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03-10-2019, 03:37 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Are there any “old guy” tips and tricks? I mean that not pejoratively, but rather “you might want to try X” or “I’ve found X to work better than Y because of Z
The rinsing and drying of your developed film is almost as important in my opinion. If you live in a hard water area then the water will leave white marks on your negs so using demineralised water for the final rinse prevents that. When drying your negs, there is so much dust in the air that you can't see but it will certainly stick to the wet negs. Your scans or prints will look terrible. I always dry my film in the bathroom after having a steamy shower running for a few minutes. The steam takes most of the dust out of the air.

03-12-2019, 06:18 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arbalist Quote
I’ve not used them for some time but I’ve got 120 and 35mm “Rondinax” Daylight loading tanks made by Agfa.
So would you suggest SS reels and tanks or plastic? I’ve read convincing evidence for both.
03-13-2019, 02:30 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
So would you suggest SS reels and tanks or plastic? I’ve read convincing evidence for both.
I think that this is a matter of personal opinion.

I personally dislike the Paterson style plastic reels and tanks, so I use steel Hewes reels and some no-name steel tanks. I find the steel reels much easier and quicker to load the film.
On the other hand some people have used the plastic stuff for years without issue.
03-13-2019, 10:35 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
I think that this is a matter of personal opinion.

I personally dislike the Paterson style plastic reels and tanks, so I use steel Hewes reels and some no-name steel tanks. I find the steel reels much easier and quicker to load the film.
On the other hand some people have used the plastic stuff for years without issue.
Something I read somewhere suggests SS tanks/reels keep the temperature more consistent. Is this true/ how much does it matter?

03-13-2019, 04:13 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Something I read somewhere suggests SS tanks/reels keep the temperature more consistent. Is this true/ how much does it matter?
Possibly, although that's not something I've heard. Maybe someone else has more info on this?
I'd be inclined to say the opposite to be honest. As the SS can conduct heat or cool from the environment during the development. For example in some recent hot weather I had to chill my developer down to 20 degrees. At the end of the development part the liquid had warmed up by 2.5 degrees or so. The ambient temperature was about 30 degrees and the water coming out of the tap was 28. The film was fine though and I expect that the temperature variation added a little extra push, which is what I was after anyway.
03-13-2019, 06:42 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Something I read somewhere suggests SS tanks/reels keep the temperature more consistent. Is this true/ how much does it matter?
Metals (and steel in particular) are great thermal conductors. So alone steel tank cannot keep the temperature more consistent. But if you emerge it into the big water bath of particular temperature that indeed may provide greater consistency.

Last edited by jumbleview; 03-13-2019 at 09:12 PM.
03-13-2019, 10:16 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
So would you suggest SS reels and tanks or plastic? I’ve read convincing evidence for both.
I own and use both, but with a preference for SS due to ease and speed of loading. That being said, there is a strong caution regarding SS in that the quality of reels may make the difference between frustration in the dark with possible mis-load and an easy, event-free threading of film onto the reel. At issue is the alignment of the two spirals. If a reel is dropped or poorly made, the alignment may be compromised with resulting difficulty getting the film to smoothly feed into the space within the spiral without jumping into adjacent space on the reel occupied by previously wound sections.

The best insurance I am aware of is investment in high quality reels such as those made by Hewes. Below is a comparison with a common-quality reel.

Arista 35mm 36exp Stainless Steel Reel (Freestyle Photo) $7.99 USD




Hewes 35mm 36exp Stainless Steel Reel (Freestyle Photo) $31.99 USD




Both reels have the same capacity and fit the same SS tanks, but the Hewes is visibly more robust and will stand up to a lifetime of use and abuse. If the cost of a premium reel is a concern, a plastic tank and reel might be preferable. The main caution there is that the reel must be fully dried between uses to avoid jamming. A major advantage is that a single reel will work for both 35mm and and roll film.

QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Something I read somewhere suggests SS tanks/reels keep the temperature more consistent. Is this true/ how much does it matter?
The advantages of stainless steel are durability, ease of cleaning, and thermal conductivity. In regard to that last, the tank will easily take on the temperature of a water bath. The flip side is that it may rapidly cool if not kept in a water bath. This characteristic is not particularly critical for B&W processing where the development stage is typically done at or close to room temperature, but becomes problematic with color processing where a higher temperature must be maintained. A plastic tank will take longer to come up to temperature, but tend to hold the temperature longer.


Steve

(No relation to Hewes or Freestyle Photo)

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-13-2019 at 10:26 PM.
03-14-2019, 07:25 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Thank you all for the assistance. This is the only thing keeping me from enjoying my K1000 or ME Super more. Are there any “old guy” tips and tricks? I mean that not pejoratively, but rather “you might want to try X” or “I’ve found X to work better than Y because of Z.” While I was born during the film era, I didn’t start shooting until digital was just past its infancy. Even my mom (who introduced me to Pentax) never developed her own film, so I don’t really have anyone to glean knowledge from.
I guess since I'm almost 62 and been developing since I was 11 years old or so that I'd qualify as an "old guy." I already posted above some tutorials and advice that you don't need a lot of stuff to get started. Also, I agree with another's advice above that it is best to stick with only one film and developer combination for a while until you learn the basics. I suggest using a well-known 400 speed b&w film to start, like Ilford HP5 or Kodak Tri-X, since they offer good, consistent results, are fast enough for all-round use, and you can always find lots of experience and advice from others if you have questions. Then for a developer, D-76 is the universal standard, but for convenience sake you might also consider a liquid concentrate like Ilford DD-X, Ilford Ilfotec HC, or Kodak HC-110 as you can mix from liquid for one-shot use and not worry about capacity or shelf life of your working solution. Certainly for fixer I'd recommend Ilford Rapid Fixer liquid concentrate. That's it! You can use water for everything else.

