo is optional if you wash the film according to manufacturer's recommendation. Soaking helps, but it actually falls short of manufacturer's recommendation, which calls for washing with a certain flow rate. Nonetheless, this is sufficient for most processing. However, if you have a master piece, and you are willing to take an additional step to further protect the neg, then:

2. To further protect emulsion silver from oxidizing, you can treat the film with toning solutions. Such products include Agfa's Sistan (I don't think you can still find this), or Fujifilm's Ag Guard (Fujifilm is still making it). Other toners work as well - the intent is to replace silver by a more stable metal. Most toners other than Ag Guard will increase the neg's density, so if you intend to do this, you'll need to compensate for it during exposure and/or processing accordingly.

Other sensible protection includes keeping the film in the dark, dry environment. Even with an casual approach to film processing, your negs are likely to last a lot longer than 5 years. The difference between film and digital files is that the degradation in the former is a slow gradual process, allowing you plenty of time to salvage a lot of what's left on them. The latter can wipe out your entire library without you even knowing it's coming.

If anyone still keeps your backup photos on IDE drives - well, you better migrate now, for very soon, you won't even be able to find a plug to connect your IDE drives to. :) We don't even need to talk about CD-Rs and DVD-Rs - in less than a decade, it's possible you can't even find drives to read them! The ease of digital archiving is so often over rated.

For films - all you need is to put them into a folder, throw it into an air tight zip lock bag with some desiccants, and they will remain readable in another 5 decades. And people think film photography is expensive :)

Hello, Iam just starting into B&W and into darkroom and would like to ask some questions.
May i ask what is the "proper" washing method for washing film for "ARCHIVAL"?
Yes, and i have read through countless threads and people even have their own version of the famous Ilford washing method.
 

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crispy12

Senior Member
Sep 24, 2011
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Went shopping at Ruby today! Guess who likes Ilford? :D

Anyone have experience with PQ Universal? I've only used Dektol but wanted to try something new, and this looks like it'll keep longer.

Also went to Spotlight and bought blackout cloth to make curtains for my walk-in closet, so I can convert it to a makeshift darkroom. Now just need to buy some tupperware for use as developing trays and a pail for washing prints. Printing B/W on a budget!
 

Riotbmx

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2012
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crispy12 said:
Went shopping at Ruby today! Guess who likes Ilford? :D
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisongtj/8476013986/
Anyone have experience with PQ Universal? I've only used Dektol but wanted to try something new, and this looks like it'll keep longer.

Also went to Spotlight and bought blackout cloth to make curtains for my walk-in closet, so I can convert it to a makeshift darkroom. Now just need to buy some tupperware for use as developing trays and a pail for washing prints. Printing B/W on a budget!
I'm using the PQ dev as well, honestly I don't see any diff between it and the Multigrade dev. My eyes are (thankfully) not so well trained I guess. Enjoy printing!!
 

Recoil3d

New Member
Jan 23, 2010
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I just started shooting and developing my own B&W film. Must say that its is exciting to finish the roll and start to develop your own film.

Shooting lucky 100 at the moment, developing with HC-110. First two developments were 1hr stand 1:125 1min agitation. Pushed to 400 and 800 iso respectively.
I omit the use of a stop, just flush with water a few times. Then fix with ilford rapid fix.

Have some questions though.

Even though both were shot at different ratings, both of the negs were usable. No or maybe slght difference that i can notice, even with the same developing methods.
I though i would have to dev longer or use a higher concentration, but the guidelines i followed used the same for both rating, even though they are 1 stop apart.

Next is how long do you guys wash the film after fixing ? I just remove the top of my tank and just flush with water for ~5mins. Is that enough ?
Some of my negs also have streak along the sprokets. Don't know if this is cause by agitating to hard or from the flushing as the water gushes through the spools.

Lastly is scanning.
I realized not all scanners are suitable for film, so now im stuck here at digitalising my film. Not intending to do darkroom printing/enlargements at the moment.
Only method i can do now is use my Xpro-1 and take a photo of the film, but using a 35mm lens so can't get alot of detail out of my negs...

Any reccomendations on AIO printers/scanners that can do negs scanning aswell ? Can't really afford to get a dedicated scanner as i still need to be able to print documents aswell.

Or labs that scan for a reasonable price ? I know most places cost around $10++ which i feel is not worth it.
 

losheng

New Member
Oct 29, 2006
331
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Singapore
Or labs that scan for a reasonable price ? I know most places cost around $10++ which i feel is not worth it.
After you've tried your hands on getting a good scan done, and realise how painful and time consuming it is, you'll probably change your mind about the above statement. :)
 

Nikkornos

Senior Member
Oct 31, 2008
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Singapore/Asia
Anyone have experience with PQ Universal? I've only used Dektol but wanted to try something new, and this looks like it'll keep longer.
PQ universal can be used on film. Contrast is high. I bought some in Korea but shipment back to Singapore got lost.

Dilute and extend development time. Results are ok.
 

crispy12

Senior Member
Sep 24, 2011
660
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Have some questions though.

