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  1. #1
    bessa_L_R3a's Avatar
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    How to get that elusive 68 degrees

    I tried leaving my solutions at room temperature but when stuck the thermometer in, I got readings of 55 degrees, pretty chilly ...

    So now I'm trying the water bath thing. I fill up a plastic tub with warm water and stick my developer and fixer in it.

    Is this what I'm supposed to do? Then what? Wait until the chems even out with the ambient liquid temp until it cools down to 68? This could take hours.

    The other problem I'm having is that when I stick the containers with the chems into the water bath, they all start to float around chaotically. SO FRUSTRATING. I know there is some law of liquid dynamics here at play but how do I submerge everything and avoid them floating away or tipping over?

  2. #2
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Hi, take the developer out of the bath when it reaches 68 degrees and pour it into your tank. Also, the level of hot water in the tub does not need to be so deep.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  3. #3

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    You could put the chemicals inside tightly closed 32oz/1L bottles so that it won't matter if they capsize. If the warming bath is very hot it will take less time to bring the chemicals up to temperature but, you will need to monitor the temperature carefully. Alternatively you could purchase some sort of water heater that plugs into an outlet and the heater stays in a water bath.
    Another solution is to use liquid chemicals and mix them just before needed and you wont need to mess with any contraptions.
    I'm sure you will get more suggestions.

  4. #4
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    Plastic sandwich bags are the trick. One filled with hot water will warm the developer up. In the summer when it is cold, use a bag with ice cubes. You can get to 68F in short order.

    Now, here's the real question. Why 68F? If you are processing black and white, 70F is just as nice. Heck, 72F might not be that bad, either. You need to maintain consistency in your processing and not necessarily be a slave to the real printed word. That's why time and temperature charts were developed. You don't have to be exactly 68F every time. You just have to have a consistent temperature for dependable, repeatable results.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

    http://blog.joelipkaphoto.com/

  5. #5

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    Hey bessa_l_R3a,

    I've been using a 600ml graduate cylinders to hold my developer and fixer and also have a 1 liter container to hold water (for my pre-soak and stop). Once I use each graduate, I remove them from my water bath so they don't bob around. However, I only develop 1 or 2 rolls at a time, so this method works for me. After the first roll, while I'm washing my negs and hanging them up to dry, I mix up a fresh batch of developer and place the graduate back into the water bath (I reuse my fix, so once I'm done fixing, I pour the fixer back into the graduate and also place this back into the water bath).

    If you insist on using bottles, you can simply push out all the air in the bottles and this should prevent them from floating away. If you can't do this, why not use a larger container and mix up enough developer/fixer to fill up the bottle. Even if you use 500ml or so, there should be enough liquid in there to anchor the bottle in the water bath.

    Jason

  6. #6
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Heat your room a little. This will make keeping your solutions at 20 (68 in the old reckoning ) much easier.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  7. #7
    bessa_L_R3a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    Heat your room a little. This will make keeping your solutions at 20 (68 in the old reckoning ) much easier.

    Ha ha , I was doing just that until winter sort of ended and I don't want to rack up more gas bills.

    I will dev at 70 as was suggested, too ... thanks all

  8. #8
    sun of sand's Avatar
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    plastic 1 liter bottles under pure hot water for 30 seconds -or so- usually gets em right up to temp for me. 20 seconds under pure cold usually drops temp 5 degrees or so. You can get pretty precise temps after a few tries. No hours waiting, anyway. I do all my 35mm in the bathtub as it makes a mess. water bath if doing a lot of film at once. You could put each solution into a little tank/vase/pitcher/glass to keep them from floating (individual water baths) ..I just deal.
    I've never tried a thermos to keep things at temp.

  9. #9

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    with a Zone VI compensating developing timer it's always 68 degrees. These are GREAT tools and as you already know a great time saver.
    John Bowen

  10. #10
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    When I know I'll be in the darkroom later in the day, I bring the chems into the part of the house that we do keep at "room temperature" which is usually between 65 and 70. Then they're ready for use immediately when I bring them back down to the darkroom which I try to pre-heat with the oil filled space heater for awhile before I go there. If I forget, I use a shallow tray with very hot water to warm the fluids up and stir them every so often to even out the heating. It rarely takes much time at all, and there are often other things worth doing while I wait.
    John Voss

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