buying black, white and blue in eastern france

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jnanian, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Jun 21, 2003
    Multi Format
    i was recently overseas and thought i would
    try my hand at buying my kitchen shelf ingredients there.
    i figure i would let others know what i got and where i got it incase
    they wanted to make coffee-based developers there but didn't know where to find
    what they would need ...

    i was near the swiss border near montbeliard / belfort.
    last year i went to montbeliard and belfort searching for developer and fixer ...
    i found one shop that had photochemicals ( out of maybe 10 ? ) but in the end i realized
    i didn't have the time or whatnot to process anything
    so i waited until i got back to the states.
    this year, i was going to be there for a bit more time,
    and so i looked for what i needed ...

    the fixer seemed like it might be easy to find.
    i went to swimming pool supply places and looked for the chemical to lower the PH,
    but none of them said sodium thiosulphate, or anything similar,
    so i ventured back to belfort and bought ilford super fix ....

    my developer was at the local grocery store and pharmacy.
    the local supermarket had cheep gut-rot instant coffee " gringo " brand
    vitimin c and washing soda were expensive, special orders at the pharmacy.
    the vitimin c cost 1.5 what it costs me here in the states ( same in euros, but weak dollar),
    unfortunately, pharmacy grade sodium carbonate, costs 4x as much
    as cheap grocery store washing soda here in the states, 35$ for 1kilo!
    i tried to find an alternative source, like a grocery stores, super and hypermarkets,
    picked a few brains but no place had it or even knew what it was
    - so the pharmacy was where i went ...

    it wasn't hard to find these ingredients, and kind of fun ordering
    things from the corner pharmacy, and it cost the same as
    it would have cost to ship across the atlantic.

    even though it was fun buying it locally,
    next time i will bring my laundry detergent with me ...
  2. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2004
    Chicago, Wes
    Multi Format
    Dear John,

    For fixer, look for Chlorine Neutralizer. Not always easy to find. Personally, I think you made the right choice with the Ilford product.

    Neal Wydra
  3. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    London, UK
    4x5 Format
    Hm odd. We have washing soda in the UK - it's called Washing Crystals though which makes it sound a bit more magical :wink: It's pretty cheap, 50p/1kg (~$1/2.2lbs). Maybe you want to check the shipping rate of UK to France next time, shouldn't be as bad as having to ship in from the states. I don't mind sending you a bag triple wrapped in plastic bags and boxed up :smile: No customs forms to fill out for me either because it's inter-EU shipping.