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  1. #1
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Pre-soaking film - How long and what temperatures for B&W, C-41, E-6

    Recently in the fora here there have been some references for using pre-soaking for avoiding air bubbles and gaining unmentioned advantages. I am wondering: how long and what temperatures should the water be for B&W, C-41, E-6 film development?

    Hearing about the unmentioned advantages would be useful too.

    Steve
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  2. #2

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    Hi Sirius,

    For mono films, just soak for a couple of minutes at or around the processing temperature (normally 20 c). I normally add a couple of drops of wetting agent for good measure. Make sure you agitate to rid film of pesky air bubbles.

    As well as preventing air bubbles, re-soaking swells the gelatin ready to accept the developer, which can start acting sooner.

    If you process mono 120 films, don't be alarmed when the pre-soak water turns black, it's just some dyes soaking out of the film.

    Can't tell you about colour films.

    HTH
    Last edited by kevs; 12-13-2007 at 01:32 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added info.
    testing...

  3. #3
    Matthew Gorringe's Avatar
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    I use 3 minutes with mono films and find I get even development. However I no longer agitate during the presoak because I believe that agitation introduced tiny bubbles that blocked the developer when first poured in.

    The thing is that that problem might just be with my method and not other peoples. Basically you'll need to experiment a bit to find a sytem that gives even development and avoids bubbles. A bit more searching should turn up some better answers from the experts.
    Last edited by Matthew Gorringe; 12-13-2007 at 02:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Matt Gorringe

  4. #4
    hka
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    I only presoak C-41 en E-6 and the colouring of the pre-soak water depends on the company who made the film. Kodak is as black as coffee and the Fuji's films are just little coloured. Don't worry also.
    harry

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  5. #5

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    As stated above, presoak should always be done at the same temperature as the (first) developer. For E6, this is 38 degr. C.
    A slight agitation is welcome.

    Kind regards,
    G

  6. #6
    Akki14's Avatar
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    I never bother for B&W. It doesn't need it. I follow the directions that came with my c-41 kit so it needs to be at 100F for 3 minutes then pour out (and marvel at all the freaky green-black dye that comes out... maybe this is just a kodak porta thing).
    ~Heather
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akki14 View Post
    I never bother for B&W. It doesn't need it.
    B/W film benefits from a presoak if you're working with large sheets of film. I must admit that I don't do it either for B/W 135 and 120 film.

    G

  8. #8
    Akki14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by argus View Post
    B/W film benefits from a presoak if you're working with large sheets of film. I must admit that I don't do it either for B/W 135 and 120 film.

    G
    I don't think i'd bother with sheet film even but I'm only doing 4x5 in open trays, not dip&dunk or Jobo. I get the whole sheet in the liquid in and covered in about 2-5 seconds probably.
    ~Heather
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  9. #9
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    The only unmentioned advantage of pre-soaking film that I know of, is where you have an extremely short developing time due to unavoidably warm water temperature.

    I myself had a long look many years ago regarding pre-soaking of sensitive materials prior to developing, I couldn't really find anything backed by scientific, or even quasi scientific methods, to back some claims that I read.

    I have never pre-soaked any film developed in my darkroom in the last 20 years, prior to that I cannot remember the last time I did pre-soak B&W film, but it would be sometime in the early seventies.

    I have developed all kinds of B&W film, C41 and E6 without ever resorting to a pre-soak, I don't think any film I have developed has had any technical problem that could have been avoided, by doing a pre-soak.

    That doesn't mean that pre-soaking is bad, it's just that I couldn't see a reason to do it.

    Mick.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akki14 View Post
    I don't think i'd bother with sheet film even but I'm only doing 4x5 in open trays, not dip&dunk or Jobo. I get the whole sheet in the liquid in and covered in about 2-5 seconds probably.
    I said "large sheets" of film

    G

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