Student needing help with developing tmax 400.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by FNH, May 5, 2012.

  1. FNH

    FNH Member

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    I need to learn to develop film for a photography class I am taking next year. I've been shooting digital with my 550d over the last year.

    I can use my Highschool's darkroom for developing film. I've watched videos on developing and I feel I have the gist of it. But one thing, I'm not too sure on how long I need to have the developer in contact with my 35mm Kodak Tmax pro 400 b+w.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. edibot42

    edibot42 Member

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    Depends on the developer you're using. See http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4043/f4043.pdf Kodak's recommendations for technique are on page 3, and the table of developing times on page 4. That said, the times are not set in stone and many people use slightly different times/procedures after experimentation. Kodak's times are probably the best place to start.
     
  3. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Hi FNH, and welcome to APUG. :smile:

    Your development time depends upon which developer you are using. You can usually find developing information on the inside of the film box, or the developer packaging; your school should tell you which developer they're buying. The development times vary with temperature and dilution; also with the effective film speed and contrast desired. Fortunately there's a great website called the Massive Development Chart: http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php?Film=TMax+400&Developer=&mdc=Search

    Have fun,
    kevs
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2012
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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  5. FNH

    FNH Member

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    Thanks so much guys!
    Lately, I've been realizing film has a much more satisfying feel than digital.
     
  6. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Welcome Home FNH !

    Ron
    .
     
  7. BrendanCarlson

    BrendanCarlson Member

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  8. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Jesus, you don't need a 15 minute pre-wash.
     
  9. Dr.Pain-MD

    Dr.Pain-MD Member

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    Nor pretty much everything else except maybe the developer.
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  11. BrendanCarlson

    BrendanCarlson Member

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    I know I don't need it... I just figure it doesn't hurt and it helps to get the temp set. Idk, did it the first time and have ever since.
     
  12. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Here's a simple suggestion that's easy to remember:

    • 1 min. prewash. (Optional.)
    • Develop for recommended time per the manufacturer's specs.
    • Stop bath for 30 sec. or 3 times fill/dump with clear water. (Your choice.)
    • Fixer for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the type of chemistry used and the type of film used.
    • Clear water wash. Fill/dump 3 times.
    • Hypo clearing agent for the same amount of time you used for your fixer.
    • Wash in slowly running water for 15 to 30 minutes.
    • Photo-Flo then hang to dry.

    There are some variables but most of them are non-critical except for the developing time. That, you have to get right. Do check your developing charts and follow them closely.

    As I mentioned, my suggestions are for a simplified process that's easy to remember. It's not perfect but it will get the job done.
    After you get the hang of things, you should start looking at your process to find ways to improve.

    You don't need to follow the manufacturer's specs for developing times to the letter. You are probably going to want to vary that time, at some point, in order to get better results.
    Fixing time is not set in stone, either. You might not need to fix for a full five minutes. It's possible that you might need more than ten minutes but you shouldn't go much longer than that. Too much fixer can be bad for the film. Not enough fixer will definitely be bad for your film. Five minutes ought to be long enough but it's hard to say, exactly, without knowing a few things.

    There is a way to test your film and fixer combination in order to tell exactly how long you need to fix but, for now just go five minutes. If you need to, you can fix for as long as ten.
    You can learn the test later. For now, just do it for a set time.

    You probably don't need to use Hypo Clear for a long time but, just to make it easy to remember, do it for the same time you used the fixer.
    Each manufacturer has their own recommendations for the time needed for Hypo Clear. Just read the instructions on the package.

    For now, just learn the basic process. Once you get used to it, you can fine tune.
     
  13. FNH

    FNH Member

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    Alright, noted.
    In addition to skipping Lunch to develop, I might need to skip French to get it all done too..
    Its good to know I don't need to follow the directions to the second. I assumed every measurement had to be incredibly minute.
     
  14. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Measurements don't have to be 100% accurate. But, you should try to be consistent in how you're inaccurate, of that makes sense. Basically, do it the same way every time, except for the amount of time the film is in the developer, which changes based on film and developer.

    Good luck! And have fun skipping French. :smile:
     
  15. FNH

    FNH Member

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    How I was going to go about it, tweak one variable each time and see how it goes. Keep the tweak if its for the better, or revert back if not.
     
  16. FNH

    FNH Member

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    Sorry to bring back this thread, but I spoke to the photography teacher... All I remember hearing about the developer was that it was Something twenty and that 400 speed was developed for 12 and a half minutes. This doesn't sound very right to me from what I have read.

    Could it be that it's ilford?
     
  17. Arkasha

    Arkasha Member

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  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I think your teacher is just trying to keep it simple and avoid too many technical questions up front. It's more important to learn just the mechanics of it early on, and it isn't really until you start printing that you can truly see a difference in how your negatives are developed anyway.

    I'm sure that in time you will hear how developing time alters contrast and agitation alters tonality. And even if you don't, there are a lot of other aspects of photography that are infinitely more important than developing film. Don't get me wrong, it's important, but most beginners lack the context of how to capitalize fully on film developing technique anyway, that it may be premature to try to be a really good darkroom technician before understanding the basics.
     
  19. FNH

    FNH Member

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    I think it may be more beneficial for me to develop my own film at home and enlarge there.
    I went to develop my film... and the developer looks scummy. Thing is, that the room is used by kids who DGAF about photography...

    Forgot to ask, recommended developer?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2012
  20. Arkasha

    Arkasha Member

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    Everybody has his/her preferred developer for TMAX. You can use the Kodak developer made to go with it, or you can use something else. I personally use HC-110, and I'm happy with it. I use dilution H and develop for approximately 12 minutes at ASA 320.
     
  21. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    You must have A LOT of spare time -- most of your times are too long. For example, a few seconds dip in diluted Photo-Flo is enough. Read the manufacturer's time for fixing. Too long in rapid fixer can actually bleach negatives and prints and extend washing times.
     
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  22. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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  23. kevs

    kevs Member

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    That's a good point; school chemicals can be contaminated with anything you can imagine (and probably some things you can't!). At my college I watched someone drain their tank of fixer, then plonk it straight into the wetting agent I was about to use! You're best strategy is to buy your own chemicals and dev at home. At least you'll be the only one using them!

    You'll probably get hundreds of developers suggested here; I like Ilford ID-11, which is the same as Kodak D-76 because it's reliable, gives fine grain results, inexpensive and keeps well. I'm sure all the rest are just as good. Whatever you buy, be sure to store it in airtight containers (I use de-labelled plastic drinks bottles) so it doesn't deteriorate before you need it.

    Pre-soaking softens the gelatin ready to accept the developer, warms the tank and stops tiny air bubbles from forming on the film's surface. I find it works for me; others here hold different and equally valid opinions. There's no need to worry unless you start seeing tiny white 'pinprick' holes in your negatives (unexplained black spots on prints). Find what works for you and stick with it - there's plenty of time to experiment later.

    Cheers,
    kevs
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2012