Factorial Development

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Jarvman, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    I hope to begin using factorial development with my newly acquired processmaster to get consistency from print to print. Only thing that confounds me is that the recommended factor is times 6. My image emerges in 40-60secs on foma 123 with Ilford warmtone dev (1+9) at 20 degrees. If I follow a factor of six, my development times are going to be around 6 mins. That doesn't seem right to me. What are your thoughts on this? Cheers
     
  2. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Why complicate what is normally an easy process? I soup mine for around 1.5 minutes to 2.0 minutes depending on image.
     
  3. monodave

    monodave Member

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    Paper is processed to completion, usually within 2 minutes or so. It doesn't matter if you process for 6 minutes or 20 the only change you will see is more base fog. I have used a variation of factorial development in photo chemical product development when I worked for Ilford but can't see how it can help with print dev times. Suggest you keep it simple. Don't snatch your prints out before development is complete. Change your exposure time and contrast to get print to print consistency. Dave
     
  4. karthik

    karthik Member

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    I presume you decided on a factor of 6 because your test print took that long to be done properly. If the initial time was 60 seconds and you obtained a factor of 6, then you really don't have any choice, do you?

    I have used Ilford Multigrade (forgot the dilution) on Agfa MCP - and if I recall the timings correctly, I would have obtained a factor of 6 as well. But in my case the initial time is 15 seconds and time to complete development is 90 seconds.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I've never worked with a paper and developer combination which is that slow (40 - 60 seconds for the image to begin to emerge). I would assume that if I did, each print would need something like six minutes to develop fully, whether I was using factorial development or not.

    Is there something remarkable about this combination?
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know about this combination, but it's not so unusual for traditional warmtone developers to have longish development times with older style fiber papers, so I wouldn't rule out a 6 minute development time out of hand without having tested it myself. You could try a more concentrated developer, but that could reduce the warmtone effect.
     
  7. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I always use factorial development with FB paper. It is a very useful technique for controlling the blacks & also for consistency across a long printing session as the dev gets weaker. In Dektol 1:3 I generally get a first emergence around 25 seconds & usually work in factors of 2, 3 or 4 depending on the image. So around the 2 min mark but sometimes 30 secs less.
    Haven't tried that paper & dev combination. What happens if you just dev it for 2 mins? Are the blacks weak?
     
  8. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    At the moment I've just been developing my FB paper for 3 minutes and the blacks look fine. How exactly do the different factors come into play.
     
  9. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    This concept always amused/bemused me. At just what point is the emergence point? The 1st point you can see anything appearing?
     
  10. snallan

    snallan Member

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    As long as you are consistent, you select whatever emergence point makes sense to you.

    Many take the time of emergence of the very first tone in the print. Myself, I choose a mid gray tone from a contact print I have made of the negative, and use the time of emergence of that tone as my datum. So my development factor tends to be 3 - 4, depending on developer.

    Why do I choose that point? Well I feel (and this is only my opinion), the longer time it takes for that tone to develop means it is less affected by the initial entry and agitation of the print, and therefore provides a more reliable point to determine factor for full development time from.

    BTW. It is rare that I am using factorial development for consistency in a printing session, as I do not produce print editions. I use it more as an indication of developer exhaustion. If I use a batch of developer enough that the emergence time doubles, I toss the developer and prepare fresh.
     
  11. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    The pleasure of making a print is about watching it develop and making a decision about when its 'ready', rather than relying on some instrument to tell you. If the instrument gets one right all the others will be progressively worse.
    Mark
     
  12. silveror0

    silveror0 Member

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    Nige, according to Ansel's "The Print", the best area of the print to observe for emergence should be a middle value around Value IV-V that shows texture (e.g., foliage). When you see that area become faintly visible, note the time the print has been in the developer.
     
  13. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Sorry, can't agree with that. There is no such thing as developing to completion.

    Resin-coated papers develop much quicker, and initially much faster, than their fiber-base counterparts, but all image tones rapidly gain print density at first, with the darkest images tones quickly reaching maximum print density. All other image tones gradually, and without any sign of reaching completion, continue to increase in density, if left in the developer.

    Don't be talked out of factorial development; it's a good thing!
     

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  14. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Go for it! It works just fine. Adjust the development factor to your liking. I've seen people use anything from 4-8x.
     
  15. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    Cheers ralph, I'll start off with a factor of 4 with this particular paper/dev combo and see how things go. Seems to be a contentious topic this one.
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I use a form of factorial development most often when I'm using waterbath technique with amidol and Azo, Lodima, or Emaks. My usual cycle is for the waterbath time to be twice the emergence time. Then if the print needs to go back into the developer for another cycle, my usual starting point is based on the emergence time.
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Perhaps not but in reality it gets to a point where it slows down so much that if you give it twice the time it takes for you to think it is done it will be o.k.

    That's my method anyway. Wait until it appears to have darkened as much as it is going to and has effectively stopped and keep it in there for around that time again.


    Steve.
     
  18. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Well Ralph, if you're willing to endorse it I'll apologize and recant my thinking on it. It may work well for some folks, just not me
    Mark
     
  19. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Steve

    The trouble is, it's very hard to judge print tones under safelights.
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I admit, it is a very subjective method and probably not ideal for everyone.