metric scales - an expensive solution? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Is there a less expensive way to measure out the ingredients of darkroom developers and other chemicals in grams, etc., other than buying a $100+ electronic scale? (I'm always impressed with the ingenuity demonstrated on this site!)

Henry Stanley

-- Henry T. Stanley (, May 15, 2002


Try making percentage solutions. So, for example, if you need 0.2 gms of phenidone, make up a 1 % solution (i.e., mix 1 gm of phenidone in 100ml of water). For your developer, which requires 0.2 gms of phenidone, add 20 ml of your 1% solution to eh developer you are mixing. Cheers, DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, May 15, 2002.

Somewhere on the Internet I found that there was a place that sold weights. For travel Paula and I bought a small weight set in grams that was very inexpensive--maybe $10, as I recall. It was so inexpensive that I bought two. And when on the road and developing in a friend's darkroom, we take along an old Pelouze scale. I think it was $9.95 new. I'm sure you can find them somewhere for a pittance.

-- Michael A. Smith (, May 15, 2002.

Henry, in the appendix of the book The Darkroom Cookbook, by Steven Anchell, there is a chart that shows gram weight equivalents converted to volume measurements. You only need to buy a set of measuring spoons at your local housewares store. For example, potassium bromide -- 3.2 grams equals 1/2 level teaspoon. The chart in the book includes most of the common chemicals, but if you want to be absolutely accurate, buy a digital scale. Try

-- Eugene (, May 15, 2002.

I can't help you with a brand name, but there are very accurate and inexpensive scales available for measuring gun powder. Reloaders use these scales to measure grains, and most of them will also measure in grams, or you can simply convert the amounts from a chart. I remember Gordon Hutchings mentioning exactly this type scale (and offering a brand name) in the back of his Book of Pyro. These scales cost less than $25.

-- Ted Kaufman (, May 15, 2002.

Ask someone in Europe to buy you a Philips HR2388 electronic kitchen scales. they are about US$40, resolve down to one gram.

Or try this page:


-- Ake Vinberg (, May 15, 2002.

Just picked up a Sunbeam SP5 digital postal scale from Office Max nearby. It weighs in grams & in checking is as accurate as the $400 older & much bigger scale I have in the darkroom. It is electronic, runs on one 9 volt battery & weights in ounces to 5 pounds as well in grams in one gram increments. Small, portable & made to weigh mail, it works fine for measuring small amounts of dry chemistry. It even has a tare function where you let it stabilize at zero, add the paper you will put the chemicals on, push the tare button & it zeroes with the paper so you weigh only chemicals without having to subtract the weight of the paper or container. So far it works well and I can check it with standard metal weight I keep to check accuracy on the older one. On sale at Office Max it was $16.95

-- Dan Smith (, May 15, 2002.

Sounds like a winner. Thanks to all.

-- Henry

-- Henry T. Stanley (, May 16, 2002.

Try this scale

-- Michael Arkhipov (, May 16, 2002.

Henry: You can buy a laboratory scale in eBay for less than $100. If you have been measuring in ounces, grains and all that silly stuff, you will delight in the metric system. The time you save will pay for the scale. You do not need an electronic scale. There are many good brands. With many labs replacing their equipment or closing, you should have no problem at all getting a really good one. Cheers!

-- Julio Fernandez (, May 17, 2002.

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