TMAX400 and DBI

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Will S, May 15, 2006.

  1. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Am I right that DBI with TMAX just doesn't work? I'm looking at a black piece of film no matter what I try.

    Or is it just my eyes?

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  2. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Black film as in it fogs, or black film as in you can't see the image? Are you looking at the emulsion or base side? What are you using for an inspection safelight? I find I can almost inspect my film by the light of my Gralab timer's luminous hands and numbers, if it's been in a bright light just before I shut off the lights to start unloading holders. Can't say for certain if it's fogging, but if so, it's not much...
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Will, DBI works with Kodak TMAX.

    Paula Chamlee is a Master of Development By Inspection. I had the good fortune to watch her in action at the 2006 Sedona Workshop. Here is a quote on DBI from Paula:

    “In looking at the base side, the highlights will emerge as dark areas through the milky, opalescent-like base side. If they are just beginning to show through, the film probably needs further development. In general, one must see them rather well, not "just barely." However, with varying degrees of visual perception and evaluation, seeing "rather well" is a very broad definition. So--it ends up being subjective and mostly intuitive.

    But, in general: If your negative is very contrasty, it might be advisable to pull the negative sooner rather than later, but with an average negative, you should be able to see the highlight patches quite well before taking it out. And yes, it is a good idea to check the shadow areas, too. I always do this by holding the negative up and looking through it to see how the overall densities and mid-tone areas are coming along (after checking the base side first). I keep the neg. at least 3 feet away from the green light and make the evaluation in less than a second. Even if it takes you 4 seconds, you're unlikely to fog your neg. (I never take my first look by either method--reflected or transmitted light--until it is about 80% developed.) But if you don't know what proper development is for an average scene on your film, you can be assured that it will probably not fog even if you take a look at what you might estimate as about 60% development. And you can take quick looks at it several times before finally pulling it.

    In the end, all you need to do is a couple of test runs, and you'll know if you need more development or more exposure, or both. Don't worry too much about it. Negatives don't like anxiety or stress.”

    See this thread:

    http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/AzoForum/one.asp?ID=8737&PgNo=&GID=8737&CID=2
     
  4. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    Will,

    In my experience TMY is very difficult to judge under a green safelight. I had a much easier time seeing it with a red safelight. I believe that the film's magenta dye has something to do with this. In fact, I found the combination of TMY and a red safelight easier to judge than any film I've tried with a green safelight. I now use night vision for DBI though.
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I will tend to disagree with my friend Tom Hoskinson on this. The people that use that film have all, to my knowledge, reported that the film is almost impossible to develop by inspection. The one way around this is to use the night vision goggles.

    Now Paula may have some visual abilities that other photographers don't have...and maybe she hasn't used Tmax 400.
     
  6. p krentz

    p krentz Member

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    If I remember the color wheel correctly, green and magenta make black (almost). Pat :D
     
  7. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    The magenta hue of the sensitization dye in 400TMax is directly complementary to the green of the safelight. It therefore acts as a tricolor minus green filter. Whenever I've tried DBI with TMax I've seen nothing but black.

    While I've never tried it, Joe Freeman reports that his attempts at DBI with night vision goggles were disastrous because you see too much. DBI yields a good negative when you just begin to see the highlights emerging from the milky opalescence of the film's base side. When you see everything as you do with night vision goggles, it's much more difficult to judge when the negative is about to be overcooked. At least this is what Joe tells me.

    I'd try Matt's suggestion of using a red safelight. As for me, I've given up. I just use time and temperature with TMax. For any other film I always take a look under the green safelight.
     
