To freeze or not to freeze; that, is the question?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by shadesofgrey, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Hertfordshir
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi all. Can concentrate developer such as Rodinal/HC110/FX-50 etc etc etc be frozen? Subject came up in a conversation the other day; made me think.....yes, it hurt!

    Take care all.

    B.
     
  2. FrankB

    FrankB Member

    Messages:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Northwest UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Don't know the answer to this one, but would like to!

    It wouldn't matter for Rodinal (the stuff lasts so long you eventually find it's up and moved to Eastborne (okay, Florida for our colonial bretheren!)) but DDX on the other hand...

    Assuming it doesn't oxidise while frozen and any separation can be cured with a quick stir (two assumptions which may not be valid)...

    I've just had a vision of little pots of frozen DDX waiting until my next processing run of Delta 400, and no more expensive dev getting slung out 'cos I don't use a litre within n months! Hmmm.... :smile:

    Thoughts anyone?
     
  3. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Downers Grov
    I put all developers in 4 oz glass bottles including D76, Rodinal, and HC110. Rodinal activity does change by about 10%.

    Work from one of the small bottles and when it gets to half, refill from one of the other ones. You will achieve a decient level of stability that way.

    With the smaller bottles filled, the shelf life is the same as the original container as purchased.
     
  4. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Hertfordshir
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Ah Eastborne! The land of Zimmer frames and blue rinse! Hi Frank. I know I've read somewhere about someone freezing large amounts of Rodinal without any adverse effects. True it takes ages to use up well for me it does as I don't develop films every day so anyway of preserving a dev be it Rodinal or whatever is to my mind an advantage. Like Ronald, I decant into small glass bottles, seems to help in some way; even Ilfosol s seems to appreciate the move from it's cheapo accommodation to a more up market des res, though I've never thought about topping up as Ronald advises; think I'll give that a go, though I was thinking more along the lines of a use/freeze routine, though I'm probably way off! I've not tried DDX, what's it's shelf/working life?

    B.
     
  5. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You should not freeze any developer concentrates. Doing so may cause certain ingredients to come out of solution which can be very hard, if impossible, to redissolve. Nor should you place any in the refrigerator unless the manufacturer specifically recommends this. I know of only one developer, Ethol T.E.C., where this is recommended.
     
  6. FrankB

    FrankB Member

    Messages:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Northwest UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    DD-X allegedly lasts about 2 years unopened or 6 months in a half-used bottle. As it isn't cheap, comes in 1 litre bottles only, dilutes 1:4 and is therefore good for about 16 rolls of 135, I tend to wait until I've got quite a few rolls waiting, open a bottle and then batch process them (not fun).

    With paper devs, if it's past its use by date then it's no big deal. With film devs I take no chances!

    Thanks for the response, Gerald. I knew it was too good to be true! :sad:
     
  7. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Hertfordshir
    Shooter:
    35mm

    Doh! And there I was ready to buy/freeze 1000 gallons of Rodinal! Thanks Gerald, saved me a packet. Frank: have you tried HC110 with Neopan; works really well, and the 1ltr concentrate is supposed to last an age! Tetrisattack over on the RFF put me on to it, take a look at his shots, really impressive. The Jessops Econodev I bought the other day dilutes at 1-49, so a bottle of 500ml should do (think my calculator needs looking at) 80-ish rolls of 36 in a 300ml tank! No; can't be? Guy in Jessops reckons its Ilford, though he couldn't say which one. I know it's not Ilfosol s!

    All the best

    B.
     
  8. FrankB

    FrankB Member

    Messages:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Northwest UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for the tips, Shades. I'm actually trying to standardise on certain film/dev combinations and learn what they will and won't do and how to get the most out of them.

    My current favourite is Delta 100 in Rodinal 1:25 (currently halfway through a Blakemore-style speed/development test to try and separate the tones a little better). I may be seduced into a dalliance with Prescysol at some future date, but I want to get to know this setup properly first.

    Occasionally I'll use Delta 400 rated at 500 ISO in DD-X (as per Ilford's datasheet). If I'm really desperate for speed then I'll use Delta 3200 again in DD-X but processed for the next speed up (i.e. shoot for 3200 ISO, process for 6400 ISO).

    I have heard (from a source that I personally trust implicitly) that Jessops own-brand chemistry is pretty poor stuff compared with most other options. However, your mileage may vary!

    Best regards,

    Frank
     
  9. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Hertfordshir
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi Frank. Agree with your learning curve; I spent ages learning (still am) about Neopan. Used Delta 400 all the time before that (fantastic film) then saw Neo 400 on special offer one day so I gave it a try, been my standard 400 ever since.

    I really do miss Delta sometimes, but for the price I can buy Neo at, well, it makes sense to use it. Mind you, if Ilford brought the price down then I’d really have to go back to the drawing board.

    I spent sometime with HP5, like it in some ways, though it always looks dirty, sort of blocked up to me. And on a monitor (No darkroom at the moment due to moving house) it always looks so grainy? Maybe it’s the way I develop it?

    Going to develop a roll of Foma 400 latter; meant to do it a few days ago but wasn’t sure which dev to use so I had a look around the net for some inspiration.

