HC110 Agitation

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Peterpan, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. Peterpan

    Peterpan Member

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    I have decided to start using HC 110 the goo type for its keeping property.
    I have read several articles on the use of HC110,and of the different dilutions.
    Kodak suggest vigorous agitation,of 5 secs at start and then every 30secs.
    In Greg Mironchuk's article he states that he only agitates at the beginning of development process and once half way through the process.The reason being that to agitate more makes the negs too contrasty.
    Has anyone got any other thoughts on the subject.
     
  2. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    The subject of agitation is very deep - there are advocates of many dilutions of HC-110 and many agitation schemes. Just search HC-110 on this site. Generally one balances exposure with development dilution and agitation to get the desired contrast. As I say, you have a lot of reading to do.

    That said, I think most folks tend to follow an agitation scheme similar to what Kodak recommends - every 30-seconds or every minute. I'd recommend picking one of those and developing a lot of film constantly that way until you know enough about the results you're getting to know what you want to change - if anything.
    juan
     
  3. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I suggest the Mr Mironchuk argue the point with Kodak.
     
  4. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Agitation is another of those personal choices. Changing agitation randomly can cause major changes in the contrast of your negatives. Having made a choice, you need to stick with it like glue, making it part of the process that you follow religiously.

    I have standardized on HC110, dilution B, for roll film, and my agitation is continuous for the first 30 seconds, and 5 seconds out of every thirty thereafter. Also, I agitate very vigorously (some friends are actually frightened at how vigorously I agitate!). But it works for me. My development times tend to be shorter than what most people use - 4min 30sec for roll film, for example. Quick and simple.

    I also use HC110 for sheet film, dilution H (dilution B with twice the normal amount of water). I use a slosher in a tray, with continuous gentle agitation for the first 30 seconds followed by 5 sec out of 30 thereafter. My development time for sheets is longer than for rolls - 11 minutes. The main advantage (for me) is that it gives me maneuvering room for N-1 and N-2 development without having the time become so short that I have to worry about uneven development.

    The procedure that you attribute to Mr. Mironchuk sound like "minimal agitation", or "semi-stand development". That's also a process that works, but the developer usually is highly dilute, and the development time is also much longer. I've done that with Rodinal, 1:100, with a one-hour development time for both rolls and sheets. The advantage of that approach is better detail and local contrast. The disadvantage is that it is very boring.

    My point is that all of these work very well. None is absolutely better than any other - and it comes down to what you are trying to accomplish, and what you find to be pleasing results.
     
  5. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    For a look at Mr. Mironchuk's approach to B&W film development, look at http://www.mironchuk.com/hc-110.html

    He indicates that he uses HC-110 dilution A and Dilution B.

    He does not give any agitation method detail - no detailed agitation procedure descriptions. IMO. what he describes may well be a form of Minimal Agitation development, and may be congruent with semi-stand development.

    Mr. Mironchuk wrote:"I, personally, only agitate one or twice during development, because I want to be gentle to my precious film." "If you are a constant or frequent agitator, your times will need to be signifigantly (sic) shortened, and your overall contrast may be "skewed"... with your film exibiting high contrast in the highlight areas, and low contrast in the shadow areas. I like my negatives to have higher contrast in the shadows, and lower contrast in the highlights... so I don't agitate very much. If the negatives are too thin, then I extend the overall time... I do NOT increase agitation."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2006
  6. Peterpan

    Peterpan Member

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    My intentions are to use HC110 dilution H as dilution B the times are very short for films like NEW Tri-X Pan (400TX) (Kodak recommended) 3.75 mins, and with dilution H the time would be 6-7 mins,wich for me would be a more manageable time
    Peter
     
  7. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    The times Kodak recommends are generally thought to be incorrect for use by most people. Most folks are using their old Tri-X times - somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 minutes for dilution B.
    juan
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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  9. coun2r

    coun2r Member

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    This update post is mainly for others who happen to come across it while searching. He also said: "All that being said... I use a different dilution of HC-110, other than "A" (1/15), or "B"(1/31). I use a dilution of 1/63... or HALF the strength of Dilution "B"."
     
  10. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Subscriber

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    Sooner or later after i develop HP5+ @800 in HC-110, i will start to test few films with HC-110 at box speed, in my mind i want to test the followings:
    TMAX100 &400, Tri-X400, Acros100, Delta 100/400 and last HP5+, all at box speed without push/pull.
    I used Dil B when i developed Tri-X @1600, will use same for HP5+ @800, then later i will decide if i should go with dil B or H if i have to follow Kodak dev chart table and given is very short for certain films.
     
  11. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Following a manufacturer's recommendations gets you highly reliable negatives that print normal scenes at the normal paper grade at normal times.

    Normal doesn't mean mundane, Kodak and the others have worked hard to make normal a very high quality situation.

