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  1. #101
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    It's a start. I'd recommend testing with an outdoor scene, so exposure should be easier to determine, your meter will be in a fairly accurate part of its range, and you won't have to worry about reciprocity factor, in case of a longish exposure.

    The developer needs to be fairly strong, so that most of the development is finished in the first minute. After that, there is some physical development, but mostly fixation, so leaving the film in the solution for longer won't increase density by much.
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  2. #102
    ben-s's Avatar
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    What do you reckon for a next step then? Increase the dev strength rather than reduce the fixer?
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  3. #103
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Yes, if you're getting thin negs, try increasing the developer, possibly as much as 2x or 3x or more. Once you're in the ballpark, you could try increasing the fixer to reduce contrast or decreasing the fixer to increase contrast.
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  4. #104
    ben-s's Avatar
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    OK, I'll try that next. Thanks
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  5. #105
    ben-s's Avatar
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    Interesting...
    I've doubled the developer, while keeping the fix at the same concentration.
    The results haven't changed a great deal, so I decided to find out how quickly things were progressing.
    I made a roll of test exposures, of an outdoor scene, using my EOS-1N. The weather is overcast and a bit misty, so the light is pretty stable and flat. I autobracketed +/- 2 stops to get an idea of whether the dev would affect the film speed much.

    I souped a short clip test for 4 mins as opposed to the original 10 (which I suspected was overkill anyway); The film had cleared nicely, so I dropped to 2 mins, with the same results.
    1 minute produced negs that were very close to cleared, with only small wisps of partly fixed emulsion remaining. After less than 30 seconds they were totally cleared.

    The leader and edge markings are not nearly as dark as I would expect them to be.
    It looks like the fixer is making too much of itself, so I think I'll drop it to half strength, and hopefully give the dev a little bit longer to work.
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  6. #106
    ben-s's Avatar
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    Success! (I think)
    I left the dev at the double rate and halved the fix. I now have a foot or so of fairly normal looking negs with a sensible Dmax. When they're dry I'll post a scan.

    So, here's the recipe:
    400ml LC29 monobath

    260ml water
    20ml Ilford Rapid Fixer
    40ml Household Ammonia (9.5% ammonia solution)
    80ml Ilfotec LC29
    Added in that order.
    Premiminary tests suggest 5 minutes is adequate, although this might come down some with further testing.

    Hopefully this developer should be good for 5-6 uses - LC29 should be good for 10 uses at 1+9 dilution, and this is stronger, but Rapid fixer is good for 24 rolls at 1+4 - This developer uses 1/4 of that, so there will be a limit of about 6 rolls.

    I've run out of LC29 concentrate, so I'm stuck for the time being, but when I can get hold of some more I want to try to reduce the strength of the developer to make it a bit more economical.
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  7. #107
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Sounds good! More time in solution mainly advances fixation, so you can remove the film when it's adequately fixed.

    What's your temperature and agitation scheme? Higher temperature will speed development more than it will speed fixation, and more agitation will help fixation more than it will help development.

    With some of my FX6a negs, I've been getting a little underfixation and having to refix, so what I'm thinking of doing is increasing agitation after the development is finished, so maybe 5 sec agitation per minute for the first three minutes, then 5 sec every 30 sec for the last three minutes, or something along those lines.
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  8. #108
    ben-s's Avatar
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    Temperature is nominally 20°C, agitation is 10 inversions to start and 2 inversions every 30 secs.
    On the emulsion side of the negs, the denser parts look a little bit creamy, so they might not be being fixed fully - although I would have expected the least exposed areas to take longest to fix due to the volume of halides present. Any ideas on this one? Perhaps it's just an artifact of the monobath process...

    I've attached a neg scan, which is fairly close to the print I've just made, straight @ grade 2.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails monobath-2web.jpg  
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  9. #109
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    That looks like a reasonable result.

    The "creamy" substance might be sludge, or you could be getting some dichroic fog. Soak the neg and see if it comes off with a wet sponge, in which case it would be sludge. If not, try refixing.
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  10. #110
    ben-s's Avatar
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    OK, I've tried wiping and refixing to no avail.
    I've attached a scan of one of the strips and a 645 neg I had handy. Both are Ilford FP4+.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails monobath-3.jpg  
    Lens caps and cable releases can become invisible at will. :D



 

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