More questions as I get closer to my first try at developing...
Thanks for all the help so far in helping me come up to speed with developing. I dont think I'll be able to star this weekend (will be out buying chemicals and shooting film to develop) but next weekend should be certain. In the mean time, let me ask a few more questions.
About drying marks. Once my film is developed and ready to be hung out to dry, is it OK to wipe it down with a brand new, slightly damp sponge to clear off any water? Or would something like a sponge potentially scratch the film?
About temperature regulation during development. I was going to stabilize all my chemicals at the right temperature by creating a water bath in my sink. This bath will be at the right temperature. My concern is the temperature inside the developing tank. Say that my chemicals are at 20 C. Once I dump them into the tank, they will change, either up or down depending on the inside temperature of the tank. Is it possible to prewash the film with just the heated water so that the inside of the tank is at the right temp, then add the chemicals?
These questions really qualify as FAQ's I am sure so I apologize about that. There is a member who has a signature file that has links to all the developing steps for everything, including E6 and C41. I meant to bookmark that but failed to do so. Can someone remind me of these links?
NEVER WIPE THE FILM WITH ANYTHING!!!!!! Yes, I yelled that statement, for good reason, to avoid chance of scratches. Final rinse of Photo-flo in distilled water, drain the reel, then shake the excess off while the film is still in the reel. Hang your film vertically in a dust free environment(shower stall) and leave it alone for a few hours to allow the emulsion to harden properly before printing or scanning.
I always presoak for a minimum of three minutes then develope. If all your chems and tempering water are the same temp you shouldn't worry about temp swings. The amount of change is negligable. The trick is to learn to be consistant with your routine.
“What is a master but a master student? And if that's true, then there's a responsibility on you to keep getting better and to explore avenues of your profession.”¯
Originally Posted by Rick A
Thank you VERY much. I appreciate your yelling. No sponges it is then.
There are some practioners who use very gentle sponge, fingers, and various specially made squeezees for this purpose.
I used to use my own fingers. But I stopped because it wasn't necessary at all.
Wet film is VERY delicate and it can be scratched easily by small dust particles or whatever might be on the surface. Wiping is not necessary for drying mark free negatives. If you use Photoflo type solution at correct dilution, the water droplet will sheer off the surface all by itself.
Incidentally... correct dilution is NOT what is on the label.... in many cases, including my own, using what's prescribed will result in dry mark CAUSED BY photoflo. I use half of that dilution. What's right depends on your own water quality so you'll have to experiment yourself.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
I will take the dissent re wiping. I put the film in Sprint End Run after the wash (it is like Kodak Photo Flo) abd then wipe down each side, after it is hung, gently using a Kodak Film Chamois. Unfortunatly a Kodak Chamois is hard to find. Although I believe they are the only thing Kodak ever promoted to be used to touch film to remove water. One appeared here once, this is what they look like:
Re temp, I don't sweat it. I mix chems, if they are 20 degrees Celsius then great, if they are 23, I adjust the temp as per the Massive Dev Chart or the manufacturer. Works for me but you will get a variety of replies! Congrats on your successes thus far!
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^When I say chems I mean dev...
Stop and fix should be 20'ish...
If due to ambient temperatures you need to standardise on a temperature that is higher than 20C, a good choice might be 24C. Much higher, and you risk damaging film.
I recommend against using sponges, fingers or other aids, although it is okay to use them at the extreme ends of the film, where there is no image.
I find that Photoflo mixed according to the instructions does work, although I replace some of the water with alcohol. The dilution that works best for you may vary with the qualities of your water.
If you have the ability to arrange that the drying film is hanging at an angle (45 degrees?) it can aid in avoiding water marks.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
About the temperature.... don't worry about it too much.
Get your developer to a desired temperature, say 20C. Pour it into a canister and do your processing. In 5 to 10 minutes it takes in the tank, it won't rise that much, assuming you are doing this in human comfortable, air-conditioned environment. I tested this myself and I believe the temp rose about 1 to 1.5 degrees in this time period.
If your film is consistently coming out over developed, you could shorten your dev time by say 5 to 10% to compensate. But it will come out in ball-park correctly developed.
In the past, I have maintained the temp by using pre-wet process and water bath then maintain the temp +/- 0.5C. It just isn't necessary in my own darkroom.
My current standard is to cool the developer to 0.5C lower than target to compensate for the initial rise. I typically use 20C (so I cool it to 19.5C) and either use specified time or decrease it by a little but when I do, it has more to do with contrast manipulation than anything else.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
I think "polyglot" is the person with the very helpful links to processing, etc.
Would people here recommend that I skip or perform the "hypo clearing" step? It seems optional and I do not know what is best for me to do.