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  1. #1

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    Agitation during development of 5x4 sheet film

    I've shot some sheet of 5x4 FP4 film and developed them in Rodinal (1+50) for 15 minutes at 20C. The guidlines I;ve seen talk about agitation every minute or so, I've used a Jobo drum on a rotator that constantly reverses the movement every minute or so. Does anyone have any guidelines about this? Should I develop for less time as the agitation regime is more often. Maybe I should try some test sheets to determine the standard development times with my set up.

    As you can tell, I'm new to this area.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    With a Jobo you'd have to use processing times/recommendations for continuous agitation. Ilford has instructions for their films, but I don't remember if they give any times with Rodinal (probably not). So you'd have to experiment. Continuous agitation means less developing time than if you are developing with perdiodic agitation.

  3. #3
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I've found that using 85% of the recommended developing time is a good starting place for continuous agitation. Example, if normal developing time is 10 minutes, use 8.5 minutes for continuous agitation.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  4. #4
    vyshemirsky's Avatar
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    The only way to find ideal time for you is to run some tests. It takes 6 sheets and a day of work, but you will KNOW your time for sure.
    I've done it last year and I never regretted it. See "Film Test Procedure" at Ralph's site: http://www.darkroomagic.com/DarkroomMagic/Darkroom.html

  5. #5

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    Rodinal is not recommended for continuous agitation. However I have tried it and it seemed to work. I normally used it 1:50, agitation 10 sec per 60.

    Best thing to do is tray develop one sheet and and one sheet in the JObo of the same subject. If you compensate times, you can get them to match. Then compare details such as edge effects and midtone contrast.

  6. #6

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    I use Rodinal with continuous but very gentle agitation to develop 5x4 sheet film. No problems! I used to use a divided tray but now use a Paterson Orbital without the motor, i.e. agitated by hand.
    For Adox CHS 100 my time for normal development is 10 minutes with a dilution of 1+30 (total amount 10 +300mls)

    Alan

  7. #7
    Usagi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanC View Post
    I use Rodinal with continuous but very gentle agitation to develop 5x4 sheet film. No problems! I used to use a divided tray but now use a Paterson Orbital without the motor, i.e. agitated by hand.
    For Adox CHS 100 my time for normal development is 10 minutes with a dilution of 1+30 (total amount 10 +300mls)

    Alan
    As an Orbital user, I am really interested how you do agitation. Which kind of pattern and how often.
    I have abandoned the motorized base and now I use Orbital like a slosher, rocking it from each side. Doing two full series of rocking in the beginning of each minute. The one serie is: raise from nearest side, then left, then back, then right.

    Usually this gives a good negatives, but sometimes there's a little more density on the edges.
    I don't know if it's caused my agitation pattern, speed or something else. I too use 300 ml.

  8. #8

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    A great set of very helpful comments, many thanks.
    I'll definately check out the Darkroom Magic link to understand the techniques to get some repeatability.
    Ebony 45SU 5x4 sheet film (and digital)
    www.zone-xi.com

  9. #9
    JohnMilleker's Avatar
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    I've always run with guidelines the same as Rick - 15% off normal hand agitation times.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Usagi View Post
    As an Orbital user, I am really interested how you do agitation. Which kind of pattern and how often.
    I have abandoned the motorized base and now I use Orbital like a slosher, rocking it from each side. Doing two full series of rocking in the beginning of each minute. The one serie is: raise from nearest side, then left, then back, then right.

    Usually this gives a good negatives, but sometimes there's a little more density on the edges.
    I don't know if it's caused my agitation pattern, speed or something else. I too use 300 ml.
    I usually rotate it slowly for about 15s one way, then 15s in the reverse direction and so on, on its "rotation" base. Whether using Rodinal (1+50) or more recently PC-TEA (1+50), I always get nice, evenly developed negatives. I try to keep the solution around the 200ml mark.

    I do lose a bit of film speed with the continuous agitation, so whereas I would shoot (say) Foma 100 at box speed in 120 format, I'll shoot it at 50 or 64 in sheet film format when developed in the Orbital.

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