Pre-soaking FB paper?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jonathan R, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Member

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    As developer carry-over into the fixer, and fixer residues in the finished print, are such problems, what is the reason that no-one pre-soaks FB paper in plain water before immersion in the developer. Would it significantly lessen developer activity in the emulsion? Or is diffusion of chemical into the paper base so fast that it wouldn't make any practical difference?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Pre soaking won't help prevent carry over, and yes it will lessen developer activity so you'd need to develop for longer to get similar results, so njo benefit.

    Ian
     
  3. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    You would gradually be diluting your developer and you would still have the carry-over to the other baths.
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    So why do some people presoak film?
     
  5. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    You presoak film to dissolve the anti-halation backing, and to bring the tank and reel to working temperature. It would be totally pointless to bust your tail to get your developer temperature on the money, and then pour it in to a cold taknk, or a hot one. So you presoak with water of the same temperature as the developer is going to be.
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Leaving out the anti-halation backing, why shouldn't you make sure paper is at the correct temperature before development if you do the same with film?
     
  7. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    There's no need to pre-soak paper--that's the bottom line. But especially fiber based. FB gets limp when wet, and all that pointless handling of wet paper leaves you prone to crescent-moons in the finish, creases or other damage. Aside from the fact that it takes quite a while for the developer to begin replacing the water that's soaked into it, with the possibility of uneven development, mottling, etc. And just that replacement time will throw your actual effective development times so far off, you may as well not even take your developer temperature at all. No good can come from this. Slip the sheet in to the tray under the surface of the developer and you won't have airbells or anything. I can see no redeeming quality in pre-soaking paper.
     
  8. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Where recommended, presoaking film is generally to help improve development uniformity, particularly with short development times, stand/semi-stand development, and when you can't get the film immersed in the developer quickly enough (for example, filling a multi-reel stainless tank through the daylight lid). Of course when tray shuffling sheet film, a pre-soak prevents the sheets don't stick together.

    Some people recommend a film pre-soak in all cases. Some don't. Ilford says it is not required. I don't think Kodak indicates it is required either (for roll film).

    These are not issues with paper development because 1) the paper is usually quickly immersed in the developer 2) paper development is virtually to completion (which would minimize or eliminate artefacts from uneven initial development), 3) agitation is generally continuous.

    Regarding temperature, one could simply bring the tank to temperature by tempering it in a water bath. With paper, there is no tank, just the paper, which would likely come quickly to the developer temperature once immersed, without having a meaningful effect on the developer itself as long as there is sufficient developer volume.
     
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  9. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Both Kodak and Ilford do not recommend that you presoak their films.

    You don't tug on Superman's cape
    You don't spit into the wind
    You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
    ...

    Some people are just contrarian by nature.
     
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  10. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Paper simply doesn't matter as much. As long as you follow the same procedure and the developer temp stays the same you will tweak the exposure and contrast to get the image to look correct.

    As long as you do things consistently between film runs it also doesn't matter if the film cools off the developer a bit. You would adjust your times to compensate. The key is consistency. I presoak in the Jobo but not in manual tanks because it brings the times between the two methods to almost the same.
     
  11. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    Mr Koch--I have come to appreciate the voice of credibility when I see your name, but not presoaking film is something I'm having a hard time swallowing. I realize there's a dilution factor, though of lesser detriment thanFB paper, but it's the best way to get the tank and reel temperatures to speed. And have you ever poured water into a tank of dry t-max film? When you pour it out, its absolutely black with antihalation backing. In my younger days I did not presoak, and ended up with a lot of purple-tinted negatives, not knowing at the time that the purple was from anti-H backing that never got entirely removed. And that purple surely must play havoc when using polycontrast paper. I think I'll keep on pre-soaking.
     
  12. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Kodak probably would have recommended a pre-soak if it is required. As for the purple tint, you can soak that right out in washing.
     
  13. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Not entirely, I pre-wet FB when I do 20x24's in my Jobo 3063 drum, it has eliminated the developing streak I sometimes had when I did not pre-wet.
     
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  15. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Please describe this developing streak and I and others may be able to advise how this can be avoided without pre-wetting.
     
  16. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I assume the both Kodak and Ilford have a good reason for not recomending pre-soaking.

    Both companies recommend you use of a rapid fixer with T-grain films because silver iodide is slower to remove than either the chloride or bromide salts. A dark stain may indicate insufficient fixing and/or washing. Use of aa alkaline HCA will also reduce the amount of dye. Dye retention is more probable with low pH developers.
     
  17. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I can certainly think of an instance where presoaking might be beneficial - when prematurely "snatch"
    processing to get the silver only marginally developed. In such cases the dev time tends to be very
    short and it's difficult to do it evenly. I put the paper face down and rub it around very quickly to keep
    any air bells from staying put, then quickly flip it over. Doing all that in half a minute or so is a bit tricky (thank goodness, I don't snatch develop very often any more, but "lith" printers might). And presoaking might help both with eveness of development and delay it a bit.
     
  18. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Ilford doesn't advise against a pre-soak. They say it is simply not required.
     
  19. AndreasT

    AndreasT Member

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    I am not sure what paper it was, either Agfa MCC, or Ilford Fb where you can presoak it to wash out the incorporated developer or what ever is in there.
    Then you develope it in Lith Developer. I did this a few years ago.
     
  20. Pasto

    Pasto Subscriber

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    I have presoaked FB regularly in my Jobo. I did it to prevent loosing my developer solution too fast. A 16x20 soaks up a lot of developer. I extended development and always got good dmax. But yes it does dilute all the solutions. I've since stopped with no noticeable differences, except that my developer disappears very quickly :smile:
     
  21. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Exactly. I don't do it for paper, see no reason for it and in fact never heard of it until now. But I generally do pre-soak film for a couple of reasons. One is the tempering mentioned. The other is with rotary processing in my Jobo. Jobo recommended a pre-soak because they found that with most film developer combinations the slowing of development times for a 5 minute pre-soak just about exactly offsets the increased activity from the continuous agitation. This was recommended in the Journal of Rotary Processing and I have found it to be generally true, allowing me to use the same starting times with the Jobo as for inversion. It certainly does no harm.

    I do not use it with Diafine in tanks as the manufacturer specifically recommends against it. Though I haven't tried going against that recommendation it makes sense to me.
     
  22. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Re: pre-rinsing film

    In the Ilford instructions it says a pre-rinse is not recommended due to possible uneven development.

    Jon
     
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  23. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Well I don't really care what they say when I get good results doing it. If I didn't I'd look at that, but I take their instructions as advice, noy orders. Works for me.
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I believe that advice is specific to Rotary Tube processing.

    And Simon of Harmann fame just posted today that Ilford doesn't recommend against a pre-rinse, it just is of the opinion that none is required when developing film.
     
  25. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I use the presoak with rotary tube processing. The only unevenness I have ever seen was when I was using the slow speed on my CPE2. Jobo later recommended against this speed (for roll film) and removed it from the CPE2+. Even then it was rare and I only saw it in a couple of frames with ocean and sky on one roll. I switched to the fast speed and haven't seen a problem with roll film since.
     
  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's always exceptions to general recommendations and it makes sense and has always been recommended by most manufacturers to use a pre-soak with rotary processing.

    A pre-soak is also recommended fror colour film processing, more here as a tempering bath to bring the tank/film to the working temperature.

    Ian