Am I being too cheap?

The Rebel Bear

H
The Rebel Bear

  • 0
  • 2
  • 99
Great Sand Dunes NP

A
Great Sand Dunes NP

  • 5
  • 2
  • 179
San Jose Museum of Art

A
San Jose Museum of Art

  • 0
  • 0
  • 123
San Jose Museum of Art

A
San Jose Museum of Art

  • 1
  • 0
  • 129

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
178,611
Messages
2,456,847
Members
94,588
Latest member
perfectiontips
Recent bookmarks
0

photomem

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
624
Shooter
Medium Format
I have expanded beyond just having D-76 as my developer. I decided to try Microdol-X last night (I know it has just been discontinued). I would not let myself use it though until I found data on diluting it. I found some info that would let me develop for 22 minutes with a 1:3 ratio on Ilford Delta 400. Also, the results were quite good.

Here is the question though, I am heavily diluting my developers (I will stand at the sink longer if it saves me money), I have indicator stop bath where I can tell when it is exhausted, I save my fix and test it with hypo check, and I found some photoflo 600. The only thing which is mixed to directions then discarded is my HCA, though I am considering going to a 10 minute rinse cycle and not buying more when my current supply runs out.

Am I being too cheap at a possible detriment to my negatives?
 

Fireguy2002

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
191
Location
Fairbanks
Shooter
Holga
Do you like your negatives?
 

David A. Goldfarb

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
19,849
Location
Honolulu, Ha
Shooter
Large Format
Microdol-X is a solvent developer at full strength or 1+1, so if you like the grain softening effect, then use it that way. If you want more acutance at the expense of more prominent grain, then use it at 1+3 (the solvent effect depends on the total concentration of sodium sulfite in solution). D-76 works in a similar way, as far as the solvent effect is concerned.

Why not see for yourself by developing some clips? Shoot a whole roll of the same scene, and develop three clips to the same contrast in Microdol-X stock, 1+1, and 1+3. Contact print them together. If the contrast doesn't match, then adjust development time for the one that is different and develop another clip. If you've got extra undeveloped clips left, see if you can do the same with D-76. Make prints of all the clips and print details from all the clips. Compare and save in a reference file. You'll know more at the end of this exercise than you can learn from an internet forum.
 

Vaughn

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
8,961
Location
Humboldt Co.
Shooter
Large Format
Panotomic-X in Microdol-X 1:3 was my standard combo for years with 120 film. Whenever you dilute a developer, one just needs enough of the developer to fully develop the film (not exceed its capacity). Other than that, David has it covered.
 

panchro-press

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
122
Location
Cleveland
Shooter
Large Format
Cheap? By diluting a developer you're changing it's characteristics as Mr. Goldfarb points out. It has little to do with economy; but it does pose a more important question. Why would you play brinksmanship with your film developer or fixer, for that matter? I should think the last place you'd want to cut corners is producing the finest negative possible. What's the point, after all?

-30-
 

Fireguy2002

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
191
Location
Fairbanks
Shooter
Holga

Karl K

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
701
Location
NJ
Shooter
35mm
Microdol-X cost

I'm selling one gallon packs @$9.00.

Microdol-X as a one-shot at 1:3 will cost you about 14 cents to process a roll of 35mm film.

I'm not trying to sell you any, but can you have more fun anywhere else for 14 cents?:D
 

Fireguy2002

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
191
Location
Fairbanks
Shooter
Holga
I have volunteered for the Yukon Quest. That was free. Pretty fun sticking thermometers up dogs hind ends.
 

Denis K

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
237
Shooter
35mm
Cheap you say? Unless you’re using a developer in a replenishment scheme you are acting in a most profligate manner. We are all shocked that you would even think about or entertain the notion of using a one-shot developer. What's next - a disposable razor?

If you haven't looked into switching to a two bath fix process do it now, before you throw more money down the drain. At least you’re reusing your stop bath.

BTW, if you work out a replenishment scheme you should be able to use Microdol-X full strength without any loss of cost efficiency.


Denis K
 

JBrunner

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2005
Messages
7,432
Location
PNdub
Shooter
Medium Format
This is pennies that could cost dollars or even wreck something priceless. Cut out a soda a day or something.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
15,711
Location
Switzerland
Shooter
Multi Format
Stick to what you know - save money by wasting less film/developer/fixer.
You also save on the tail end when you print; if you continue to use D76 you know what to expect. With a new developer, the whole work flow has to be tuned in again.

