From: Andrew Price on
On Mon, 7 Jan 2008 00:13:06 -0500, "Ken Hart" <kwhart(a)>


>There is also a gentleman who espouses 'one-tray' processing.
>I've never tried it myself, but perhaps for the temporary darkroom, it may
>be the answer.

That would be Lloyd Erlick:


The rest of his site is also well worth a visit.
From: Richard Knoppow on

"G.T." <getnews1(a)> wrote in message
> Richard Knoppow wrote:
>> Fixer has relatively low capacity for complete fixing
>> and complete fixing is important to the lifetime of the
>> developed film. The rule of thumb is to discard the fixer
>> when _clearing_ time has doubled but IMO this is
>> stretching things a bit. Clearing time is measured by
>> fixing out a scrap of the film you are working with. Soak
>> the sample in water for a couple of minutes before
>> testing it because wet film fixes at a different rate
>> than dry film. Test a sample when the fixer is first
>> mixed and before its used. Note the time it takes for the
>> film to become completely clear. The rule of thumb is to
>> fix for twice this time and to discard the bath than the
>> clearing time doubles.
> Thanks Richard. I'll have to do this. I was just using
> the times suggested on the fixer bottle.
> From reading your post and Lawrence's I can test by
> snipping off the leader of a 35mm roll? Just drop it in
> some fixer and time how long it takes to clear?
> I also have a roll of 120 Tri-X 400 that I opened just to
> practice loading a reel with.
Just take a small scrap of the film and soak it in
water for perhaps 2 minutes. Then drop in some of the fixer
and swirl it around. Measure the time it takes to be
visually clear.

>> Unless you work with very small quantities of film its
>> best to use two successive fixing baths. The film or
>> paper is fixed in each bath for half the normal fixing
>> time. The first bath does most of the work leaving the
>> second bath relatively fresh so it can clean up any
>> unfixed halide. After the first bath becomes exhausted
>> its dumped. The second bath then becomes the first bath
>> and a new second bath is mixed. Kodak has full
>> instructions about this in their Darkroom Dataguide
>> booklet.
>> In addition to your processing method outlined above
>> I would add the use of a wash aid. I prefer Kodak Hypo
>> Clearing Agent because Kodak has published the details of
>> its contents and experimental evidence that it works. I
>> believe that Ilford's wash aid is essentially identical.
>> Teh wash aid will reduce film washing time from about 30
>> minutes to about 5 minutes. The wash aid can also remove
>> some otherwise insoluble fixer reaction products.
>> Use the wetting agent after washing as you are doing.
>> Because the wetting agent can collect gelatin from the
>> film and will support mold it should not be saved between
>> sessions. It can be used for more than one roll of film
>> but should be discarded after you finish working.
> So in this workflow it would be develop, stop, fix, hypo,
> wash, and wetting agent? In class we washed prints in
> hypo but not film.
> Oh, and regarding grain, my instructor actually suggested
> that I use Xtol for now. But during class he told us that
> we'll get larger, more noticeable grain if we using
> something like Rodinal/HC-110. That's why I'm currently
> playing with it.
> The bigger issue is that I'm getting used to developing at
> home but there is no way I'm going to be able to print at
> home. Does anyone have any current suggestions on finding
> a rental darkroom in LA these days? I'm currently signed
> up for another B&W class in Burbank, but I'm not going to
> have time to these next few months to actually do any
> assignments, I just want to print stuff from the last 4
> months.
> I was thinking about calling up Translight Colors. Anyone
> heard good or bad?
> Thanks,
> Greg
What is the problem with setting up to print? There may
be a way around this. It is much more satisfactory to do
your own printing so its worth exploring ways to accomplish

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA

From: Richard Knoppow on

"Ken Hart" <kwhart(a)> wrote in message
> "G.T." <getnews1(a)> wrote in message
> news:13o36j825t8r910(a)
> snip
>> So in this workflow it would be develop, stop, fix, hypo,
>> wash, and wetting agent? In class we washed prints in
>> hypo but not film.
> Just for the record. "fixer" and "hypo" are basically the
> same thing. I realize that when you say "hypo", you mean
> "hypo clearing agent"(sometimes called "HCA"). The purpose
> of the hypo clearing agent is to remove the hypo or fixer
> from the film or print.
> Back in the 'good old days' when prints were actually
> paper and not resin-coated plastic stuff, the paper print
> would soak up a lot of chemicals. You needed to wash a
> print for perhaps an hour or so to remove all the fixer
> from the porous paper. (Ricard K., please feel free to
> jump in and correct me or elaborate-- I'm certain you are
> far more knowledgeable on this!). A hypo clearing agent
> would neutralize the hypo (or fixer), so that a shorter
> wash time (perhaps 30 minutes?) would suffice.
> Film, being a non-porous material (or certainly less
> porous than fiber-based prints) doesn't soak up as much
> chemistry, so a hypo clearing agent is not as important.
> If it's critical to you that your negatives last to the
> next millenia, than you may want to use it anyway...!
> As for not being able to print at home, there are many
> people who make do with printing in a bathroom. Some use a
> cart (Rubbermaid? Check office supply or food service
> supply companies.) to hold their enlarger and store their
> chems, trays, and stuff so they can wheel everything into
> the bathroom for a session, then wheel it all into a
> closet for storage. You can put velcro around the window
> frame and stick a piece of faric or cardboard over the
> window. There is also a gentleman who espouses 'one-tray'
> processing. I've never tried it myself, but perhaps for
> the temporary darkroom, it may be the answer. Maybe
> someone here can supply the link to his website, or to
> websites for temporary darkrooms. Using the kitchen is
> also a possibility, but some people don't like that idea
> because of the possibility of food being contaminated--
> but for darkroom work, cleanliness is important, so wipe
> up those chem spills!
> For me, you can take away my permanent darkrooms when you
> can pry the staticmaster brush from my cold, dead fingers!
My darkroom pretends that is a kitchen much of the time.
Quite small but Peter Gowland, in one of his books, says
that a darkroom can be too big. I agree with this, it must
be small enough so that things are within easy reach.

