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03-16-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
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Starting B&W film developing.

Okay, I've decided to take the next step in my decidedly bad addiction to film and start developing film at home. I've got the developing tank, the measuring cups, the light tight bag, basically everything I need to start. I'm going to be using HC-110, straight from the bottle and mixing small amounts of the stuff, and I'm going to be developing Tri-X. Going to use tap water for the stop bath and for the final cleanup after using the fixer. The only questions are regarding fixer and dilutions and time for each step. I believe with the fixer, I mix the 1 gallon formula that the bottle of Kodafix says for film, and after passing the fixer stage, do you put the used fixer back with the fresh one? Also, since I live in Puerto Rico, right now its over 90 degrees, so the tap water comes out at around 80 degrees. Going to be using a tub of water and ice to cool all the chemicals down, but if I can get it around 70 degrees, how long and what dilution should I use? Thanks for the all help, film is a lot more work than digital, thats for sure

03-16-2010, 07:40 PM   #2
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Save and/or print for future reference note temp, your 80deg should be okay if anything just a slightly darker than normal negative but your printing skills or digital PP skills will work on that.

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/edbwf/edbwf.pdf

Fixer lasts a long time store and replenish in about 3months, your developer is a one time use.
03-17-2010, 01:34 AM   #3
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This link may be of some help.

Kodak HC-110 made simple

For the fixer 80 degrees will not be a problem. anything warmer might be a bit iffy.
03-17-2010, 02:59 AM   #4
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The Digital Truth website also has an excellent "Massive Dev Chart" -- here's the info for HC110 for TriX exposed at 400.

Be sure to post your results!

03-17-2010, 06:18 AM   #5
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Kodak has all the instructions you need for each of their products. I'd consult their Tri-X Datasheet for developing times/temperatures before I'd go looking for what some random person uploaded to the Massive Development Chart.

And, yes, you pour the fixer back in the container. I'd break it up into (4) 1000ml containers, squeeze the air out and follow the recommend number of rolls. You didn't mention which of their fixers you're using so just Google for it and read its instructions.
03-17-2010, 11:17 AM   #6
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Here is where I learned of HC-110 and how to use it with different films. Basically, Kodak IIRC recommends development times of at Least 5 minutes. The warmer the developer, the less time needed to develop so you want to move to a more thin mixture of the HC-110 to compensate.

Kodak HC-110 Developer - Unofficial Resource Page

For All films and stuff, this is a pretty good repository for information.

Digitaltruth Photo

When you mix 110 in one shot batches, that's all you want to use. Fixer and Stop can be reused at least a few times. Don't mix the fixer back with the fresh though, mix some new with the old. In a pinch, I've just reused the fixer and the oldest negatives are 10 years and counting, still good. The stop bath is actually a step that many skip (or use to).. The stop bath solution seems to last forever. The most important thing is to get the negatives clean. You don't want chemicals left on them.

03-17-2010, 04:39 PM   #7
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So, let me get this straight. For Kodafix Solution, I don't mix the entire bottle straight away, but rather mix it fresh each time? For example, bottle calls for 1:3 dilution for film, so I mix 3oz of the stuff with 7oz of water, which is what the the bottom of the tank calls for a single roll of film. After I use it, I put the used fixer in another bottle and then use a bit of the used fixer with new fixer to conserve it? Also, Dilution F seems to be the best place to start with HC-110, any experience with it?
03-17-2010, 07:57 PM   #8
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My mistake. I missed that you had said what fixer you're using. I've never used that particular fixer and can't find its instruction sheet. But what I did find from Kodak was it is a concentrate. You mix it 1+3 for film as you said. It's good for an advertised 2 month shelf life or so after mixing. And how many rolls you can fix with that one quart hopefully is on the directions on the bottle. It could be given in square inches of film. So a roll of 135 and 120 roll film is 80 square inches. I did come across someone saying about 12 rolls per mixed quart.

So, no, don't mix the entire bottle. Just mix up a quart at a time. You could mix the fixing as you described but that seems a little over the top. A 1+3 (= 1:3 by Kodak's use of ratios) would be one part fixer plus 3 parts water.

03-20-2010, 07:02 PM   #9
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So since one bottle of fixer is good for about one gallon of working solution, maybe divide make one liter of working solution, and when thats spent make another. Should I keep a separate bottle of used, or just dump it back to the bottle of the working solution? Also, easiest way to get the roll of film into the reel? I'm having a terrible time getting a practice roll of developed film.
03-20-2010, 08:57 PM   #10
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Yes, mix up a quart or 1000ml bottle at a time. Use it until it is exhausted and mix a new batch. You can get hypo check to test for fixer exhaustion too. When you're done fixing, pour it back into the bottle. Shake it up before use.

