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FORUMS Other Digital Cameras Medium Format Digital Cameras and Backs
Thread started 05 Dec 2014 (Friday) 21:30
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What made you make the switch to medium format?

 
bespoke
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by bespoke. 3 edits done in total.
Mar 15, 2015 13:03 |  #16

the flying moose wrote in post #17475384external link
Thanks for the reply.

I am in Canada so get chemicals is a lot harder/more expensive. None of the companies in the USA such as B&H will ship cross border and the only places I can find in Canada that actually deal with that are very expensive. Last time I checked it would have been close to $400 just to get started. I currently don't have $400 laying around just to play with. I might have to do some more research because if I can get started for under $100 I'd be all over it.

EDIT: Would you mind posting up what you use? I see so many different suggestions online and it would be nice to be able to hear from someone about what actually works for them.

You can get started really cheap in Canada! There isn't much you need to develop b&w. Sorry if I'm repeating anything mentioned earlier as I haven't had a chance to read it all.

For slow films you can use a developer like Rodinal (in Canada it's distributed as Blazinal and you can get it at filmplus.ca in Toronto). It's just pennies to develop a roll! For faster films you can use something like ilford DD-X and it costs about 1-2 bucks a roll. There are cheaper options but I just find it easy to use and readily available in Toronto. Then you need a fixer and stopper but those are so cheap I don't even consider the cost.

For hard materials you need a developing tank (25 dollars), changing bag (25$), thermometer (10-30$), measuring cylinder that holds 1L (10$), and some jugs you can buy at a dollar store to hold your fixer and stopper. You can get all those things at Downtown Camera in Toronto or B&H.

I do it all in my bathroom sink too.


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Mar 15, 2015 19:50 |  #17

bespoke wrote in post #17476065external link
You can get started really cheap in Canada! There isn't much you need to develop b&w. Sorry if I'm repeating anything mentioned earlier as I haven't had a chance to read it all.

For slow films you can use a developer like Rodinal (in Canada it's distributed as Blazinal and you can get it at filmplus.ca in Toronto). It's just pennies to develop a roll! For faster films you can use something like ilford DD-X and it costs about 1-2 bucks a roll. There are cheaper options but I just find it easy to use and readily available in Toronto. Then you need a fixer and stopper but those are so cheap I don't even consider the cost.

For hard materials you need a developing tank (25 dollars), changing bag (25$), thermometer (10-30$), measuring cylinder that holds 1L (10$), and some jugs you can buy at a dollar store to hold your fixer and stopper. You can get all those things at Downtown Camera in Toronto or B&H.

I do it all in my bathroom sink too.

Thanks for your post too. I have done some looking around but it seems most places, even in Canada, are in store pick up only. I could not find a single place that would ship. I checked B&H, The Camera Store in Calgary and Henrys Cameras. I will ask the local film studio in town if they can help me locate some items. Thanks all for the replies.




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KirkS518
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Mar 19, 2015 01:44 |  #18

You can also try Freestyle Photo in California. (http://www.freestyleph​oto.biz/external link)

I started out using Kodak HC-110 which worked really well, and was easy. Nice thing about HC-110 is it's a liquid, and you can use it as a one-shot (mix only what you need at the time you need it). It also has an eternal shelf-life. Trouble is getting it shipped. It has to ship as ORM-D, which I would think going to Canada would be stupid expensive.

D-76 is in powder form, and also a very easy and forgiving developer. When I was getting low on my HC-110, I bought a box full of packets off craigslist, and it also has a long shelf-life on the envelop. Only thing is, you have to mix the full liter or gallon, and then store it.

The PF Fixer is what I used the first time, and blew through it too quickly, as I didn't know it could be re-used. So far on my second liter (ilford), I've done about 40 rolls, which comes to $0.20 per roll, and it still has plenty of life left to it. I keep my fixer (mixed 1:1) in an old 2L soda pop bottle. It's neat to watch the silver form along the sides of the bottle.

