Setting Up For Film Development

Later we'll show you how to set up an all-purpose darkroom. But you don't need that now. You can handle film developing in any room with running water — the kitchen, the bathroom, or the laundry room.

Cover the floor with newspaper or a plastic tarpaulin if it's carpeted. Photographic chemicals leave stains. Keep plenty of paper towels handy for drying your hands and your utensils.

Line up your chemical solutions in the order in which you'll use them. Lay out the utensils so they're easily accessible.

Before you do anything else, wash all your equipment and utensils. Make sure they are really clean! Wash them in water only. No soap. And before you try to load a roll of film, make sure the reels are dry—absolutely dry! While we said this was essential for plastic loading reels, it is equally true of stainless steel reels. The only difference is that the stainless steel reels are much easier to dry.

Mixing Chemicals

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions precisely!

To mix chemicals that come in powdered form, fill your graduate with the specified amount of water at the specified temperature. Pour the powder in slowly, stirring continuously. Keep stirring until all the chemical is completely dissolved. If more than one packet of chemical must be dissolved in the same solution, add them one at a time in the order given in the manufacturer's instructions.

When the chemical comes in liquid form, you may have to dilute it according to the manufacturer's directions. The dilution ratio may be given as 1:1 . . . or 1:2 ... or 1:3, etc. This simply means one part chemical to one part water, or one part chemical to two parts water, or one part chemical to three parts water. For example, let's say you want to make 32 ounces of solution, and the ratio is 1:1. You add 16 ounces of water to 16 ounces of the chemical. If the ratio were 1:3, you'd add 24 ounces of water to 8 ounces of the chemical.

If you find that the chemicals "irritate your skin, wear rubber gloves. Many people are sensitive especially to developers, so take no chances — always rinse your hands in running water whenever you get developer on them.

Some people are sensitive to an ingredient in many developers called metol. Kodak calls metol, Elon. Developers that are made with the developing agent Phenidone in place of metol have less of a tendency to irritate the skin. If you are allergic to metol, it is a good idea to switch to a Phenidone developer. Phenidone is an Ilford trademark. You can tell which developer contains what by checking the ingredients on the label.

Reading Instructions.

The instruction sheet for your film usually includes information on developing times using different developers. For example, here is the chart included in the instruction sheet for Kodak Tri-X. What does it tell you?

DEVELOPING TIMES IN MINUTES*

K00»t> Packaged Deveiose".

SMALL

at 30

TANK-Agitation Second Intervals

LAME TAMR-Agitatign at 1 Minute Intervals

65;F

M'F

705F

72'F

I 75'F

65°F

1 68°F

70° F

72»F

75'F

1B°C

20°C

21'C

22CC

24°C

18°C

20°C

21°C

22'C

24°C

HC l 10 (Dation Bf

84

74

64

6

5

94

1 84

8

74

64

D 76

9

S

74

64

54

10

1 »

8

7

6

D 76 (1.1)

11

10

94

t 9

8

13

11

10

9

WICHODOl J

11

10

94

9

8

13

1 12

11

10

9

MICTODOL* (13)

_

1*

13

-

_

17

16

15

P0l*t»l

8 1

7

64

6

5

9

8

7

6

DK 50 '1 i)

7

6

54

5

44

74

64

6

54

5

HC ¡ 10 (Dilution A)

44 1

3S 1

34

3

24

44.

44

4

3\

3*

NOTt. Do not use develop«'* coma.nir»g silver holide solvents.

• Unsatisfactory uniformity moy result with development times shorter than 5 minutes

First, decide on the developer you will use. Let's assume you use D-76. This chart tells you all you need to know, as follows:

Dilution: The chart has two listings for D-76.

The first listing is for undiluted D-76.

The second listing is for D-76 diluted 1:1 — that is, one part water to one part D-76.

Temperature: At what temperature will you use the developer. The chart gives you choices from 65°F (18°C ) to 75°F (24° C ). You place your thermometer in the diluted solution and find that at room temperature it is 72°F (22°C).

Time: If you develop at 72°F, the developing time in a small tank (which is the type you will usually use) is 9 minutes.

Agitation: The chart tells you that the 9-minute developing time is based on agitation (of the small tank) once every 30 seconds.

So, this chart tells you that with 1:1 diluted D-76 at 72°F, you develop for 9 minutes in a small tank, agitating once every 30 seconds. That's all you have to know.

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