On being frugal...

User avatar
Alastair Moore
Site Admin
Posts: 668
Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 09:29
Location: Darwin, Australia
Contact:

On being frugal...

Postby Alastair Moore » 16 Feb 2015, 13:23

So I was going to pull the trigger on a few extra bits and pieces of equipment for developing - mainly some air reduction bottles for storing chemicals plus some photoflo. It just occurred to me I should try and be a bit more frugal and wanted to quiz you all. I've always stored fixer and mixed dev in those air reduction bottles and never really thought to do otherwise. I was going to order a couple from Vanbar but I was thinking that $40 for a couple of plastic bottles plus some photoflo seemed like a lot of money.

As for photoflo, I suspect I can get away with not using it as the water in Darwin is very, very soft and so it tends not to stick to the negatives when I hang it up anyway. So that's $6 saved. My concern about not using air reduction bottles is fixer and developer going off if not used in time. Am I right in thinking that or am I being a bit paranoid? To be fair, my Ultrafin bottle was not entirely full and was sat in a shipping container for best part of 4 months and that's working fine despite being very, very slightly yellow.

And of course, if anyone has any other useful tips on not spending money, that would be great too! I'm already using just water as a stop bath (which I've been doing for some time now) and that has been fine for me, even when reusing fixer. $8 saved!

Lachlan717
Posts: 495
Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: On being frugal...

Postby Lachlan717 » 16 Feb 2015, 16:36

I've tried the accordion-style bottles and hate them; too hard to clean between chemical changes. Also, I try to use fresh chemicals whenever I can, as I put higher value on my images than the cost incurred by using fresh chemicals. Scrimping on this aspect of the process seems foolhardy to me. Of course, YMMV.

As for Photoflo, the $6 bottle will last you 5-10 years. I have a 1 litre atomiser bottle that I use to apply it with. Once I have hung the negs up, I give them a good misting with it. I'll use about 300ml all up. I add the Photoflo to it by dipping the tip of my little finger in the Photoflo and then putting it in the water in the atomiser. At most, no more than a drop or two.

Really, the hackneyed idea that you spend way too much time and money to get the image on to the piece of film to worry about the (relatively) small cost of chemicals. I humbly suggest you subscribe to this wherever you're able to!

User avatar
Alastair Moore
Site Admin
Posts: 668
Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 09:29
Location: Darwin, Australia
Contact:

Re: On being frugal...

Postby Alastair Moore » 16 Feb 2015, 21:46

I feel like I'm going through fixer at a vast rate at the moment! I use Ilford Rapid Fixer which is 1/4 dilution so am using 50ml at a time in a total of 200ml of liquid. Sometimes this is only for a single sheet of 8x10, other times I'll develop 4 or 5 at a time. I guess a dollar a session isn't actually the end of the world. My developer works out very economical at 1/20 dilution . But being from up north and as a result being a bit tight-fisted, I'm always looking at ways to save a buck :) You're quite correct though! In the grand scheme of things, $1.20 or whatever it might come to to developer a single sheet (when I do one at a time) and much less than that for 4 sheets is a bit of a deal. I guess I should stock up on a few more bottles of fixer. My developer will last me a while yet!

Lachlan717
Posts: 495
Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: On being frugal...

Postby Lachlan717 » 17 Feb 2015, 06:57

I use Tetenal's Superfix Odourless fixer. Lasts for ages (I go a month or so with it) and Vanbar sells it. Cheap and easy, esp at 1:9

Walter Glover
Posts: 931
Joined: 31 Jul 2012, 22:31
Location: Canterbury, NSW

Re: On being frugal...

Postby Walter Glover » 17 Feb 2015, 07:04

Recently I used a Jobo ATL 1500 which sort of dictated that all chemistry was single use only - including the fixer.

I am back to using tanks and intermittent agitation and that means I can use the fixer over and over. And, yes, I switched from the 1+4 Ilford Hypam to Adox Acidofix which is used at a dilution of 1+9.

Well worth consideration.

As a side comment, I have a spreadsheet on the 'puta which records the quantity of film run through the chemistry.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

Lachlan717
Posts: 495
Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: On being frugal...

Postby Lachlan717 » 17 Feb 2015, 14:18

As Walter wrote, the 1+9 dilution Fixers are a good option. Here's the one that I mentioned:

http://www.vanbar.com.au/catalogue/product.php?id=43462

User avatar
Maris
Posts: 590
Joined: 27 Jul 2012, 16:02
Location: Noosa

Re: On being frugal...

Postby Maris » 18 Feb 2015, 15:32

Frugality? My middle name.

I've never bought a bottle. Juice bottles and drink bottles are all I use. Everything is labelled prominently; no confusion. Developer stock goes in many small full-to-the-top bottles and only the one in use has airspace and potential loss through oxidation. But I use 'em too quickly for that. Fixer working stock (rapid fix 1+4) is reused and goes in a big (ex orange juice) bottle with a label where I write how many films have been done. After 30 films per litre I make a new batch.

Costs at the moment for Xtol developer (replenishment system) run at 27cents per 8x10 film sheet and fixer is about 7 cents. Photoflo is less than 1 cent a sheet. On the other hand my accountant told me that after allowing for film, transport, sustenance, and accommodation a month in the mountains means every time I use the 8x10 camera it runs nearly to $100 per click all up!

Lachlan717
Posts: 495
Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: On being frugal...

Postby Lachlan717 » 18 Feb 2015, 17:42

I've never had the courage to do the sums, Maris... Regardless of cost, though, the pleasure that comes from the necromancy of silver halides would always make the costs worthwhile. I hope that I never lose the amazement of seeing an image appear - "Bugger me; I've done it again" comes to mind!

User avatar
Alastair Moore
Site Admin
Posts: 668
Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 09:29
Location: Darwin, Australia
Contact:

Re: On being frugal...

Postby Alastair Moore » 21 Feb 2015, 13:03

Does light affect developer in any significant way? I have a bunch of 2 litre water bottles that I should find use for something but obviously they're all clear. The other option is using the 750ml brown screw top plastic bottles I've been using for my homebrew and labelling them VERY, VERY CLEARLY. That would probably help with oxidisation as well, if they're in smaller bottles topped up to the cap.

Lachlan717
Posts: 495
Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: On being frugal...

Postby Lachlan717 » 21 Feb 2015, 13:23

Just bung the clear ones in a cupboard when not being used. Also, squeeze some of the air out of them after you've finished with them.

And, don't worry too much if your bottle looks stuffed; it's just a really good reason (apart from how bloody hot it is up there) to buy some more tonic to go with your Tanqueray!!


Return to “Community Chat”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron