Ideas for Procesing B/W Film White Traveling?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by john_adams|22, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. I am looking for ideas of how to process my b/w 120 film while I am on a long trip. I don't want to carry the film around with me for weeks, and I don't want to develop tons of film when I get back home. I currently use Tri-X as my film and develop in XTOL most of the time unless I push to 800 or 1600 then I use D76.
    I am flying to my locations so carrying b/w chemicals on an airplane is not an option and I won't be in a place long enough for a lab to develop for me, which I avoid at all costs anyway.
    Any creative ideas or thoughts?
    I am open to using a different developer if that help, but would like to stay with my tested developers if at all possible.
    My current process:
    Develop (XTOL or D76) (I use distilled water)
    Stop bath (usually Ilford Stop bath)
    Rapid Fixer (usually Ilford rapid fix)
    rinse in tap water
    Clearing Agent (Kodak brand)
    wash in tap water
    hand dry
  2. D76, Xtol and Kodak Fixer are powders and could be carried in checked baggage, along with Photoflo(possibly). The powdered chems could be shipped ahead of your travels if needed.
    Too little info on where you will be and for how long to suggest much else. :(
  3. Mail them to be processed (as shot) with a return address to your home.
  4. Bob, thanks for the reply. I will be going to multiple destinations, airport to airport on the trips. I will only be in one location for a day or two before going to the next. This is one of the reasons why I was trying to think about developing on the road. I won't likely find a lab near me and if I do finding labs that will do medium format or large format films is getting hard to find. I was also thinking about the risk of hauling around undeveloped film with me.
    Peter, that is an option. I could take a lead bag with me and put the undeveloped rolls in there and ship UPS or FedEx.
  5. Aside from going digital, Peter's idea is the only option you have that fits your restrictions.
  6. HC110 is a liquid concentrate that might be more convenient for use a developer. Ilford also offers a simlar product. It would depend upon restrictions for carrying liquids, though.
  7. I think you can carry liquid chemicals in checked baggage. Here is the excerpt from the TSA website:
    Other Items

    Item Carry-on Checked
    Gel-type candles No Yes
    Gel shoe inserts - Gel shoe inserts are not permitted, but shoes constructed with gel heels are allowed and must be removed and screened. No Yes
    Non-flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint Yes - 3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller container Yes
    Flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint No No
    Snow globes and like decorations regardless of size or amount of liquid inside, even with documentation. No Yes
    I have never tried it because most of my travel is to Paris and it is easier to buy the chemicals there than to pack them.
  8. What's the big deal with carrying the film around with you? Unless you plan to buy it locally, you'll have it with you in the beginning, so just bring it home where you can process it in confidence. If you try to develop it along the way, you will need to take tanks, etc. with you, not to mention negative storage sheets, which you will have to lug around and bring back with you. The only issue I see is running the film through multiple security scanners at the airports, but that shouldn't be a huge problem depending on exactly where you are going.
  9. I can't imagine traveling with a developing kit and chemicals is the easy way to do this. I'd either mail the film to a friend back home to hold so you can develop it later, or mail it to a lab with your or a friend's address (I'd guess Tri-X in Xtol is the easiest B&W processing to get a lab to do) or just carry the film in a lead bag.
  10. Powders are best, as Bob Sunley suggests. Your procedure must be modified in places where distilled water is not to be had -- and, above all, in dusty regions. I did a lot of this in India (my own country) in the 1960s and early 1970s, when exposed film did not keep well. It took up a good deal of time. Now that emulsions are considerably more stable and parcelling by air is available and affordable, I'd say that Peter Carter has the best answer.
  11. Lead bag. Good for your new film as well if you are flying to location.
  12. Rather than have an agument with some TSA employee
    or carry liquids that will get all over your clothing when the bottle leaks at 40,000 feet
    best to find a simpler "solution".
    Before all the current restrictoions
    when color slide film was the norm., folks carried several film mailers with them on vacation
    and when they got home the pictures were waiting.
    Of course there was never a HOME KIT for Kodachrome.
    and "send out B&W is sort of IFFY.
    It might be better to shoot c-41 and use mailers .
  13. I wanted to say thanks to everyone that provided ideas and feedback. I will take everything into consideration and get a plan together.
  14. Why not send the un-developed film home?
    Fed X & UPS are pretty good shippers.
    Never have developed film whilst on a job. Always busy! Fun & Smiles!
  15. Bill, a lead bag and a UPS/Fed-EX box is probably the safest and best option at this point.
  16. As a teenager I traveled abroad with my parents and brothers for about seven months. I did have some b&w film processed locally along the way but the color film, mostly Kodachrome II and Agfachrome CT18, was not processed until we returned. It was all fine.
  17. I think if I were travelling I'd just mail my films to my home address. The only reason I'd want to process while traveling would be if I wanted to share some of my photos with the locals. Honestly, though, if sharing was important, I'd pack a small digital P&S and portable dye sub printer for that purpose. But as for shipping film home, this way you get to use the chemistry that you're comfortable with rather than adapt to travel restrictions and you process in a familar setting.
  18. The infamous lead bag is a sure way to get your film burned! The operator can't see whats inside and turns up the level..Then they remove the film and send it back again,most likely at the new hi-level.Throw it in a plastic bag.Place on tray with your wallet etc.Some places without asking took the film and carried it past the x-ray. My films that went thru showed no damage.
    Carrying developer(often considered hazardous..see label, and fixer a real bind. Now you look like a drug smuggler..
    I suggest keep the films undeveloped, till you reach home. Another alternative is to meet with fellow photographer and use their darkroom and/or rent space.
  19. Commercial packages aren't X-rayed. The X-rays are cheap, but having someone look at the image is too expensive. Look at how much you pay to have your luggage X-rayed on a plane. Now, can they afford that on a $10 overseas package? Nope.
    Thus, no point in the lead bag when shipping the film. Kodak didn't ship the film to your store in a lead bag. B&H and Adorama don't ship film in lead bags.
  20. Customs would be the people x-raying parcels coming into or leaving the country, not the carrier.

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