Kodak HC-110 & TF-4 / Gentle or Vigorous Agitation?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mindthemix, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. mindthemix

    mindthemix Member

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    My first development experience and my plan as follows:

    Film: T-Max 100 & 400

    • Development / 68F
      • TIME: 6 minutes
      • Agitate vigorous for 30 seconds, then 5 seconds (2 gentle inversions) every 30 seconds.
      • About 15 seconds before the time is up, pour out developer.
    • Rinse / 68F running water
      • TIME: 1 minute
    • Fix / 68F
      • TIME: 6 minutes, with 5 inversions once a minute
    • Final Wash / 68F running water
      • TIME: 5 minutes.
    • Soak in a wetting agent
      • TIME: 1 minute with agitation.
    • Hang the film to dry.

    I have thousands of questions but my main concern at this point is the agitation. There's mixed point of views and I'd really appreciate your advice. Please correct my times if you think I'm wrong with my recipe.

    Thanks in advance for all your help.
     
  2. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    Every 30 seconds I agitate 7 times in 5 seconds. Try it, that's pretty vigorous.
     
  3. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I follow Kodak's instructions of 5-7 inversions at the beginning, then 3-5 every thirty seconds. It works very well for me.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Just like developing time, developer concentration, and developer temperature, agitation is a tool that you can use to affect the results you get.
    You can choose to ignore this, and develop the same every time, but it's good to know that how you agitate will change your negatives.

    Basically, what happens is this: If you agitate often, you will develop your highlights faster. In the highlights is where your negative received most light exposure, and the developer will exhaust quicker there than in the shadows (which are thin on the negative). When you agitate you replenish with fresh developer across the entire film surface, so there is fresh developer in contact with the highlight areas of your negatives more often. That accelerates the development rate of your highlights in relation to the shadows. Make sense?

    Conversely, if you agitate less frequently, say 10 seconds every three minutes, you retard the rate at which the developer develops the highlights in relation to shadows. I hope you see the pattern. There are no rules for how you SHOULD develop your film, just guidelines, which usually produces a technically decent result, and it's a good place to start. All I'm saying is that how you agitate will have an effect on the outcome, and it is you who should decide what your negatives are like since it is you who are going to use them to make prints.
     
  5. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    I agree. No rules, just guidelines.
    I agitate for first 30 and for 5 inversions every minute. Works well for me. I wonder about the definition of vigerous agitation. That can mean a very different thing to different people. I wouldn't recommend shaking the hell out of the tank. Ofcourse that's just a guideline.
     
  6. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I never agitate vigorously in the sense of shaking the tank. I tap the bottom of it at the start of the cycle to clear any airbells, then reverse tip it upside-down twice every 30 secs, rather gently, like
    the old Kodak manuals depicted.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Don't forget that a prewet always helps, and don't forget to tap the tank at the start of any step to dislodge any air bubbles that are trapped on the surface of the film.

    PE
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I got so carried away with my response that I forgot about the very basics of answering the OP's question. Yes, I too never agitate in crazy manners, gentle full tank inversion does it. I use a 10s every minute as standard, and manage three full inversions in that time, plus giving the tank a couple of taps against the counter top (to get rid of air bubbles), before I set the tank to rest again.
     
  9. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I do use HC110 almost exclusively, but have shot very little Tmax. I do not pre-wet; I invert maybe a dozen times or so for about the first 30 seconds, accompanied by a thump or three on the table to dislodge bubbles. I then do about four inversions (~5 sec) every minute. I rotate the tank about one third between each inversion.

    In fixer I tend to agitate more continuously, albeit not as rapidly -- maybe an inversion every five seconds. I assume TF-4 is a rapid fixer, as the old traditional hypo will likely take upwards of ten minutes.

    To me, five minutes sounds short for a wash unless you also use a hypo clear bath. Kodak describes 20 to 30 minutes. I usually wash twenty minutes -- but that is usually longer because I wander off and forget ...
     
  10. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Agitation varies a lot from person to person. It also affects development quite strongly. The object is to find a scheme that works well for you and then to be consistent. The Kodak recommendations are a good starting point. You may, however, have to adjust the developing time a little because of the individual way you do the agitation.

    Fixing goes to completion, so agitation has a less noticeable effect. I go the vigorous route in the fix, just to be sure.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    +1

    Check your clearing time for the fixer, as that fixing time is quite short for the T-Max films.

