where is the Problem now?
I suggested you a prolonged prewarm or a double prewash and increasing the temp a bit to about 102 °F, if needed.
Than you will be fine.
You see by your own experiments where the benefits are...
To summarize, the largest part of the drop happens during the "development" time. It is the most crucial thing. This is why water bath is usually used, but you can use the averaging technique too if you don't want to mess with water.
Then, the second largest part of the drop is caused by the lack of prewash. Now, there is a difference between rotary and traditional agitation schemes because of the water volume used. You report 0.5 deg C difference between no prewash and one prewash; if this was a rotary process, the water volume would be half of yours and, hence, the drop would be at least 1.0 deg C. And, as you said, you did not have film in there. It could account for another 0.1 or 0.2 deg C. Note that having or not having film does not affect the drop during the development, only the prewash drop.
In a rotary process with minimum amount of chemicals, first prewash step brings the film at about 2 deg C from the aim, and the second one brings it at about 0.2 deg C from the aim (this is an approximation). Logically, third one would be 0.02 deg C off . Anyway, if there is no "second prewash", then the developer will be 0.2 deg C off. With your higher volume of water, this would probably be 0.1 deg C and become meaningless. Nevertheless, it is so easy to just do 2-step prewash that there is no reason to skip it.
However, your problem indeed was mostly in the cooling DURING the processing, and only secondly in the lack of prewash. Fixing those problems, and then adding a second prewash stage is for making the process PERFECT !
All this is enough to explain the contrast difference you can see by your eyes from the negative. But let's not forget that you might still be having the blix problem at the same time. I doubt even a severe underdevelopment by a drift of 2-4 deg C would not cause any significant difference in the Dmin ("mask") color.
Last edited by hrst; 06-18-2012 at 06:58 PM. Click to view previous post history.