Did you get your self-developing supplies yet? Well just in case you're ready and waiting I thought it was time for step two: mixing chemicals.
There are five chemicals you'll need for self-developing; developer, stop bath, fixer, hypo clearing and photo flo. Three of these (developer, fixer, hypo clearing) are often bought in powder form. You have to mix them up at least a night before you want to use them because they are mixed at high temperatures and need a night to cool down.
So let's get started! For purposes of this tutorial, I can only really talk you through how to mix the chemicals I use because that's what I know best. However if you choose to use something else, the packages are usually pretty good about giving detailed instructions. The following description is specific to Kodak chemicals.
First, the supplies you'll need:
1. gallon mixing pitcher
3. plastic spoon
4. photo thermometer
5. powder chemicals (Kodak D76- 1 gallon, Fixer 1 gallon, Hypo clearing (not pictured)- 1 quart)
6. Plastic storage containers, two 1-gallon and one 1-quartMixing the Developer (Kodak D76)
You are going to need water that is between 122 and 131 degrees Fahrenheit. Maybe your tap water gets that hot but probably you'll have to heat some water on the stove and mix it with some tap water. It is essential in mixing all of these chemicals that you get the temperature right. Fill the pitcher so that you have 3 liters of water between 122-131.
Cut the corner of the package of D76 and pour in slowly while stirring constantly with your plastic spoon. Keep stirring until all of the chemical is in the pitcher and is completely dissolved. Add more water to the pitcher so that your total amount of liquid is 1 gallon. Use the funnel to pour into your storage container. Make sure that it is a dark light-proof container and that it's labeled.
Mixing the Fixer
For the fixer, you'll need water between 64 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. You should be able to get this by futzing with the tap water. Fill the pitcher with 3 quarts of water at this temperature.
Follow the same mixing directions as you did with the Developer. Funnel the liquid into a second labeled container (that doesn't have to be light-proof).Mixing the Hypo Clearing
You are mixing a smaller stock solution of Hypo Clearing so you'll only need to begin with 1 quart of water at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Follow the same mixing directions as you did for the preceding chemicals, except this time do not add any extra water. You will store this in a labeled 1 quart container.
NOTE: When cleaning your containers after mixing or anytime during the developing process, just rinse them thoroughly with water. Do not use soap as it may leave a film which will mess with your chemicals.
That's it! Now your chemicals are ready to go. Next I'll be back with a tutorial on how to load the film onto the reels. That will take some practice. Have your developing tank and bag ready for next time and be prepared to sacrifice an unused roll of film so that we can practice our hearts out.