Question of all questions : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

I am just getting back into printing black and white prints after a absense of 20 years in the darkroom. My question is what what be a good choice of chenicals for all purpose work. I plan on using a Developer-Stop-fixer-hypo-water wash set up. Any ideas for some basic choice of chemicals with preference to flexibilty and a lack of tempature control. Thanks for all sugestions!

-- Peter Olmsted (, March 20, 2000


You haven't said if you are using RD or fiber based paper. If you are just getting back into it, I use an easy livin' combination: Ilford MGIV RC paper, developed in Ilford multigrade developer, Kodak indicator stop bath, Ilford Universao fixer. No doubt you will get much more sophisticated combinations, But until I get my negatives to dance and sing a little more, I feel that I can get nice consistent results from this combination. No worries.

-- Paul Harris (, March 21, 2000.

Hi Peter,

My recommendation would be to go with the 'Sprint' line of chemistry. I first ran across it when I went back to school to take some photo classes, and since then I have used it, and seen it used, a lot.

You can order it from B&H [800-947-9980] or

It comes in liquid 1 and 4 liter containers. The 4-liter containers come in handy cardboard cubes, and you need to order spigots with them.

The stuff you will need to get started is:

B&W Film Developer Print Developer Stop Bath Speed Fixer Fixer Remover

The Sprint Chemistry all mixes in a 1:9 ratio, the stop bath is buffered and smells nice, the developer is not dangerous, etc, etc,... In other words, it is easy to have around home. It also has good and clear directions printed on every container.

Not everybody will agree with my recommendation, but for your situation, for convenience, and for excellent results, I do think it would be a good way for you to get started again. Then, once you have your set-up running, you might want to try some of the other formulas out there.


-- Christian Harkness (, March 21, 2000.

I have settled on a basic kit of Ilford Multigrade developer, Kodak Indicator Stop, Sprint Speed Fixer (I like the cubes), and Heico Permawash.

Then I can mix and match developers to do what I want.

-- Terry Carraway (, March 21, 2000.

I agree with Paul Harris. Easily available chemicals at a good price and are very reliable.

-- David Strachan (, March 26, 2000.

I like the Ilford Universal Pare Developer and Ilford Fixer, but you really must try the Sprint stop bath. It works as well as anything out there, but it has a mild vanilla frangrance that makes life in the darkroom a whole lot more pleasant.

-- John Rountree (, March 27, 2000.

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