A list of darkroom chemicals

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bwfans

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I cannot find the answer through an internet search so I will post my question here. I wonder if anyone can provide a list of very basic darkroom chemicals. The object is with this small list of chemicals readily available at my home darkroom I can have some basic film and paper developers, fixers, stop baths, toners, etc. available to me at any time.

Thanks.
 

ann

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do you mean pre-mixed chemicals or a list of Bulk chemistry to mix a wide variety of options?

Try the Darkroom cookbook for bulk chemistry and a variety of formulas that should keep you busy for a long tme.
 
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Well, you have the chemicals down pat by the looks of things. My personal regimen is HC110 for film developing (usually Dilution B (1:31) and sometime 1:49 for Arista films), Kodak Indicator Stop Bath (1:63 for film and paper), Kodafix fixing agent (1:3 for film, 1:7 for paper) and Photo Flo 200 to help with drying. I even have some old Kodak Cleaning chemical I have never used. I have heard you can use HC110 at Dilution A (1:15) for paper processing. I have also heard not to use it that way. Jury is still out. never tried it personally. I use Arista Paper Developer as I am printing on Arista papers.

Ilford has the whole range of chems and The Great Yellow Father has more than mentioned above. If you have a bit of the chemist in you, you can always purchase raw chemistry and soup your own recipes from scratch. There's no limit.

I don't know your darkroom experience, but either way you stand to gain by keeping it simple unless your aim is to experiment and compare.
 

Ektagraphic

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Film Developer and Paper Developer
Stop Bath
Fixer

Film and paper share the same stop bath and fixer. I also highly reccomend using Kodak Photo-Flo to allow the film to dry properly without streaks and water mark. Film and paper are both just three steps.
 

MattKing

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Here is a link to Ilford's "Getting Started" page. On that page there are two links - "Processing a Black & White Film" and "Making a Black & White Print", that will give you good answers (all Ilford of course):

Dead Link Removed

For Kodak, here is a link to a page that lists link to all sorts of material relating to chemistry. You will want to click through to the links on "B&W Film Processing" and "B&W Paper Processing".

http://wwwcaen.kodak.com/global/en/professional/products/prodChemicals.jhtml?pq-path=13318/13629

There are other sources as well, depending on where you are.

Generally speaking, you can mix and match - e.g. you can use Ilford developer and Kodak Stop Bath and a third party's fixer and a fourth party's hypo clearing agent and Kodak's Photo Flo and things will work fine.

You should probably make your decision on issues of availability, packaging and price, although it is convenient to stay within brands (at least partially) when you are trying to research answers to questions.

My film chemistry recommendations are as follows. I've included brands, but you can switch to alternative suppliers:

1) clean, tempered water for pre-soak (optional)
2) Kodak HC110 developer (various dilutions, although I'm using dilution "E" a lot currently
3) Kodak Indicator Stop (some would say optional, but I strongly prefer it to the alternative, which is a clean water rinse)
4) Ilford Rapid Fixer/Hypam Fixer (but Kodak Rapid Fixer is good too - I just wish it came without the hardener in the smaller quantities)
5) Kodak Hypo Clearing agent (optional, but I like what it does for wash times)
6) Kodak Photo Flo 200 (some would say optional, but I don't)

I included the pre-wash, but many would not classify that as "chemicals".

For prints (usually on RC paper), I use the following:

1) Kodak Polymax T developer (similar to Dektol, but liquid)
2) Ilford Ilfostop (less odor than Kodak - some will say optional, but I highly recommend stop bath)
3) Ilford Rapid Fixer/Hypam Fixer (but Kodak Rapid Fixer is good too - I just wish it came without the hardener in the smaller quantities)

I also use various toners, but that is as much experimentation as anything else.

If you are printing on fibre based paper, Hypo Clearing agent can be a good idea as well.

Have fun, and hope this helps.

Matt
 

Robert Hall

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Start with potassium ferricyanide, sodium sulfite, citric acid, and sodium carbonate. Maybe some borax and potassium bromide.

Then try a little of Hydroquinone and Metol for the developers and maybe some sodium sulfide, Thiocarbamide, potassium citrate.

