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MAGIC, is what it is!!!!

mini670 17 174 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2007 5:51PM
Well today i have processed my first two films.
im still buzzing from it.

The first one was ilford FP4 in ID11. not really sure if its come out good or not from the negs.

And the 2nd was HP5 pushed to iso800, again im not really sure. Also when loading this film id taken my mobile into the bathrrom, BAD BAD idea haha my mate phoned me up, BIIIIG bright screen, then after that my Dad open the door slightly, my reaction was extreeeemly fast..........DAAAAAAAAAAAAD! Then i couldnt seem to get the last few frmas onto the reel so i though f**k it and snipped them off. Doesnt seem bad though. Will there be some fogging or whatever it is called.

A couple of questions while im here,

The rebates are not completely clear, i have read that they should be, they are almost there but not quite. By `clear`, do they meen completely transparent like a OHP paper blank.

then also , the fixer, i got Ilford rapid fixer. Couldnt work out how to reuse it. I mixed about 500ml up and used 300ml for the first film, then poured back in and then used a further 300ml for the 2nd film and poured back in. Will this have messed it all up. As i have read, but cant understand the replenishment instructions.

Also i have just realised that it really does mean `dry in a dust free room` ve just checked the 2nd one and its got some dust on it Sad

Anyhows, ive really enjoyed todays activities and look forward to having ago at the rest of the films i have to process.
cameracat 17 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
3 Sep 2007 5:55PM
Ah! Yes I remember it well...........Smile

Great fun & Good luck.
mini670 17 174 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2007 5:59PM

i have just realised that on this last one i have some areas that look like it was where the water has dried, i thought the `wetting` agent was supposed to prevent this?

and aslo the film seems to have taken a bit of a lend lengthwise, they are not flat. it this allright?
matt5791 17 747 1 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2007 9:41PM
You do get some curl, but once dry completely any cury should be "uniform".

I find developing film extremely involving - it is when you bring the photographs to life for the first time and get your first look.

In time you will learn how to read negatives.

I could go on and on but the best advise is just practice - it wont be long before you can process films almost automatically - just dont worry about trying to adjust contrast push/pull etc at this stage. Just process as many films as you can and try to stick to one or two films (eg FP4 HP5) and one developer.

Regardsing the fixer - you can pour it back in as you have done. Just try and keep a note of how many films have been fixed in the total amount of fix. I actually don't often reuse fix - especially on critical stuff. Its cheap (especially in 5 litre), lasts for some time once opened and you can always be sure you are properly fixing the negs.

If you ever have any questions please feel free to PM me or email me from my website (address in my portfolio)

RogBrown 14 3.1k 10 England
3 Sep 2007 10:59PM
The rebates should be completely clear. If they're not, they're probably fogged from the light from your mobile & the open door. This will also degrade the images.
To prevent drying marks, even if you're using a wetting agent, you need to pull the film through your index & 2nd finger to get rid of surplus water, but the film has to be perfectly clean or you could get scratch marks.
While you're handling film, you should ideally wear a nylon jacket or overall. On NO account wear a woolley jumper or anything like that, or you can get hairs all over the film.
Good luck. (Brings back memories!)
matt5791 17 747 1 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2007 11:37PM

Quote:The rebates are not completely clear, i have read that they should be, they are almost there but not quite. By `clear`, do they meen completely transparent like a OHP paper blank.

Regarding the rebates - these will never be completely clear - they will not be like "OHP" material, as you suggest.

What you describe sounds like they are correct - just a slight density.
KenTaylor 17 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2007 12:06AM

Quote:The rebates should be completely clear.

Not quite, there is a base fog that is an anti-halation layer. It is only faint and you should be able to read newsprint through it as a rough guide. The early 35mm films didn't have this layer although I do believe that Retro Photographic obtained some film that did not have a base fog. It was sold without the cassette that you had to wind on yourself strange as it may seem.
chriswebb 17 893 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2007 9:05AM
The negatives shouldn't be transparent like OHP sheets, they are a pale mauve colour (although there are 1 or 2 transparent films like Rollei R3), but they should be clear and not look misty or foggy. If they are you might not have washed the film properly, and if you also have dust on the negatives you could try washing them again - put the film back onto the reel and slosh it around in some water with a bit of wetting agent and then dry it with your fingers as Rog says. Don't use a squeegee as it is almost impossible not to get a bit of grit or dust on it which will scratch the film all the way down. I use water from a Brita filter for mixing chemicals and the final wash.