Fiber prints (the support should really be called
unprotected paper) does soak up hypo. The use of a wash aid
helps to dislodge it from the paper but the washing is not
by simple diffusion as it is for the emulsion because some
of the hypo gets bound up with the paper fibers mechanically
(Ilford points this out in their paper on accelerated
washing). As a result wash times are much extended.
Actually, the emulsion will wash out as fast as RC paper but
the support does not. Also, the "baryta" layer under the
emulsion tends to bind hypo as well. A sulfite wash aid will
break the bonding of hypo and fixer reaction products to the
emulsion and the baryta layer and, to some degree, with the
paper fibers but it is not as effective with the fibers as
with the emulsion and baryta layer. So, even with a wash aid
treatment fiber prints take 10 to 30 minutes to wash out. RC
paper even when fixed in acid hardening fixer will wash out
in about 4 minutes. Because a very small residue of hypo has
been found to stabilize the image silver against oxidation
wash times for RC should not exceed the recommended 4 or so
minutes and times for fiber paper or film treated with wash
aid should not be extended. Of course toning provides much
more effective protection and should be applied to prints
especially but, nonetheless, one can wash too much.
The substrate of RC paper is also plastic. In fiber
paper the substrate is one or more layers of very hard
gelatin with a suspension of barium sulfate (baryta) in it.
Barium sulfate is one of he most reflective materials around
which is why it was chosen. The substrate of RC paper is
plastic with a suspension of titanium dioxide in it. TiO is
even more reflective than barium sulfate. Because the TiO
tends to emmit an oxidizing gas which attacks both the image
and the plastic layer RC papers have had problems with
having short lives in the past. However, for at least ten
years all RC papers have been made with anti-oxidants and
oxidizer scavengers built in so they no longer have this
problem. The scavengers are supposed to be self-regenerating
so the protection should last as long as the print is
The difference in the substrate may have something to do
with the difference in appearance of the two types of paper
although I find that when other than glossy surfaces are
used its very difficult to tell them apart.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA

From: Rod Smith on
In article <flopdd$sag$1(a)>,
tls(a) (Thor Lancelot Simon) writes:
> There is a
> myth that circulates that Rodinal is a fine-grain developer -- it is
> quite certainly _not_ that.

In several years of perusing various online forums, this is the first I've
heard of a myth of Rodinal being a fine-grain developer. Maybe such a myth
makes the rounds through (non-electronic) word of mouth or some other
means, but online, no discussion of Rodinal seems to elude prominent
claims of it being a NON-fine-grain developer.

Rod Smith, rodsmith(a)
Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking
From: Rod Smith on
In article <REHfj.3070$El5.969(a)>,
"Lawrence Akutagawa" <lakuNOSPAM(a)> writes:
> The rule of thumb with fixers is in room light to toss a piece of
> undeveloped film scrap into the fixer - for 35mm, the leader/trailer of the
> roll is ideal. Time how long it takes for the film to clear. Fix for
> double that time. When the fixing period extends more than 10-12 minutes or
> so, time for mix new fixer. Keep the fixer in a dark, cool place.

Note that fixing and clearing times vary greatly, both from one film to
another and from one fixer to another. Personally, I generally use rapid
fixers (based on ammonium thiosulfate rather than sodium thiosulfate),
which fix films in about two minutes. In fact, the fixers I use often
clear films in 30 seconds or less. The general rule of thumb is to fix for
twice the clearing times (some people say three times for T-grain films),
but I err on the side of the longer time if I get, say, a 30-second fixing
time and the product documentation recommends a 2-minute time.

A 10-12 minute fixing time sounds very long to me, but you might well get
into that range toward the end of the useful life of a fixer based on
sodium thiosulfate.

Rod Smith, rodsmith(a)
Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking