Stand developing problem

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by graywolf, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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    OK, I have been stand developing my film in Rodinal 100:1 with good results. Only the last couple of roll scame out over developed.

    I think over developed, because I developed a second roll in the same tank that was taken with a different camera months back. I figure it is unlikely that both cameras are over exposing by a stop or so.

    My technique is to pour in the developer, invert slowly five times, and then go away for an hour. The only change is that temperature higher than it was in the winter. However, my understanding is that true stand developing automatically compensates for temperature changes. The warmer solution develops faster, but the developing agent in the emulsion gets used up faster, balancing that out.

    120 Arista.EDU Ultra 100, by the way.

    Over the winter my solutions temps were about 65F, and for these last rolls they were about 75F. I use all solutions at room temperature.

    OK, something is not right, but I am not sure what. I guess both my meters may be off, but by the same amount?
     
  2. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    After an hour at 65F with no agitation, how do you know the developer is completely exhausted? If there's still some oomph left in it, there's potential to further develop the film. Yes, at 75F, it should exhaust itself faster, if your assumption is correct. At 75F, you may be increasing the developer's activity enough to squeeze out that extra bit of development over an hour's time. If you assume that each degree of temperature increase/decrease calls for a 4% change in development time to compensate for the change, that extra 10 degrees adds a big variable. You might test this by developing one roll at 65F for an hour, and another at 65F for 84 minutes (140% time) and see if the longer development time substantially increases negative density. Same is same, different is different.

    Peter Gomena
     
  3. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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    Is the film over-exposed or is it over-developed? This should be fairly easy to tell. How do the shadows compare to your usual results?

    10 degrees is a significant change.... I would expect some increase in contrast even with stand development.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Rodinal is slow working, but extremely powerful. It keeps developing and developing and developing. Bop 'til you drop, as they say. You cannot tell with certainty that the developer is exahusted unless you throw fresh film into the solution and try it again. I'm willing to bet that the developer has plenty of activity left after one hour.

    75 degrees F compared to 65 degrees is a HUGE difference in terms of developing activity, and you MUST compensate for it when you process film.
     
  5. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    I'm inclined to agree that trusting that the nature of stand development with "automatically" compensate for any temperature difference is too optimistic.

    My own experiences with stand development have been almost all good, but while I'm not draconian about the water temperature, I try always to start it around 70F, give or take. A ten degree swing is huge.
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Not true. Even at 1:100 there is more than enough developing agent so the developer does not become exhausted. For this idea to work would also preclude a two bath developer from working. There is much less developing agent used per roll in a two bath developer then there is in a normal one diluted 1:100.

    So you still need to worry about temperature. This dilution is not all that large and I use 1:50 routinely and must watch the temperature quite carefully. I don't know where these notions originate certainly not from people who have thought things out carefully. It's funny but ideas like this are never prefaced with statements like "Ansel Adams says that" or "Minor White says that", ...
     
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  7. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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    Well, the point of stand developing is to limit the developer to what is in the emulsion to start. And with the 65 degree temps, my experience is that leaving the film in longer, I have gone two hours, gives no increase in density over one hour. Which led me to believe the developer in the emulsion had been used up buy the end of the hour.

    If you agitate at all after that initial agitation, you are moving fresh developer into the emulsion and it is not really stand development. I will entertain the idea however, that 100:1 may be too concentrated at higher temps.

    I just scanned one of the edge numbers from that last roll of film. I think it shows the film is overdeveloped. Although the actual images may be both overexposed and overdeveloped, but to solve anything we have to eliminate one thing at a time.

    [​IMG]

    (Crop of full resolution 1200ppi grayscale scan)
     
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  8. Aron

    Aron Subscriber

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    My Fomapan 100 (Arista.EDU Ultra 100) frame numbers always come out rather dense on properly developed negatives. Judging development this way can be misleading. Contact printing the negs on the other hand provides a whole lot of valuable information on both exposure and development.
     
  9. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There is still an exchange of chemicals into and out of the emulsion even if you do not agitate it.
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Check out this link: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4017/f4017.pdf

    Page 8 has some info on compensating for an increase in temperature, and going from 65*F to 75*F the developing time is cut into about two thirds to compensate for the increased developer activity due to raised temperature. There is no reason to think that standing development would be any different.