Now that I have written these, you should go by Steve Anchels book and make a shopping list of a few formulas you would like to try. As you become more familiar with the ones you like you will know what to stock.
 

Mike Wilde

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I interpret it as a call for raw chems.

For developers - the developing agent, the preservative, the restrainer, and the alkali.
for stop - well acetic, or citric acid, or just water
for fix - the fixing agent, the preservative, the pH adjuster.
toners are much more variable.
So:

Developers: Hydroquinone, metol - good to get you started; Phenidone (think 10x more powerful, but likel metol) and glycin are some of the more mainstream variants - there are exotica like pyrogallol and PPD, etc.
Preservative - sodium sulfite, almost always
Restrainer - Potassium Bromide, or iodide or chloride, but bromide is used most often.
Alkali- there are all sorts of options here, but soduim carbonate, borax and one or two more wil get you started.

rapid fix is usually ammonuim thiosulfate 60% with a bit of soduim sulfite and soduim metabisulfute. Or plain old fixer, which is sodium thiosulfite crystals.

I would recommend that you buy "The Darkroom Cookbook", by Anschell and Troop. Read it, and build a shopping list of the parts that are used, and what is needed to make up a litre of this or that. That is how I started down this road about 6 years ago.

A couple of scales are handy, and better than one expensive one that spans all the way. I have one simple pan balance that is good to 30g, and a triple beam balance that is good for up to 1.1kg with a supplimentary end of arm weight. I did not pay more than $30 for either of them thanks to the 'bay

There are some who will decry the book reference I gave, for early editions had a few errors (that were corrected). It is a great spot to get started in home mixing, and understanding what the chemicals do.

Be warned that the urge to have just a few more chems at hand might not end easily, particularly once you wander down the toners aisle... My disease has spread to home brew mixing colour chemistry for c-41, ra-4 and e-6 efforts.

I am based in Canada, I have dealt for these chemicals mostly with JD Photochem, a few times with Artcraft, and a few times with Photographers Formulary. JD is winding up, so I amy be dealing with Nymoc soon. The first three will all ship anywhere, but there may be restrictions on some oxidisers (developers) that can be shipped internationally from the USA.

On the other hand, you might end up like me and source a lot of stuff from the grocery, hardware, and pool supply places to avoid shipping. My everyday b&w print developer is slightly perfumed, because I source my sodium carbonate as arm and hammer washing soda, and , regrettably, they add a mild perfume agent to it..
 

Don Wallace

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Here is a very simple list of uncomplicated and easily available materials which I use.

For film
D76 film developer
Kodafix fixer (hardening fixer)
Photoflo

For paper

Dektol developer
Ilford Rapid Fixer (non-hardening fixer)
Kodak Selenium Toner

For both paper and film

Kodak or Ilford stop bath
Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent

Miscellaneous
Edwal product for testing fixer exhaustion (I forget the exact name)

You can substitute any manufacturer you like. I am just listing what I use.

D76 is probably the most popular film developer with HC-110 a close second. The latter is a little more complicated to use but you can store it in syrup form for as long as you like. D76 mixed to stock has a limited shelf life so if you are not developing film all the time, HC-110 is a good choice.

I use a hardening fixer with film because I shoot mainly sheet film. I am very clumsy and scratch sheet film if I don't use hardening fixer. I use a non-hardening fixer with paper because I use fibre paper and it tones better with a non-hardening fixer.

I use Hypo Clearing Agent to shorten the wash time with film. If you give film a 2 minute bath in HCA, you can wash it for only 5 minutes instead of 30 minutes. I also need HCA for fibre prints.
 
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bwfans

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Sorry I did not make my post clear enough. I am looking for a basic list of raw chemicals for b&w darkroom.

But after reading some posts regarding a list of pre-mixed chemicals I found it is interesting and useful. So please don't stop if you are going to suggest a basic list of pre-mixed chemicals.