According to Ilford their Rapid Fixer should do 24 35mm films without replenisher, or last 6 months mixed (whichever comes first) although I usually chuck mine after about 10 films. I've got a chart sellotaped to the kitchen wall a make a note every time I use it. I never bother with replenishing either ID11 or fixer, it's only really worthwhile if you develop huge numbers of films.

As Matt said it's not a good idea to push films until you have got the hang of using them at their actual speed, although pushing HP5 to 800 is probably the best "push" and the one which gives the closest results to the unpushed film.

It should be obvious if any part of the film is fogged as there will be dark areas outside the frames.

Regarding your comment "Then i couldnt seem to get the last few frames onto the reel", if you are using a Patterson they can be a bit of a b*****d at times as the ball bearings which slide backwards and forwards sometimes jam and grip the film. Just jiggle it a bit and hopefully it will free it up. If not split the reel in two, wind the film back into the cassette and start again.
pentaxpete 16 711 1 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2007 9:42AM
I developed my first films in the bathhroom with an old blanket up the window, by the see-saw method in 1951! I used Ferrania Orthochromatic film which meant a red 'safelight' could be used; I didn't have the money for a safelight so I put some red paper round the ceiling bulb and used that! I had problems with curling and uneven development BUT it was 'doing it yourself' which was exciting- I wondered why the negs were much better when I could afford my first developing tank at 27/6d in old money, they didn't have the fog level on the see-sawed ones!
chriswebb 17 893 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2007 10:08AM
You must be dying for somebody to ask what the see-saw method is.
FatHandedChap 15 1.3k England
4 Sep 2007 10:10AM
I used a changing bag for loading my films for developing - saved any bathroom door incidents.

I soon got the knack for loading 35mm films, but always struggled with medium format.

c_evans99 18 7.0k 1 Wales
4 Sep 2007 10:21AM
Two essential steps for easy film loading are spirals need to be absolutely bone dry to stop the film fouling- if you're planning on developing more than one film per session you really need to own several spirals; secondly trim off the corners of the film's leading edge.

Fixer economy is no bad thing as using proprietary fixers can rachet up your developing costs. If you're careful with your solutions you can get your costs down to around 60p per film. Fixing by inpection is a good way of preserving fix... after a minute of fixing you can open the tank and inspect the film - in the early stages it will appear milky but clears as it fixes... fixing time should be twice as long as the clearing time - when clearing time goes to aroung five minutes the fix should be replaced.
chriswebb 17 893 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2007 10:23AM
The easiest way to load medium format film is not the wiggle-it-backwards-and-forwards method as there are no holes for the balls to grip, but to take the backing paper off completely and just push the whole film onto the reel. Use gloves though or you'll get finger prints on the film. A whole 120 goes on easily like this; a 220 would probably jam but I don't think anybody makes 220 now anyway.
KenTaylor 17 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2007 10:45AM

Quote:Patterson they can be a bit of a b*****d at times

Stainless Steel tanks and centre load spirals are the best with almost instant reuse and effortless loading, unless you kink the film then its all over.
Some run a soft lead pencil around the spirals in the Paterson ones to avoid sticking but again kinked film will give you hell.
Paterson did make centre load spirals that I would think are impossible to find now. I have four that are well stained after many uses with C41 process.

For loading a BIG changing bag is handy.

Use film clips for drying and the curling is over for most films. A moistened lint free cloth with Methylated spirit gently removes water marks.

Just one more tip. Use distilled or purified water to make up the developer, makes a big difference what with all the treatments mains water goes through and dont even think that bottled water will do, its worse.
c_evans99 18 7.0k 1 Wales
4 Sep 2007 10:52AM
I've replaced all my Patterson spirals with Photax made... they've the same dimensions but much better made.

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