developing temperature and grain

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Gene Johnson, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Gene Johnson

    Gene Johnson Member

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    Is it a known fact that higher developing temperature causes more grain? I've been using Gainer's P-C-Glycol at 69 deg, but with the weather warming up, my tap water temperature is around 75 degrees F. So now I develop at 75 deg F, for 6 min instead of 7 1/2 min. I have been developing a lot of Fuji Neopan 400 and since I've started developing at the higher temp, I'm seeing distinctly coarser grain from this usually lovely film. Is this just what we would normally expect?
     
  2. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Gene, are you keeping all your solutions at the same temperature? If, not, you may be seeing some reticulation effects.

    Also, a 6 minute developing time may be too long. You might want to think about diluting the developer.
     
  3. Gene Johnson

    Gene Johnson Member

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    yes. That's the real point of going to the higher temp. It's just too hard to keep everything at 68 during the summer. I'm assuming you meant 6min is too short. Maybe so. I don't know. I could definitely dilute the developer a little. But if developing at a higher temp means the film gets grainier, then I'll do what I must. Don't like grain. That's why I shoot a Rolleiflex instead of a Leica.
     
  4. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    If developed to the same gamma, I have found the higher temps give more grain. Most can`t see it and disagree.

    An 8 oz bottle in the frig will cool 5 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Add a few ice cubes to the water bath and add some insulation under the water bath tray or spacers to keep it off the counter top. One tray upside down works as do the lids from 4 film cans.
     
  5. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    cant say I have ever noticed any difference. I keep everything at 20 degs now as that one less variable to forget/screw up/forget to factor in....

    BTW// I have always (mainly) used HP5, which I like, but started to try some neopan 400 (having used the 1600 lots) and what a smoothie. I had used some about 3 years back in a 6x6, but this time I took note. Lovely smooth fine grain off 35mm. I am going to try development in pyrocat HD and FX39 to see if I can sharrpen up the grain a bit as the 1600 certainly is not as crisp as HP5 and the 400 looks a little smoother and softer too...(- in DDX anyway!)
     
  6. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    As the temperature goes up so does the developer's
    activity. There is an attendant swelling of the gelatin.
    As the ph goes down so does the developer's activity.
    There is an attendant contraction of the gelatin.

    One might think that the shorter development time would
    compensate in all matters for the increase in temperature.
    As for gamma that may be true but apparently not so
    where grain is concerned.

    Do what you must, reduce the ph of your developer. Dan
     
  7. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Modern films are prehardened and it's very hard to cause reticulation in them without resorting to very high temperatures.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Many modern films are prehardened - but certainly not all of them are. Thermally shocking film emulsions is not a good idea - and it is easier to do than you might expect.

    This subject has been discussed fairly extensively on APUG.
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Just for two examples, Efke films and J&C Pro 100 are very, very soft emulsions, and can suffer damage from sudden temperature swings, a rapid change of pH (as when going from alkaline developer to acid stop bath), or even simply being processed at too high temperature (above about 70F).
     
  10. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

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    I've accidently (and now purposly) reticulated neopan400 with temperature changes that couldnt have been more than 10F between developing and stop.


    I also find that higher temperature increases grain when developed to the same known density....
     
  11. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    I discovered this phenomenon when I was in Malaysia and the ambient water temp was 85F. Grain the size of baseballs! It drove me to learn the technique of divided development, which didn't completely cure, but did help considerably in reducing grain to an acceptable size.

    That said, I don't think you'll find an appreciable difference in grain size between, say, 68 and 72. Above 75 is where the problem becomes visible. If you really can't get your water below 75, either try one of the divided formulas (e.g. Divided D-76 or D-23) or opt for a low-tech solution like setting your graduate of mixed working strength developer in a small tray of water with ice cubes in it for a couple of minutes before putting it in your tank. You may have to experiment a bit (if your darkroom temp is also above 75) to discover how much you have to cool it to prevent it from warming up during development past the 72 or 75 mark.