You're loading 135 on a stainless steel spool? Those take some practice. Sacrifice a roll of film and practice in the daylight. Then do it with your eyes closed. When you're having trouble then look at what the problem is. Practice that until you can do it all with your eyes closed or blindfolded. Then when you're doing it for real, you'll have a good mental image what's going on. Getting it started is the hardest part.

One trick to ensure your wrapping it on okay is to push the film back and forth as you spool it on. You should feel it slipping around without binding. That lets you know its in the grooves and proceeding okay. Again, you spool up one wrap around then push/pull the film on the spool. You should feel it going around if all is okay. It's hard to describe, sorry.
03-20-2010, 09:05 PM   #11
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Loading 35mm on a spiral is the most annoying part of processing it IMHO. You need to keep the film perpendicular to the roll. Insert it in the clip in the middle and hold it with some tension straight out while you turn the spiral. Once you get it started well, it is not too bad to keep straight, but the first few windings are critical. I am really miffed when I put a crimp into it and it shows up as a little crescent on a print.

A changing back is a great investment. It is far more difficult to do the loading crouched in a dark, stuffy closet somewhere.
03-20-2010, 09:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Yes, mix up a quart or 1000ml bottle at a time. Use it until it is exhausted and mix a new batch. You can get hypo check to test for fixer exhaustion too. When you're done fixing, pour it back into the bottle. Shake it up before use.

You're loading 135 on a stainless steel spool? Those take some practice. Sacrifice a roll of film and practice in the daylight. Then do it with your eyes closed. When you're having trouble then look at what the problem is. Practice that until you can do it all with your eyes closed or blindfolded. Then when you're doing it for real, you'll have a good mental image what's going on. Getting it started is the hardest part.

One trick to ensure your wrapping it on okay is to push the film back and forth as you spool it on. You should feel it slipping around without binding. That lets you know its in the grooves and proceeding okay. Again, you spool up one wrap around then push/pull the film on the spool. You should feel it going around if all is okay. It's hard to describe, sorry.
You also want to practice spooling it in the bag as well. If you have a tent or a box it's somewhat easier though the box doesn't give a lot of room for movement. I say practice in the bag because now you also have all this fabric to push around out of the way while trying to work. If you can get your room completely dark and not use a dark bag, it's much easier. A large closet or windowless bathroom with a towel stuffed at the bottom of the door is ideal for this (unless you actually have a darkroom). I never got the hang of metal spools so I use the plastic JOBO ones. The most difficult part of using a Plastic is to find the start without actually seeing it.

03-22-2010, 01:37 AM   #13
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Home processing

Hi All,
as a final step, I used to include a wash with a wetting agent for a spotless
dry, the stuff I used was made by kodak and was like a buck a fluid ounce.
A film squeegee can used, but you run the risk of scratching emulsion.
Want to mention good film clips (heavy) to hang drying film verticle
in manner were as film dries it wont curl up and stick to its self.
03-23-2010, 06:00 PM   #14
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I'm planning to do all the stuff that needs complete darkness in a dark room at night, I have windows with metal shutters, so I'm pretty sure its mostly lightproof. I'm planning to do a small batch (the amount that the development tank says for one roll of film) to test it all out. Would it be better if I cut the film leader while it hangs out of the cartridge or leave it there? Also, how do I check the time needed for fixing? I've heard about using the film leader. Thanks.
03-24-2010, 01:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by PollitowuzHere Quote
I'm planning to do all the stuff that needs complete darkness in a dark room at night, I have windows with metal shutters, so I'm pretty sure its mostly lightproof. I'm planning to do a small batch (the amount that the development tank says for one roll of film) to test it all out. Would it be better if I cut the film leader while it hangs out of the cartridge or leave it there? Also, how do I check the time needed for fixing? I've heard about using the film leader. Thanks.
Yes, you cut off the leader when its hanging out the cartridge and to answer your other question, you put the bit off leader in your fixer and note how long it takes for the emulsion to clear from the film. This is to test how exhausted your fixer is. If it takes twice as long for the emulsion to clear compared with fresh mixed fixer then your fixer is just about exhausted and you need to mix up some more.

Time spent in the fixer is not as critical as time spent in developer. Its best to err on the side of a longer time in the fix. I normally give my film 8-12 minutes depending on how fresh the fixer is. You will be able to tell if your film is underfixed by looking at it. The gaps between individual frames will not be crystal clear like they should be. If you do under fix then you can simply re-fix it later.
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