Best way to do B&W on film?

Started May 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
A Subset Senior Member • Posts: 2,419
Re: Best way to do B&W on film?

ADMint wrote:

The other reason I bring these up because processing your own with these should give excellent results, especially if you do your own chemical processing.

I don't know if my comments will be of any value, but I must say that processing your own B&W film is really easy, so if anyone cares to do it I'd say not to be intimidated.  The hardest part about the whole thing is learning to thread the film on a developing spool (35mm or 120) and once you get that down it's like riding a bike.  Do it in the light with an old exposed roll of film and repeat until you can do it confidently with your eyes closed time after time.  If you are serious about it then the amount of money invested in equipment shouldn't be much.  You need a tank and reels, some empty fruit juice bottles for your chemicals, a thermometer, a chamois, some clothes pins or film clips to hang the film up for drying.  We're not talking much here.  A timer.

Sure you'll probably screw up the first roll or three, but so what?  Now printing, that gets more complicated, but just souping the film is kid stuff.  One of the most important things I learned was to always slam the tank onto a somewhat padded counter after each batch of agitation (inverting the tank several times in rapid succession) which will make sure bubbles don't adhere to the film, leaving spots.  You don't want to dent the developing tank or the table, but you want to be just shy of doing so, as bubbles can be kinda sticky.

Developer, stop bath (acetic acid), fixer, hypo clearing solution and a bit of wetting agent maybe.

One trick I always used in the long ago was to take cardboard and cut it to cover a window, tape it in place with masking tape or something like that, then paint it black, including some of the tape, but not getting it the paint onto the window frame.  Instant darkroom.

You don't even need running water or a sink in the darkroom, all you need the darkroom for is loading the film into the tank, the rest of it can be done at the kitchen sink.

- A.

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