Unknown Black and White film

Forums Forums Get Technical In the darkroom Unknown Black and White film

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  • #2342
    orionid
    Participant

    Okay, fellow film-ists.
    I got a bulk loader for christmas that had a spool of an unknown B&W already loaded. I just ran the first roll of that through a camera, and am curious as to means to develope successfully. My two thoughts are:

    a) in a dark bag/room spool out a 6 inch test strip, load and develope it to look for identifying markings on the side, then get the proper developement temp/times from http://www.digitaltruth.com ‘s massive developement chart. (seems like waste of time+developer)

    b) figure I use D76, which is pretty forgiving, as is most B&W films. Therefore, just go ahead and run it through at a fairly standard time / temp like 20C for 9 1/2 or 10 minutes and hope it’s not Panchromatic or Tri-X 3200.

    has anyone else played the mystery film game? If so, what approach did you take and how were the results?

    #40171
    Curious
    Participant

    if it were me i’d go with option A. but that presupposes your going to want to print whatever is on the film. in other words the exposures are important to you.

    if the exposures are just normal walking around stuff then you don’t have much to lose with option B.

    OTOH i know a guy whose best selling image was a pain to print. and i’m sure you too have images you really like that are similar. stuff that you didn’t expect to use long term that are less than perfect for exposure, development, etc and now require a bunch of tricks to use.

    so my advice is ….. well i’m conflicted. 🙂

    #40172
    sleeping
    Participant

    A two bath developer like diafine might be your best bet for option B – there’s not a lot of variation in the process from film type to film type.

    #40173
    orionid
    Participant

    A two bath developer like diafine might be your best bet for option B – there’s not a lot of variation in the process from film type to film type.

    I might have to look into that. Although I forgot to mention that I ran that roll through the bastid, as well, so proper exposure is optional at best.

    #40174
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    I would just run the test strip, a few ounces of developer and fixer and fifteen minutes should tell you all you need. Yeah, kind of a pain, but better that than 100 feet of mis-developed film.

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