Over developing?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by J Rollinger, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    I recently bought some Efke25 4x5 sheets and noticed there was a development chart inside. I read the chart and noticed that the recommended developing time with D76 is 6 minutes for Kb25, R25, and PL25. I just developed some 120mm Pl25 for 8.5 minutes and thought that they looked good! But now it seems i have over-developed by more than 40%. Below is a photo that i developed for 8.5 minutes, Does it look like it went 40% to long in the developer? As you can i see i didn't use the correct amount of developer and when i noticed that i hurried to fill it more and was to late. I warmed up enough for a 35mm roll but was developing a 120mm roll (I hate when that happens)
     

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  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Looks fine to me.

    Shoot for the shadows, develop for the highlights. :D

    The section to the right has a bit more detail but the section on the left doesn't look totally blown.

    Which do you like better?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2009
  3. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    The left actually looks better to me.
     
  4. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Thank you Mark, I like the left side better. I got my development time from Digitaltruth.com, which i always have. About shooting for the shadows and develop for highlights, well, that's something i still have to learn about. I will search the forums and try to find a thread on that subject.

    Thank for your responding.
     
  5. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    J,

    The point I'm making is that you have already created a great example of how different development times affect your film and which you like.

    The published times are just suggested starting points.
     
  6. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Actual developing time can be something as simple as individual technique. What works for you, and gives you easily printable negatives that say what you want your photograph to say, is the correct developing time.
     
  7. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Thank you John, I agree 100%.
     
  8. Rick-in-LB

    Rick-in-LB Member

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    Developing and printing is something I found to be personal. In the class I am taking the instructor tries to press her eyes on us. In other words she tells us what looks good to her and tries to push that on us. What looks good to me does not look good to her. I am slowly finding my own feel of what I think is right to me. Like John said, my individual technique
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *******
    I will relate what an early mentor said to me: "you think you are being creative and all you're doing is making a mess."

    At a later time, a grizzled, cigar-smoking darkroom rat told me: "if you have to shit glass to get a good print, you're not exposing and developing correctly."

    They were both right. And what I said to OP is that the technique is correct if it gives you an EASILY PRINTABLE negative that make a print that says what you want to say. For the life of me, I cannot see why so many posters on APUG are having so many problems with just the simple task of getting properly exposed, evenly developed, clean negatives. Basic photographic craftsmanship is not all that difficult. Harrumph!!:confused:
     
  10. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I think it looks good also. An instructor in college told me my negs were too dense but I liked the way they printed. He said snow can't be gray but I said if it's in shadow it is gray not white. The point is if the neg prints to your liking then it is a good neg.
     
  11. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Some good instructors will try to push their own view - but as a means to get you to push back, and hence justify yourself. It makes you really look at your work and think hard about it because you really have to come up with a cogent argument to disagree. This isn't a bad technique. I am the first to admit, however, that there are other instructors who are just plain anal. :rolleyes:

    As for JR's image - left, definitely. The image is a great example in a single frame of why EI is personal and dev. time is personal and everything else is just a recommended point of departure. It's good to question - and when you're right - It's Good to be the King :smile:

    Bob H
     
  12. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I would second most of the comments above, and add one.
    The image you attached looks like it might be a scan (dust, etc, looks like some of mine).
    If you haven't printed it yet, on your chosen paper, you can't evaluate the development of the neg, IMHO. You can tell that it's not blocked up, and that there is detail in the lower values, but until you print it, I don't think you can make any final decisions about the dev time (unless your chosen paper is made by Epson).
     
  13. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Noooooooo:D:D

    Bob H
     
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  15. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Sure; if the image requires grey snow; and a person exposed and developed to get grey snow because grey snow was "what one saw and felt" or was "part of one's photographic vision" then all is in order.
    If a person, because they underexposed the negative, resulting in making snow grey--that all of a sudden that person decides their "artistic interpretation" was for grey snow, then......they have suddenfly become a photographic artiste of the highest order--and to hell with the craft.
    I think it was Rodin who once wrote that "Everyone now seems to be a genius, but no one can draw a hand."
     
  16. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The developing times given in various references are just suggested times. You can and should vary them to suit your equipment and technique. The example shot does look a bit contrasty to me (but it is hard to tell with a scan for the web). It may be a bit overdeveloped, but not 2.5 minutes overdeveloped. From what I can see (which is none too reliable), cutting the development by 15 percent might be good.
     
  17. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    A print on the OPs target paper, exposed for min time for max black through clear film, will give a good idea about whether or not the film was over developed or not.

    And, as you say, individual technique and other variables can be in operation.
    I found, years ago, that my FP-4 souped better at Tri-X times (iirc). Could not believe it was anything I was doing; and I was using a very expensive, mercury, lab thermometer to guarantee proper temp. After about six months of this, just for kicks, I checked my thermometer against a pro photographer's thermometers in the apartment across the hall--and voila, my thermometer was reading two degrees celsius too high.
     
  18. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    John

    Speaking of thermometers i need to buy a good one, can you recommend one? I have been using an old Weston dial thermometer and dont know if it is correct.
     
  19. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Thanks for the idea. I will cut the development by 15% next time and see what happens.
     
  20. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Be careful. You've printed those negs, right?
     
  21. Anscojohn

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    I have an old Weston, as well as a second dial thermometer. Might be an old Unicolor; or maybe a Beseler. I have four or five new mercury school lab thermometers carefully stored away. I bought them when they were no longer allowed to be used with the youngsters around them.

    I use one of them to calibrate the dial thermometers periodically; and once or twice a year I use two of the others to check the one I use for calibration.

    Of course, having the luxury of a basement darkroom, my temps stay pretty constant, so i have few surprises in any case.
     
  22. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    I did not get a chance to print them yet, Maybe next week.
     
  23. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    My basement cold tap water is within a half degree from 68f in the summer (52f now in April) I cant wait for summer! I have both Weston and Unicolor dial thermometers that are within .5 degrees of each other so i went to a old photoshop and bought a Delta glass thermometer expecting to find that my dial thermometers were off and found the Delta to be 2.5 degrees off. I trust my old dial thermometers over the Delta but i could be wrong.
     
  24. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Well, the proof (pun intended) of the negative is in the printing.
     
  25. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Density on the left looks best in the scan. It'll be interesting how the comparison fares in printing.

    When I proof negs with the scanner, I scan the negatives as a raw film - a positive without any adjustments whatsoever. Then I invert them in my image editing program, desaturate it, and change the density so that there's pitch black on the film rebate and stop. Then, finally, I adjust the highlights to where they look good without blocking up (knowing for almost certain that I can get the same highlight density when printing).

    That gives me a fair approximation and hint whether the neg is good or not.

    From here, the left half of the 'print' looks best, but let's see the results of your printing!
     
  26. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    The Delta is probably an alcohol thermometer. If you could get a good mercury thermometer to use as a check for all three you would be well advised. I read somewhere once about checking thermometers against a drug store fever thermometer, but never thought is was a good idea: what is needed is accuracy at around the temps commonly used.