    I love Delta 3200; not used that much of it, but I’d like to. Hey, have you tried it with Ilfosol s? I’m sure I’ve read that it’s a surprising (as in rewarding) mix?

    Would your source that you personally trust implicitly have the initials, LM? Yes, I’ve heard that too, but well, got to try these things once in a life time…… on my brother’s films of course!

    All the best

    B
     
  10. FrankB

    FrankB Member

    Messages:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Northwest UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Um, "I can neither confirm nor deny this rumour", that would be for the person in question to do.

    I haven't tried Delta 3200 in Ilfosol S. Let me know if you do and have any joy!
     
  11. djklmnop

    djklmnop Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    FWIW, I've started using Fomapan 400 (in 35mm) as my standard ISO 400 film. There's something about the grain pattern that I find appealing, but I can't quite describe what it is, I'm afraid; it's a very subjective reaction. Anyhow, I started out using D-76, but I've recently been using Gainer's PC-Glycol (1:1:48 dilution for 10:00 at 20C works well for me, if you care to try it). I'm satisfied with the results I get in either developer, but I'm new enough to B&W that I still haven't gotten a good handle on all the subtleties, and of course your preferences just might differ from mine.
     
  13. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Hertfordshir
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi srs. Yes, agree, it does have something about it that I like too; not sure if this says it for you but to me it's sort of, soft and moody. Not dead sharp or clinically clean, more, atmospheric, if that's the correct term. I dev'd it in Rodinal at 1-24; possibly not the best choice but didn't have any ID11 ready and it was only a quick test roll. Not really doing it justice viewing it on a monitor (darkroom not up and running yet) but yes, a film I'm going to spend some time on. One point, is it me or is the emulsion a bit thin? Seems to scratch easy? Did you shoot it at full speed, ie, 400? I was going to give the next roll a bath in Ilfosol (got to use it up) so I'll put your dev on my short list.

    All the best

    B.
     
  14. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The film base as a whole is certainly thinner than average. The 100-foot bulk roll I bought (rebadged, under the Arista.EDU Ultra label from Freestyle) came on an extra-large plastic spool, effectively taking up space in the center of the roll to make the entire 100-foot roll the same diameter as other 100-foot rolls, despite the thinner base. That said, I don't know if the emulsion itself is any thinner or easier to scratch than average.

    Yes. I did that for my first couple of rolls in D-76 just because I didn't want to do full film tests. When I decided to standardize on the film, I used this procedure (see here for part 2) and got a "true" film speed of ISO 320-400 in Gainer's PC-Glycol, at 1:1:48 dilution and 10:00 development time at 20C. (My camera gave me the same aperture and f-stop at both ISO values, so I'm not sure which one's more accurate.) That said, I've seen many comments on the net to the effect that Fomapan 400 has a true speed that's more like ISO 200 or 250. I'm not sure how to reconcile the difference; perhaps I did something wrong in my tests, or maybe my camera's meter is off, or maybe PC-Glycol just does a better job of getting the rated speed from this film than do most others.
     
  15. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Hertfordshir
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Now that is interesting. Last night I developed a (quickie) test roll of 400 in Rodinal @1-25. I shot 12@400, 12@320, and 12@250. The 400 was thin-ish though would print with a bit of work, the 320 was fine and the 250 a little over done, so your 320 maybe not be so out for the way you/we work: And maybe PC-Glycol does help? See if I can find/purloin some Glycol so I can try out your setup as I think this film is definitely worth spending time on. I'll try 400/ID11 during the week and see what that's like. Just a thought, but do you aggitate following the film or developer instructions: or, like me, use my own little rhythm that seems to have crept in over time.

    All the best
    B.
     
  16. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I agitate in a fairly normal way: 5 seconds every 30 seconds. Be aware that how dense the negatives look when you examine them by eye has as much to do with development time as it does with exposure. The references I provided specify a way to find the best ISO speed and development for a given film. The procedure's a pain, but the claim is that printing will be much easier and better if it's followed. I still haven't shot enough film post-test to evaluate that claim, though.

    Propylene glycol is fairly easy to come by; I used "environmentally-friendly" anti-freeze. Gainer's first experiments used ethylene glycol anti-freeze. Although that stuff's not as environmentally friendly as propylene glycol, if you happen to have it and the other ingredients, I'm sure mixing up 100ml of PC-Glycol's solution A using ethylene glycol wouldn't do a lot of environmental damage.
     
  17. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Hertfordshir
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Excellent. Now I know what to look for I'll definitely give it a try. Quite enjoy mixing/making up my own brews; Coffee's next on the list, well, unless I find a cheap pack of vitamin 'C' tablets in Tesco's. Talking of Tesco's: My dear old mum who's 80 something had a puncture this morning as she drove into Tesco's car park in Epping. After phoning me and moaning for 20 mins because I couldn't get there straight away, if not sooner (I live 30 miles way---wish it was 3000 sometimes) she wandered off to get help. Came back on the phone a few minutes later all cheerful. Seems that Tesco's will call the RAC and cover the cost if you have been shopping there. Next time it's Hissing down and I get a puncture I'm going to crawl into a Tesco's, car park, buy a photo mag and a bar of chocolate and sit back in comfort and wait!

    B.