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Which chemicals?

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by KierFX, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    I really need to stop asking so many questions, haha.

    I'm about to buy my first film developing chemicals and wondered which were to best to buy. I've seen kits which have all I need inside; developer, fixer, stop-bath and wetting agent. These kits are the Tetenal/Rodinal kits.

    Theres so many choices and I don't know what to choose! ID-11 and D76 are for fine grain etc as far as I know and these kits make sense there just powders (I think)

    What chemicals would you recommend for me to buy? I'd rather have powdered chemicals. I have very little knowledge in developing film at the moment.

    Oh yeah, B&W developing too.

    Riaz Ahmed likes this.
  2. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    ID-11 and D76 are identical, the designations are those of Ilford and Kodak respectively.

    I must admit I always preferred to use concentrated liquid developers such as Acutol , Aculux or Ilfosol where a measured dose of concentrate is diluted, used once and then discarded. I don't know what is currently available, as I tend to use XP2 on the occasions I use b&w film.

    If you use wetting agent at the end of the process make sure you wash the developing tank and spirals well, as it can carry over onto the next film and cause problems.
  3. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Depends on the film.
    Have a look at the Ilford website http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/producttype.asp?n=3&t=Black+&+White+Films and then check the film you have - they give their recommendations for which developer for which film. Ready mixed are easier. Bear in mind that Infosol3 gives good results but only has a shelf life of about six months once opened. DDX seems to be Ilford's soup of choice.

  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yeah, never enjoyed working with powders.

    Rodinal has always been my favourite, and has incredible shelf life, too - the only benefit of powders. Not the finest of grain, but I like that.
    Riaz Ahmed likes this.
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Kier,

    Ilford all the way. Incidentally D-76 and ID-11 are not identical in all markets: can't remember if they are in the UK. Even of they're not, differences are trivial.

    DDX liquid concentrate is horribly expensive but lasts half way to forever and is very convenient. Powders are a lot cheaper. If you're going to go for powder, either ID-11 or (which I prefer) Microphen. If you make up a litre, store in in 4x 250 ml bottles for maximum life.

    "Fine grain" is all but meaningless today: it's a hangover from the 1920s when MQ developers replaced the old, REALLY coarse grain developers. See http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps neg development 1.html for advice on choosing developers. There's an SFX shot there, incidentally.

    For information on film fixer see http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/fixer exhaustion.html

    There's also a general piece on film processing (including choosing chemicals) at http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps how process 35-120.html


  6. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    If you want a recommendation, my own 'standard' is HP5 rated at 200asa and developed in ID11 diluted 1:1 for 11 mins at 20c. This gives me good, easily printable negs (or pleasingly exposed as RH might say;)) Rodinal is OK but it's little too 'acute' for my tastes despite its long shelf-life and I only really use it when I've run out of everything else - it shouldn't happen, but it does! Don't get too fixated on the convenience of liquid devs; powders are easy to mix, they last a long time and are usually cheaper. As for stop and fix, I use Ilford Ilfostop and Ilford Rapid Fixer
    Riaz Ahmed likes this.

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