When I first set up a darkroom 50 years ago I mostly used Tri-X and Plus-X and D-76, later branching out to some other developers, Panatomic-X film, then bulk loading some inexpensive left-over 35mm film stocks. I even tried some color slide film (Anscochrome and Ektachrome in an E-3 process), and later in college I learned color printing. When I returned to developing a few years ago, I went back to the basics (Tri-X and D-76), but quickly moved into bulk loaded HP5+ and Kodak HC-110, then explored several film types with HC-110, and then C-41 color negative processing (which is really quite easy). I'm getting ready now to try E-6 slide processing, got a new bulk roll of TMAX400 for b&w, and will be formulating my own developer soon.

If you look at the last 5 shots in this Flickr album you'll see my simple "kitchen darkroom" setup for b&w developing.

Developing B&W film | Flickr

Good luck, hope you have fun, and let us know how you make out. If you have any specific questions, I'm sure folks here (including myself) can give you good advice. I've also found that the "Film Developing" group on Facebook is pretty good as well.
Richard.

03-15-2019, 10:55 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
So would you suggest SS reels and tanks or plastic? I’ve read convincing evidence for both.
Both are fine, daylight loaders are just easier to use. I still have a SS tank somewhere.
03-15-2019, 12:55 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arbalist Quote
I’ve not used them for some time but I’ve got 120 and 35mm “Rondinax” Daylight loading tanks made by Agfa.
QuoteOriginally posted by Arbalist Quote
Both are fine, daylight loaders are just easier to use. I still have a SS tank somewhere.
For the benefit of those who know nothing of the Rondinax system, here is a review of true daylight systems that highlights the Rondinax near the end.

The Daylight Tank that Really is a Daylight Tank - The Film Photography Project

There is also a difficult to navigate Web site dedicated to the device.

Rondinax | Daylight-Loading Film Developing Tanks

From all reports, they appear to function quite well. It should be noted that it has been many years (early 1970s?) since Agfa ceased production of these ingenious gems and that they tend to be expensive. Also important to note is that the instructions for development and agitation are very specific. Although the Kickstarter campaign has yet to deliver product, the Rondinax-derived Lab-Box may be a very real option once full production gets underway and the backers have been served.

ars-imago – Lab-Box


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-15-2019 at 01:02 PM.
03-15-2019, 01:25 PM   #26
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As with others in this thread, I've been processing for over 50 years; originally with mainly TriX and my favorite Panatomic X. I've used stainless tanks (Nikor) since the 1960s, using different sizes depending on film siaze & # of rolls. In recent years primarily a single reel 35mm tank, so I can use just 250ml per roll. I used to use Nikor reels, but like others have found Hewes are now the best quality and easiest to load. The Hewes 35mm has a couple of prongs that fit in sprocket holes to anchor the film at the center of the reel, making it easier to start quickly. Stainless loads from the center out; plastic reels feed the film in from outside. With Hewes, just make sure you get the prongs in the same holes on both edges of the film, or it will skew to one side while loading.
The Hewes 120 reels are also nice, but plastic reels may be easier with 120. I've used both, but keep a Paterson tank and reel for odd sized film (127, which I still use now and then). The plastic reels adjust to different sizes. (Paterson to 35, 127, or 120; Jobo only 35 & 120)
While in the 1960s I used qt stock solution developer and replenisher (then UFG and Acufine, getting 30 rolls per qt), now I like the simplicity of one-shot developer. i like Rodinal for PanF, and DD-X for Delta & TMAX, as I don't get the results I like with TGrain films in Rodinal.
I now use almost all Ilford films, as they dry with much less curl, and so are easier to handle and lie flatter for scanning.
03-15-2019, 04:30 PM - 1 Like   #27
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The AP/Arista Premium plastic tanks and reels are great.
I use single and two roll size models.

Their plastic auto-load reels are easier to use than Paterson.



QuoteOriginally posted by Jim70 Quote
Pick one film and one developer.

Or two films, one developer. I recommend one 100 & one 400 speed film and HC110.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 03-15-2019 at 04:37 PM.
03-17-2019, 01:07 PM   #28
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I My Canon 8600 scanner is disappointing for scanning 135 films, good enough for 120 films. concerning 135 films I have had better result copying color dias with a m 42 dia copying tool on my k 30. It may be useful to do the same with BW negatives and then invert in photoshop, but I hope you will end up with a traditional darkroom. Second hand it is very cheap.
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I know b&w and color have their own developer, but does the speed matter? When my grandfather passed, I got his old Kodak rangefinder and a boat-load of miscellaneous film. Obviously it was quite expired, but I figure it’s good practice film. But almost no two rolls were the same. Different manufacturers and different speeds.
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There used to be some inexpensive plastic tanks that worked great - I finally obsessed into Nikor SS tanks (one two reel and one four reel) with some third party (Freesyle) SS reels which are loaded in the dark (after some practice in a lighted room), but you surely don't need anything expensive. The plastic tank still works but shows lots of wear, while the SS equipment is as good as the day I got it.

As mentioned, chemicals are the least of your concern and can be obtained pretty easily. For B&W it two, and for color negatives, it's still two not counting the rinse (dev & bleach fix). You can also get film which processes in color chemistry as B&W. Actually, for my first couple of rolls, I started with trays see-sawing the film through the chems but I wouldn't advise that other than just for an introduction before you get your tank.

There are a lot of scanners out there but just be sure you get one with reasonable resolution since it will be acting as your enlarger and the higher the resolution, the better, cost considered. You can have your negatives scanned if you check on-line for scanning services.

Best Wishes with your endeavors!!!!
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