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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    ...For keeping them warm in the darkroom, I use an electric oil radiator (like a regular radiator, but it's not centrally piped in, but has circulating hot oil inside). I place this directly under the developer tray, which rests on a wire shelf. Even in the coldest of winter weather it keeps the developer temperature above 70*F. My stop bath and fixer is a little colder than that, but it works without issues...
    - Thomas
    A friend gave me one of those electric oil filled radiators. My darkroom is small so I simply heat the entire room with it - on a low setting, to save on electricity (I switch it on a couple of hours before starting a session and haven't noticed any spike in my electric bill). It maintains a constant room temperature hour after hour. It's a very safe heat source.

    Now I'm in the darkroom during winter months more often.

    Paul
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

  2. #22
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I was fortunate enough to find a water bath unit on ebay specifically made for darkroom processes. It has a thermostatically controlled heating element built in, and a circulating pump to keep the temperature constant in all areas of the bath. The thermostat is very accurate and keeps the water within 1 degree of the setting. The unit is just wide enough that an 8x10 tray fits inside, and I adjust the water level to come about halfway up the sides of the tray. Like many others, my basement darkroom is too cool in the winter time, and print developer in the tray radiated off way too quickly before. I can use it as a tempering bath for tank development of film if I need to also, but that is not usually a problem for me. This tank is my most valuable winter darkroom possession.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Shriver View Post
    Stainless steel containers transfer heat so much faster than plastic. When I'm developing T-MAX films, I want the developer at exactly 68F. So I pour it in an empty Nikor tank, say the Q15 two reeler. Then I put it in a larger diameter Nikor tank (one of the ones for the six-foot or 220 reels) with hot or cold water, swish it about, and watch the thermometer.

    That tempering step would be infuriatingly long in the plastic sixteen-ounce measuring cups I use to hold developer, stop, and fixer.
    This is also the method I use. I like to keep the developer, short, fixer and wash water at exactly the same temperature (68 degrees).

    mergross.com

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Heating the chemicals up from storage to use, I use a water bath where I immerse the container of chemicals into a larger container with hot water.

    For keeping them warm in the darkroom, I use an electric oil radiator (like a regular radiator, but it's not centrally piped in, but has circulating hot oil inside). I place this directly under the developer tray, which rests on a wire shelf. Even in the coldest of winter weather it keeps the developer temperature above 70*F. My stop bath and fixer is a little colder than that, but it works without issues.

    I don't have running water in my darkroom, so I have to resort to this. Sometimes I use a bottle of hot water, cap it up, and lay it in the developer tray for a while and slosh the developer around.

    - Thomas
    Thomas, this is most imaginative. I admire the photos of frosted windows you post, so i infer that you have cold temperatures to deal with. As to the heater, do you lie it on its side? Is there an electric oil radiator with a horizontal configuration upon which a line of trays (developer, stop, fix, fix) can be placed and all trays kept warm at a constant temperature??

  5. #25
    ChrisC's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about this recently too. Usually I get my developer temperature pretty much bang on 21 degrees (after a lot of frustrating mixing hot and cold water together), but because my stop and fixer sit in bottles (and I'm lazy), they'll often go in around 15 degrees. For a while I wondered why my HP5 negs were a hell of a lot grainer and ugly than stuff I was getting done at a lab in town until I started reading why.

    Now I plan on buying an aquarium heater + large chilly bin and making a water bath where everything should be the right temp for my bottles to sit in, and for me to take water straight from to mix up my developer. I'm really hoping it dramatically improves my results.

  6. #26
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    • If you live in the UK you might be able to find a Kaiser Dish Warmer which is a water resistant hot plate down rated to photo temps rather than cooking or lab temps.
    • The cheapest solution is an inexpensive aquarium heater in a water bath. But the response time is weak so it would be best to put the chems in the water bath the night before so that the temperature equilibrates.
    • Recirculating water baths are very nice but expensive. Sometimes they come up used for as little as $50. I have an old one that works great.
    • You can also buy an immersion heating element (Dev-Tec?) that is like a high powered aquarium heater that works much faster. I use one with a small submersible aquarium pump to circulate the water in a large, shallow tub .
    • Another alternative is a Jobo TBE tank which is a big plastic tub that holds 12 1 liter Jobo bottle and has a thermostat. Works very well for holding volumes of developer or "dilution water" for bigger developing runs. They sell on Ebay but are usually very expensive.
    • You could use stainless developing tanks filled with hot water and others filled with ice to manually adjust the temp of a water bath.
    Jerold Harter MD

  7. #27
    VaryaV's Avatar
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    I inherited this water bath my dad used to use for heating chemicals in the biology lab. It has become indispensable.
    American Scientific and Fisher Scientific both made them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails waterbath.jpg  

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Shriver View Post
    Stainless steel containers transfer heat so much faster than plastic. When I'm developing T-MAX films, I want the developer at exactly 68F. So I pour it in an empty Nikor tank, say the Q15 two reeler. Then I put it in a larger diameter Nikor tank (one of the ones for the six-foot or 220 reels) with hot or cold water, swish it about, and watch the thermometer.

    That tempering step would be infuriatingly long in the plastic sixteen-ounce measuring cups I use to hold developer, stop, and fixer.
    Not only to SS containers transmit faster, but they don't hold the heat very long. If you use hot water and immerse a plastic tank in it, you can heat the chemical; it will take longer, and after it gets up to temperature, it will continue to heat, so it is very easy to end up with the chemical too warm.

    I use a tray of hot water. I dip the stainless tank in the water, lift it out, and stir the chemical with the thermometer. Unless there is a big temperature differential, I don't stir while the ss tank is actually in the hot water.

    It is very easy to get the temperature right, and it doesn't keep warming after I'm done.

  9. #29
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaryaV View Post
    I inherited this water bath my dad used to use for heating chemicals in the biology lab. It has become indispensable.
    American Scientific and Fisher Scientific both made them.
    An outfit called Shellab still makes similar devices. In a size similar to what you have would be quite pricey. You have a great find there.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  10. #30
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    Never had a problem with varying temperatures of standard chemicals. They're usually within 6-8C of each other, but mostly room temperature.

    As far as developer itself goes, I've also never had a problem with this formula (which works with google calculator as well):
    new_time = standard_time * e(-0.081 * (cur_temp - 20))
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

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