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Thread: Pre-soak

  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Pre-soak

    I sometimes read on APUG posts about pre-soaking films with water prior to development. I have never ever done this, can someone explain what am I missing?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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    cjbecker's Avatar
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    It is something that i always do. It promotes more even development. At lease that is what I have seen. Plus i don't like all the extra in with my chemicals.

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    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    OMG what a nest of worms here. Do you enjoy this?

    Prewetting was taught by EK for film processing back in the 40s and earlier. They never countered it. It was advised so that air bubbles would be removed by the pre-wet and so that the film was fully and evenly wetted when you went into the developer. So, you got better uniformity and no spots from air bells.

    So, there were two purported advantages to this.

    Then, with higher temperature processes, it was found that the drums were more evenly and fully warmed to the correct process temperature by a prewet. So, we now saw 3 reasons.

    Some argue that this is BS and others consider it gospel.

    I have used a prewet for all color film and most all B&W film done in tanks. Using 4x5 stainless racks, the agitation is more efficient than with rolls and drums and so I have not used it, but then I also often had nitrogen burst backup on those occasions.

    I am beginning to believe that this effect depends on operator competence and many other factors such as mix water (tap vs DW) and on the developer and development times. Kodak mentions potential problems with unevenness with short development times.

    So, I say "Use what works". This is the best answer with such a controversial issue.

    PE

  4. #4
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    OMG what a nest of worms here. Do you enjoy this?

    Prewetting was taught by EK for film processing back in the 40s and earlier. They never countered it. It was advised so that air bubbles would be removed by the pre-wet and so that the film was fully and evenly wetted when you went into the developer. So, you got better uniformity and no spots from air bells.

    So, there were two purported advantages to this.

    Then, with higher temperature processes, it was found that the drums were more evenly and fully warmed to the correct process temperature by a prewet. So, we now saw 3 reasons.

    Some argue that this is BS and others consider it gospel.

    I have used a prewet for all color film and most all B&W film done in tanks. Using 4x5 stainless racks, the agitation is more efficient than with rolls and drums and so I have not used it, but then I also often had nitrogen burst backup on those occasions.

    I am beginning to believe that this effect depends on operator competence and many other factors such as mix water (tap vs DW) and on the developer and development times. Kodak mentions potential problems with unevenness with short development times.

    So, I say "Use what works". This is the best answer with such a controversial issue.

    PE
    I have not processed much colour film, so this could be a good thing to do. However, for black & white I knock the tank at the start of development, which hopefully dislodges any air bubbles.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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    Rick A's Avatar
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    I always use a pre soak when developing, for all the reasond posted by PE. It gives the added advantage of removing any anti-halation dye prior to developing and helps keep my fixer clean, except with T-Max, no matter what it turns my fixer purple.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

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    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    I always use a pre soak when developing, for all the reasond posted by PE. It gives the added advantage of removing any anti-halation dye prior to developing and helps keep my fixer clean, except with T-Max, no matter what it turns my fixer purple.
    Is water a solvent for anti-halation dye and how does this help after the picture is taken? How does this keep the fixer clean?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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    Rick A's Avatar
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    Most of the films I develope are European and Chinese and have anti halation dyes that are water soluable and are removed with the presoak. Since most of the dye is removed prior to developing, there is almost nothing left to dissolve in the later stages of the process. I must add, I use my stop bath diluted to 50% of recommended and use a water rinse between stop and fixing. I've found I get longer life from my fixer this way, and twice as much stop bath. I am a cheap-skate, what can I say.
    Last edited by Rick A; 02-18-2012 at 05:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  8. #8
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    Most of the films I develope are European and Chinese and have anti halation dyes that are water soluable and are removed with the presoak. Since most of the dye is removed prior to developing, there is almost nothing left to dissolve in the later stages of the process. I must add, I usr my stop bath diluted to 50% of recommended and use a water rinse between stop and fixing. I've found I get longer life from my fixer this way, and twice as much stop bath. I am a cheap-skate, what can I say.
    But how does removing the anti halation dye help after the picture is taken?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  9. #9
    Rick A's Avatar
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    The dye is designed to be removed during development so the negative will allow light to pass through for printing.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  10. #10
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    The dye is designed to be removed during development so the negative will allow light to pass through for printing.
    If the dye is designed to be removed during development, why pre-soak?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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