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Thread: Presoak?

  1. #1
    captainwookie's Avatar
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    Presoak?

    Iím still somewhat new when it comes to developing, and one thing that I have yet to figure out is presoaking film. I pretty much follow the instructions in the filmís data sheet, and as of yet I have not ran across any film that had a presoak listed as step one. Am I missing something? Why and when should I consider doing a presoak?

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    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I got into the habit of using a pre-soak when I was using a Jobo processor. Now that I am back to inversion I stuck with a two minute pre-soak for the sake of consistancy and perhaps it promotes even development by wetting the emulsion evenly before the developer is introduced.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

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    JackRosa's Avatar
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    As a matter of fact, Ilford experts do NOT recommend a pre-soak for Ilford films.
    Jack Rosa

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    Ole
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    It also makes it easier to avoid air-bells through the crucial first part of development, since the film is already well wetted with water.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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    noseoil's Avatar
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    A presoak helps with staining developers, it allows for a more even uptake of the solution with PMK or Pyrocat-hd. Another reason is to remove the anti-halation backing prior to processing.

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    Many of the modern films do not require a pre-soak (and some, like Ilford, specifically recommends against one) because they have various stuff in them that makes them more receptive to developer right off the bat.

    I don't use pre-soak anymore at all on 35mm (I shoot only Ilford and Kodak, though), but I still do with 120. Maybe it's because I like all the crazy colors that come out :-)

    I might consider using pre-soak with some of the "older" emulsions, like Efke or something. I haven't read specifically on whether one should or should not use it with those films.

    allan

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    captainwookie's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. Being self taught, I sometimes have the feeling that Iím missing something very important from time to time. Most of the photography books seem to mention a presoak, but none of the data sheets that Iíve used have ever mentioned it.

    Will films that would benefit from a presoak mention it in their data sheets? Or is this just something that one learns on their own?

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    Kodak reccomends against it in their old books, and Ilford in their datasheets.

    However, I use it as part of my SOP, haven't bothered to check it there si a difference with not-presoaking.
    I started presoaking in the late 80s/early 90s to avoid non-uniformitites with short development times (3-4 min) with APX100 and FORTE films in tropical conditions
    Mama took my APX away.....

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    Aggie's Avatar
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    The few times I have not pre soaked the Ilford film I use, I have had problems with it. When I presoak I have not had a single problem, other then brainlessly taking the whole top off and dumping the developer with out thinking of what I was doing.
    Non Digital Diva

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    It can't and does not hurt. Just fill up the tank, swish it around a little, let it sit, and get your chemicals ready. I have never had a problem with presoaking illford films. Doing it just makes me feel better about the development. With roll films, if I ever had trouble with development it happened when I did not presoak and was in a hurry.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

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