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  1. #1

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    Film-Dev.Testing Methodology

    I'm about ready to begin a big film-developer test. My goals are as follows:

    Test most of the major films with most of the common (and semi-common) developers.
    Test each of the combos with different development methods, i.e. tank, tray, jobo, tube, and machine.
    Test normal agitation, continuous (jobo), semi-stand and stand development.
    Create curves for N, N- and N+ and times (visible light and UV).
    Create micrographs of grain and edge effects for comparisions.
    Publish said curves, photos and timings.

    Here is the equipment available:
    EG&G Mark VII sensitometer
    GAM Color densitometer
    Xrite 361T UV densitometer
    Jobo CPP processor
    Wing-Lynch Model IV processor
    And assorted tanks & trays.

    I think I have a methodology figured out, but I want to see if I'm on the right track. So what I'm asking is other peoples ideas of how they would carry out said tests, what film-developer combos that they considered essential, and any other ideas.

    I have a sponsor for the chemistry. I'm about ready to contact film suppliers to see if they will donate film for the testing. Wish me luck, this is a hugh project for me. Hopefully I'll soon have results to show everyone.

    Thanks,
    Steve
    The soul never thinks without an image.
    - Aristotle

  2. #2

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    Can't help with methodology. I am too inexperienced in this but would eagerly await your results especially the visual evidence. While I value the varied threads and comments we see in APUG, these sometimes fall into the category of conversations as opposed to education and are entertaining rather than of text book value.

    The results of your project is the kind of thing I hope to get from APUG membership. The very best of luck.

    Pentaxuser

  3. #3
    ann
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    we do a class once a year doing something similar.

    The students test at least one film from each speed category. We provide the following developers, HC110, Rodinal, Micophen,Acufine, Dianfine, Xtol, Perceptol and FG7.

    They can test as many film types as they like.
    We first determine the EI for the film along with the correct development times, reading the densities using a Heiland.

    After they have determined their personal times, they then take a roll of each speed type and shoot a photo of the same subject matter, to include; landscape, portrait, architecture, still life and anything else they choose.

    Then they make a print from each film type and each subject matter and we compare then side by side.

    When finished they have their own personal "black book" of what a particular developer and film type will do for which subject matter type.

    The next quarter we offer a paper class , basically doing something similar with papers and paper developers. Taking one negative and printing it on a wide variety of papers with about 15 different developers/or ratios of developers.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic823
    I'm about ready to begin a big film-developer test. My goals are as follows:

    Test most of the major films with most of the common (and semi-common) developers.
    Test each of the combos with different development methods, i.e. tank, tray, jobo, tube, and machine.
    Test normal agitation, continuous (jobo), semi-stand and stand development.
    Create curves for N, N- and N+ and times (visible light and UV).
    Create micrographs of grain and edge effects for comparisions.
    Publish said curves, photos and timings.

    Here is the equipment available:
    EG&G Mark VII sensitometer
    GAM Color densitometer
    Xrite 361T UV densitometer
    Jobo CPP processor
    Wing-Lynch Model IV processor
    And assorted tanks & trays.

    I think I have a methodology figured out, but I want to see if I'm on the right track. So what I'm asking is other peoples ideas of how they would carry out said tests, what film-developer combos that they considered essential, and any other ideas.

    I have a sponsor for the chemistry. I'm about ready to contact film suppliers to see if they will donate film for the testing. Wish me luck, this is a hugh project for me. Hopefully I'll soon have results to show everyone.

    Thanks,
    Steve
    Steve,

    This is a huge project. Just testing all of the common films with one developer and the various methods of agitation would be a big project. In Spring 2003 I tested most of the films available with Pyrocat-HD and just one method of agitation, rotary, and that by itself was a rather large project.

    I am wondering how you plan to plot the data? Is there a commercial program available that will run on Excel? If so, you can get a data transfer cable that will send your densitometer readings from the 361-T diredtly to an Excel spread sheet.

    Sandy

  5. #5

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    I plan on writing the program myself to plot the data.

    Yah, its a big project, but I hope to learn lots do it (and return something to all the people that have helped me learn). Its the reason I bought the sensitometer. BTW Sandy, I found your magic brush. It was in the red darkroom in the dish drainer. Still looks fine, although the handle has seen better days. Send me your address and I'll send it to you.

    Steve
    The soul never thinks without an image.
    - Aristotle

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by magic823
    I'm about ready to begin a big film-developer test....
    Steve,

    did you say big?

    I would say Mammoth!!

    You are about to embark on a very time consuming endeavour. The only motivations I can glean from your posts are that
    i) You hope to "learn lots doing it", and
    ii) "return something to all the people who have helped you learn"

    So clearly there seems to be no monetary motivation, in fact unless you are donated the film, then I estimate that you'll be [color=blue]$7,200[/color] out of pocket [*]. You will also need to find a spare [color=blue]1.5 years[/color] FULL TIME (working 8 hours a day) of your time [**] to complete the job.

    Are you really that thirsty for this knowledge? Are you really that altruistic?

