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Sunday, January 3, 2016

DIY photographic B&W chemicals for film, using common substances

There might be be several choices, I am just proposing one, the most simple of all, IMMO:

1. Soluble coffee, any kind of it
2. Sodium Carbonate, of any kind, even Sodium Bicarbonate may be used instead.
3. Sea salt, cooking salt or table sea salt
4. Sodium Hypochloride, aka, household bleach

As developer you may use my black caffenol, which recipe is as follows:

20 g/l soluble coffee
6 g/l Sodium Carbonate anhydrous or equivalente (7 monohidrate or 16.2 decahidrate)
4g/ l table salt or cooking sea salt

Usage: develop for 90 minutes at 20ºC

As fixer you may use a very concentrated solution of just salt, cooking or table sea salt, i.e.:

300 g/l sea salt, filtered with coffee filter to avoid recrystallization
3 ml/l of Sodium Hypochloride

Usage: fix for some hours, open the tank after one hour and control how long it takes to clear and double the time for complete fixing.

If you don't have any sodium carbonate, use 10 g of Sodium Bicarbonate but first put it in a oven at a temperature above 200ºC for some minutes, until it weights about 6 g. Use this 6 g/l, it is Sodium Carbonate anhydrous.

Procedure: Development is almost stand, just some inversions each 10-15 minutes. All baths are one shot, so you may rinse between developer and fixer but it is not necessary. Final wash is advisable for archival longevity.

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