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06-01-2016, 02:17 PM   #1
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Safe Light or Dark Bag

Well, I got my 1st 2 rolls developed at a local place in town. I told them I'm only going to be shooting & developing b&w and was wanting to learn how to develop it. She told me I didn't need a Dark Bag, that all I needed was a safe light. I did some searching online and I can't find anything that states I just need a Safe Light. Anyone just develop B&W using a safe light?

06-01-2016, 02:43 PM   #2
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Safe light is for negatives.
Dark bag or very dark room is very dark.
200 rolls in the dark with a bottle opener.
Dark is dark.
Correx: Safe light is for paper.

Last edited by aoeu; 06-01-2016 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Crud: see my correx. I knew betterr.
06-01-2016, 02:47 PM   #3
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B&W Printing can be done with a safe light, but I always loaded my tanks in the dark even with B&W. Once loaded the film is safe from any light and because of where we were we generally just turned on the safe lights and finished in the dark because other people might need to use the enlargers etc. The dark room in question was B&W only so there was never any other chemistry involved.

Nothing I read indicates that a safe light is safe for film loading of any film.

---------- Post added 06-01-16 at 05:48 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by aoeu Quote
Safe light is for negatives.
Dark bag or very dark room is very dark.
200 rolls in the dark with a bottle opener.
Dark is dark.
This might be misunderstood. I think what you mean is that once you have developed negatives you can a safe light during printing - correct? B&W Paper is much less sensitive to red light than film.
06-01-2016, 02:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
Well, I got my 1st 2 rolls developed at a local place in town. I told them I'm only going to be shooting & developing b&w and was wanting to learn how to develop it. She told me I didn't need a Dark Bag, that all I needed was a safe light. I did some searching online and I can't find anything that states I just need a Safe Light. Anyone just develop B&W using a safe light?
If you want to use normal film you need a dark bag or dark room.
You load the development tank, film, scissors and can opener into dark bag and...

You need to read.

ILFORD PHOTO - Processing a Black & White film

06-01-2016, 03:40 PM   #5
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you need a bag to load film or a light tight dark room with no lights. In school we used the single-room color darkrooms because they had no safe light (or the ability to turn it off, I don't remember exactly), so I think she is confused. once loaded you can develop in normal light, if you don't take off the top of the tank before fixing. Safe light is for printing in black and white only.
06-01-2016, 03:49 PM   #6
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Thanks to all for the feedback.

I've watched a number of Youtube's on developing film. I'll just play it safe and use a spare bathroom where it is light sealed. I plan on using a scanner to import into lightroom and do my regular editing.

I would love to try the DSLR method, but that's over my head setting it up, and looking on ebay and places to find bellow and so on.

I know I've read some threads here on scanners, so I'll read those good and find what is the best at the best price.

Thanks again.
06-01-2016, 08:22 PM   #7
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A safelight is used primarily when printing B&W film on B&W paper in a darkroom.

You WILL NEED a dark bag (aka Changing Bag) when you are planning to take the film out from the canister & put it on a reel and in a Paterson Tank.

---------- Post added 06-01-16 at 08:24 PM ----------

And what ChrisPlatt said, even if you do use a "Light sealed room", they're not always 100% light tight, so use the changing bag.
06-01-2016, 09:42 PM   #8
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Most of this has been covered for now, so just some few techniques about darkrooms and changing bags.

A dark room, "truly dark room" and a changing / dark bag can both work equally well. To test if the room is truly dark, turn off the lights and as suggested, sit in the room for ten minutes, see what you can detect visually. After you block up most of the holes you see (also look low as you would be surprised what leaks under doors and around other low stuff), take a strip of unexposed film, preferably 35mm, and set it out for 10 minutes in the dark room, then develop it. Compare this to an unexposed strip of film from the same roll. You can do this easily by pulling about a foot of film out of a 35mm canister and then rolling it back in after the test. Develop the entire role and see if you can see a difference in the two areas. If the room is good and dark,you won't see any difference and then the darkroom will work.