    Larry
     
  12. Gene Johnson

    Gene Johnson Member

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    OK, looks like it probably not just me. I'm going to go to something like the water bath route to get the kind of texture I'm used to. Worth the effort for sure. Thanks for all the responses everyone!
     
  13. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I'd think a teaspoon of bicarbonate less effort. I wonder that
    there were no seconds for lowering the ph? Dan
     
  14. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    My summer routine (I live in the South of the USA) -
    Prepare a water bath at 70, deep enough to cover 80-90% of the tank's height. Get all solutions to 70 with ice water bath (including the clearing agent and Photo Flo). If you dilute the developer, you can keep some cold water (distilled for me) in the fridge (sometimes I keep an ice tray or two with distilled). Then I make a bucket of water at 70, or enough for 20 fills and dumps of the tank (10 second soak each fill). Photo flo at 70. If the room is higher than 70, you may not have any choice about the drying (and you might also factor in a slight rise in temp-measure the developer after developing to check-you may have to factor in a time correction in future runs).
    The thing I was taught: The warmer the emulsion, the more swelling, and the more the grain can move around and clump to itself (which it wants to do), even if you correct for development. Changes to temperature from bath to bath (from presoak or development through Photo Flo) make the emulsion react, so keep those to a minimum (when the emulsion swells, or shrinks, the grain moves). And, on general principles, keep the total "wet time" to a minimum. Summer developing is a PITA, but so are lots of things about photography (make a ritual of it and accept the extra effort-you can even get romatic about it - "the suffering artist".
     
  15. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    By "modern films" I meant those made with modern technology such as those manufactured by Kodak. Certainly all the Efke films, J&C Pro and others are NOT modern technology. Besides being prehardened, modern emulsions contain synthetic polymers and less gelatin and are harder to reticulate.
     
  16. gma

    gma Member

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    I have heard of freezing developer in ice cube trays. It seems that you could add one or two frozen cubes per 16 oz. of the same developer to lower the temperature without any ill effects.
     
  17. Gene Johnson

    Gene Johnson Member

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    I don't have the ability to monitor pH. I use 1/tsp borax and 1/2 tsp Sodium bicarb per 500ml of p-c-glycol developer. I would have guessed more borax would raise the pH. Shows what I know:smile:
     
  18. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Borax WILL raise the ph over S. Bicarbonate. BTW, phs
    generally top out at very low concentrations. Additional
    buffering capacity is gained by uping the concentration.

    At www.microessentiallab.com you'll find a huge
    selection of ph related products. Some of their papers
    are good for .2 and .3 ph indications; $5 S&H. I'm
    overdue to place my order. Dan
     
  19. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I ran a test ovetr the weekend Rodinal 1+50 in Efke 100.
    Same roll, pictures of the backyard and tral behind my house, tried to have lots of midtone and light grays to actually observe the grain.
    - Half at 75F for 10 min (tap water temp this time of the year)
    - Half at 60F for 18 min . Had to add ice to water and keep stop/fixer in ice water.
    Washed with a few changes of cold water. I progressively increased the temperature of the wash water, so the first wash was at 60F, the second at 62F, the third at 65F and the fourth at 70F. I hope there is not retiuclation.
    Tonality seems to be similar, but need to scan/enlarge to be sure

    PS. I'll be uploading examples here
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2005
  20. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    What I see is not retriculation. It is not a result of changing temperatures of different solutions. All solutions including wash are either at 68 or 75 within 1/2 degree. Film is Delta 100, D76.

    I think I see a difference whether I use a water rinse between developer and fix. I never use stop on film. The rinse is the equivelent of diluted developer for a short period.

    As I say, others may not experience this. Could be water supply or whether developer is mixed with distilled water. I mixed D76 with distilled water and used it on T Max once. Grain was hugh. A friend repeated the work because he didn`t believe me. He previously did the best tm 400 I ever saw. His client was not impressed.