Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

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Barry Kirsten
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Location: Brookfield, Vic.

Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby Barry Kirsten » 04 Dec 2015, 11:38

I'm wondering if there is an alternative to Vanbar as supplier of photo chemicals in Australia. I enquired today specifically about phenidone, which is on the Vanbar website at $77 for 100g. I wanted to know if smaller quantities are available, as most of the formulae I know of use very small amounts and 100g would see me out for life. Blind optimistic fool that I am, I expected a positive response. But no, 'we're out of stock, and even if we had some we couldn't supply less than 100g'.

Bloody hell... We can't get a lot of these chemicals from USA because of their rules preventing shipment by air, and from my past experience the large chemical suppliers in Australia won't sell to humble hobbyists. So what on earth do we do??? I'm wondering if anyone on the forum knows of an alternative in Australia. In the 80s and 90s I used to deal with David Canaway in Keilor, who had great stocks and traded under the name of Canchem, but I think he sold out due to health problems. Perhaps Vanbar bought him out. God forbid.

Oscar
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Re: Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby Oscar » 04 Dec 2015, 21:49

I haven't used them for a while, but Ace Chemicals here in Adelaide carries (carried?) all that kind of thing. Phenidone is still listed on their web site: http://www.acechem.com.au/P.html

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Barry Kirsten
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Location: Brookfield, Vic.

Re: Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby Barry Kirsten » 05 Dec 2015, 05:49

That's good news; thanks Oscar for the information. They seem to have just about everything we could want.

Mick Fagan
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Location: Melbourne

Re: Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby Mick Fagan » 06 Dec 2015, 19:38

Barry, that is interesting, I bought 10g of Phenidone from Vanbar some time ago, not exactly sure but within the last 12 months.

Even more interesting is that as I placed the Vanbar 10g white plastic container in my darkroom shelf, I suddenly remembered about one of my more obscure Canchem purchases. Yep, there was an unopened 100g clear plastic bag of Phenidone sitting inside a clear glass old jam jar with its lid on tightly.

I have been using that since then and that will take some time as the last 100g bag I used was opened shortly after purchasing it from David at Canchem. This current Canchem bag is dated 1992 as my purchase year.

David was quite ill, I bought quite a fair amount of stuff from him and was probably one of his larger clients. At one stage I found out he was in hospital and as I knew him reasonably well by then, I visited him. He wasn’t going to be able to continue his business, which I believe was more of a hobby business to keep him active during his ill periods.

He asked me if I was interested in purchasing his business, which I very nearly did. I did though, purchase virtually all of his C41 chemistry stock, including his entire supply of CD4 (Colour developer No. 4) along with shed loads of other chemicals. In fact, I purchased so much chemistry from David in 1992, that I am only now starting to run out of some items.

I remember (vaguely) that when ordering the Phenidone from Vanbar, I just nominated the amount I wished to purchase. As it is a bulk item they measure out what you order, with an appropriately rising price for a reducing amount of chemical. What is that about the inverse law of………………………..

Mick.

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Barry Kirsten
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Location: Brookfield, Vic.

Re: Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby Barry Kirsten » 07 Dec 2015, 06:10

Good to hear other nice things about David. He was a nice bloke. (I'm assuming he's passed on by now - I can't remember what was wrong with him, but I recall it was some progressive neurological disease.) I've lived most of my adult life in country areas and when visiting Melbourne one time called to visit David. First thing he did was offer me a beer and we spent quite a while talking 'shop'. I recall his young teenage kids were in and out at the time - a nice family. David's knowledge and commitment is a real loss to photography in Australia.

Mick Fagan
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Location: Melbourne

Re: Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby Mick Fagan » 07 Dec 2015, 18:55

I wondered about the pricing of Phenidone, so I checked various places and ways of obtaining it from around the world.

It sort of appears that Vanbar is at the correct pricing structure from what I saw. Seems anything between $59 to $75USD per 100g is more or less the going rate, plus delivery in most instances.

Estonia seems to be about the cheapest place, but even then at $69USD it isn’t that cheap. The Ukraine seemed the best bet at $39.50USD plus $10.50USD delivery, however, they may just be having a fire sale.

Perhaps you may be able to go halves or something like that with someone else? I just worked out that my yearly usage is currently around 9.00g of Phenidone, give or take. So I have about 5 years’ worth on current usage.

I mainly use it when formulating a variant of Dektol using Ascorbic acid for Hydroquinone and Phenidone for Metol, makes for a great long lasting paper developer that works very well in my roller transport machine at 30ºC.

Ascorbic acid is something that can be pricey, however I found a supplier on Australian EBay (rural Victoria) and can get 1kg delivered for $37AUD. When mixing each batch of 2.5L of paper developer, the Ascorbic acid is a $1.76AUD component. Trust me when I say Ascorbic acid doesn’t go off, the current pack I’m using has a use by date of 2007. I wouldn’t want to drink the stuff, but B&W paper loves it.

The common going rate for Ascorbic acid in Australia is around $132.90AUD, which is readily available from most Pharmacy shops in 100g satchels at $13.20AUD each. Although that chain of cheap Pharmacy shops does usually sell it for $11.50AUD or thereabout.

What do you mainly use Phenidone for?

Mick.

smbooth
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Re: Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby smbooth » 09 Dec 2015, 15:37

Ive got a peanutbutter jar full of Phenidone if you only need a bit. Try Goldstreet Studio, they have plenty of stock, some not listed.

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alex.otter
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Re: Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby alex.otter » 18 Jan 2017, 09:59

I recommend the http://www.environex.net.au/ for environment-friendly chemicals in Australia. But I am not sure if they have chemicals for the camera.

laurence.myrick
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Joined: 26 Jan 2017, 23:50
Location: Australia

Re: Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby laurence.myrick » 18 Jul 2017, 11:07

I totally agree in using environmentally-friendly chemicals even for household cleaning like window glass etc. I always make sure that my window glass awnings from The Blinds Gallery are always clean.

L2obin
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Joined: 18 Oct 2012, 00:56

Supplies of chemicals in Australia?

Postby L2obin » 22 Jul 2017, 23:24

I just ordered some xtol, photo flow, fixer and hypoclearing agent from photoresource.com.au

They are in Melbourne. Has anyone dealt with them before?


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