Even though both were shot at different ratings, both of the negs were usable. No or maybe slght difference that i can notice, even with the same developing methods.
I though i would have to dev longer or use a higher concentration, but the guidelines i followed used the same for both rating, even though they are 1 stop apart.

Next is how long do you guys wash the film after fixing ? I just remove the top of my tank and just flush with water for ~5mins. Is that enough ?
Some of my negs also have streak along the sprokets. Don't know if this is cause by agitating to hard or from the flushing as the water gushes through the spools.

Lastly is scanning.
I realized not all scanners are suitable for film, so now im stuck here at digitalising my film. Not intending to do darkroom printing/enlargements at the moment.
Only method i can do now is use my Xpro-1 and take a photo of the film, but using a 35mm lens so can't get alot of detail out of my negs...

Any reccomendations on AIO printers/scanners that can do negs scanning aswell ? Can't really afford to get a dedicated scanner as i still need to be able to print documents aswell.

Or labs that scan for a reasonable price ? I know most places cost around $10++ which i feel is not worth it.
I think you should try some normal development first before trying stand development. Biggest difference is the timing is shorter, agitation is much more frequent. Stand development results can be quite erratic, and vary very differently depending on personal technique and equipment.

Film should be fixed until it's clear, usually B/W film will lose the colour tinge and become greyish. Sometimes Tmax/Tri-X can be purplish if not fixed long enough. You can test by putting the developed film leader in fixer, and wait until it turns from cloudy to clear. Then double the timing and use that.

The streaks from the sprockets is quite common among stand development. Due to this, I usually try to agitation every 15 mins, more of a mix between stand and normal development.

You can use a cheap scanner such as Canon 9000f or Epson v500. They can scan documents too. The quality is quite decent if you have realistic expectations. DSLR or your Fuji can be good as well if you are able to illuminate the film evenly and hold it flat (very hard, especially if you shoot many rolls). Personally it's not worth the trouble, you can ask the shop to scan for you for a few bucks if you are lazy to buy scanner. Unfortunately shooting film is not cheap. You can always sell the scanner once you are done shooting film.

Here's some pics scanned with 9000f:
 

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Recoil3d

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Jan 23, 2010
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Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
After you've tried your hands on getting a good scan done, and realise how painful and time consuming it is, you'll probably change your mind about the above statement. :)
I don't shoot often and im all for the experience. Though i do read of the pains, especially when scans take up to 5 mins :kok:
Of course if i want a good scan then i will get a professional to do it, but for now i don't mind self scanning.

I think you should try some normal development first before trying stand development. Biggest difference is the timing is shorter, agitation is much more frequent. Stand development results can be quite erratic, and vary very differently depending on personal technique and equipment.

Film should be fixed until it's clear, usually B/W film will lose the colour tinge and become greyish. Sometimes Tmax/Tri-X can be purplish if not fixed long enough. You can test by putting the developed film leader in fixer, and wait until it turns from cloudy to clear. Then double the timing and use that.

The streaks from the sprockets is quite common among stand development. Due to this, I usually try to agitation every 15 mins, more of a mix between stand and normal development.

You can use a cheap scanner such as Canon 9000f or Epson v500. They can scan documents too. The quality is quite decent if you have realistic expectations. DSLR or your Fuji can be good as well if you are able to illuminate the film evenly and hold it flat (very hard, especially if you shoot many rolls). Personally it's not worth the trouble, you can ask the shop to scan for you for a few bucks if you are lazy to buy scanner. Unfortunately shooting film is not cheap. You can always sell the scanner once you are done shooting film.

Thanks for the tips.

I had actually wanted to do normal dev, but i do not have a proper thermometer so i cannot gauge how long to develop the film for. Since stand dev is quite straight forward i decided to give it a go as i did not have any important shots anyway.

I know how to properly fix the film, my question was about washing.

Nice scans from the canon. Im leaning towards the 9000f at the moment if my Fuji shots/scans are still not up to par after getting a close up lens...

From my previous attempts, my photos are very white washed after inverting in PS elements. Have to play with the levels to get decent results, but some of my images are too severe to be corrected... Some invert better than others so i guess its due to reflections/flare on the film while i shooting them with my X-pro.

Tried using glass to keep the film flat, even two cups to hold the film and used an Ipad for backlight.

Will try again with a better setup sometime soon.
 

Riotbmx

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2012
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Recoil3d said:
I don't shoot often and im all for the experience. Though i do read of the pains, especially when scans take up to 5 mins :kok:
Of course if i want a good scan then i will get a professional to do it, but for now i don't mind self scanning..
How I wish they only take 5mins to scan!
 

starocker

New Member
Jun 27, 2008
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Hey guys! I just bought my kit from Ruby this morning and I can't wait to use it! But before starting, I have some questions. I'm not sure if this has been done before though. Firstly, how do you dispose of your chemicals? Secondly, if I store an opened but not yet diluted chemical in the fridge, will it last longer? Same as for the diluted chemical too?