What did you gain from using Microdol-X?

If you are worried about cost of developer only, Microdol-X doesn't seem like the obvious solution. How about Rodinal, HC-110, D23, etc?
 

nsurit

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
1,788
Location
Texas Hill Country
Shooter
Multi Format
Lets start with my definition of "Time". Time - essential, non-refundable segments of one's life. If you can sign on to that definition, yes, you are being too cheap if you are trading part of your life to save a few pennies. Oh, if you are asking the question, you probably are being too cheap. Bill Barber
 

BetterSense

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
3,153
Location
North Caroli
Shooter
35mm
I don't even see what you are doing that is cheap. I use replenished D23 (pennies/roll), no stop other than water, and no hypo clear. I also use my fixer until it stops working.
 

jgjbowen

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2003
Messages
879
Location
Richmond, VA
Shooter
Large Format
Heck, I've started shooting sheet films and found I can cut the cost of film in 1/2 if I expose both sides of the film. The negatives suck, but I've greatly reduced my film cost! :smile:
 

ic-racer

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
12,277
Location
USA
Shooter
Multi Format
Skimping on fixer can come back and get you in 20 years. (Ask me how I know....) while in school I re-used fixer and now have some negatives that have deteriorated from improper fixation.
 

BetterSense

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
3,153
Location
North Caroli
Shooter
35mm
Skimping on fixer can come back and get you in 20 years. (Ask me how I know....) while in school I re-used fixer and now have some negatives that have deteriorated from improper fixation.

So you don't re-use fixer at all?
 

MattKing

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
38,987
Location
Delta, BC, Canada
Shooter
Multi Format
Optimizing your procedures for economy rarely makes much sense if your volumes are low. For a lot of chemistry, if your usage is low, you will lose more due to spoilage than you will save.

In my case, I also have to consider issues of limited space available for storage of mixed chemistry.

As usage increases, spoilage decreases, and consideration of economy makes more sense.

For example, I'd rather pay more for several small contaners of chemistry, than to buy one larger container, have to worry about storage through it's life, and have a significant percentage of it be unusable.

Shoot and develop and print more film, and you will save money :smile:.

Matt
 
OP
OP

photomem

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
624
Shooter
Medium Format
I already purchase the smallest amount of chemistry possible. That is to prevent having to introduce expired chemistry into the waste stream. Now that I have acquired a 35 mm for my girlfriend, I expect my chemistry use to increase. That way I am cycling through more and wasting less.
 

jnovek

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
22
Shooter
Multi Format
1) Changing your developer dilution will change characteristics of the film, such as grain behavior, contrast and acutance.

2) Do you like the way your film came out? Then keep doing what you're doing.

Jason
 
OP
OP

photomem

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
624
Shooter
Medium Format
I am not sure if I like the way Delta 400 works in Microdol. I am going to shoot some rolls of Fuji Acros 100 this weekend, so we shall see how it looks.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
7,174
Location
Milton, DE USA
Shooter
Multi Format
I play golf, Tommy. I learned on right handed clubs that were my grandfather's and was taught by a right handed player, my grandfather. A few years after starting I acquired a cheap used left handed three wood and decided to give it a try. Having the muscle memory from swinging right handed I was able to construct a left handed swing that did pretty decent, being left handed as I am. It occurred to me that I could start all over from scratch and play left handed and be better than I ever could from the other side of the ball. But then it occurred to my, why waste five years getting to this point playing golf left handed when I could keep on doing what I was doing and get so much better at it without changing.

Granted, I would probably have been better in the end lefty than righty. But I have a lot more fun and production by not switching.

Stick with what you've got and get to it.
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2007
Messages
1,177
Location
Hamilton, Ca
Shooter
Multi Format
As others have said, acidic stop bath (and indicator stop bath -- what are you, made of money?) does not need to be expended on film, as development is very slow and pretty much terminates upon dumping the developer. A simple rinse will leave your fixer uncontaminated, for all intents and purposes. Stop bath is quite useful with lithographic films and lithographic developers that proceed at quite a clip and need to be quenched, or with paper in aggressive developers.

Same goes for HCA. Makes economic sense for thick, absorbent fiber paper, but of marginal utility with silver metal on a plastic base.

The only real, looming dangers you need to consider are underdevelopment and underfixing (which you can repeat if necessary).
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom