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  1. #1
    rmolson's Avatar
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    Ilford washing technique

    Ilford washing technique


    Recently I had the pleasure of getting the Film Developer Cookbook. I’ve been a working photographer and technician for over 60 years and I am still learning! One thing I found was on washing film ,the author makes a note on the Ilford techniques of 5,10,15 ,20 refills and dumps. He states that an error was made when the technique was published. There should be a five minute soak between cycles. I can easily believe this .As a DuPont tech rep once told me, DuPont tried for years to get photographers to use 72° degrees as a standard instead of 68. On the premise that many thermometers were not that accurate and hydroquinone in a formula lost activity quickly below 68° . Using 72° degrees would act as insurance against this and the difference was not enough to affect other chemical changes But every time they sent the data sheets to the printers they would change it back to 68° assuming it was a typo!.
    I have used a70 or 72 degrees for years as my standard and never encountered any problems ,The developing time was compensated of course for the difference .Any comments on the Ilford technique?

  2. #2
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    It makes sense to allow a standing period between fills to allow more time for the contaminants to leach out of the emulsion, however many have used the Ilford method for many years without problems. Your description is slightly at variance with Ilfords by the way. Ilford say, and I quote: "After fixing, fill the spiral tank with water at the same temperature, +/– 5ºC (9ºF), as the processing solutions and invert it five times. Drain the water away and refill. Invert the tank ten times. Once more drain the water away and refill.
    Finally, invert the tank twenty times and drain the water away." Not so many refill/dumps as your describe.
    Last edited by Dave Miller; 01-04-2008 at 10:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  3. #3
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    There is a long thread on this subject. One of Ilfords photo engineers publsihed a book in which he essentially repudiated this method to achieve the best wash.

    PE

  4. #4
    Andy K's Avatar
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    I'm puzzled by that. I have always used the Ilford method and never had a problem. So if the Ilford engineer said this method was no good, what method did he recommend?


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  5. #5
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy K View Post
    I'm puzzled by that. I have always used the Ilford method and never had a problem. So if the Ilford engineer said this method was no good, what method did he recommend?
    Continuous washing, according to Ron in earlier threads.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  6. #6
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    Yes, according to Bill Troop and others, the Ilford proposal was made as a stop-gap during a water shortage in Britain a few decades back, but Mason, of Ilford gave the math to show that the 'Ilford' method does not achieve true arhcival quality. I'm not going back to rehash the math again here. Suffice it to say, Mason has refuted that methodology and Ilford has never revised the method so there it stands.

    What is worse is that there are several interpretations of the method going around that vary in detail, and this confuses the issue even more.

    PE

  7. #7

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    1. Use the method that makes you happy.
    2. If you want the best longevity which has been tested by experts, use Ron's method.

    I use sort of a hybrid approach and wash for 20 - 30 minutes with changes of water every 5 minutes and agitation, but I don't use continuously running water. But I won't know how well the method works for another 100 years or so.

  8. #8
    Jon King's Avatar
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    Any thoughts on this work on the Ilford method?

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...or/ilfwash.pdf
    Jonathan
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  9. #9
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    Well, I go by Mason's article which applies to film, RC paper, and FB paper. The article that Jon references above has only been tested on film. You do note that in the graph the hypo level never reaches zero and this is normal as stated by Mason and as found by Ctein. You need a little hypo left for good stability. You can overwash.

    PE

  10. #10
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon King View Post
    Any thoughts on this work on the Ilford method?

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...or/ilfwash.pdf
    Very interesting, it seems to back the Ilford method.
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


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