Cold-temperature print developing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Removed Account, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    OK, it's not THAT cold but ambient temperature in my home is about 62 F right now and I've got a hankering to develop some prints. The plastic tub I have for a water bath is not nearly wide enough for my 3 trays and once I take the chems out of the water bath and pour them in to the trays they won't stay at 70 for long. Now I'm thinking about doing this at room temperature to be consistent. I'll be printing on Ilford MGFB Warmtone and developing in Ilford Multigrade 1+9. Ilford recommends 2 minutes at 70 degrees, how much do you think I should add for the 8 degree drop? I've tried their time/temperature chart for film developing but it does not have times short enough for printing. Thanks for the help!

    - Justin
     
  2. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Justin,

    I have had the same problem and I found that a heating pad at the lowest setting kept underneath the developing tray will keep my developer temperature at about 70 deg F. Of course take all precautions to guard against any shock hazard, but it does help. Give it a try and see what happens.

    Chuck
     
  3. Joe Azoti

    Joe Azoti Member

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    Heating cable

    The type used on gutter systems, outdoor plumbing in the winter. Take one or two sections of wire,hook it up to a rheostat , lay it on the surface where you place your trays and you can control the exact temp you put your chemicals at. You can get the wire at any Home Depot or similar store.
     
  4. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    I'll keep those in mind, but what can I do about the developing time tonight? Damn it, I'm impatient! :D I quite like the wire idea though, I'll have to take a trip to the hardware store post-Boxing Day madness... I don't know where I'd find a heating pad locally but I'm sure there's a farmer's supply outfit somewhere on the island. Maybe I could get a pot-bellied pig as well!

    - Justin
     
  5. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I've heard of folks putting an aquarium heater gizmo in the developer tray. IDK if this really works, myself, but it sounds like it should.

    I print in my basement and live in upstate NY (the real upstate, not just north of Peekskill) and my basement is cold. I just live with it. I do sometimes warm up the dev in an old microwave, but mostly not. Everything comes out fine, just takes a bit longer.
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use an 200W unbreakable aqaurium heater in my 8ft sink. Two aquarium powerheads take care of circulation. They are drip looped and plugged in to a GFI. The heater is set to 68 and has a thermostat that turns it on and off. If the DR is 65, it seems to run about a third of the time. The water bath stays 68f dead on, all day and night if I want, with no attention at all.
     
  7. mcfactor

    mcfactor Member

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    I just give an extra minute or two. Just watch the development, if it is exceptionally slow give it more time (make sure you give all the chemicals more time).
     
  8. trip_wt

    trip_wt Member

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    Chart works fine for adjusting times

    The Ilford time/temperature graph does go down to 1.5 mins so should be able to get an estimate from that.
    Handy tip: the increase in time is a certain percentage of the original time (for a particular temperature difference). You can use the percentage to get adjusted times for those not on the chart. So for the drop from 68F to 62F the percentage increase seems to be about 35% from the Ilford chart. So 2 mins goes to about 2 mins 45 secs.

    Also the stop and fix are much less critical for temperature so if you are warming trays you probably only need to warm the developer tray as room temp is only slightly below recommended.

    Personally I just do all steps at room temperature and increase dev and fix times (it is always below recommended temp here :smile:)
     
  9. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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  10. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I have a Zone VI Compensating timer that adjusts the time by use of a temperature probe in the developer tray. I have noticed that when the developer temp drops just a few degrees that it takes about twice as long to reach my usual development time of 2:30. So I'd recommend doubling your usual time if your solutions are that cold.

    This problem has been completely solved for me. Awhile back I picked up a tank that heats and circulates water at precise temps from a guy who was liquidating his darkroom. I think that it was made for holding beakers of solution while developing film, but the lid of an 8x10 tray fits perfectly on the top of the tank, suspending the tray down into the water. It holds my solutions at 20c perfectly, even with the cool temps radiating from the concrete block walls of my basement darkroom. I was doing some hot lith work the other night, and it held my lith developer at 30c with no trouble at all.

    Dan
     
  11. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I also use a heating pad in my darkroom.Place a good thermometer in your developer and turn off the pad when the solution reaches 20o c.
    You may already have one hanging around.If not the cost outlay is minimum and a heating pad can also be used for medicinal purposes like releaving sore mussels.

    Mike
     
  12. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    I have a freezing darkroom 55 degrees inthe winter. I nestle my 8x10 in 11x14 trays and when doing 11x14 nestle them in 16x20 and use a hot water bath Once the darkroom warms up with a little heater the water bath holds for a while, Occassionally I'll add a little more warm water. Since I always develope to completion around 2 to 3 minutes timing is not a problem.
     
  13. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I just use a space heater. The ambient temperature in the darkroom is about 14-15 degrees if I don't heat it, in the depths of winter. I turn on the heater a couple of hours before I actually want to print (and bear in mind that if you haven't printed in awhile, you'll need probably half an hour anyway to get your trays set up, make your working solutions from your stock solutions, etc.). By the time I'm ready to go the darkroom is comfortable and so are the chemicals.

    The real problem I have is the 12-degree water that comes out of the cold water pipe, and the inconsistency of the temperature of the hot water. I need to get one of those temperature monitors/stabilizers, but as yet, nope. My water runs at a lovely 20 degrees at the end of August, which is really convenient, however...
     
  14. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    You and your prints will probably survive processing in the 62 - 65 F range, although you may have to develop them a bit longer.
     
  15. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Member

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    Time/Temperature chart for Dektol

    Not sure how helpful this will be but years ago I came across a time/temperature chart for Dektol 1:2. The chart called for 2 min @ 68 degrees and 3 min @ 62 degrees.
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I've the small top of cylinder Coleman propane catalytic
    heater keeping me and my chemistry at
    working temperature. Dan
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Depending on how large your darkroom is you can always just get the room temperature up to what you want your chemistry to be.
    My darkroom is 3.5 feet by 7.5 feet = really small! I put an electric heating element in there, and keep the temperature at 70*F. Since there is a bit of cold drop from the cold walls I put the heater underneath the wire shelves upon which my developer tray sits. Then I keep a thermometer in the bath, just to make sure I can keep it somewhat constant.
    - Thomas