Isn't it easier to pour it back and rinse the tray?
Originally Posted by Anscojohn
Sorry, I have never heard of factorial development; what is it?
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
As for filling back up to top, that'll make up for evaporation, but it might *overdo* it when you consider that there is liquid carried out by the prints. Over two or three days it'd definitely be noticeable.
From my RA-4 tray days, I noticed that about half a fluidounce (~15mL) got carried out with each 8x10 in an, I think, 11x14" tray.
And, I think that level of dilution, assuming you do it a quart at a time too, would matter because the difference in dilution between a 32 fl. oz. of Dektol 2:1 and 3:1 is only 1-1/3 fluid ounces (although there is, of course 4 fl. oz. more Dektol)
Originally Posted by Blackknight603
Factorial development takes care of all of that.
In factorial development, you watch for the emergence of the medium to dark midtones in the print and time the event. Then, you multiply that time by a factor, typically 4-8x, to calculate your total development time. Changes in developer activity, through exhaustion, dilution, age or temperature changes are easily compensated this way. This works best with FB papers, because the emergence time for RC prints to too fast to accurately time it.
With Ansco 130 I place another tray on top of the tray of developer, stacked. I haven't had any issues with 130 for several days this way.
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Factorial development can fail with many modern papers that have incorporated developing agents. As they diffuse outward, they can create a differential development rate that fools you.
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
Also, Cl/Br, Cl and Br paper emulsions all develop with different rates. It is sort of like the difference between FB and RC. Pure Chloride or high Chloride papers can even be built to be just about self limiting thereby shutting off development as you continue to try to bring up the image. Instead, fog suddently leaps up at you.
So, many modern papers are able to play tricks with this tried and true methodology and it may come to the point where it becomes unreliable.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Different developing rates are not an issue. My development factor for factorial development is not constant and changes with papers, developers and even from image to image. I record the factor for each negative to get the same print next time.
Factorial development relies on the fact that the total development time divided by the emergence time of a certain print tone is relatively constant. This has been the case with all papers I have tried so far. I'm currently working with Ilford papers and it works very reliably with Multigrade IV FB and Warmtone, but it also worked in the past with Agfa, Kodak and some East-European papers. It might not work with others, as you state, but it is well worth a try. I would probably stay away from any paper that does not work with factorial development, because I would miss the consistency of printing with them.
I have never tested any paper that quit developing. They just keep going until they eventually fog. Especially the midtones get continuously darker with increasing development time.
Thanks for the replies all.
Now, I am rather new to this game and at the moment I am using the basic Ilford chems. In my current position, this is probably the easiest way to do things.
For me, using 8x10 trays, the bottle would be the best method. I suppose the big argument for me is whether it is actually worth the hassle. I have to admit that I am still deciding on this!! Because I fumble around so much in the dark room, I am only getting off at most half a dozen or so prints in a few hours (after I play with test strip, after test strip.....etc), it nearly seems a waste to ditch the chems.
BUT, if there is a risk, the cost factor isn't that great, so its probably easier to mix up fresh.
The other thing that I have noticed after reading all the replies is the comments about smell. From using the Ilford Chems, I have noticed that the chem with close to a smell that may become annoying is the fixer. I have also noticed that the developer has a slight yellowy green tinge to it when mixed. It has been mentioned that to tell if the developer is off, it goes brown and starts to pong. Is there any other way to tell? Is it going off when you no longer get black blacks?
I have had paper developers in covered trays last from 120 to 240 hours depending on developer.
This translates into capacity as well. These two factors are interrelated.
Hoffy, the Ilford Multigrade developer (which is the one I believe you are using) is a very versatile and robust developer.
I have used this developer for Ilford MGIV RC paper for quite some years in tray and machine developing.
With tray use and especially in hot weather like we had last summer, the developer does tend to go more yellow as it is used, rather than any other colour. Another time it will go more yellow and off more quickly is if you have an air conditioned darkroom (heaven).
These two observations tell me that with a bit of use and very drying conditions, read de-humidifying conditions, the developer has a tendency to go bright yellow. Which probably means that the solution is probably going from a 1+9 dilution to something resembling 1+7 or something like that, I don't know as this is pure speculation, but it is what I have observed.
When this bright yellow condition has been reached I have found through trial and error that the developer is off. You may think you have good blacks and nice whites, but in fact you tend to develop longer (sometimes) to get the same black, often without noticing the time changes.
My own practice when using 8x10 trays is to mix up about 500ml of developer only, this is good for 50 RC 20cmx25cm sheets of paper. With your current throughput and experience, this would be enough for most if not all of your darkroom sessions.
Another practice of mine is to mix this developer up at 1 + 14 dilution, your output then is restricted to 35 RC 20cmx25cm prints with 500ml of solution. This dilution I use mostly when small quantities of prints are required and time is not a problem. Anything to save money is good, if it doesn't alter the quality, it's better.
With regards to keeping developer overnight or possibly slightly longer, I pour it into glass jam jars and use marbles to eliminate air. Primitive, effective and extremely cheap!
I have found that within 24 hours and up to 48 hours there is no practical difference from a good home hanging or postcard print. From a technical viewpoint, I'm sure this isn't archival, but realistically most prints I do are never going to be kept too long. If they are, I'm not going to worry about it.
A case in point with this developer, last Thursday I mixed up 2.5 litres of developer for my Durst Printo paper developer machine. On that evening I had a throughput of 18, 20cmx25cm pieces of paper. I dropped the baths into large brown glass bottles and topped the developer one up with marbles. Yesterday I had a big session and developed 100, 10cmx15cm sheets, and 125, 20cmx25cm sheets plus 4, 20cmx25cm control sheets.
The control sheets are my first correct sheet, I then exposed 3 more sheets and put them away. After I had processed the 100 small 10cmx15cm sheets I ran a control sheet through, perfect.
I then processed about 70 more 20cmx25cm sheets and ran another control sheet, still perfect. After another 50 20cmx25cm sheets I ran another control sheet through, it was slightly off, the blacks weren't black and the highlights were not good either as they were disappearing. I had noticed that the last 5 or so sheets were possibly off and as I knew the developer was starting to get near it's life from time, but more importantly throughput, I tested. I then dropped the bath and replaced it with new one and continued on.
I have B&W RC prints going on 20 years using these methods, these prints have been circulated between family and friends and kept under many varied conditions, I believe most, if not all, are still very good.
I also have B&W prints using RC paper that are close to 40 years old, some of them aren't too good at all. Today the quality of materials is remarkably good.