I basically do what Les does but I use time instead of inversions. 30 seconds,30seconds,30seconds,60,60.
Isn't the whole point of the Ilford method that you have two choices with washing. Continous in which case very little fixer gets into the water at any time. Or batch. Trying to get the most fixer into the least amount of water. I always thought of batch washing like two step fixing. Step one does most of the job. Each remaining step has less work to do. At some point you hit a wall that the gain isn't worth doing more steps.
For film, the Ilford method is backed up by Jobo which state to wash for 30 sec, dump and refill and wash for 30 sec and repeat 4 times.
This is confirmed in France by conservation specialist which had written a book (unfortunatelly only in French) gathering all scientific evidence on conservation and conservation technique of photographic materials.
For paper, the story is quite different and depend upon the base. On RC we are facing quite a film situation but on FB, washing out fixer by-products from the paper base is difficult.
This is why Ilford, and it seems Agfa, recomended not to put too much by-product by reducing fixing times (using film strength concentrated fixer) and wash for a fex cycles on new water. (the fill and dump method). I once followed a workshop on darkroom practice given by a highly reputed printer in Paris (making a lot of prints for museum or exhibition) which had his washing technique scientifically backed by measuring the remaining fixer by-products in the prints (this destroys the print IRC) and he told us that one need to put the prints in 20°C water (clean ...) rotate them a few cycles and then squeegee them to remove as much water as possible and put them in another tray with clean water, and cycle for about 30 minutes to an hour depending on size and number of prints in the batch . This method involve a great deal of manpower to fill/empty trays, cycle prints, etc... so it is best for a huge darkroom with young fellows to train ;-)
The Ilford method for washing film is not new, when I learned darkroom work in the earlies seventies, it was practiced into my camera club, and the negatives from that time are perfect... So it may be not so bad, isn't it ?
Also, look at the processing sequence film goes through in minilab processing machines during C41 or E6 processing, given that color dyes are more fragile than metal silver....
i can't believe that for all these years Ilford allowed the wrong info due to a possible "typo" or other misunderstanding
i do the Ilford 5/10/20 thing then running water for at least 10 minutes, no problems in 20 years
anyway, compare washing RC paper to washing film, RC only needs 2 minutes and surely it absorbs more chems than film which is totally plastic
Ray, why the final running water for 10 minutes.:o Don't you trust Ilford either?
I do the Ilford wash sequence with sometimes - not always - a little bit extra thrown in depending on mood & time, maybe a few inversions, maybe a little running water, and mainly because of threads like this which always unnerve me
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Originally Posted by Dave Miller
just as i posted the above the same question occured to me
before i processed my first roll of film, in 1987, i read various books and magazine articles and got it into my head that the method recommended by Ilford was fill with tap water, invert 5 times, pour out, refill etc, 10 times then 20 times then wash for around 20 minutes
i never thought the sequence of 5/10/20 was the only washing necessary
what is the actual/real/traditional Ilford recommendation?
is it 5/10/20 and nothing more?
is it 5/10 whatever and a bit extra?
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
My quote earlier in the thread was from the current Ilford recommendation which is 5/10/20 and nothing more; that's if I've read it right of course. Don't know if this has changed over the years though.
Where did paper come in to the question? This is for film: Ilford have never recommended the 5-10-20 method for paper that I have ever read.
There is only one "Ilford method" - the one published by Ilford. If others want to add cycles etc that is fine, but that does not make them the "Ilford method".
In any case, the maths is not sufficient, however good you are at it. In the real-world there are innumerable variations from the ideal as expressed in the maths. You can calculate all you like but the acid test is to do it and measure the results. Very few of us have access to the kind of equipment, materials and know-how necessary to do this with sufficient accuracy, although there are a few scientists here that could do a good job with the right tools.
There is a large body of personal experience to suggest that the method, if not optimum, appears to be at least sufficient as demonstrated by the continuing survival over decades of negatives washed in this (or similar) manner.
Given that the Ilford method has been around for a long time perhaps it is time for someone in Harman/Ilford's lab to be given the job of retesting the method on today's film? Publishing the result would be nice.