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  1. #1

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    Paper chemicals temps and times

    Hi guys
    I am new to all this darkroom malarkey and I'm enjoying it. Now I have built a darkroom in my loft and have been producing some ok-ish 5x7 prints for my learning curve. The main problem I find, is that I can't use my darkroom when the weather is warm due to the developer (ilford multigrade) getting too hot and shortening the developing time (1 min) or the prints come to out to dark due to over development (I presume). My question is there a paper developer that works at a higher room temp 25-30* that I can learn with that has as short developing times and give good consistent results that I can easily interpret the finishing print?
    Irv

  2. #2
    wildbill's Avatar
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    you can dilute your developer to compensate somewhat if you like.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    More likely fog or overexposed prints. Prints are usually developed to completion irrespective of the temp., unless you want a low-contrast effect. Is your darkroom dark?

  4. #4

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    I live in Central Florida and my room temp is 81F(ish) which is 27C. Sometimes it gets warmer.

    I never have the problem you have.... (I use Dektol)

    If your print is coming out too dark, you either need to reduce the exposure time, close the aperture more, or both. You could also be dealing with too high of a contrast which can give you an appearance of excessive density.

    Print processing is done to "completion." Which means you develop in a developer until the black reaches maximum. If that black is too dark, you exposed it too much. Your temperature is not excessive either, so it shouldn't be affecting your result in a way you describe.

    By the way, this "process to completion" is often a topic of lively discussion here on APUG. White it is technically not true, in practical sense, the paper will reach the completion point and sort of plateau for a while. If you continue to develop it excessively, the whole thing will turn black or dark eventually as highlight starts to build up density.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the answers guys, it's only I can do two prints off the same neg, one on a cold day and the same one on a hot day and the cold one seems ok and the hot one looks appreciably darker. I wish that I could upload the shots to show you but unfortunately I only have a Lexmark all in one printer/copier/scanner and the quality is atrocious. That's why I wondered about the dev temps as its the only variable I can think of. Should I try Dektol on a warm day and MG on a cold?

  6. #6

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    If that is the case, maybe diluting your developer slightly may help

  7. #7

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    The problem is not the temperature of the developer; the problem occurs when the temperature changes during a printing session, so that test prints developed at 20C don't provide useful information, because your developer has now warmed up to 25C.

    If the temp in your darkroom is warm but constant, just shorten your development time. You need to know the time at which the darkest values in your print first appear in the developer. At 20C, that may be 20 seconds. If you're developing for two minutes, then your development factor is 6 (20 secs * 6 = 120 secs = 2 mins).

    The temp on a particular afternoon is 25C, and your darkest values now appear at 15 seconds. Using your development factor of 6, you reduce your development time from two minutes to 1 1/2 minutes (15 secs * 6 = 90 secs). As long as the temp remains at 25C, you're good to go.

    If the temp starts at 20 and rises during your printing session, well, now you've got a problem. You have to either pay close attention to the "first appearance" times, and do the calculation in your head as you develop the print, or you need a way to control the temperature of your developer.

    I use a water bath, myself. I place my 8x10 developer tray in a 12x16 tray, and add about a liter of 18C water to the larger tray. Every 20 minutes or so, I add an ice cube or two to the water bath, and every once in a while, I check the temp of the developer.

    The best solution, of course, is to find one of Fred Picker's Zone VI Compensating Development Timers, a gizmo that automagically adjusts the time on your timer as the solution temperature changes. They're hard to find, and they're not cheap!

    Anyway, hope some of this helps a bit.
    "What drives man to create is the compulsion to, just once in his life, comprehend and record the pure, unadorned, unvarnished truth. Not some of it; all of it."

    - Fred Picker

  8. #8

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    I'm still finding it hard to believe temperature variation makes that big of a difference. Is it possible your darkroom isn't exactly dark, so that when the temp is hot (I'm assuming you mean day time) there are some additional exposure compared to when it's cold (night time?)??

    You could easily test this by making two prints with two trays of developers. One chilled to 18C and the other at room temp.

    Now you got me curious. I can test it tonight myself with Dektol.

    Tell me what temp you are experiencing this issue.....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #9

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    When you place a print in the developer development is quite rapid for a minute or so. Then development slows down and there is a point where there appears to be little change with time. It is at this point that the print can be moved to the stop bath. This is what is meant by development to completion. The term is widely used but is not technically correct. Development continues but slowly.

    I personally don't watch the clock but watch the print.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10
    wildbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm94 View Post
    If that is the case, maybe diluting your developer slightly may help
    is there an echo in here?
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

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