Paper chemistry vs. film chemistry

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by stradibarrius, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    can I use the same developer, stop and fixer for paper and film?
     
  2. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Developer, generally no. There are a few developers you can use for both but you're generally best to use separate developers.

    Stop and fix, yes, but you should mix up separate working solutions for each.
     
  3. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    01 Feb 2009

    Stradibarrius:

    I agree with PhotoJim. However, when I was young and had little money I used Dektol (1:2), a paper developer, for both film and paper. I can say that it is possible to do this. I did for almost 5 years.

    A little background, generally paper developers are much more "hard working" (fast acting) that film developers. The result of this is that (1) film development times are short unless you use higher dilutions, and (2) one gets negatives of very high contrast.

    If you do follow this path lots of experimentation is needed to find the proper development time because manufactures usually do not publish such data.

    Good luck, and hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  4. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I will also second Darwin and Jim, you can use the same chemicals but sometimes the dilutions are different and you never want to mix your chemical usages. That means, I have 2 fix mixtures, one for film and one for paper; same for stop. While the stop dilutions are the same (and I could use the fix as the same but I prefer using different dilutions for other reasons), I never want to mix the two. First, you have difficulty calculating how much "working" power is left in any one solution (yes I know stop changes color and fix can be tested but I find that annoying and just record how many usages each solution has be used for and then discard on a regular basis). Second, if you ever have a problem with a portion of "wet work", you are assured that it does not affect your whole work chain but only a section. Lastly, you have less risk of cross-contamination; if you unknowingly get paper developer in your paper fix, it can cause nasty problems with your next batch. It would be terrible to ruin several rolls of film because the fix did not work, and you would have no way of knowing that until you open the tank in the light.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    In theory yes but the practice went out of use with the rise of miniature formats for professional use, miniature meaning 120 & 35mm as opposed to LF cameras.

    Most so called Universal developers give coarse grain and higher contrast with modern films. However some developers like PQ Universal or May & Baker (Champion) Suprol give superb results if used at high dilutions, typically 1+29 or greater. Suprol was used for commercial processing of negatives in large scale photofinishers, I tried it in the 70's and it does give exceptional fine grain, great tonality and cleaner negatives than ID-11/D76. PQ Universal is one of the recommended developers for Ilford Ortho film.

    Having said that you are best sticking to seperate negative & paper developers.

    Ian
     
  6. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I recall starting B&W as a schoolboy in the early 60's with a "Johnsons of Hendon" kit, including their "Universol developer for plates, films and papers". A liquid developer, presumably MQ, with different dilutions for different purposes.

    We thought it all fantastic, and it started me, at least, on a lifetimes interest....but we soon moved onto their separate chemicals, particularly Unitol for films.

    Sorry, reminiscing. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2009
  7. OP
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    stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    If I will get better results with seperate developers then that is what I will do.
    This is all new for me, obviously, so I need some help selecting the right developer for me. I do not like a lot of grain, at this point. I prefer sharpness and good blacks and whites. Not so much of everything having that concrete gray washed look. The Ansel Adams type contrast and tones...easy right! LOL!!

    I will be useing D-76 to process my negatives if that makes a difference, along with Kodak stop and Kodak fixer.
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Here's the quandary: sharpness and grain generally go together. The things that soften grain tend to soften sharpness, too.

    Kodak D-76 and Ilford ID-11 are good general-purpose developers with which to start. Using them undiluted will give you minimum grain. Using them diluted one part developer to three parts water will give you maximum sharpness. Using them diluted one part developer to one part water will give you (in my opinion) the best compromise. (If you dilute the developer, discard it after each usage.)

    Stop bath is stop bath. Kodak's is based on acetic acid and smells vinegary. Ilford's is based on citric acid and doesn't smell like much at all. I actually don't use stop bath at all when I'm developing film (I use a 60-second running water rinse), but using a stop bath to start makes sense. (Ask me later if you care why I use a running water rinse.)

    There are two types of fixer: sodium thiosulfate fixers (they generally come as powders) and ammonium thiosulfate fixers (which generally come as liquids). Ammonion thiosulfate fixers are generally termed rapid fixers because they are much, much faster than sodium thiosulfate fixers. Kodak and Ilford both sell each type. I use rapid fixer because it's much quicker and much more convenient.
     
  9. OP
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    stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Thanks Jim, I very good answer!!!
    This will be my first roll of film to process. I have purchased from eBay, a two roll processing tank, an enlarger with a lens, some trays with tongs etc. and when I got the trays the was a 1 liter pack of Kodak D-76 and a pack of powdered Kodak rapidfix. I went ahead and bought a bottle of Kodak stop bath just to be on the safe side. I thought about just using water like you, but until I get the hang of everything.

