Following Ilfords directions?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Christopher Colley, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

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    Greetings.

    Now I know this might seem strange to ask.. But I am wondering if I should really follow Ilford directions for developing RC paper.

    I am using Ilford Universal PQ paper developer 1+9, Ilfostop 1+19 and Ilford Rapid Fix 1+9.

    The directions on these bottles suggest I use the following times for RC paper. (I am using Ilford mgIV RC)

    Universal PQ: 1minute
    Ilfostop: 15 seconds
    Rapid Fix: 1minute
    wash: 2minutes in running water

    It has been a while since I actually read these instructions. I had been using 2 minute developer, 30 second stop, 4 minute fix and 5 minute wash because this is what I was instructed to do at one time with these chemicals. Would it be wise to change to these guidelines given by Ilford? They seem much to short to me! Especially the time in the fix and the wash.

    Does anyone have anything to add or comment on about using these chems at the times given by Ilford, or the times I had been using and any possible drawbacks of either? Any other suggestions would be great. I am deciding to put myself up against a wall and try to work with more consistant practices that match as close to the manufacturers guidelines as possible.
     
  2. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    The main advantage of RC is that no chemicals are (?) absorbed into the paper fibers but only in a thin layes of emulsion shielded by coats of polyethylene. So fixing and washing times should be very short.

    1. I develop by inspection, so the guide times don;t work for me.. but 2 minutes seems aout right

    2. Stop bath and fixer times are fine for RC paper

    3. wash time is short in RC, so 5 minutes in running water should do
    BUT since you are fixing for such along time, you may need to extend your wahs times.
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Stick with Ilford's times, they are more than long enough. Development should be over by about 30 seconds, so there is nothing to be gained by going over 60 seconds. Why not try developing say 4 identically exposed test prints for, say 30 - 45 - 60 and 90 seconds, and see if you can detect any difference in the results. I doubt that you will.
     
  4. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I tried that combination at the weekend except I use water as the stop and my experiences are the same as Daves posting. Good luck with the PQ, after all this time using MG I tried the PQ and have fallen in love with the look and beautiful tonal range.
     
  5. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Most manufacturer's instructions include a few well-chosen "weasel words" to indicate they are suggested guidelines, and can be varied to suit individual circumstances and tastes. Doing the developer-time test Dave suggests is a great suggestion.
     
  6. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    Just did that this weekend. One minute is adequate. My rule of thumb is that the maximum black should show up at about 25% of the final development time. That's exactly what happened.
     
  7. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    90 secs, 30 secs. 60 secs. are fairly standard times for RC paper.

    ilford's cool tone paper calls for 2 min. development times.

    we haven't tested that particular developer, but with a wide variety of test with many papers and developers we have just used the above standards

    development should be to completion, which means the full time, less times will create muddy uneven prints.
     
  8. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Just adding to Ann's comments:
    Unlike FB paper, once development is complete there will be no further changes to the image by additional development. So the 'look' of your image will come entirely from the exposure by the enlarger.
     
  9. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    John, I find your comment of interest, and would be gratefull if you could expand on it. If developement of a Fibre print is complete; what further changes do you experience by further development?
     
  10. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    Temperature is important too! While dev can be done by eye with RC, fix and wash can be compromised by a few degrees.
     
  11. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I know what you both mean. My own experience is that the flexibility window for FB is wide, perhaps from 1 min 15 seconds to 4-5 minutes, during which time the print keeps changing, but to a lesser extent after about 2.5 minutes (for me in my darkroom. I guess that means that at the 2-2.5 mins I normally use the paper is only 95% developed or so. I think this is what AA meant by in his factorial method examples where contrast could be varied a fair old bit with dev time. In contrast I found that RC papers have a narrow window. Too short and it is underdeveloped. Just right is just right, but any longer makes little to no difference

    I guess it mens that RC is pretty well always developed to completion and FB is not?

    Tom
     
  12. Christopher Colley

    Christopher Colley Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone, some helpful information. I appreciate it all! This well definately be useful.
     
  13. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Sorry Dave - just read your question. Tom answered well.
    With RC paper (which as we know was originally produced to obtain quick prints that also dry quickly) there is a consistency to development. Once you hit the 60-90 secs, you can be sure there will be no benefit to further developing (or at least changes would be imperceptable).
    But there are variables that will make a significant difference to the look of prints made on FB paper. Because the rate of development of FB is much slower, variations in the dilution of developer will make a perceptable difference to the contrast of the image. Additionally for example; water bath development (causing developer depletion in the shadows, while allowing the highlights to develop at a greater proportional rate than normal) will give quite a different look to the image.

    If your personal std development time for FB prints is 120secs, this will produce a different look to your images than those developed to 180sec, from the same neg.

    So I guess I was saying that there are very significant subtleties that can take effect with FB paper in the developer tray that are additional to what takes place under the enlarger. This is far less (if at all) perceptable with RC paper.
     
  14. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. As someone that has to develope in a drum I have to ensure that any manipulation is taken care of at the exposure stage. I tend to forget therefore that there are opportunities to be had during the wet process.
     
  15. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    This is no handycap at all and I am very glad I learned this way as it has forced good habits I think. Otherwise I think chaos would have reigned supreme for me! I only alter development time from stadard if there is no other resort or easier option. I use a Nova slot processor, but can inspect the print very easily by lifting it out as it gets 'long dunks'. The consistency one gets from fixed dev times and exposure adjustments I think forces one to work quite precisely (and be able to visualise another 2-3% exposure for example). Even when I use trays, I still use a fixed time and redo the print if it is not what I want. The problem with snatching prints is that you introduce another variable. The exposure might not be long enough, so it is stewed longer (more contrast and density). The print still is not as wished, so what does one adjust, dev time? Exposure? Both? I prefer to adjust one at a time and sometimes it will be dev time. Mostly it is exposure/contrast.