I built cart based on Canada shipping - grand total $160.82. It's everything you need to get started, except for a can opener (church key style - <$2) -

D-76 1 Gal powder
Rapid Fixer 1L
Paterson 2 reel developing tank
1/2 G storage bottle (developer) (not 100% necessary)
1 L storage bottle (Fixer) (not 100% necessary)
Changing bag
Thermometer
Graduated cylinder

Now, you can save even more off that stuff.
Get a digital thermometer off ebay for a couple of bucks.
The storage bottle can be pretty much anything that's clean and dark. If you don't have a dark bottle, store the bottle in a box r somewhere dark.
Any 2L pop bottle for the fixer.
Changing bag and developing tanks are available on ebay pretty cheap. They are also probably available from a Canadian place cheaper.

Other than what I listed, you'll also need clothespins to hang dry the negatives (top and bottom) and a funnel to put your fixer back (I use the 'funnel' part of my Paterson tank).

Now if you think you really want to do this, PM me. I can set you up with a lot of the stuff you'll need, cheaply. I have tons of D-76, and extra changing bag, and older style Paterson tank. Those are the bulk of the expense. You'd still need fixer and a couple of other things, but you'd be half way there.

Kirk


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electronpusher
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Mar 20, 2015 14:46 |  #19

I usually used Plus-X 120 and developed with Microdol-X diluted 1:3. It was beautiful for protraits and some landscapes - very tiny, smooth grain, a bit low in contrast (which could be bumped with contrast filters in the enlarger) - 20x24s were absolutely gorgeous. Wish I could find a supply these days, but no luck so far.

As Kirk mentions, B&W film processing is very easy and doesn't require exotic equipment. I too used to do it in the kitchen sink after loading the tank in a nearby closet. The real need for a darkroom comes when making prints - trays, an enlarger, etc. take up considerably more space, and having a dust-free area is a plus. Do today's digital phtotgraphers realize how much we fought dust in those days? Not everything about film is better...


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Mar 20, 2015 19:28 |  #20

KirkS518 wrote in post #17481641external link
You can also try Freestyle Photo in California. (http://www.freestyleph​oto.biz/external link)

I started out using Kodak HC-110 which worked really well, and was easy. Nice thing about HC-110 is it's a liquid, and you can use it as a one-shot (mix only what you need at the time you need it). It also has an eternal shelf-life. Trouble is getting it shipped. It has to ship as ORM-D, which I would think going to Canada would be stupid expensive.

D-76 is in powder form, and also a very easy and forgiving developer. When I was getting low on my HC-110, I bought a box full of packets off craigslist, and it also has a long shelf-life on the envelop. Only thing is, you have to mix the full liter or gallon, and then store it.

The PF Fixer is what I used the first time, and blew through it too quickly, as I didn't know it could be re-used. So far on my second liter (ilford), I've done about 40 rolls, which comes to $0.20 per roll, and it still has plenty of life left to it. I keep my fixer (mixed 1:1) in an old 2L soda pop bottle. It's neat to watch the silver form along the sides of the bottle.

I built cart based on Canada shipping - grand total $160.82. It's everything you need to get started, except for a can opener (church key style - <$2) -

D-76 1 Gal powder
Rapid Fixer 1L
Paterson 2 reel developing tank
1/2 G storage bottle (developer) (not 100% necessary)
1 L storage bottle (Fixer) (not 100% necessary)
Changing bag
Thermometer
Graduated cylinder

Now, you can save even more off that stuff.
Get a digital thermometer off ebay for a couple of bucks.
The storage bottle can be pretty much anything that's clean and dark. If you don't have a dark bottle, store the bottle in a box r somewhere dark.
Any 2L pop bottle for the fixer.
Changing bag and developing tanks are available on ebay pretty cheap. They are also probably available from a Canadian place cheaper.

Other than what I listed, you'll also need clothespins to hang dry the negatives (top and bottom) and a funnel to put your fixer back (I use the 'funnel' part of my Paterson tank).

Now if you think you really want to do this, PM me. I can set you up with a lot of the stuff you'll need, cheaply. I have tons of D-76, and extra changing bag, and older style Paterson tank. Those are the bulk of the expense. You'd still need fixer and a couple of other things, but you'd be half way there.

