Dev by Inspection

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Silverpixels5, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    I'm just starting out in developing my LF negs, and so was going to try a few methods to see what suits me best. I've tried dip and dunk, as well as rotary dev, and now I'd like to give development by inspection a try. Does anyone have experience with this method. I've read Micheals article on his site which was pretty informative, but would appreciate any other comments or suggestions from anyone on this site. Thanks!
     
  2. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    1) Make sure your inspection light bulb is only 15 watts.
    2) Use a foot switch to activate it.
    3) If you're using pyrocat HD, you'll need a red filter rather than a green one. If you use green you can't see anything. If you use amber you'll fog the film. If you're using ABC pyro or a non-staining developer, use a green inspection light.
    4) Expose only the non-emulsion side to the light.
    5) Keep the light 3 feet away from the negative. As you get better at inspection you can violate this rule for VERY brief looks, but for now I'd keep it at three feet. At least.

    Hope this helps. DBI is a lot easier than it sounds. Good Luck!
     
  3. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Thanks for the bit about the red filter! I have the green one and would have used it for Pyrocat HD, which was going to be the first developer I tried with this method.
     
  4. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Given that the film is panchromatic in most cases is it still ok to use a red inspection light? I have used PryoCat-HD and might try the DBI in the future but was wondering about the choice of safelight. Have you actually used this red inspection light yourself?
     
  5. David Vickery

    David Vickery Member

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    Why would you use a red safelight??
     
  6. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I've been DBI for about a month and have to agree with jdef - there's something about it that makes me feel more connected to the process. It's sort of like actually playing a musical instrument instead of programming a synthesizer and letting it play.

    jdef - is there a specific number to the red safelight used with Pyrocat HD - or will any red one do?

    thanks,
    j
     
  7. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I develop using Pyrocat HD and use the green safe light for developing by inspection. I have found that it works fine for me. Granted the first few times that I tried to use this light with Pyrocat I was not seeing the density as well as I was with ABC Pyro. That has now resolved itself since I am now aware of what to look for. I have found no need to change the safelite filter in my practice.

    I use the developing times that Sandy King and Clay Harmon have posted for FP4 and Classic 200 as beginning times.(they are actually very close for Azo densities). I check the densities by inspection at about 80-90% of the suggested time.

    The times suggested by these two fellows are posted on unblinkingeye.com and also, in the case of Classic 200, been posted here as well. As a bit of further information the SBR's that are listed are indicators used by BTZS practitioners. A SBR of 7 would be a N development time using Zone system vernacular. A SBR of 6 would be a N+1 time. A SBR of 8 would be a N-1 time. Thus a SBR 7 would be a Zone II to Zone VIII exposure.

    In the unblinkingeye.com article by Clay Harmon the 1.0 table is for silver negatives for enlarging. The 1.4 table is for alternative process and Azo.

    Just my two cents worth...nuff said.
     
  8. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Just one thing about the red filter, make sure you are further away from the light than with the green filter. I experienced fogging wih TMY and FP4 when using the red filter. I decided to just go back to the green filter. But for learning it would be good to have the red filter to start until you get the hang of it.
     
  9. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't use a safelight at all. My darkroom had lots of light leaks, but I see no fogging as long as I keep the films emulsion side down.
    I guess that means I use white light for inspection...
     
  10. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    What do you look for, Don? I just couldn't see anything with the green light. I'd like to try again. Any special tips?
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Jim,
    Viewing the negative from the base side, I can readily discern density variations with the green safelite and 15 watt bulb. My safelite is about 2 1/2 feet above the tray and I have the older Kodak two lens affair (about 4" square lenses). The first times that I tried it, I checked at the times that Sandy and Clay have posted for Classic 200 and FP4 and I could see the density. Once I had an idea of what to look for then I tested a neg density on my densitometer and the density range was in that 1.30 range (peak highlight density minus shadow density).

    The thing that I have noticed about Pyrocat is that the overall negative densities are much lower then ABC pyro. That is one of the factors involved in the development of this formulation of developer, as I understand from Sandy, the lower overall densities reduce printing time. Which is a big factor in Pt-pd and carbon.