HC110 Monobath Development For Sheet Films - An Experiment
Why a monobath?
I have decided that in the interests of space and time regarding my darkroom facilities (read: downstairs half bath) and other constraints that I am going to begin experimenting with HC110 and Kodafix as a monobath for tray processing of 4x5 sheet films. I will be using this chemistry as it what I have on hand, merely convenience at this time.
Exposed Ilford HP5+ to begin
Tap Water (as long as I can't taste the chlorine, SOP in the Walrath Darkroom)
Total elapsed time from insertion of first sheet until end of rinse - 35:00
I will be shooting five identical test exposures with a grey card against a white wall with enough seperation that I can have a five zone difference between the two. I will place the wall on Zone V and the Grey Card on Zone 0. This will provide negatives with a middle density and a portion that has no density (less film base plus fog). When I get to a negative that shows no density in the Grey Card portion of exposure and increased density in the next, I should be on the time and sequence with the first negative.
In preparation, I will prepare one litre of HC110 at a dilution of 1:49 with 20C water. I will henceforth refer to this dilution as Dil J (Thank you, Jason Brunner). I have increased the dilution beyond the 1:31 I was orginally planning to employ based on a recommendation by David Goldfarb, stating that when the fixing agent was added the developer would be more dilute and would cause less interference on the action of the fixer. I will also have 100mL of Kodafix, full strength, at the ready to be added at a later stage.
I will be first developing 4x5 sheets of Ilford HP5+. I have a base time for HP5+ 4x5 sheets with continuous agitation at 20C in HC110 Dil B at 5 minutes. I will be increasing the dilution by a factor of 1.5 so I will increase the time to 7.5 minutes at 20C with continuous agitation.
I will first fill the tray in the light with the one litre volume of HC110 Dil J. I will situate the film and fixer (Kodafix 100mL full strength) in an easy to get position. I will be agitating continuously throughout the tests. To get a range of times in the test I will process seperate negatives together at T+10 and T+20 and at T-10 and T-20. So the actual test time for developing will last nine minutes. I will insert the first sheet, start the timer. At the 45 second mark I will insert the second sheet. At the 1:30 mark I will insert the third. At the 2:15 mark I will insert the fourth. At the 3:00 mark I will add the last sheet. This will give me processing times of 6:00 (T-20), 6:45 (T-10), 7:30 (base), 8:15 (T+10) and 9:00 (T+20) in one single test.
Once the development period of nine minutes has elapsed I will then introduce the 100mL of the fixing agent into the developer. I will continue agutation continuously of course. I will allow the fixer to act on the film for a further 4:00, a total elapsed time of 13:00. I will then inspect the negatives in low light. If the film seems to have cleared I will then fix for a further 3:00.
I will, at that point (16:00), remove the film to a rinsing bath and allow the film to rinse in water for about 20 minutes. I will then inspect the negatives and determine of any of the times are appropriate for further use.
Conclusions will follow . . .
I welcome any discussion and further suggestions and I will post all updates here. Feel free to participate.
Look forward to the results.
Can't wait to see how it comes out!
Me too. Been sick this week. Three day weekend coming right up.
I played with this some years ago but with a different outlook. I used to carry a small bottle of HC-110 concentrate and a small bottle of fixer concentrate when I went on a trip. I used each as 1-shot, but instead of dumping the developer, I added a small amount of fixer concentrate to the tank at the end of development time. Immediate and thorough agitation assured even development. I don't remember all the details, but I do remember getting good negs. It might be worth a try.
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I am curious about the results.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
I must apologize. Things have been slow photographically in the Walrath household. This is to be removed from the back shelf shortly. However, it is still there for a short while.