Further developments ((Worst pun ever, I know.))

I recently went over my expenses for the Leica Year, and my development costs were rapidly approaching the cost of the Leica and lens. This was of course to be expected (and pointed out by Mike in the discussion following his original post, but the turning point was coming quicker than I expected.

Part of this is due to the fact that my lab charges more for B&W development than they do for colour (slide) development. (Or their contact sheets are very expensive). Costs run to over 10 EUR per roll. At over 2 rolls a week on average, that gets to over 100 EUR a month.

Luckily, when I chose my film, I went for a classic B&W film, so I dug up my parents’ old developing equipment and ordered some chemicals. This weekend, I developed my first few rolls. It was easier than I expected.

I used Agfa Rodinal, since it’s very cheap1 and lasts forever (reportedly). I used a 1+45 dilution2 and developed for 11 minutes, with 30 seconds agitation every 3 minutes. Followed by a water stop-bath and 6 minutes in RXA fixer (rapid, non hardening). Temperature was around 19 degrees, which is the temperature of the tapwater in my kitchen3.

I also caught up with my scanning this weekend, so from now on, I can develop and scan each roll in a reasonable time. Who needs digital?

  1. The `try the cheapest, upgrade if necessary’ tactic worked well for my film, so I applied it here as well. []
  2. I wanted something around 1+50 and my tank (Jobo 2400) has a 450ml capacity, so 450ml water + 10ml concentrate is easy to measure off, giving great reproducability. []
  3. Once again, taking the easy way out. []

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2 Responses to “Further developments ((Worst pun ever, I know.))”

  1. Markus says:

    Wise move. Not only will you get your costs down, from now on you’re also in full control of your development (read: push / pull). Rodinal is a great choice. Works also beautifully with Tri-x, the film I’m using for my Leica year. Great to see that your Leica Year is going strong. The “A Leica Year” group on flickr is already dead. Stopped posting my images there.

  2. Bernard says:

    Yeah, the Flickr group is kind of sad. Stopped following it when over 50% of the images became colour instead of B&W.

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