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@pixeldev @dansup Hello! How long until the Remote Follows will come aliveeeee?

@shlee Mr11 saw the "Please no hacky" thing in the toc here a few weeks ago and "Please no thing-y" has become a staple in his vocab.

Photo from the other week, developed yesterday. Ilford HP5+ 400, shot at 400, in Olympus OM-1. Developed with Ilford DD-X at 19°C for 10 minutes.

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I found lots of posts about developing film at home, but it felt like they left out some details. I’ll, inevitably, also leave things out, but I’m going to have a crack at writing a comprehensive guide to getting as far as having a dry, clean, developed film, and throwing it into a scanner.

Step 1 was gathering all the equipment I needed. It seemed daunting initially, but it turns out that I didn’t actually need that much stuff. Links to products are just as examples, and are close (or exactly) what I’m using.

There’ll also be a short section on what I plan on doing next to make life a bit easier.

I have:

Changing BagThermometerDeveloping TankFunnelMeasuring cylinder (or some way to accurately measure liquids)Bottles (600ml or bigger)Developing time chart, and temperature compensation chartTimer (your phone works perfectly)Scissors (not The Good Scissors)Developing Chemicals (covered below)Running water (hot and cold)Clothes pegs, and somewhere to hang the films when you’re done

There are four (three) chemicals: Developer, Stop Bath, Fixer, and a wetting agent (this is optional, but it really helps). I use:

Ilford DD-XIlford IlfoStopIlford Rapid FixerKodak Photo-Flo 200

A Paterson Tank needs around 300ml of each chemical per film. The DD-X and Rapid Fixer both need to be diluted 1+4 (1 part concentrate, to 4 parts water). Doing some maths, you get 60ml of concentrate, and 240ml of water, to get to 300ml in total of developer.

The IlfoStop is 1+19, so to make 300ml you need 15ml IlfoStop and 285ml water.

The Photo-Flo is 1+199, so to make 300ml I need a splash of Photo-Flo and the rest in water – this is really not critical. It does, however, get a bit bubbly if you use too much, so I try to go easy on it.

Step 2 – I’ve been out and taken some photographs, and I’m back.

I get water to the right-ish temperature (a bit over 20°C is good) and mix my chemicals with that water and pour from the measuring cylinder into clearly labelled bottles. I then dry my work-space and get ready for the trickiest bit.

When I rewind your film from the camera, I listen closely to hear when the film has rewound to the point where it’s disconnected from the winder, but hasn’t gone so far that it’s gone all the way back into the cassette. This makes life easier, because I can start it on the spool in daylight.

I cut the end bit off the film to square it off, and feed it onto the spool until it’s gone past the ball bearings that are in the reels.

Trim……and wind on a bit.

This spool goes into the changing bag together with the centre post, the tank, the tank lid, and your scissors. I’m sure it’s not necessary, but I always have both spools in the tank when I develop, even if it’s just one film in the tank.

Now’s the tricky bit. I stuff my hands into the zipped up changing bag, and find all the bits. I unspool the film from the cassette and onto the spool by turning one side of the spool back and forth, while also unwinding the film from the cassette. When I’ve reached the end, I snip it off with the scissors, wind on the rest of the film so it’s all the way on, and assemble the tank and make sure I lock the lid on properly. I say this, because one time I didn’t, and the lid came off during the developing process and it wasn’t ideal.

Everything comes out of the bag, and it’s time to measure the temperatures of the chemicals. The most important one is the developer – the others are less important.

I’ve been pretty lucky and have managed to hit 19 or 20°C each time, so haven’t needed to compensate too much with the timings. Referring to the developing time chart for the film, I get the time required for developing at 20°C, then use the compensation chart to calculate the actual time required at the actual temperature. Today I did an Ilford HP5+ 400 film, which, at 20°C with Ilford DD-X needs 9 minutes. My DD-X was at at 19°C, so needed 10 minutes with temperature compensation.

The next bit, when I did it the first time, felt quite stressful. It feels like there are a lot of things to do in a short amount of time. I ran the steps through in my head a few times, as practise, and it worked out fine. The hardest part was definitely unspooling the film and getting that done neatly.

I start the timer as I pour the last bit of developer in to the tank. I then put the second lid on the tank and invert the tank 4 times, then gently tap it on the desk once or twice to make sure that any bubbles trapped in the spool come out. Every minute I invert the tank four times, tap the bench with the tank, and spend the next 50 seconds preparing the next step.

Filling the tankInverting every minute

I start pouring the developer out in the last 10 seconds of the count-down, and once it’s all out, I pour in the Stop Bath. This only needs to be in for about 30 seconds, but I do make sure I swish it around thoroughly. Then I pour in the fixer which needs to be in for 3-5 minutes. I don’t know how important it is to invert this, but I make sure I do, just to make sure I get nice even coverage with the fixer.

When the time is up with the fixer, I start rinsing the film. I pour water, from the tap, into the top of the tank and let it pour for 5 to 10 minutes. It doesn’t need to flow fast, but I make sure I do a few tank-fulls of clean water first, and then leave the tap running for the 5 to 10 minutes. Then I pour in the Photo-Flo solution, give it a swish about, and pour it out.

NOW! It’s time! I can open the tank up and inspect the film. I open the spool up to remove the film, and carefully hang the film up to dry, taking care not to touch it until it’s completely dry.

One developed film, hanging up to dry

I would really like to get an immersion heater to keep the chemicals at the right temperature – I think that’s going to be my next investment. And maybe a more sensibly sized measuring cylinder.

Once the film is dry, I slice it into groups of 6 frames, and scan them with my Epson Perfection V330 Photo scanner. Making sure the glass is nice and clean. Removing every piece of lint is not easy, and I tell myself that the odd bit of lint adds character. Or something.

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World Recession!
Financial experts fear worst as economy slumps!

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Developed a film today.

Might blorg about it later, because this was a highly successful film.

Selfie. Eye contact. 

@koosli As we used to say on the ABC forums: Hippy Bathday!

Who decided to jog to work today?

Me, obviously, because of the hideous sweat patches.

Kids Medical (+) 

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YOU: so the A in RAID stands for "Array"?
US: Yes.
YOU: doesn't that mean saying "RAID array" is redundant?
US: Of course. That's what the R is for.

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No, no, no. YOU'RE reading RFC 6350.


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I developed a film today, and I don’t think I made any glaring mistakes. I didn’t kink the film as it went onto the spool. The whole film fit on the spool, so I didn’t need to do a random snip of the film partway along. The lid didn’t fall off the Patterson tank before the fixer had gone in. I didn’t scratch the film by impatiently running my fingers along it to speed up the drying process.

So, I’m improving from a physical technique perspective. I think that I’m also improving from a black and white film photography perspective. I’m seeing the contrasts better before I take the picture. I’m seeing what will work a bit more. Or at least I think so.

I’m very excited about this photograph, taken at Arthur’s Seat on Mount Lofty. Photographed with an Olympus OM-1, on Ilford HP5 Plus 400 film, and developed with Ilford DD-X at 1+4 dilution, for 9 mintues at 20°C.

Arthur’s Seat Ruin

I went photo hunting today. Olympus OM-1, Ilford HP5 Plus. Fire-gutted ruin.

Will blog about it later.

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