    And that does seem like a very short wash if you aren't using a wash aid - although TF-4 apparently helps with that.
     
  12. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    PE - can you elaborate on this? Are we talking about uniformity or other issues? Some people swear by prewetting, others say it doesn't improve anything. No evidence is ever presented either way. What have you observed in your experience?

    Thanks
     
  13. amac212

    amac212 Member

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    Will you be printing in a dark room or scanning? I have found that Kodak's guidelines blow out my highlights when scanned. The Massive Development Chart's guidelines do not. I gently invert 4-5x's (5 secs) every minute and then give it a good knock on a hard surface twice to dislodge air bubbles.
     
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  15. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    My sequence with TMY is an initial 30 seconds of continuous agitation, followed by a 5 seconds every 30 seconds. And when I agitate, I hold the tank with my thumb on the bottom of the tank and my other fingers on the top - I have had tank tops come off while developing film, so I've learned to hold the tank so that can't happen. And to agitate, I flip my wrist so that the tank is completely inverted. I make this a snapping motion, so that in addition to agitation, the tank is also jarred a bit to dislodge any bubbles that might have formed on any internal surfaces. I did this in a teaching darkroom a few years ago, and the instructor went crazy because he thought that it would be too vigorous. Then he saw my negatives and understood that while it may be a slightly different way of doing things, it does work very well for me.

    For 4x5 sheets, I use a slosher in HC110 dilution H. Again, I agitate continuously for 30 seconds, and then 5 seconds out of every thirty thereafter. To agitate, I rock the slosher insert inside the tray. The limit is that I don't want to rock the slosher so much that I splash developer out of the tray. I suspect that this is less vigorous than the case with roll film.
     
  16. mindthemix

    mindthemix Member

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    I'll be scanning and I'll check the Massive Dev Chart. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  17. mindthemix

    mindthemix Member

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    Thank you so much for that great tip.
     
  18. mindthemix

    mindthemix Member

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    Thank you everyone for all your feedback and advice!
     
  19. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I always prewet. ALWAYS. This not only helps uniformity as the developer spreads, but conditions the internal temp of the tank first.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    See what Drew says above and look at the big test of prewetting posted elsewhere on APUG.

    It improves uniformity and reduces the chance of air bubbles.

    PE
     
  21. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    I have always found Kodak's recommendations for agitation too aggressive, more to do with a commercial darkroom than the care and attention you can take at home. If you agitate aggressively you need short periods between agitation because of the possibility of air bubbles forming if the developer foams. So it is a crude means of avoiding the effects of air bubbles and not of avoiding the air bubbles themselves. Kodak wrote the recommendations to be idiot proof which makes sense.

    I base all my agitation around thirty seconds initial agitation then three inversions on the minute followed by a swirl as the developer drains back into the Paterson tank. The swirl is instead of a tap on the bench. Variations are made depending on the developer, but I would never go to agitating every thirty seconds which I feel is too close a risk with most films and developers for blowing the highlights.

    Steve
     
  22. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I'm pretty sure TF-4 recommends 4 minutes for traditional films and 1.5x that, or 6 minutes for tmax-type films (Tmax, Delta, Acros).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2013
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Steve;

    Kodak gives very sensible instructions for small tank processing on their web site. It involves intermittent agitation that avoids bubbles in the developer. But, all water has dissolved air in it. And, bubbles arise from water exiting the tap into your sink. Watch for it on film when you wash the film. Tiny bubbles there with no agitation. The idea is to break up those bubbles by using agitation. At least that is one purpose of agitation.

    PE
     
  24. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    While it isn't perfect, I usually use boiled water to get as much of that air out of the water as possible before I use it. I imagine it helps, but don't really know how to prove it. I know I don't get air bells on my negatives at all, even when I agitate as seldom as every 5 minutes.
     
  25. lacavol

    lacavol Member

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    I use the straight syrup out of the bottle. 12 mL in 600 mL water, one-shot developer. Inversion that takes 2 sec. to invert and return to upright. Invert 15 times in the first 30 sec. and 5 inversions in 10 sec. at each minute, on minutes one through eight. Pour out developer at 9 minutes development time for TMY-2. I use Indicator Stop then I use Eco Pro fixer for 7 minutes with the same inversions as developing. Works well for what I want. This is for ISO 400.
     
  26. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I'm certain the fix times recommeded for TF4 are intended to be well beyond merely adequate. I standardize on 5 min for all film types, and have no doubt it is more than ample.