Golden age of alchemy

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When talking about alchemy, most people assume that alchemy golden age was in medieval times, but I beg to differ. Sure, certain amount of people of those times found interest in the search for lapis philosophorum and transmutation of various matters to gold, lived under the tutelage of kings and lords, others stayed hidden and led hand-to-mouth existence, and buried their heads in the melting pots.

But nowadays maybe even more people search for transformation of different precious metal. Silver. 

They unknowingly became the members of silent Glass, Light and Silver Order. „To me! To me! All the men! To me! Oh, my kingsfolk!“ I might call out. (Do you know where the line come from?)

No worries. I’m not here to stand in the lead. I will silently follow those who came before me.

I just wanted to say, that I also entered into the world of alchemy. I bought necessary chemicals, development tank and changing bag and joined the rows of fellow darkroom dwellers.

As I wrote in the earlier post, my first rolls of film were developed in one company. But soon  I was interested in developing films myself, and thanks to the YT I could decide to try it out. After checking few videos on YT about loading the 120 film into the developing tank reel I prepared the things needed, put them into changing bag and just went for it. Some people even adviced to sacrifice one roll and practice in advance, but I did not want to and hoped that I would be able to roll it in somehow without big troubles. Which luckily was right and after some fumbling with the invisible things in my hands I managed to get them where I needed.

Next step was development itself. I decided to start with stand development. Reason is clear – there is much more leeway for mistakes, because the time for the developing is looooong comparing to standard developement procedures which happen within a couple of minutes. At least as I see it.

My development chemicals are from Czech producer Foma. Also films are from Foma – Fomapan400. I bought developer Fomadol R09, fixer Fomafix and wetting agent Fotonal. I didn’t buy stop bath and used only water instead.

I developed two rolls of film at once (my Polish Krokus development tank can take three reels). 

I used presoaking stage at the begining – 4 minutes. Then I poured in the developer diluted for 1:100. I didn’t check the temperature strictly, just by hands and kept it slightly lukewarm, not so cold. I agitated approximately one minute, about 5 slow reversions, and then let it stay for 42 minutes. That time I chose because this number is the answer for all the problems, right? After that and couple of another slow agitation, about two inversions, I let it stay for about 22 minutes. Then I poured the developer out and stopped development with normal tap water. I diluted fixer according the product label for 1:5 and after fixing the film for 4 minutes I washed it. I just poured tap water into the developing tank, revolved it, poured out and repeated it for about ten times. Finally I poured in the water mixed with wetting agent and after couple of gentle rotations got rid of it and procedure was over.

Then I tried to gently wipe the film, but couldn’t, so I let it hang and dry overnight. 

I checked the film with magnifying glass in the morning and the results look very nice to my eye. Now I have to have it scanned. Fast. I cannot wait to see the results.

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