I am building a material list for my home darkroom so I can be quite self-sufficient and no need to drive out in the midnight.
 

eclarke

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sodium sulfite, Metol, hydroquinone, phenidone, sodium carbonate, potassium bromide, sodium thiosufate, borax, sodium hydroxide and glycin (my own personal elixr, you can live without it!!)
 
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Glacial acetic acid, sodium metaborate, sodium bisulfite. From eclarke's list, most recipes call for sodium sulfite to be dessicated, borax to be granular, Sodium carbonate to be monohydrated. Also potassium metabisulfite, there's ammonium persulfate and potassium permanganate for some reducers. Perhaps some silver nitrate crystals if you want to mess with certain intensifiers like DuPont 3-I.
 

Anon Ymous

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It doesn't matter if you have the hydrated form of a chemical or not. You can certainly use it, although you will need to adjust the amounts required.
 

eclarke

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It doesn't matter if you have the hydrated form of a chemical or not. You can certainly use it, although you will need to adjust the amounts required.

I adjusted all my recipes for anhydrous.

bwfans, peruse the formulas you think you would like to make and compile your list from that. I have about 100 chemicals on my shelf now, can't stand to see an attractive formula and not be able to make it!!:D..Eclarke
 

dancqu

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For Variety.

The object is with this small list of chemicals readily
available at my home darkroom I can have some basic
film and paper developers, fixers, stop baths, ... Thanks.

For a variety of film developers; metol, hydorquinone,
sodium sulfite, and sodium carbonate. For D-76 types
add borax.

For paper add potassium bromide. For fixer add sodium
or ammonium thiosulfate.

Water will do for a stop, film and paper. Dan
 

etrevino

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Here is a very simple list of uncomplicated and easily available materials which I use.

[ ... ]

Miscellaneous
Edwal product for testing fixer exhaustion (I forget the exact name)

[ ... ]

Hello,

The name of the product is Hypo-Chek, though some stores list it as Hypo-Check so look for it using both spellings
 
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bwfans

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Thanks for all the replies. After reading everyone's posts, I did some research and analysed about 60 paper and film developer's formulas. I have a list of 19 chemicals which made about 60 formulas.

The 19 chemicals are: metol,hydroquinone,phenedone,glycin,Amidol,Ascorbic Acid,Sodium Sulfite,Sodium Carbonate,Potassium Bromide(KBr),Potassium Carbonate,Borax,benzotriazole,Sodium Metaborate,Sodium Bisulfite,Dimezone S,triethanolamine,Citric Acid,Potassium thiocyanate,salicylic acid.

60 formulas are for Kodak D-72,E-72,D-74,Kodak D-51,Kodak D-52 (Selectol),Kodak Selectol Soft,D154,Kodak D-155,D-163,D-166,Ansco 110,Ansco 113,Ansco 120,Ansco 130,Ansco 135,Dupont 51D,Dupond 54D,Defender 55D,Dupond 56D,Ilford ID-20,Ilford ID-22,Ilford ID-30,Gevaert G-251,Gevaert G-261,Gevaert G-262,Agfa 100,Agfa 105,Agfa 108,Agfa 120,Agfa 123,ID24,ID25,ID62,ID78,Gaf 125,GAF 135,Burki and Jenny Cold-Tone,DS-14,
DS-15,Dassonville D-1,Dassonville D-2 (Dupond 61-D),Balagny’s Amidol,Below’s Amidol,Fein’s Amidol,Lootens’ Amidol,Michael A. Smith’s Amidol,Weston’s Amidol,Microdol-X (substitute),Diafine (A),Diafine (B),Accufine,Beutler's Formula (A),Beutler's Formula (B),
Kodalith D-85,Kodak D-11,Kodak D-19,Kodak DK-50,Kodak DK-60a.

Most of above formulas are paper developers, some are film developers. Some developer's formulas were never been published but from someone's analysis.

After reading above formulas I have one impression - if I am using simple table/tea spoon nethod to make developers I might by accident hit the ratio of one of the formulas :smile:.
 

Robert Hall

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Trust me, if you are going to all the effort of getting chemicals, an inexpensive scale that measures to the tenth of a gram will be money well spent. Especially if you ever want consistency in your results.
 
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