    Any way all of this "stuff" has only set me back about $150.00 including the enlarger.

    I have a roll of Kodak Tmax 100 that is ready to be procesed and will soon have a roll of Ilford HP5 ready.
    I was trying to decide if I need to get some of the wash stuff that keeps spots from forming on the negatives? Opinion?

    So I would mix up the 1 liter pack of D76 in 1 lieter of water that is the correct temp. and then add 1 more liter of water so I would then have a 1:1 dilution?
     
  10. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Yes, use a wash aid. It's very cheap and does keep spots from forming. Those spots become boulders on your prints when magnified (that's what you enlarger is for) and an ounce of prevention...

    Mix up your D-76 as a stock solution and leave it as it is. When you dev your film, then you will dilute the D-76 to whatever dilution you wish AT THAT TIME. As Jim said, 1+1 is a great compromise and popular with many photographers. After processing, dump that dev, you can't use it again. However, you do re-use stop and fix.

    Stay with that film/dev combo thru many rolls of film. It takes awhile to get it right. If something isn't right, it's not the film/dev fault, but your technique needs tweaking. Change only one thing at a time until you get it right..and you will!
     
  11. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    The D76 package will tell you how to mix it. Whatever you do, don't start with a litre of water! The chemicals will add volume and you'll have too much. Generally you start with about 65-70% of the final volume of water, so about 650-700 mL. (The package will tell you what Kodak recommends but it'll be close to this.) Be sure to use water at the appropriate temperature (about 50 C or so, whatever that is in Fahrenheit). This is called the stock solution.

    When you're ready to develop, all you do is take 1/2 as much of your stock solution as you need, and add the same amount of water. Let's say your tank needs 300 mL of developer per 35mm roll (Paterson tanks are like this). Take 150 mL of your stock, and add 150 mL of water. Diluted D-76 doesn't last more than a day or so, so you don't want to dilute it until you're ready to use it.

    Fixer can be kept for a few months though. Mix the powdered fixer according to the directions, and pour enough in the tank to immerse the film. (Within reason you can't put too much fixer in there, so you can just eyeball it if you like, just be sure you put at least as much as you put developer in.) You can pour that back into your fixer container, and keep the fixer until it's exhausted. Keep a tally of how many films you run through it. The package will tell you what capacity is, and how long the mixed solution will last.

    Stop baths generally have an indicator that turns dark when the stop bath is exhausted. It's actually exhausted just before it turns colour, so if you think it's just starting to go, you should pitch it. Then again, you won't cause any damage if it's exhausted, so it's not fatal either way. (Exhausted developer will fail to develop your film; exhausted fixer will fail to remove the silver and will result in your negatives being damaged over time.)
     
  12. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Yes, you should definitely get some wetting agent like Photoflo 200. Use only a couple of drops in 1/2 litre of water as a final rinse for your film and water droplet will not form and leave marks behind when you hang the film to dry. You might also want to pick up some paper developer if you plan to do any printing. Dektol is good, inexpensive, and lasts a long time.
     
  13. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I've read you can use HC110 in Dil A but It still takes a little longer than paper developers as it still is not quite so strong. Haven't tested it personally though. Lots of documentation out there on the web.
     
  14. OP
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    stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I will just buy some paper developer.
    But If I understand correctly I can use the same type of stop and fixer???
    I understand that I cannot use it form the same "bottle".
     
  15. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Correct. Same stop, same fixer. Most people only stop for about five seconds and fix for about two minutes in printing though. Be sure on your recommendations for chemistry times.
     
  16. Ponysoldier

    Ponysoldier Member

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    One thing worth noting... in our area you want to use distilled water to mix your film developer! The changes in pH and alkalinity from public water sources (in Georgia) can, and do, vary enough to give you problems where you need them least - consistency! With paper where you are developing to completion this is less of a problem but with film time, temperature, agitation and consistency of developer formulation are really important to achieving the predictability you want with your negatives.
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    stradibarrius -

    there is an apug advertiser / sponsor called sprint systems of photography
    they make a very good film and paper developer system ...
    it is a liquid developer and stop and fix, and fix remover ...
    easy to mix ( always 1:9 with water, fix is 2:8 for film )
    the film developer is similar to ID11 and D76, and everything comes in 1L stock solutions ( or a gallon cube or bigger ).

    they have an ordering system right off their website, which makes it very easy to get too :smile:

    and if you run into trouble, there is a person who is involved with helping people who is very accessible.

    i like their chemistry because it is all liquid, and you don't have to worry about powder-dust or the whole mixing until it is all dissolved.
    if you are wondering what the "system" part of their photochemicals is, the stop bath has an indicator, and from what i remember
    when it "indicates" it is time to not only change the stop bath, but the developer and fixer as well.

    good luck and have fun!

    john