  8. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    I agree that the Night Vision Goggles are a bit intense with TMY. My suggestions it to turn off the on goggle infrared light source and leave on the light gathering device (my individual testing showed that it can add negative density particularly to 400 speed film anyway albeit a small amount) and use an independent infrared light source bounced off of a wall to soften the intensity or use a wall mounted IR source behind a diffused globe on a foot switch behind the film (or both at the same time as I do). Remember that these IR devices were designed for field applications at night and not for film and darkroom applications. Seeing the red light means that a portion of the energy emitted is non-IR and is in fact harmful to film. You must test these parameters as you would a safe light to ascertain the specifics for your particular NVG. No sense wasting FB+F unnecessarily if you know what I mean.....

    Cheers!
     
  9. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    What developer are you using? I had the same problem with developing TMX by inspection in Pyrocat HD and Rodinal. When I tried divided D-23, however, I could see the image. I'm pretty sure the sulfite was washing out the magenta dye allowing the image to be seen. I ran out of TMX before really perfecting the technique, so YMMReallyV.
    juan
     
  10. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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  11. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    The diffused globe that I use is the one that you find in college dorm rooms that are held in place with three side screws. You can find them at Wal Mart or you local hardware store for a couple bucks. I took a coat hanger and wrapped it around the side recesses and twisted a hanging hole with pliers to hang it on the wall.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers!
     
  12. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Thanks for the replies all. It is good to know that I'm not going blind.

    I use Pyrocat-HD so the dye must be making it black. I'm not getting fogging, even though I was looking at them quite a bit and very close to the safelight.

    I'm switching to 8x10, so I'll just have to change films. I don't recall FP4+ having magenta dye... and there is always TriX.

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  13. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    I went to Wal Mart and got the standard around 8" diffused globe for about $2 that reminds me of the round dorm room light covers with the three screws in the base of the ceiling light that hold them in place along the side recess. I wrapped a metal coat hanger along the side recess and with a piers made a hanging loop to cover the wall mounted 18 LED IR light source. Seems to cut the non-IR light out very effectively and I can activate it with a foot switch when I want a back illumination of the negative. Sure can't beat the price.

    Cheers!
     
  14. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    Sorry for the duplicate post. Somehow my computer must have had a hiccup and I thought the last one did not go through. My bad.
     
  15. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    Unless you take an unexposed sheet and cover it with black tape BEFORE you view the sheet with the IR light source, process the film and measure the density difference with a densitometer you do not really know with certainty that you are not experiencing some film fogging. THe higher the ASA, the more susceptible the issue becomes. The only conclusion that one can honestly make is that the possible fogging is not aggregious enought to be descernable to the naked eye. Remember adding even 0.1 + units of BF+F is the sensitometric equal of using outdated film and and the longer printing times that go with them. I am not pushing the panic button here just attempting to raise the awareness of this issue in the pursuit of optimizing the results to the highest level possible. Cheers!
     
  16. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    Thanks for the info Michael, I planned on doing some testing after my first session processing with IR and a high ASA film like TMY400.

    Mike
     
  17. colivet

    colivet Member

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    Ok. This is how I do it with Tmax and Pyrocat HD. I never had a safelight in the darkroom other than the Thomas for B&W paper. What I do use for developing by inspection is one of those safelights or maybe better called nightlights that plug right into the outlet and that is used for safety reasons when late at night for reason A or B you don't want to turn the light on.
    These are usually 4 watt leds that emit light in a very narrow spectrum, so I figured that that is good since the paper is sensitive to all colors. Narrow spectum should equal less exposure which should equal less or no fog. Follow me?

    To make the story short the little gadget works great for all films and well enough for Tmax 400. When I get bullet proof neatives on TMY I literally need to bring the film at almost touching distance from the light to discern anything and if I doo it will only be for a second or two. In that case wether I see an image or not, I know the neg has reached sufficient density for a good print on AZO. In all other cases I can discern the image formation thorugh the film pretty easily.

    One thing to have in mind is that you don't want to take a peek at 2 min if you now that full developement should occur at around 10 min, especially with 400 asa films. You know that.

    By the way, at one time I did get the 5x7 OC safelight and I thought that I could see better with my eyes closed. I sent it back for a refund and don't miss it.