    Just wanted to put things in perspective for you!
    regards
    Peter
    [*] [size=1]Assuming your choose 12 films (two each from Ilford, Kodak, AGFA, Fuji, Maco, Efke being major manufacturers), 6 developers (one from each major manuf. above), 5 different development methods (as you proposed), and 4 different agitation methods (as you proposed) results in 12x6x5x4=1440 rolls of film. At approximately US$5 each will cost $7200 in total.[/size]

    [**] [size=1]Assuming it takes on average 3 hours to expose, process, dry, cut, measure and document each combination, with 1440 rolls to test this will take [/size]
    [size=1]4320hours=540 x '8 hour' working days days=1.5 years with no holidays![/size]

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic823
    I plan on writing the program myself to plot the data.

    Yah, its a big project, but I hope to learn lots do it (and return something to all the people that have helped me learn). Its the reason I bought the sensitometer. BTW Sandy, I found your magic brush. It was in the red darkroom in the dish drainer. Still looks fine, although the handle has seen better days. Send me your address and I'll send it to you.

    Steve

    First, thanks for the brush. Address is 136 Stonegate Court, Easley, SC 29642.

    About the testing, iI would highly recommend that you look very carefully at Phil Davis' BTZS system before you settle on your methodology. In my opinion there is no other system of testing that gives you a bigger bang for the buck. In essence, you simply expose a few sheets of film to a reliable light source (your sensitometer fulfills all expectations), and then develolp the film by for different times in individual tubes by rolling them in a water bath. When you plot the data from these tests you have reliable information about EFS as well as N and SBR for this film/developer combination. If you test very carefully in terms of time and temperature, and the method of rolling the tubes, you will get excellent comparartive data about any film/developer combination.

    Sandy

  8. #8

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    I have BTZS (alsong with his video) and it is the basis for my testing methodology.

    I also have the Wing-Lynch processor (with a nitrogen burst system) to automate a lot of the basic work. But to be truly useful I think we need to know how everything reacts with other agitation methods.

    I know its a massive project and I know its going to take awhile to complete. I hope at the end to have the definative resource for film development (and hopefully a book or at least a few mag. articles.) I may even come up with a workshop for the Formulary on calibrating your system.

    Sandy, I'll get your brush send this Thursday, since I'm headed to San Francisco (Mountain View actually) to teach till then.
    The soul never thinks without an image.
    - Aristotle

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB
    Steve,

    did you say big?

    I would say Mammoth!!

    You are about to embark on a very time consuming endeavour. The only motivations I can glean from your posts are that
    i) You hope to "learn lots doing it", and
    ii) "return something to all the people who have helped you learn"

    So clearly there seems to be no monetary motivation, in fact unless you are donated the film, then I estimate that you'll be [color=blue]$7,200[/color] out of pocket [*]. You will also need to find a spare [color=blue]1.5 years[/color] FULL TIME (working 8 hours a day) of your time [**] to complete the job.

    Are you really that thirsty for this knowledge? Are you really that altruistic?

    Just wanted to put things in perspective for you!
    regards
    Peter
    [*] [size=1]Assuming your choose 12 films (two each from Ilford, Kodak, AGFA, Fuji, Maco, Efke being major manufacturers), 6 developers (one from each major manuf. above), 5 different development methods (as you proposed), and 4 different agitation methods (as you proposed) results in 12x6x5x4=1440 rolls of film. At approximately US$5 each will cost $7200 in total.[/size]

    [**] [size=1]Assuming it takes on average 3 hours to expose, process, dry, cut, measure and document each combination, with 1440 rolls to test this will take [/size]
    [size=1]4320hours=540 x '8 hour' working days days=1.5 years with no holidays![/size]
    I plan on where possible using bulk rolls and using my automated processor to help on the time.

    Yes, I know it will take time and money. Hopefully I'll get most of the film donated. I have a contact thats helping work on that.

    The bottom line for this for me is will it be useful to have this information available? And so far, everyone I've discussed it with says yes.

    Think of it was the massive film development site on steroids with charts and photomicrographs (but in book form). The last word in B&W film development.

    Steve
    The soul never thinks without an image.
    - Aristotle

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by magic823
    The bottom line for this for me is will it be useful to have this information available? And so far, everyone I've discussed it with says yes.

    Steve
    Perhaps they dont want to be rude? You say you have the BTZS, have you seen the data Phil provides with the plotter? I have not counted them, but there are at least somewhere in the neighborhood of 85 files and this is only for tube developing and he is missing the forte and bergger films.

    Assuming you will calibrate your thermometer, sensitometer, light source for each and every run, and are able to keep the appropriate variables constant. The moment someone wants to use your results with different settings for the variables your results are no longer valid, and this does not take into account water quality and things like uncalibrated thermometers.

    I really see not usefulness to a project like this, even those of us who rely on sensitometric data will not take your word for it. For example, to calibrate my system for the BTZS with Phil's data I had to use different development times to obtain the same results he did with my film of choice. Who knows why the differences? but there must be a reason why his data and mine did not compare when using the exact same settings, I suspect something similar will happen with your results. Even with mechanized development, your results will apply only to you. Yes, they might serve as a reference, but that is all.

    Besides, with a project of this magnitude, I am afraid by the time you are done, some of the films you tested will no longer be available......

    I dont want to rain on your parade, but really, I think you would be better served making pictures instead of step tablets......

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