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  1. #1

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    Green light and inspection

    Hi

    I want to try to devellop sheets films by inspection, mostly 4 x 5 and some 11 x 14 films.

    I can't find what to buy to do inspection. Is there a specific item I can use for it?

    How do you inspect your films during devellopment?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    This link should be of some help. Best of luck!

    http://michaelandpaula.com/mp/devinsp.html

  3. #3

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    You have to make sure your films can be inspected under a safelight (I would say 90% of films today cannot). I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that only ortho film can be inspected during development.

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    1950s

    I have not done it since the 1950s, but I used a weak green bulb which I kept a few feet away from the film. The idea is you half-develop the film (or, what you think is proper amount of time for half development) and then take the film out of the "soup" and look at it briefly. It will look muddy, like film that has not been fixed properly. The idea is to look for the dark areas in the film, the developed areas. It is a steep learning curve and you have to practice. But you will finally learn how much more development is needed. Or perhaps that you have to stop the development at once, that you have developed it sufficiently already. Or, you may decide you need to put it back in for several minutes or even switch to a more powerful developer because it is very underdeveloped. Good luck. I am putting together a FrankenGraphic (from spare parts) and will hopefully be shooting 4x5 soon, again.

  5. #5
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ww12345 View Post
    You have to make sure your films can be inspected under a safelight (I would say 90% of films today cannot). I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that only ortho film can be inspected during development.
    You can definitely develop most of today's film by inspection using a safelight so long as you follow the proper procedures.

    I have heard some say that it is difficult see TMax 400, I have heard other's say it's no problem as long as you pre-soak and remove the dye... I have not tried it with this specific film.

  6. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ww12345 View Post
    You have to make sure your films can be inspected under a safelight (I would say 90% of films today cannot). I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that only ortho film can be inspected during development.
    This is not correct.

    The common thing to do is to use a very weak light of green color, and only for a very short period of time. Green is the color that the human eye is most sensitive to, which is the reason for using it.
    A standard safelight is used, with a weak bulb, and you inspect the film from about 3-4 feet distance for a few seconds.
    This does technically fog the film, but not enough to make a practical difference.

    After much practice you learn what the film should look like, and you learn to gauge how much more development a negative needs before you pull it and put it in the stop bath.

    Films like TMax 100 are difficult to gauge, because of the incorporated dyes that are used for sensitizing as well as filtering.
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  7. #7

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    Thank you everybody for tips

  8. #8
    richard ide's Avatar
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    Kodak safelight filters for panchromatic materials are either a #3 or a #7B. Both these filters are dark green.
    Richard

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    This is not correct.

    The common thing to do is to use a very weak light of green color, and only for a very short period of time. Green is the color that the human eye is most sensitive to, which is the reason for using it.
    A standard safelight is used, with a weak bulb, and you inspect the film from about 3-4 feet distance for a few seconds.
    This does technically fog the film, but not enough to make a practical difference.

    After much practice you learn what the film should look like, and you learn to gauge how much more development a negative needs before you pull it and put it in the stop bath.

    Films like TMax 100 are difficult to gauge, because of the incorporated dyes that are used for sensitizing as well as filtering.
    I would like to add that not only is the eye most sensitive to green light but that many films have a dip in sensitivity in this region. Even so it is very important not to expose the film to the light until development is at least 50% completed. The self masking of the developed silver is an added safety factor.

    The film should be inspected from the base side and not from the emulsion side. This technique takes a bit of experience to do well. The standard time/temperature method is actually more accurate in most circumstances.

    A film can also be put in a pre-bath containing certain dyes to decrease the sensitivity of thee film allowing the use of a much brighter light.
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  10. #10
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ww12345 View Post
    You have to make sure your films can be inspected under a safelight (I would say 90% of films today cannot). I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that only ortho film can be inspected during development.

    OK, I will correct you. I don't know of a current film which can not be inspected if done correctly. I develop most of my 8x10 and 7x17 films by inspection.
    For orthochromatic films I use a 7 1/2 wat red bulb 5 feet from the tray and leave it on continuously.
    For panchromatic films I use a 7 1/2 watt dark green bulb made for the purpose 5 feet from the tray. Inspections are short, on the order of 2-3 seconds. The first inspection is after the film has developed for 60-65% of the estimated time. It usually takes no more than 3 inspections to get the film where I want it.
    Looking at the emulsion will give false information and the film will be under-developed. The base side must be inspected and one looks first for the highlights.
    Begin by turning off the light for at least 5 minutes prior to beginning development. If this is done, the dim green light will look like a floodlight.
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