Changing bags are nice as you can load the film tank while doing something else (watching TV?). Just practice with some old film first so you don't get "trapped" in the changing bag with film outside the cassette! If the 35mm plastic film canister is black plastic, you can roll the film back up and put it in the canister, it would be light tight. If it is the clear plastic type, find a black one for an escape pod! If you set up your darkroom well, a darkroom can be a tool bench with all the necessary items within a hand's reach. Work on a dry bench then move over to the wet bench when actually processing.

I have processed miles of B&W film, 35mm, 120/220 even 4x5 (no daylight safe tanks there!), I rarely used a changing bag. I also never used a safelight with the film. That would have just ruined the work! What we shoot in camera is usually Panchromatic, sensitive to ALL colors!

Regards,
DA

06-01-2016, 11:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
Most of this has been covered for now, so just some few techniques about darkrooms and changing bags.

A dark room, "truly dark room" and a changing / dark bag can both work equally well. To test if the room is truly dark, turn off the lights and as suggested, sit in the room for ten minutes, see what you can detect visually. After you block up most of the holes you see (also look low as you would be surprised what leaks under doors and around other low stuff), take a strip of unexposed film, preferably 35mm, and set it out for 10 minutes in the dark room, then develop it. Compare this to an unexposed strip of film from the same roll. You can do this easily by pulling about a foot of film out of a 35mm canister and then rolling it back in after the test. Develop the entire role and see if you can see a difference in the two areas. If the room is good and dark,you won't see any difference and then the darkroom will work.

Changing bags are nice as you can load the film tank while doing something else (watching TV?). Just practice with some old film first so you don't get "trapped" in the changing bag with film outside the cassette! If the 35mm plastic film canister is black plastic, you can roll the film back up and put it in the canister, it would be light tight. If it is the clear plastic type, find a black one for an escape pod! If you set up your darkroom well, a darkroom can be a tool bench with all the necessary items within a hand's reach. Work on a dry bench then move over to the wet bench when actually processing.

I have processed miles of B&W film, 35mm, 120/220 even 4x5 (no daylight safe tanks there!), I rarely used a changing bag. I also never used a safelight with the film. That would have just ruined the work! What we shoot in camera is usually Panchromatic, sensitive to ALL colors!

Regards,
DA
Nowadays you can get 4x5 inserts for the multi 35mm tanks and process in daylight.
If you are going to stay hybrid you only need a changing bag.
Which also allows you to reload film holders in field like big memory cards.
06-02-2016, 01:00 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Get an Agfa Rondinax 35u daylight developing tank. No darkroom or dark bag required.
06-02-2016, 03:00 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachboy2 Quote
Get an Agfa Rondinax 35u daylight developing tank. No darkroom or dark bag required.
I watched a video on them. Nice! The price is high, but as the saying goes, "Time is Money" The few I saw on Ebay were between $100 to $300. More to think about for sure.
06-03-2016, 12:54 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by glee46 Quote
I watched a video on them. Nice! The price is high, but as the saying goes, "Time is Money" The few I saw on Ebay were between $100 to $300. More to think about for sure.
The Rondinex 35U can be had quite cheaply sometimes. However the Rondinax 60 for 120film seams to be quite rare with some very high bids. I have both and the 35U seems more substantial. Thicker build and fool proof. The R60 because of the paper backing can be more of a challenge.
06-03-2016, 05:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachboy2 Quote
The Rondinex 35U can be had quite cheaply sometimes. However the Rondinax 60 for 120film seams to be quite rare with some very high bids. I have both and the 35U seems more substantial. Thicker build and fool proof. The R60 because of the paper backing can be more of a challenge.
The 35 daylight was more expensive than a spiral tank when both were in production.

Lots of people had a changing bag anyway for film holders, cine or bulk film as a aprint dark room is not portable and does not need a 100% darkroom.

120 film is more difficult in any sort or a tank.
06-03-2016, 07:08 AM   #14
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Wow, all kinds of variations still out there! I've used the spiral tanks for years, and once the technique for loading is learned, they are foolproof. I would load in a darkroom as I have one, but a changing bag would be all that is usually needed. If you are going to be doing a lot of B&W film, go with whatever is easiest!

Regards,

BD
06-09-2016, 08:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xmas Quote
... 120 film is more difficult in any sort or a tank.
Perhaps for you. But I haven't shot small format in years. 120 roll is what I shoot the most in film and I find it the same as loading 135 canister on SS reels. YMMV.
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