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Re: [Rollei] B&W Chemistry (breaking off from film washing)
- Subject: Re: [Rollei] B&W Chemistry (breaking off from film washing)
- From: TrueBadger
- Date: Sat, 03 May 2003 01:50:24 -0400
Individuals can have sensitivities to almost any chemical I suppose, but in fifty years of hobby darkroom work I've never had any difficulties from using the common B&W chemistries.
In fact, the most irritating thing in my darkroom is probably the wash water. For some reason, the tap water in this area (near Wash DC) positively stinks of some additive.
I'd suspect the worse thing would be any airborne chemicals, such as you might get by dumping the powdered form into a mixing bucket too rapidly, or that might get into the air from chemistry spilled, which then dried and got scuffed up into the air. In a hobby darkroom this is avoided by wiping up any spills immediately.
Developing sheet film in trays with fingers instead of tongs isn't a good idea, but then it probably isn't a good idea technique-wise either. Small tank development of rollfilms need not expose one to much chemistry, nor development of sheet film in deep tanks using hangers. The use of Jobo processors of course keeps exposure to chemistry way down.
Print processing in trays exposes a lot of chemistry surface to the air, but this is probably not too bad if the chemistry is not left in the trays between sessions. Use of a slot processor cuts the air/chemical interface surface down to next to nothing and keeps the chemistry viable longer also.
For times when I just want to make a print or three without setting up trays, I use the old Heath-Mitchell "color canoes" to do single-shot B&W print processing. The 8x10 canoe takes 2 oz, the 11x14 takes 4 oz, and the 16x20 takes 8 oz. The chemistry is drawn from storage tanks with spigots as needed for each print. Rinsing out the canoe and putting it away takes no time at all, and There's basically no mess involved.
These canoes are getting hard to find now, but they really are handy additions to any B&W darkroom.