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  1. #1
    Mike Keers's Avatar
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    Paper Developer Temp

    Hey gang,
    I did several searches but can only find threads on film development temps. If this has been discussed, you can point me to the thread.

    I'm curious how temperature of the chems affects paper development, primarily warmer than 68~. My little storage space under a sink keeps all my chemicals at about 68 in the winter, but now with desert temps in the 95-100 range, I find my chemicals are running about 78-80.

    I have been cooling film chems to 68 before use but have no desire or ability to try and cool four or five 8x10 trays of paper stuff in my very small portable darkroom space.

    So let's assume for the sake of this discussion I'll be using developer, stop, fixer and toners at 78-80 or possibly even warmer. What can I expect?

    I use Dektol 1:2, Arista VG RC papers for all my working prints and Kentmere warmtone FB paper for the keepers. I'm a neutral to warm tone kind of guy. I only tone with selenium and sepia.

  2. #2
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Higher temperatures - faster development. Just like with film.

    You may prefer to use more dilute developers to extend your development times to more normal figures. Then again, since print development is to completion, it may not be a huge issue as long as you don't overdevelop (which can induce some fog).

    The best way to find out for yourself (since every paper and developer combination is going to be different) is to do some experimenting.

    I have the opposite problem - my darkroom tops out at 20 in the summertime (it's in an air-conditioned basement) but in the winter it can be as cool as 12 or 13 degrees. I have to heat it up to make the chemicals comfortable.
    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?

  3. #3
    jnanian's Avatar
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    hi mike

    2 suggestions -

    the first one would be keep a cylinder of developer ( stock ) in a cold place, like a fridge
    and when you mix your chemicals use the cold stuff so your warm water will make the temperature
    around 68º ish ...
    my other suggestion is try using a glycin based developer like ansco130.
    it will give you a tonal range sort of like dektol, with a look all its own,
    AND it works best when it is a little warmer, like at 73º or so ...

    good luck!

    john

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    Within "normal limits" I don't sweat the temp for paper development. I develop to completion, i.e. about 3 minutes. IF my temp were inordinately high, I might shorten that time.

    Since you are using small trays, you might try single tray processing. Use an 11x14 tray for the prints. Use 2500 ml beakers for each solution. Place the beakers in a larger tray, maybe 16x20 or 20 x 24, filled with a few inches of cool water in the bottom to keep the beakers cooled as the printing session progresses. You can periodically drop in a few ice cubes or keep some of the re-usable freezer packs on hand to insert and remove as necessary.
    Jerold Harter MD

  5. #5
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    In the winter it takes 3 minutes to develop fiber paper, in the summer it takes 1 and 1/2. Go figure.

  6. #6
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Development Recommendations for Dektol

    Papers - Dilute one part of stock solution to two parts of water. Develop Kodabromide, Polycontrast, Polycontrast Rapid and Panalure Papers for 1 1/2 minutes: all other recommended papers about one minute at 68F (20C).

    I just go with room temperature myself as the house is right at 68 pert near all the time.
    Thank you.
    -CW

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Keers View Post
    .......... but have no desire or ability to try and cool four or five 8x10 trays of paper stuff in my very small portable darkroom space............
    Firstly, you would only need to keep one at a lower temp (developer).

    In the days of Agfa (remember them?) they published dev times for paper developers at 20degC, 25degC and 30degC (=86deg Fahrenheit).

    I found that at higher temps there was more chance of brown staining.
    Last edited by john_s; 05-16-2009 at 04:28 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: added comment.

  8. #8
    Mike Keers's Avatar
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    Thanx for all the comments so far. My main concern was if there might be some adverse affects to the higher development temps like, oh I don't know, a change in contrast or something. That's OK with me! I go 1 to 2 minutes in the Dektol, depending on the paper and temp. I do notice the RC papers come up pretty quick in the warmer developer. I don't want to overdevelop. I suppose I could do some max-D testing.

    ChrisW--at this time of year my house is running about 88 or better. We have passive solar heating and natural ventilation, IOW, no supplemental heating or cooling. But it's a DRY heat--hahaha! In winter we're pretty close to 68 in here, or better. My deep well water runs about 68 year round, which is a happy coincidence. I often have to heat up the film chems a few degrees in the winter, and as said, cool them down in the warmer months. But I only measure out enough for my one or two roll tanks so it's easy to manage the film development. I work out of larger volumes for the paper chems, generally 32-42 oz to half gallon jugs, which give a nice working volume in the 8x10 paper trays, and when I'm done, it all goes back in the bottles.

    If there's no harm in using the warmer chems, I can live with it.

  9. #9
    Mike Keers's Avatar
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    john_s, our posts crossed, and I wrote a quick response but there was a disturbance in the force and the connection failed, so my post was lost. Your comment about brown staining is interesting and the type of info I was soliciting--any downside. I've only started printing and developing again this past Fall, so these warm chemical temps have only become a concern now that The Hot has arrived, and wil lremain with us for many months to come.

    I've read that temperature, say of warmer wash water, can influence some toning effects.

  10. #10
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    For the balance of chemistry, minor temp deviations shouldn't be a factor. But the developer really needs to be as spot on as possible.
    Thank you.
    -CW

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

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