Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/05

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Exposure, darkroom, technique
From: "Dan Honemann" <>
Date: Fri, 5 May 2000 19:59:50 -0400

To Bill and all the others who have offered suggestions:

Thank you very much for all of your help.  This list has already proven
itself an invaluable resource for me; thanks to the LUG, I am reaping the
benefit of years of accumulated experience and wisdom.

I do appreciate it.  I'll experiment with your many suggestions and let you
know how I fare.  I'm counting on a long learning curve, but a fun one.

Best regards,

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Bill Larsen
> Sent: Friday, May 05, 2000 3:32 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [Leica] Exposure, darkroom, technique
> Dan,
> There has been a lot of good advice on the LUG.  Now I will add
> my simplistic
> advice <G>.
> This is the technique I was taught both in the Army (30 years
> ago> and in a
> photo technique course I took at my local community college last year.
> 1.  Pick a film (I think you mentioned you are using Tri-X).  I
> used Plus X
> Pan (ASA 125).
> 2.  Pick a standard developer.  I used D76 1:1.
> 3.  Develop your own film.
> 4.  Use the time and agitation frequency recommended by the film
> manufacturer
> from the data sheet that is printed inside the box, on a separate sheet
> packaged with the film, or downloaded from the manufacturer's web site.
> 5.  Repeat the above for at least 20 rolls of film, trying to keep your
> technique exactly the same.
> 6.  On at least 5 rolls of film, bracket your exposure + - one full stop.
> Developing your own film does not require a darkroom.  All you need is a
> changing bag (+bottle opener +scissors), a daylight developing
> tank (use junk
> film to practice loading), a liquid measuring cup, an accurate
> thermometer (I
> use an instant read kitchen thermometer that I compare with a laboratory
> thermometer), a timing device (for the development phase, I use a
> $5 digital
> kitchen timer), and chemicals and bottles (developer, stop, fixer, hypo
> clearing agent (opt.), and photo flo (opt. but highly
> recommended).  The film
> can be place on clips and hung in a low traffic area closet for drying.
> The entire developing set-up can be bought in the US for about $100.
> You will need proof sheets unless you are already fantastic at reading
> negatives.  Your processor can do this or you can go into the
> darkroom phase.
> I can nearly guarantee that after 20 or so rolls of film you will begin to
> understand what you are doing right and wrong.  That is when you
> can begin to
> modify your procedures, film speed, developer, film, etc.  What
> you are really
> looking for is consistency before you begin to modify things.  In the
> meantime, keep everything as simple as possible.
> As regards the bracketed exposures, our assignment was to print the three
> exposures as close as possible (which brought on a lot of other learning
> experiences).
> You might also consider buying a basic book --- we used _Photography_ by
> Charles Swedlund.  It would give you enough information to later
> understand
> Adams, et al.  Plus you can do some of the exercises and get some new
> perspectives on photographic techniques.
> Regards, Bill Larsen