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  1. #1
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Preparing to Develop Some Old Rolls of Film - Kodak classics!

    I've been charged with the noble task of developing some old rolls of film for my friend and his dad. My friend's dad (John) had a darkroom back in the day and was always one more reason why the idea of buildling one sounded so appealing to me. So I'd like to do him justice and need your careful deliberation on my processing plan.

    What I've got is:

    4 rolls of Kodak Recording Film 2475
    2 rolls of Plus-X Pan (PX)
    1 roll of Kodak Technical Pan
    2 rolls of Tri-X Pan 400 (TX)
    1 roll of Verichrome Pan (120, and expiry of 1960!)

    One of the Tri-X rolls is labeled 1992, and I suspect that all the film (besides the Verichrome) is of this vintage. I have no other information; like what EI was used or anything. It's likely that this stuff has been sitting in a climate controlled basement for 20 years, but not in cannisters.

    I'll be using HC-110 and here are Kodak's recommendations:

    Recording Film: dilution B, 9' @ 20°
    Plus-X Pan: dilution B, 5' @ 20°
    Technical Pan: dilution F, 8' (EI 50) @ 20°
    Tri-X Pan: dilution B, 7.5' @ 20°
    Verichrome: n/a

    These are published times for fresh film, and I read that a 40% increase in development time would be prudent for old film. Do you think that's a safe bet?

    Should I couple that with lower temperature or higher concentration to beat fog?

    As for the Verichrome, I'm going to have to use the see-saw method as I don't have a 120 reel. I've always wanted to try that anyways. I've found 2 suggestions for old film like this: one is dilution A, cold (he says between 2°-12°C), 5 minutes. This suggested a clip test however. Elsewhere, someone reported good results with dilution B, 18° for 8 minutes.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2

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    I found a Kodak data sheet (http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...bs/j24/j24.pdf) that suggests 5 minutes in dilution B for Verichrome Pan (in a small tank with 30-second agitation intervals, at 20 C). I'm not sure what the "see-saw method" is, but it sounds like it might more closely resemble large-tank development (for which the sheet gives slightly longer times). Interestingly, 8 minutes at 18 C is exactly the data sheet's large-tank recommendation.

    I've only done Verichrome Pan once; I used dilution E for 8 minutes at a slightly warm room temperature (I don't remember where I got the time from). The roll seemed underdeveloped; it didn't have a fog problem, and there were no areas of really good density. If I were doing it again, I'd shoot for more development than that; perhaps the same time with dilution B.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

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    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  3. #3
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Well that's fortuitous! But should I go for the recommendation of fresh film, or tweak it ab it?

    See-saw is when you hold the roll out between your two hands and lower one, raise the other, running it through a tray of chemicals. It sounds tiring.... Any tips on this would be great too.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  4. #4

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    I recently developed a roll of Verichrome Pan (127 format) that was exposed recently but expired in 1964. I tried 10 minutes in HC-110 dilution B @ 68 degrees. The negatives were a tad thin, but usable. If I were to do it again I would try about 12 minutes.
    Nikon 35mm, Mamiya 645 & RB67, Leica IIIb, other bits and pieces

  5. #5
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    How does dilution A relate to dilution B in terms of compensating for time? The roughly proportional statement on Covington's page doesn't really make sense to me (nor does his math).

    The reason I'm leaning towards A is that it will have the least compensating effect, highest contrast to overcome fog, plus lower temperature.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  6. #6

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    I've processed quite a bit of old verichrome pan. The recommendation of 8 minutes at 18 celsius should give you good results. I tried see-saw development once and it was a mess, very difficult to control temperature. If you can find a 120 reel, you'd be better off. The Tri-X is likely to be heavily fogged, the Plus-X should be a little better. Tech-Pan needs a special developer. The contrast will be very high in HC-110.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by holmburgers View Post
    Well that's fortuitous! But should I go for the recommendation of fresh film, or tweak it ab it?
    Oops, I forgot to mention the age of the roll I developed. I'm pretty sure it was from before 1970.

    Generally I extend the development time a little for old film, but not in any fixed or organized way.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  8. #8
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    Diafine?

    Sounds like a job for Diafine! You'll get whatever shadow detail is available and also a some restraint on the highlights in case of overexposure.

    In any case, I would definitely err on the side of underdevelopment and count on paper grades and intensification.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
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  9. #9
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I'll do dilution B, 8 minutes, 18°C for Verichrome Pan from 1960. Fingers crossed!

    Hmm, well I'd love to get something more suitable for the Tech Pan. There's a pretty good darkroom supply shop in KC, MO, and I think they have a small cannister of Diafine. Would that be good for Tech Pan, or the others, or all of it?

    What about the recording film? Exceptionally fogged?
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  10. #10

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    Good Afternoon, Holmburgers,

    I'd be very surprised if you can get anything usable from the 2475. That stuff had grain like boulders; with its high speed, it's probably highly susceptible to fogging. Good luck!

    Konical

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