Darkroom Digest: Exploring Eco-Friendly Darkroom Chemicals

September 18, 2016  •  8 Comments

As many of my readers know, I live full time off the grid where I work and live. 

Using environmentally friendly solutions, darkroom photography included, is important to me.  

It has been a long journey to get to the point of having a fully functioning darkroom off the grid. I tend to take things in steps. As the first step, I decided to use the Eco-Pro chemicals for my black and white darkroom photography because they are completely free of known carcinogens.  I don't have any relationship with Freestyle or the makers of Eco-Pro.  I am a user of their products, and I like to share good products when I find them.  

My next phase will include me making my own eco-friendly D76 equivalent film developer.  I will write an article about this and include all the details when I get to this point.  

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OVERVIEW OF ECO-FRIENDLY DARKROOM CHEMICALS

In the section below, I included the information that is available from Freestyle about the Eco-Pro chemicals. 

"Eco-Pro chemicals are the safest and least toxic photo processing chemicals available to purchase.  Unlike other brands which claim to be eco-friendly, Eco-Pro liquid concentrate chemicals are COMPLETELY FREE of known carcinogens and mutagens, Metol, Hydroquinone, borates, phosphates, non-biodegradable organic compounds EDTA and DTPA, acetic acid, perfume, and dye.

Eco-Pro chemicals have been engineered from the ground up to provide the highest quality image tone and archival characteristics. Eco-Pro chemicals are comparable in speed and tray life to most lines of photochemistry but have a much higher chemical content allowing greater capacity.

Washing speeds are up to 50% faster when the system is deployed to its full potential. By using Eco-Pro pH, Neutral Fixer with a plain water bath instead of a chemical stop bath, film and paper is never exposed to an acid environment, making it much faster to rinse and wash to an archival standard.

Get my Free Darkroom Newsletter and never miss an update again. Subscribe to my annual Tim Layton Fine Art Darkroom Chronicle and receive all of my articles curated into a beautifully formatted PDF eBook every year.  View my learning materials for darkroom and large format photographers that include video workshops, eBooks, and quick reference cards. Purchase copies of the Darkroom Underground Magazine.

-Tim Layton 

Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
Platinum Histograph Heirloom Prints & MiniaturesTM

Comments

Tim Layton Fine Art
Hi Holly, thanks for the comment and question. For the eco-pro chems that I buy from Freestyle Photo, I have not found the shipping to be any different. I am located in the USA, so not sure where you are located. You can search on the Freestyle website and check out their shipping via this link - http://www.freestylephoto.biz/search?q=eco+pro Stay in touch and keep me posted on your off grid darkroom. Tim
Holly Gettings(non-registered)
Very glad to read this, as I am following in your footsteps in building a darkroom which will be at least largely off the grid. I have a rural property on a river, so water will be conserved, and exhausted solutions evaporated and tubbed to the Haz Waste facility. These chemicals will really help. But isn't the shipping of liquid chemicals very expensive?
Erik Atzen - SHOOT.DK(non-registered)
Hi Tim. Very cool article. Keep up the good work. Thanks.
Tim Layton Fine Art
Hello Brandon, happy to hear that you are interested in protecting the environment too. Stay in touch.
Brandon Monet(non-registered)
I am interested in protecting the environment. I did not know that these type of chemicals were available. I am signing up for he newsletter.
No comments posted.
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