    Before you or I decide on changing away from normal development (time, temp, or agitation) we probably need to have a situation that's not normal that's pushing us that way. For example Ansel Adams used graded paper which made adjusting the negative important, but he also was meticulous about measuring the scene; changes in development were driven by real numbers not somebody elses preferences.

    We also need to remember that adjustments don't necessarily need to be done at the film. Today, unlike in Adams heyday, VC papers are great and contrast is easily and nicely adjustable with paper grade.

    I'd suggest starting normal and defining where you want to go from there.
     
  12. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Subscriber

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    Sure, and for me it will be very very long journey in film as i don't have tools to print and surrounded by digi... and also my country is not supporting film much and i can't spend a lot of money to buy chemicals or tools or paper always online as i do usually, sooner or later it will get harder for me to have great work in film for me against budget/time, i can start somewhere for sure, but i can't tell how and when i can end up somewhere else i want to.
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    That's what HE does based on HIS development process. Fist follow Kodak's recomendation they know more about their films than anyone else. If YOU find a need for any adjustment then base it on Kodak's agitation method.
     
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  15. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I recently developed some Acros which I shot between 80 and 100. I used dilution H for 9 minutes. I agitated in a Paterson tank, continuous (inversion) for the first minute, then two inversion at minutes 2, 4 and 6. I read that less agitation would allow the shadows to develop and would keep the highlights from becoming too dense.

    Indeed, that's what happened! I have a lot of contrast in the shadows (no clear areas of film in any frame, really) but practically no highlights (no black areas of film in any frame, really). Could not agitating every minute have had that great an effect on not allowing the highlights to build any real density?

    By the way, this was a single roll of 120 film developed in 9.5ml of HC-110 syrup + 600ml of water. Thanks.
     
  16. ColColt

    ColColt Subscriber

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    No expert on this but, I would have went to about 11-12 minutes on the time with that dilution and agitation method.
     
  17. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    This is good advice. I use HC-110 and the "Ilford agitation" method of 4 gentle inversions at the start of each minute. But the most important thing is to be as consistent as possible so that when you make adjustments for your printing you will home in on the contrast for best printing.
     
  18. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Yes! Consistency is probably the most important thing. I typically use Dilution H (1+63) agitating for the first 30 secs (with some thumps to dislodge air bubbles), then 5 inversions in about 5 seconds each minute; generally around 9 minutes or so depending on specific film and temperature. But different folks are looking for different things; ultimately you need to figure out what works to get you what you want. Then by doing it the same way every time, you'll get what you want every time -- see!!! :whistling:
     
  19. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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  20. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    What does the midrange contrast look like? Lots of grays overall or is it overall fairly contrasty?

    In my experience, I've noted that reducing agitation mainly affects midtones and pulls down highlights, what other people might call "snap" or overall/global contrast. Useful for bright sunny days like we get a lot of here in San Diego but less helpful if the scenes are lower contrast.
     
  21. ColColt

    ColColt Subscriber

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    I was wondering about this as well. When I shoot HP-5 or Tri-X at 400 it's usually on an overcast day. Bright sunny days get an ASA 200 and about a two minute underdevelopment compared to shooting at 400 to compensate for the contrasty day.
     
  22. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    It's easier with sheet films but if you shoot a whole roll with similar scene contrast, no reason not to compensate one way or the other in exposing and developing.

    I've found semi-stand works for me quite well, with as much exposure as I can give the film. Lots of latitude and flexible negatives that are easy to work with. As the old saying goes, it's easier to add contrast later than to try and take it away.
     
  23. ColColt

    ColColt Subscriber

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    What's been difficult in the past, I would start out exposing 2/3 of a roll at 400 with weather just shy of rain and exposure about 250 at f5.6- f8 with Tri-X and all of a sudden here comes the sun. You just have to compensate during printing by going to a #2 filter or grade of paper instead of your usual #3. With scanning it's a different ball game.
     
  24. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    Greg Mironchuck's article makes good reading and his method is sound. It produces negatives that print well with a minimum of fuss. I have had much more success in film developing since I applied it to my workflow. HC-110 is a hugely versatile developer with long shelf life and great economy. What's not to like about that ? I used to use it as Dilution B and found it a bit on the strong side in developing highlights, but with dilution H semi-stand, I am constantly amazed at how it handles contrasty situations when paired with the right film. HP5+, Tri-X and Delta400 all look amazing when developed like that and I personally find that 12 minutes at 20c is right for all of them when rated at Ei200.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2015
  25. ColColt

    ColColt Subscriber

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    Is the recommendation also for those "cloudy bright no shadows", overcast days, i.e., ASA 200 rather than 400?
     
  26. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    That works for me. I am not a lazy person, but in this case I prefer a one size fits all method. It is far easier to add contrast than fight a negative that is too contrasty.
    This on HP5+ with total cloud cover. 1/250 f5.6 Nikon F100 and AF Nikkor 50mm f1.8D

    [​IMG]Best friends. by John Bragg, on Flickr