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  1. #1

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    Best way to heat up Chems

    Right at the moment when I'm developing I pour out my fix which is already mixed up, and then I add some hot water to a little tray, to help to get it up to the right temp. However this sometimes takes quite a while to get it to around 20C. So by the time I've loaded the film onto the reel and then used the developer it's about time. However it takes a lot of prep time.

    Therefore I was wondering what the best way is to get chems to the right temp. Is there like a tray heater thing you can get or something??

    I'm not sure as I'm quite new to developing really

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Stock Dektol's Avatar
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    You can use a hot plate... but then you need a stainless steel beaker, cast iron tray or.... you could use an emersion circulator which is like a probe that will go in a liquid and heat it.
    I will NEVER stop developing...

  3. #3

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    Actually, fixer's temperature is not critical. It just shouldn't be way off. If you keep the fixer solution in room temperature, it shouldn't be a problem, provided that you don't live in an igloo :P
    Last edited by Anon Ymous; 01-20-2009 at 05:01 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  4. #4

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    So say if my fix is around 15C which is what it normally comes out at. Would that be fine?

    Also how many films untill I should use a new batch of fix??

  5. #5
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    Here's what I like to do. If the stored solutions are about 64 degrees or so, having been stored in my darkroom, I draw about 3-1/2 liters of water to about 72 or so degrees into my 5-liter bucket. Then I place my prepared bottles of stop, fix, and developer solutions into the bucket. If things are still too cool, I add a cup or so of hotter water. By the time I have loaded my reels and prepared my wash aid and final rinse, my solutions are at the desired uniform temperature. This is also pretty easy to do ahead of time so that I don't feel I am being held up getting solutions to temperature.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherryrig View Post
    So say if my fix is around 15C which is what it normally comes out at. Would that be fine?

    Also how many films untill I should use a new batch of fix??
    15C is a bit cold. Ideally, it should be at 18-24C. That's what Ilford proposes. One potential problem could be (I suppose) reduced fixer activity. Another problem could arise from using chemicals with very different temperatures. That could affect image quality with quality films, or maybe damage sensitive films.

    Regarding the number of films, the only definitive answer can be obtained from the "leader test". If you don't know what it is, have a look here. A 1 litre solution (1+4) of Ilford rapid fixer is ok for 24 36exp films.

  7. #7

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    I use an old microwave from a garage sale, $5.00. Just make sure that you don't have any paper hanging around while it's running; they put light when they're on!

  8. #8

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    I use a small microwave unit, left over from one of my kids move back home.
    In fact I used it last night, my darkroom has central heat and air from the rest of the house but because it is in the basement it is still cooler, so my chems are usually around 62-65 degrees F, I take about 16oz of chem and microwave for 30 sec on high, then mix with more cool chem to get to my desired temp (72 F) at a total volume of 32 oz. True, fix doesn't have to be exactly at the same temp as the other chems but it should be within 5 degrees, some films may give you reticulation if the temps are not close. If you do use a microwave be sure to clean very good before you cook any thing in it, fixer flavored popcorn is NOT tasty. RandyB

  9. #9

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    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.

  10. #10
    KEK
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    I use a fish tank heater with a bucket of water for the chemicals or in a tray with another tray floating on top for printing. Once you get it dialed in it works very well.

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