    Finally - you should not judge on the film's edge markings whether the film got correctly developed or not. Do you print the edge markings, or do you print what's in the exposed film area?
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Forgive me if wrong, but I always thought stand development, or as we say in the UK still bath development (assuming we are talking about the same thing) is dependent on lack of agitation during the development cycle to increase micro contrast (Adjacency effect), not over development. I would suggest that this technique is best used as partial stand and like most photographic techniques, done in moderation and not with very long extended development.
     
  12. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Precisely, done in moderation. The main use for stand development is to compress the tonal scale of the negative of a contrasty subject. This has been said over and over again on APUG. It is not intended to be a general purpose developing method! Anyone who believes that it is a general purpose method should read a book on the zone system.
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Don't you mean of a non-contrasty subject?
     
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  15. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    No, the intent is to make the tonal scale of a contrasty negative fit a normal paper grade. The idea is to get both shadow detail and highlights that are not washed out. If you have a subject with a short tonal scale (lacks contrast) you would use a conventional developer and over develop a bit.
     
  16. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    The intent when stand developing is an extreme form of "controlled" local exhaustion or compensation. In theory it can do several things:

    1. Restrain highlight development/compress macro contrast
    2. Maximize film speed
    3. Maximize edge effects

    The reality depends greatly on the film and the type of developer used. Contrast reduction is often less severe than one might expect.

    There are some potential risks depending on the subject matter and materials used, namely:

    1. Uneven development
    2. Bromide streaking
    3. Dichroic fog (with faster films)
    4. Excessive flattening of local highlight contrast
    5. Overly exagerrated edge effects/haloing which can be distracting and reduce fine line detail

    The results should be examined carefully to determine what has been achieved and whether or not it is something one wants to use often, occasionally etc.

    It should not be considered a fail-safe substitute for controlled time/temperature/agitation development.
     
  17. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I agree completely.
     
  18. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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    Obviously not, but it has worked for me over dozens of rolls of film, until the last two batches. And even in those, all the negatives are printable. I am not an AA fan. I use an incident light meter. My thing is grab shots, not carefully controlled static shots (even when using the view camera). I can easily compensate for the problem I am seeing here by underexposing by a stop, and my apartment stays in the 65 to 75 degree range. I would rather figure out why the results are not as I expected. In fact, I thought at first the problem was caused by a slow shutter in the new to me Yashicamat, but when I saw the same problem in the roll from another camera, that has not had a problem in the past, I figured I needed to look into this.

    I chose this method, after consideration, for two main reasons: 1. My disability brings with it a problem with concentration, by using a 100% identical process every time, and even then I have to have it written down, I can work around that. 2. It is cheap.

    I do not get a great deal of pleasure developing film by time and temperature, that is something better done by an automatic machine. The fact is however, that properly done stand developing in a very dilute solution should process the film to completion. The fact it does not seem to be doing that for me now, only indicates I am not doing it properly, or there is something going on I do not understand. Hell, it could be that the AC is vibrating the apartment enough that I am not actually doing true stand development.

    One does not appreciate being told that something that has been working perfectly well for several months, will not work at all. As I said, I can easily compensate for what is happening, but I would like to actually know why it is happening.
     
  19. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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    Film does not develop to completion in the sense that paper does...
    If your shutter(s) were slow you would have seen a density / detail increase in your shadows areas.

    Based on the information you've given you are experiencing problems because of the 10 degree temperature shift. As other have stated that is a HUGE change in temperature in terms of film development, including stand development. Rodinal, even at 1:100 without agitation, has plenty of energy to keep developing and increasing contrast and will do so if you extend the time or increase the temperature.

    I'm am not an expert but have developed hundreds of rolls in Rodinal using the stand and semi-stand processes. (I have since switched back to a more standard time/temperature routine for many of the reasons listed above).

    I think we're all just trying to help answer the question which you posted... Please keep in mind that your definition of "perfectly well" (and mine) may differ greatly from others on this forum.

    Best of luck.
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Nice summation Michael. This evening I thought of an additional risk. It probably doesn't do film any good to stand for long periods of time in a developer particularly a highly alkaline developer like Rodinal. This would be particularly true of older formula films like Foma, Efke, ... which are not hardened like modern films from Kodak, Ilford, and Fuji. Temperatures above 20 C increase this risk.
     
