Washing film before developing?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by NathanBell, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. NathanBell

    NathanBell Member

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    I read this here: http://www.toycamera.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45&Itemid=1

    What is the purpose (if any) of washing your film with water before develloping?
     
  2. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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  3. NathanBell

    NathanBell Member

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    Thanks Uhner!
    I hadn't heard of pre-soaking... By the looks of it, its to wet the film for more even development and to remove the antihalation dye from the film...
    Arguments for and against...
    I'll do an experiment tomorrow. I'll give 1 roll TMAX 100 a 3-5min pre-soak, and devellop it together with another roll of TMAX 100 which i have exposed the same ASA and lighting conditions and see if there's a difference.
     
  4. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    In my experience you need to adjust your developing times if you start to use pre-soak when developing film. Your times will be somewhat shorter because development will start instantly. This can have a large impact on density and contrast if you use a high strength developer.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The only reason not to do it is that it may not be necessary with the particular film and developer you are using.

    If you are having a problem with uneven development, then that's a good reason to try a presoak. If you aren't having any problem, then there's no reason to change what you're doing.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Davids point is interesting, some people advocate pre-soaking others don't.

    The few times I've used a pre-soak I've been less happy with the results, and so always prefer not to use one. They really aren't necessary with B&W films.

    However with C41 & E6 processing then a presoak has the benefit of helping stabilise the (first) developer processing temperature by bringing the tank & film up to the much higher processing temperatures required for colour work.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I don't pre-soak generally, and Ilford says not to, FWIW.
    It's another one of those "if it works for you, and you like doing it, go for it" things.
     
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Another point is that presoaking at processing temperatures brings the film closer to processing temp and, though probably negligible, reduces the effect of warmer/colder film warming/cooling the temperature of the developer initially. Just another argument I have heard. Also helps to wash dust particles from the surface of the film before developing. Another two cents worth.
     
  9. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    i notice that presoaking can shave up to a minute off of development times, but otherwise makes no difference. i do get more even development, but with correct agitation it's not really an issue. for expired films i do presoak, with some base-clearing agent for a clearer base.

    for sheet film i never presoak, but i pay the price when my developer turns completely green and i hesitate to reuse that green crap.
     
  10. Chris Breitenstein

    Chris Breitenstein Member

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    Pre-soaking allows the developer to penetrate the film more quickly and more evenly. While some may see this step as unnecessary, If you are are working with a thick emulsion film like Efke, failing to prewash may mean that the silver on the surface of the emulsion is getting far more development then silver closer to the film base. This results in images that are much sharper, but do not utilize the potential tonal scale.

    yours;
     
  11. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    i've found, by accident, that you can take advantage of this for good effect. i just let a peice of sheet film float on top of the developer (Rodinal), with emulsion on top and not even touching the developer. the developer penetrates into the emulsion from the thick base of sheet film. i get really incredible accutance and the development time is only 1 minute longer than usual.

    so i can imagine that pre-wetting might be bad for accutance as all that concentrated developer hits the film emulsion at once.
     
  12. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    That has not been my experience. I always do a 5 minute soak in tempered water before developing - and I develop stand or semi-stand to high acutance with highly diluted developers.
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    For film, this observation is totally impossible!

    Developer cannot penetrate the film base. So, if you observe development, it is being caused by some other method.

    The positioning /overcoat/emulsion layer/support/~developer~ will not sustain development in any way possible, as the hydrophobic support will not allow the water to penetrate. The same is true of RC support. With FB paper this is possible.

    PE
     
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  15. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    I'm new to developing my own film (will start within a week or two after my exams), so please bear with me!

    What exactly does the anti-halation layer do and is it only on one side of the film? I shoot primarily 120 film and 35mm film and was wondering if it's OK to touch the back of the film while rolling the film onto the reel. Will this cause fingerprints to show on the print? Or will the anti-halation layer allow me to touch the back of the film because I will simply be washing it off (I will be practicing the pre-soak method)?

    Thanks,

    Jason
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Jason;

    All interfaces in film act like mirrors, so the emulsion/support interface is like a mirror that bounces light back to the emulsion creating flare and loss in sharpness. All manufacturers add acutance dyes to the emulsion layers and then add an AH layer to prevent this scatter and flare. Some of them add a tiny amount of carbon to the film itself creating an AH effect while at the same time decreasing the chance of static discharge as well.

    PE
     
  17. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cotdt
    i've found, by accident, that you can take advantage of this for good effect. i just let a peice of sheet film float on top of the developer (Rodinal), with emulsion on top and not even touching the developer. the developer penetrates into the emulsion from the thick base of sheet film. i get really incredible accutance and the development time is only 1 minute longer than usual.

    so i can imagine that pre-wetting might be bad for accutance as all that concentrated developer hits the film emulsion at once.

    For film, this observation is totally impossible!

    Developer cannot penetrate the film base. So, if you observe development, it is being caused by some other method.

    The positioning /overcoat/emulsion layer/support/~developer~ will not sustain development in any way possible, as the hydrophobic support will not allow the water to penetrate. The same is true of RC support. With FB paper this is possible.

    PE

    I agree also if the developer did soak into the base you would have to wash the film forever just like fiber paper, not 10-15 minutes.
     
  18. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Thanks for the info PE. So this means that I could touch the anti-halation layer and it should not affect the image quality right? I won't be man handling the thing, but in case I need to reposition things here and there...

    I've never done this before, so I was just wondering :smile:

    Thanks again,

    Jason
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Jason;

    Touching film is not a good idea in any case if you wish to image on it after touching it. There are many reasons, but mainly the salt and the oil in skin will affect the emulsion and the ability of the emulsion to develop.

    PE
     
  20. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    Normally, I never, ever touch the emulsion side of the film and I try to avoid touching the back of the film too except when I am loading it onto stainless steel reels. I usually hold the film from its edges as i do this but i occasionially place a finger on the back of the film as i roll it onto the reel just to make sure it is going on straight. I havent noticed any fingerprints whatsoever on the negatives. Just make sure your hands are nice and clean and dry.
     
  21. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Thanks for the heads up guys. I won't be using a changing bag, so maybe a pair of nitrile gloves. While I haven't tried putting film on a reel yet, I'm sure it would be even more difficult with gloves on. I'll give it a go in a week or two!
     
  22. NathanBell

    NathanBell Member

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    I seem to have trouble loading the film onto the reels alot of the time... I use lint free fabric gloves to handle the film and only ever touch the edges and the back side of the film... No issues with fingerprints or scratches yet...
    Good questions by the way Jason... I'm still learning all this stuff too...
    Also some of the replies have been incredibly tenchical for such a newbie thread... I dont understand half of the posts... :sad:
     
  23. CBG

    CBG Member

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    Jump in and ask about the items that aren't making sense. We've all been newbies.

    C
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I use cotton gloves that I buy at my camera store. They are much more comfortable when you are doing complex dry work.

    PE
     
  25. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    I buy a pack every time I go to the camera store as well, but mainly use them to handle my negatives after they've been developed. They're really cheap and each one is stitched a little differently, so they never fit right. I can't imagine reeling the film onto the spool with these gloves.

    I'll try reeling the spool with both the cotton and nitrile gloves. If not, I'll have to use my bare hands and be as careful as possible :smile:

    Jason
     
  26. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Hahaha I agree Nathan. A lot of times things just fly over my head, but I'm slowly picking up on some of the terminology.

    I think once I get into the actual process of developing my own film, things will come along faster, but things have been very hectic lately, so I won't be able to get my feet wet until a week or two.

    It's all very exciting though!

    Jason