Kirk

Thanks for all that. I will definitely send you a PM when I am ready to set everything up.




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Luckless
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PEI, Canada
Mar 21, 2015 08:19 |  #21

What chemicals did B&H post as not shipping to Canada? I haven't ordered any, but when pricing them out and calculating shipping on stuff I never had any issues or suggestions that they weren't going to take my money and send me the stuff. I've had a few parts that I tried to order from them in the past that couldn't be shipped to Canada, and it was always flagged in the cart before actually placing the order.


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Mar 21, 2015 19:41 |  #22

Luckless wrote in post #17485053 (external link)
What chemicals did B&H post as not shipping to Canada? I haven't ordered any, but when pricing them out and calculating shipping on stuff I never had any issues or suggestions that they weren't going to take my money and send me the stuff. I've had a few parts that I tried to order from them in the past that couldn't be shipped to Canada, and it was always flagged in the cart before actually placing the order.

It will say right in the description "Not available for international shipping" or " in store pickup only" or shipping is very cost prohibitive.

Lets use this for an example at B&H

Ilford Ilfostop Stop Bath (500ml)

Its $6.50US for the item. Shipping at its cheapest option is $11US plus an additional $12.10 in duties and taxes.

$6.50US = $8.16CAN
$11US = $13.81CAN
$12.10US = $15.19CAN

total = $37.16CAN for an item that cost $6.50US

or this from The Camera Store in Calgary for developer "*can not be shipped - in store purchase only*"

or the attached image from Henrys Cameras.

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Luckless
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PEI, Canada
Mar 21, 2015 22:13 as a reply to the flying moose's post |  #23

Try to get a few people together and do a larger order at once. Ordering 4 boxes of developer has shipping of $18.50 and tax of $12.71, compared to shipping of $11 and tax of $5.74 for just one. Ordering them one item at a time seems to be an easy way to hit nearly 300+% of the sticker price, which I agree is hard to swallow, but you can get that down to more like 150-180% of base sticker price for the items. (Plus they're offering free ground shipping if you can bump up to $100 orders at a time. Not that unreasonable to do if you're already looking to snag $50+ in stuff for an order.)

May also want to give things another few months, seeing as just how bad the dollar has been doing in the last bit, but I would imagine it will probably bounce back more by summer.


Good luck with the quest.


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Flickr: Real-Lucklessexternal link

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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Joined Dec 2006
Mar 21, 2015 23:58 |  #24

Luckless wrote in post #17485960external link
Try to get a few people together and do a larger order at once. Ordering 4 boxes of developer has shipping of $18.50 and tax of $12.71, compared to shipping of $11 and tax of $5.74 for just one. Ordering them one item at a time seems to be an easy way to hit nearly 300+% of the sticker price, which I agree is hard to swallow, but you can get that down to more like 150-180% of base sticker price for the items. (Plus they're offering free ground shipping if you can bump up to $100 orders at a time. Not that unreasonable to do if you're already looking to snag $50+ in stuff for an order.)

May also want to give things another few months, seeing as just how bad the dollar has been doing in the last bit, but I would imagine it will probably bounce back more by summer.


Good luck with the quest.

Thanks for the reply. I was planning on waiting a little to see how the dollar rebounds. As for getting a group order together, I don't know anyone else that shoots film locally, let alone people that would actually develop their own film.




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cowboyjim
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Joined Aug 2010
Louisiana, USA
Feb 16, 2016 21:08 |  #25

Glad to see this thread, I'm going to follow closely. I just bought a Bronica ETRS, a sweet little camera that I had back in the 80's. I made a photo with my IR converted Nikon D80 that had a film look and brought back memories. Then my daughter said she wanted to decorate her room with Polaroids, so add the Polaroid back for the Bronny shaow her how to use the camera and there you go, new photographer, dad, daughter project. Film lives. :-):-):-):-)

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[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Ctqy​Bw] (external link)DSC_0030-3.jpg (external link) by Jimmy (external link), on Flickr



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What made you make the switch to medium format?
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