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  21. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    When I stand or semi-stand develop film, I keep my developer and other chemicals at a consistent temperature in a shallow styrofoam tub. In summer here, the tap water is about 70F, which is my normal developing temperature. I've lived in places where I've had to use an icewater bath to cool my chemicals, and in winter here, I have to warm everything up to working temperatures. Once at temperature, I fill the styrofoam tub with a couple of inches of 70 degree water and let the film sit in it. I use steel tanks and reels, so it's pretty easy to keep temps regulated for as long as I process the film.

    The amount of developer absorbed by the film is indeed very small, but the molecules in the surrounding bath are not static, and the reactions taking place in the emulsion do create byproducts that diffuse back into the solution. This is what causes the dreaded "bromine drag." Even though you're not agitating the film to renew the developer, things are a-movin', and at 75 degrees, they're moving quite a bit faster than they are at 65 degrees. A rule of thumb I've used in the past is that a basic development time increase to move from normal to normal-plus-one contrast is achieved by multiplying your development time by 1.4, or 40 percent. You've achieved about the same thing by using developer that's 10 degrees warmer than your "normal" temperature and time established at 65 degrees.

    Peter Gomena
     
  22. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    An excellent point, Gerald.

    Graywolf - I apologize if my post made it sound like it doesn't work, or that you don't know what you're doing. That was not the intent.

    Michael
     
  23. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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    Here is a question, if my problem is the temp rise, how come I did not have this problem last summer. I just flipped through my negative file, and the only films doing this are the last two batches. The range of temps on all that film was probably from 60f to 80f (Occasionally, the temps get beyond what the electric heat, or the little window AC can deal with.), but as I said, this has only happened on the last two batches (one roll, and two rolls, respectively).

    I will take that back, the last batch of 4x5 was messed up too. Only, I know why that was, I had changed my technique. Which is why I went to following a written procedure, so I will do it exactly the same way each time.

    No, temperature is not the problem. Once equilibrium is reached there it not much transfer of chemicals in and out of the emulsion, especially with highly dilute systems. My whole semi-archival rinse is based up on that fact. I guess I am going to have to go through the hard headed process of trouble shooting my procedure, because something has changed, and I am not seeing what that is.

    Thanks, everyone, for your comments.
     
  24. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Well, if everything regarding temperature is always different but your results are usually the same, then maybe you got a hot batch of film. The only way you're going to pin down the variable is to test it at a consistent exposure, temperature, time, and agitation method. If Arista EDU film is Fomapan, it would not be out of the realm of possibility that there is some inconsistency between emulsion batches. Buying film from a major manufacturer is another way to help insure consistency.

    Peter Gomena
     
  25. graywolf

    graywolf Member

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    I can buy that idea, Peter. I have some Fomapan 100 that was gifted to me, and it does not come out exactly the same as the Arista. Even the film base does not seem to be exactly the same, the Fomapan curls more. I will check my remaining film to see if it is from different batches.

    One thing that occurred to me is that I recently put up a vent fan in the bathroom, but I checked with a dish of water and it does not seem to be inducing any vibration to the sink counter where I set the developing tank. So, I will have to look for something else.

    I use bottled distilled water in my chemical mixes, so I do not think the problem is the water. We are on a well here, and if I was using tap water, who knows what may have changed.

    The weather here has been higher than normal, but I can not see how the outside ambient temperature could change things.

    One of the things I remember from my history of photography studies long ago. Kodak had a batch of film come out 4 times as fast as the previous batches (in the 1800's, IIRC). They did extensive investigation and found out that the gelatin came from cows that had been pastured where there was some wide mustard plants. Turned out that something like (remember, is this from memory) 2 parts per billion of oil of mustard in the emulsion accounted for that increase in speed. The point here is that it does not take a lot to make big changes. This is a good reminder, I may not be able to figure out just what is causing the change, as I have no way of detecting changes that small.

    The interesting thing is that my method of developing had been giving me almost exactly box speed on this film, when most folks claim it is slower than that. Now, it looks like I am getting about 2x box speed. Humm...? Could they have packaged some Fomapan 200 in the Arista 100 boxes?

    I just looked at those negatives again to check the edge printing, they are edge printed "Ultra 100".
     
  26. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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    So you're willing to consider changes in the diet of a cow but not your stated 10 degree temperature shift...?

    Like a 10 degree temperature shift...

    I'm sorry to keep beating the temperature drum, I simply think it's worth revisiting this. People here much more knowledgeable than myself seem to think that's the root of your problem.

    I hope you get this figured out, graywolf. I know how frustrating film development problems can be.
    All the best.
    Shawn