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  1. #1

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    Factorial Development

    I hope to begin using factorial development with my newly acquired processmaster to get consistency from print to print. Only thing that confounds me is that the recommended factor is times 6. My image emerges in 40-60secs on foma 123 with Ilford warmtone dev (1+9) at 20 degrees. If I follow a factor of six, my development times are going to be around 6 mins. That doesn't seem right to me. What are your thoughts on this? Cheers

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    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Why complicate what is normally an easy process? I soup mine for around 1.5 minutes to 2.0 minutes depending on image.
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  3. #3

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    Paper is processed to completion, usually within 2 minutes or so. It doesn't matter if you process for 6 minutes or 20 the only change you will see is more base fog. I have used a variation of factorial development in photo chemical product development when I worked for Ilford but can't see how it can help with print dev times. Suggest you keep it simple. Don't snatch your prints out before development is complete. Change your exposure time and contrast to get print to print consistency. Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarvman View Post
    Only thing that confounds me is that the recommended factor is times 6. My image emerges in 40-60secs on foma 123 with Ilford warmtone dev (1+9) at 20 degrees. If I follow a factor of six, my development times are going to be around 6 mins. That doesn't seem right to me.
    I presume you decided on a factor of 6 because your test print took that long to be done properly. If the initial time was 60 seconds and you obtained a factor of 6, then you really don't have any choice, do you?

    I have used Ilford Multigrade (forgot the dilution) on Agfa MCP - and if I recall the timings correctly, I would have obtained a factor of 6 as well. But in my case the initial time is 15 seconds and time to complete development is 90 seconds.

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I've never worked with a paper and developer combination which is that slow (40 - 60 seconds for the image to begin to emerge). I would assume that if I did, each print would need something like six minutes to develop fully, whether I was using factorial development or not.

    Is there something remarkable about this combination?
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  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I don't know about this combination, but it's not so unusual for traditional warmtone developers to have longish development times with older style fiber papers, so I wouldn't rule out a 6 minute development time out of hand without having tested it myself. You could try a more concentrated developer, but that could reduce the warmtone effect.
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  7. #7

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    I always use factorial development with FB paper. It is a very useful technique for controlling the blacks & also for consistency across a long printing session as the dev gets weaker. In Dektol 1:3 I generally get a first emergence around 25 seconds & usually work in factors of 2, 3 or 4 depending on the image. So around the 2 min mark but sometimes 30 secs less.
    Haven't tried that paper & dev combination. What happens if you just dev it for 2 mins? Are the blacks weak?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldie View Post
    I always use factorial development with FB paper. It is a very useful technique for controlling the blacks & also for consistency across a long printing session as the dev gets weaker. In Dektol 1:3 I generally get a first emergence around 25 seconds & usually work in factors of 2, 3 or 4 depending on the image. So around the 2 min mark but sometimes 30 secs less.
    Haven't tried that paper & dev combination. What happens if you just dev it for 2 mins? Are the blacks weak?
    At the moment I've just been developing my FB paper for 3 minutes and the blacks look fine. How exactly do the different factors come into play.

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    This concept always amused/bemused me. At just what point is the emergence point? The 1st point you can see anything appearing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nige View Post
    This concept always amused/bemused me. At just what point is the emergence point? The 1st point you can see anything appearing?
    As long as you are consistent, you select whatever emergence point makes sense to you.

    Many take the time of emergence of the very first tone in the print. Myself, I choose a mid gray tone from a contact print I have made of the negative, and use the time of emergence of that tone as my datum. So my development factor tends to be 3 - 4, depending on developer.

    Why do I choose that point? Well I feel (and this is only my opinion), the longer time it takes for that tone to develop means it is less affected by the initial entry and agitation of the print, and therefore provides a more reliable point to determine factor for full development time from.

    BTW. It is rare that I am using factorial development for consistency in a printing session, as I do not produce print editions. I use it more as an indication of developer exhaustion. If I use a batch of developer enough that the emergence time doubles, I toss the developer and prepare fresh.
    Steve

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