Two brands: warm tone. cold tone tjull instructions enclosed with every box for obtaining a wide range of tones. § the best plates for window transparencies.
The use of daylight developing machines has to a certain extent quite removed any necessity for the dilettante even to possess a dark room or a red lamp ; but it is quite a question whether the amateur who loves his hobby for its own sake and revels in all the various and necessary operations will ever take kindly to mechanical methods. Even with the proper application of the Watkins system (multiplying the actual time of first appearance in seconds by the factor of the developer), there is a popular desire to watch the image built up, although relying on the result of the calculation to determine how long the film shall remain in the developer. Perhaps it requires too much courage, or shall we say faith, in the system, for some photographers to desert their beloved negatives in the making; but if only they would have this faith and either screen their lamp or cover the dish and let no light, even the " safe " rays that filter through the red glass, come to their films at all, the results would be much more satisfactory. The best of lamps sometimes produce fog, that worst of enemies that the photographer has to contend with. Then, too, there frequently comes a desire to take the film out too soon because it appears to be getting too dense. If your factor is right and you made no mistake about the time of "first appearance," there is no possible chance of going wrong, and it is better to let things take their course and not meddle a few hints about washing and drying the film will probably be of use. If the exposures are cut off separately, one good method is to pin each film by one corner to a small cork and let it float about in a large bath fairly full of water. The film naturally hangs downwards, and what hypo there is gradually falls down to the bottom corner and then drops to the bottom of the bath. With strips of film the bath will also come in useful in this way. Get a lath, say, about four or five feet long; pin one end of your strip of film on to one end of the lath and fix the other end in a similar manner. If your lath is thick enough you can put the pins actually on the end, and then the heads will act as buffers to keep the floating lath from scraping against the sides of the bath ; but, if not, turn about half an inch of the film over the end and pin it down on the upper surface. The strip of film will hang down in a big loop from the floating lath (if the loop is too big, pin it up in the middle and make two smaller ones), and the hypo will drain out in a most exemplary fashion. Of course, in adopting this idea you must remember to give all your films a good preliminary swill after they leave the fixing solution and again after the all-night soak. This is much simpler and gives less trouble than any other method, and the results are absolutely certain. Those who have not a good supply of water at their disposal might try this alternative. Take half a dozen tumblers and fill them all with water. The films should be cut into sections, and as they leave the fixing bath they are passed through the half-dozen tumblers in succession. Each film should be drained before being changed, blotted with fluffless blotting-paper, and five minutes' soak in each glass should be allowed. By doing this the greater part of the hypo is removed, and a final soak for an hour in a tumbler of clean water will remove the last traces of hypo that are likely to do any harm, so that a dozen films are efficiently washed in little more than a gallon of water. One of the hypo eliminators that are now advertised so freely might also be employed to advantage, but it is best to use an eliminator in conjunction with washing rather than instead of it.
For drying I prefer to pin the four corners down on to short lengths of board, and then set these boards up in a good dry place well out of the way. Blotting-paper can be employed to take off any excess of moisture, and by leaning the boards against the wall with the films face downwards practically no dust can settle on them.
Perhaps some of my explanations may have been a little diffuse, for it is difficult now and then to describe exactly some of these time-and-trouble-saving devices that practice has taught one. The roll film has many friends and many enemies, but I venture to say that the objectors only object from a want of knowledge, or, knowing too little, condemn too much. To the traveller, to the photographer who is enthusiastic enough to have a camera in his pocket on every available opportunity, the roll films have made themselves absolutely indispensable. Many a treasured negative might never have been obtained had it not been for the invaluable daylight loading rollable film, and the equally invaluable folding pocket camera that one seems invariably to associate with it.
Percy G. R. Wright.