One thing is when switched from digital to analog I read a lot of books and watched videos on the internet. Freestyle has a good book on learning how to do film, it is actually an instructional book for school.
Keep an eye on your agitations. Don't be so rough because this will add to large grain, this is what I have experienced and read about. Also don't short change yourself on the rinse stage. I have found that the rinse does go a long way in your final negative, trust me I found out the hard way on this.
2F/2F does have a good point, actually a couple. Read some literature on the film process. You can ask all the questions but until you actually process a few rolls , then you will start to understand. What I do now is blow off a cheap roll of film and play with it to see what effect time and concentrations will have.
I've done all that. Seriously, am I asking retarded questions?
Originally Posted by Rick-in-LB
"Is there a specific amount and timing of the agitations as you develop?"
I think that is the main question that is "retarded" (though that not how I would personally describe it). The other ones make sense to ask, even after having read a textbook or taking a class. Asking about water instead of an acid stop bath makes sense. Asking about how far you can push a film makes sense. However, the first one made me skip the rest of the post, so I never even saw the other two until later. Any textbook has this information, every manufacturer publishes this information, and every film photo class teaches this, and often the very first week of class. Additionally, there are already enough Internet sources with this information that we don't need to ask it any more. Additionally, how on Earth have you processed film before if you don't know this?
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
OK. Here goes a hopefully helpful reply.
Agitation - most standard times are based on one agitation cycle per minute. But Kodak and Agfa recommend agitating every 30 seconds. What's the difference? If you agitate more often, more fresh developer will come in contact with the film emulsion, and the result is more overall contrast in the negative. Basically, we can deduce that agitation largely affects your midtones and highlights.
You will do yourself a favor to try for yourself what agitation and time you should use. Here's how you want to do it. Take APX 100 for example; you need two rolls to do this. Set the camera to EI 100, and bracket at EI25, 50, and 100 for every shot for the full roll. Then develop according to the manufacturer's recommendations. If you dig hard, you will find the APX 100 product data sheet somewhere. Then look at the negatives and determine which exposure has "enough" shadow detail for your printing / scanning process. Then shoot the subsequent roll at that EI, whether it be 50, 60, 80, or 100. Now you want to process about 1/3 of the roll at a time. You want to make sure you are able to get the midtones and highlights where you want them.
And - this is where agitation comes in. If you slow down agitation to every second, or even every third minute, the area in the negative with high level of exposure will develop slower. This helps to soften the contrast while getting a long enough development time that any mistakes you make will be less significant. Time and agitation are your friends in making good negatives, and using agitation to control different lighting scenarios is something that will eventually become second nature to you.
Try to explore the potential of one type of film, and see how you can alter the results by using the same developer in a different way. Tweak it, learn it inside out, experiment, feel your way. Eventually you'll be prepared for any lighting situation, and you'll be confident in addressing how you treat each situation and make great negatives that print easily without much, if any, acrobatics in the darkroom.
The recommended development times online are personal, from people with different lighting scenarios, different light meters, different metering techniques, heck different pH in their water supply. All of which affects the outcome. So please do your own testing. And if you are looking for start times, the first roll processed as above will tell you if the recommendation you got was good or not.
The important follow-up piece to this is to print your negatives (or scan if you're working digitally) to really see if you're doing the right thing or not. And do this often. That's how the process comes full circle, that's how you learn to 'see' effectively.
Pushing APX 100? Why? You've got HP5.
Washing film? The Ilford wash sequence of rinse, 5 agitations, 10 agitations, 20 agitations (all with fresh water exchange) and then running water for a few minutes has worked for many.
I do it that way, but use a film washer for about ten minutes after I've done the Ilford cycle. It seems to work for me so far.
Originally Posted by funkpilz
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Heck the questions are not "Retarded" as you say it. I just got back into film again after a long layoff and some of my questions probably made some say" what a dumb question". You will get some answers here but like I mentioned is just go out an burn a roll and see what happens. Get the cheap film though. I did not know about Freestyle until I went through a few bucks.
Originally Posted by funkpilz
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