View Full Version : @Darkroom - Is it just like riding a bike?
I have the opportunity to use a darkroom at a local museum close to where I work. This room sits idle mostly and is well stocked with equipment etc.
I haven't developed my own film or produced my own prints in a very long time. Not since I was in high school; I guess.
My question is how to start? What film and developer should I try to ease myself back into it? I have one last roll of Verichrome Pan that I was thinking of using and perhaps D76.
Any suggestions for my first mix would be most appreciated...or any other suggestions that members may have.
I would suggest staying away from the modern T-grain films like Kodak T-Max and Ilford Delta as they are very sensitive to development variations. Personally I suggest Ilford HP5+ for 400 speed and Ilford FP4+ for 100 speed, combined with an ilford liquid concentrate developer like Ilfosol S. This is what I use and it is pretty forgiving.
Get the two Ilford files "develop my first film" and "make my first enlargement", very compact documentations that will give you a very good and quick start. It'll become more complicated later, don't worry :)
Thanks kindly for the suggestions...I had thought that I'd go Ilford and the documents will help.
I found all the tech documents at Ilford and Kodak's sites to be great resources. I have downloaded all the tech sheets for the films and developers I think I will use.
I recently bought a changing bag and think that has made all the difference for me. No more waiting till dark. I needed to kill 30 minutes last night before my son's bath, so got my stuff out, loaded a roll of TriX, and we processed it. Just about 30 minutes of work. He put on his latex gloves and helped carry the stuff back and forth. When I hung the strip I let him squeegee (sp?) it and he loved it.
It is easy enough to set yourself up to process the film at home in your kitchen. I would suggest that you consider doing that and use your darkroom time for printing.
Maybe try Rodinal comes in a bottle you can mix what you need out ot it at that time and then you through it away. Its a one shot deal. It is also great for pushing Tri-x.
Rodinol is great 1:25 for fine grain films. I find it makes HP5 grainier than I prefer. Sensidol is also a nice developer for 35mm films in general.
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