Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Stop bath

Does what is says on the bottle! It is used instead of a wash as it helps to prolong the life of the fix and stops the developing process straight away. You must be careful not to contaminate the developer with stop, it will destroy it.

Stop can be obtained in two types of concentrated solution. One is odorless made from citric acid and the other acetic acid with a vinegar smell which can be quite pungent if used for prolonged periods in the darkroom, when processing prints in trays. Both have a colour change indicator added to the solutions so you can tell when it is exhausted.

Dilute the concentrated Stop one part solution to nineteen parts water (or as instructed on the bottle.) say 50 mls stop to a litre of water with a process time of one to two minutes, you will not gain anything by extending the stop time it is most active in the first few seconds. Agitate for the first thirty seconds, this ensures the developer has been completely deactivated, then ten seconds in every minute if you stop for two minutes.


There is no substitute for..................

In the initial stages of your quest to produce a good set of negatives with your first film, you are starved of knowledge and information and read everything you can lay your hands on. This is counter productive and becomes confusing as different people have their own method of arriving at the same result. Pick one practitioner with a simple method and stick with them, forsaking all others until you know what results will be obtained when you pull the film from the developing real.

The more straight forward the method the less things need to be checked when something go's wrong. What people do not tell you is that film processing is very forgiving and if you don't quite get the time right, the temperature is not spot on or you forget to invert the tank the right amount of times it will not make a vast difference to the final outcome. Possibly they will be slightly thiner or denser than normal but what is normal in your case? It is not until you have processed a number of films that you will truly know. Once you know what to exepect you can then personalise the method to get the negatives that suit your own taste.