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Answered 2014-04-14 18:20:43

Generally speaking, there are two main chemicals used in b&w film, and a couple of auxiallry chemicals. The primary chemicals are developer, which causes the silver iodide of the film or paper emulsion to darken if it has been exposed to light, and fixer, which removes the undeveloped silver iodide from the emulsion. A chemical used to completely stop the development process is called stop bath, and is used between the developer stage and the fixer stage in both b&w film & paper processing.

Other chemicals, like hypo clear is used to remove all traces of the fixing agent & rinsing agents to reduce stopping during the drying of film. These reagents (chemicals) are not used in enlargements or paper process.

Black & White developers vary in chemical composition and produce variations accordingly but are generally separated into subcatagories based upon grain quality . . fine grain developers reactions generally are slower.

When working with color, the developer is often split into two different chemicals, one which develops the primary (black and white) image, and another that develops the color layers. This is done via color couplers and as such is sequential in the developement chemistry,not as a b&w developer except in some applications of slide processing.

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