Black and white film suggestion

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by mikheilrokva, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Part of why it's pretty hard to answer is that the development is a question mark here; some combinations between developer and film work magic, some result in negatives that aren't particularly exiting. I'm far from an expert, but having used a number of different developers with some films, the differences can really be quite noticeable.

    Just a simple example: my standard go-to is HP5 with HC110 as developer; while it's supposed to be close to Tri-X, somehow I never got pleasing results of Tri-X in HC110 (probably my fault, but still). In reverse, HP5 in Rodinal was an experiment I'll never repeat, while I quite like the look I get of Tri-X developed in Rodinal.

    If you have the development done by a lab, then it's harder to say which film will work and which not - unless you can specify to them how you want development done (but doing it yourself is probably cheaper, more fun).

    Another question that is probably difficult to asnwer: if your friend is loosing his interest in photography, do you feel trying new films is going to pull him back in? Especially if films are so expensive in your country, before spending a nice sum on various emulsions, I'd try to understand first whether your gift would really make your friend get back out and shooting.
    Another thing could be to get him a basic starting kit to develop his own films, if he does not do so yet - personally I think it's a nicer "extension" to getting him involved in B&W photography. Just some ideas, maybe they apply, maybe they don't.
  2. "Still"? Is it that old? It was for sale for something like five dollars, came with box, adjustable reel (35/120) and thermometer-agitator. Is it a trash?

    So final thoughts are such: One T-max, one Tri-X, One of each Ilford films including Delta. I'm deliberately saying no to Silberra, Ferrania and that kind due to their price.

    Thanks everyone!
  3. "Still"? Is it that old?

    Not as old as me.
  4. A quick search shows that it seems to be a near twin of the Yankee Clipper tank still available new in the US.

    The Yankee was my first developing tank, and it served me well until I got my hands on some nice stainless steel stuff. I've picked up a few more of them over the years in box lots of darkroom stuff, and still use them occasionally to develop oddball sizes of film(the reel is more or less infinitely adjustable, and you can file a notch if it's a size you plan to do a bunch of).

    The design has its failings, but it will work fine. The one caution I can offer is that the twisting agitation tends to cause the film to "walk off" the reel. I suggest turning it counter clockwise for this reason.
  5. Actually it has some sort of spring-loaded stoppers where the film goes in. So I suspect if I jam the film with it, it won't come off. But who knows.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  6. That looks to be a different and probably better design than the Yankee reels.

    It looks like it should let you "walk" the film in by twisting the reel as you can with Patterson reels(which admittedly I've never used to develop, even though I have some).

    On the Yankee reels, you can perform the same motion and load the reels, but you have to use your thumbs to hold it. It's sort of second nature once you practice a bit, but the Patterson reels self load just by twisting back and forth.
  7. That sounds pretty neat! I should give it a try once so I can brag about it with my children :D
  8. There is the Yankee, and the Yankee II. The former goes up to 116/616, but no notch for 16mm, and also I believe no clear reel top for reversal film re-exposure.

    Similarly, the Yankee II only goes to 120/620, and down (with notch) to 16mm, and clear (as shown in the picture) reel top.

    Yankee II has a thermometer in the agitator, I am not sure about the Yankee.
  9. And yes, the Yankee II was my first tank. Not so much later, I inherited a 35mm Nikor tank and reel from my grandfather, which I still have, 50 years later.
  10. I'm sorry, I have noticed your response only now.
    I'm pretty sure he's gonna get hooked. He likes trying out new stuff, however right now is in financial crisis so hobbies had to be shelved. I on the other hand finally overcame gear hoarding syndrome and have some money to spare :)
    Wouter Willemse likes this.
  11. Nikor? The shiny metal tank? Is there a big difference between plastic and metal tanks fuction-wise?

    I bought Gaf tank due to its adjustable reel. Didn't know 120 format developing was available out here.
  12. Nikor(note one K-as far as I know there's no connection to Nikon/Nikkor) is one of the better known makers of stainless steel tanks and reels. I have a lot of Omega stuff, along with some Hewes reels. I like the Hewes best for 35mm. There are also bunches of no-name brands of varying quality.

    Working with stainless steel is quite different from plastic, as the reels are loaded from the inside out. The process can be kind of difficult to explain, but what you do is lightly cup the film so that it fits between the spirals of the reel, then let it "pop" out and into place when it's on the reel. It takes some practice to be good at it, but once you have it down you can load stainless steel reels faster than plastic. You can really mess things up by accidentally doubling things up and end up with undeveloped areas on your film.

    Also, some reels-particularly the less expensive 35mm ones-will bend at the slightest provocation such as if you drop them. A bent reel will cause you no end of headaches.

    Stainless reels are not adjustable, and most that you find will be either 35mm or 120. If you want a different size, you'll have to watch Ebay or go digging in the used cameras shops. About 6 months ago, I needed a 220 reel(same width as 120, but double the length) but fortunately found a new in box one at my local shop.
    mikheilrokva likes this.
  13. I guess I'll be fine with GAF. Either way I can't buy rodinal and other fancy liquids so I'll have to do with D-76, so no need for high end tanks.
  14. D76 is still my workhorse developer, and in most cases I don't really find it lacking. I mix up a gallon of it, and leave it sitting on the floor. It's usually 19ºC when I pour it out, which is pretty darn close to one of the common 20º temperatures(and actually only takes about a 30 second correction to work correctly at 19º for films like Tri-X).

    Kodak officially lists the shelf life at 6 months for a full bottle and 2 months for a half full bottle. I've used it with good results up to a year, although I do add a bit of time as it ages. Air is really the enemy of developers(especially for more dilute/less viscous ones) but this can be mitigated somewhat. There are two classic tricks-one is to squeeze the bottle to get rid of air-in fact at least at one time you could get 1 qt. "accordion" bottle to make this easy. The other time tested way is to use glass marbles to take up volume in the bottle.

    BTW, if you're adventurous Rodinal can be prepared from Tylenol(acetomenophen/parcemetol), Washing soda(sodium carbonate) and Lye(sodium hydroxide). I'm currently using some that was made that way, although admittedly I made it from reagent grade chemicals(I'm a chemist) rather than using off the shelf stuff but they should work fine.
    mikheilrokva likes this.
  15. You'd make a lot of money if you had photography classes. A lot of people, including myself would pay you to get knowledge.
  16. What I know pales in comparison to a lot of folks here.

    I admit to being at an advantage when it comes to this kind of stuff since I do have a masters in Chemistry and work as a chemist at a university. My degree is officially in analytical chemistry, but I spent of a year of graduate school as a synthetic organic chemist.

    I've thought about talking to the photography professor over at the art school to see if I can do a few lectures on the chemistry of photography, or alternatively talking to my department chair and seeing if I can do it as a 100-level special topics elective aimed at art majors. The guy who does our "chemistry for non-science majors" lab has also talked to me on doing an experiment or two on photography.
    mikheilrokva likes this.
  17. Off topic from original post, but I'd love to see T-shirts that have printed: (on front) Silver Halide Photography (on back) The Ultimate Fun in Oxidation-Reduction
  18. You'd be lucky if someone could actually understand the meaning of it out here. People in local lab said I'm one of a few who knows what C-41 is. That's Georgia for you :D
  19. I think you should give it a shot. After all, it's something you love.
  20. True, but half the fun is getting people to ask about it. I would wear to school once in a while since one of the subjects I teach is high school chemistry.

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