I process at 20C. My water comes out of the tap at 25 or more in the summer. I simply use ice to cool down the solutions. It's not a big deal with practice. The key is having a bucket of ice water that you can use; that way you never have to sit and stir and wait for ice cubes to melt to bring your temperature down; you can just instantly mix up the ice water+tap water to whatever temperature you need. This is commonly done in chemistry labs and they always have crushed ice machines just for this purpose. I progressively increase my stop and fix temperatures a couple degrees so that I can use tap-temperature water to wash with.
1) Work in a temperature controlled environment (some kind of air conditioning). I often warm (winter) or cool (summer) my work area to "room temperature" (20 C) by booting up the space (lab) at least a day or so before working, depending on ambient temperatures. This will bring chemicals and mixing water to proper working temperatures and help to ameliorate external temperatures of plumbing. Also consider that many electrical darkroom appliances (like an enlarger) are optimized to work most effectively at 20 C.
Originally Posted by pierods
2) A temperature regulating water panel device. Sure, the Intellifaucets are great, but cheaper solutions are both available and sufficient for black and white work.
Other temperatures were developed to work in extreme environments. Sure, they work, but –
Originally Posted by Christopher Colley
3) Consistency = Consistently Good Results
How far off is your water temp out of faucet?
How far off is your room temp where you store chems and process your film?
I usually cool my developer with ice water in about a gallon of ice water bath, or if I am doing 1:1 concentration, mix dev with cooler water first to bring it to the right temp. Then shorten processing time by about 5% to account for temp rise during the dev cycle.
Rest of my chems can be few degrees higher and I usually don't bother adjusting them. Wash water can be little high too, but I don't bother either.
It is my understanding that having abrupt temp change DOWN may cause issues. Extreme high temp will also cause problems. But, some change upwards will be ok and so far, after about 100 films, I have no issues that can be explained by these temp changes.
This, of course, is all B&W negs, mostly Tmax, Plus-X, and Tri-X.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Originally Posted by ROL
do you have any reason to believe that using the ilford temperature conversion chart produces inconsistent results?
"Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image."
I do my work in the basement of our house (only B&W). I keep all of my chemicals and gallon jugs of distilled and tap water down there so they're all always at the same temperature. I use distilled water for mixing developer and Photo-Flo, and tap water for rinsing. Over the course of a year, my ambient temps will vary from about 60 degrees to 76 degrees. The only time I have to bump up the temps with a water bath is in the dead of winter, and then only for the developer. I just use the Ilford time/temp charts linked to above.
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I use an ice chest filled with water as a tempering tank. I use an ice substitute to cool the ice chest. They sell water chiller for faucets, but they're very expensive. An alternative is to process your film at a higher temperature with shorter time. But no matter what you do, don't have your developer cooler than your stop. This can reticulate your film.
I've been using PMK since it came out in the early 1990's, in winter at 70F and summer at 80F. If my tap water here in New Mexico gets warmer than 80F, I either get some ice or wait a couple of days until it cools off. It depends on how hot I am for the negatives. Priting happens in the winter.
There is no such thing as taking too much time, because your soul is in that picture. -Ruth Bernhard
I love PMK Pyro. It does work well at 80 degrees. It's a pit temperamental though. From my experience, it requires much more agitation than most developers. I heard Gordon Hutchings talk about it during the late 80's about PMK at a CSU Sacramento photo lecture.
Flow rates can be as low as 0.25-5.00 gal/min (0.95-18.9 liters/min). This is the standard rate on the D250, and is an option on the K250. I have this option installed on my K250 and the outflow is just like a normal faucet.
Originally Posted by pierods
The recommended installation is to wall mount the unit. But I don't see why one couldn't mount it to a small, movable frame and use flexible water hoses instead of rigid pipes. However, one consideration might be that these units are very heavy. They are a throwback to the days when products were precision designed and manufactured to last longer than the person who purchased them.
Many posters will discount the need for this level of expense and precision when processing black-and-white film. But I note you also specified "automatic" in your original question. As noted by others, provided your ambient cold water temperatures are below 68F/20C to begin with*, it doesn't get any more automatic - or precise - than an Intellifaucet.
For example, I sometimes hanger-process 8x10 sheets of black-and-white in a series of four one-gallon stainless steel tanks held inside a large stainless steel water jacket enclosure. It's one of those Arkay units.
On cold days the outer tank can lose heat to the environment pretty quickly. But I can easily counteract this small loss by setting the Intellifaucet to, say, 68.2F/20.1C and watch the jacket water temperature move back up to exactly 68F/20C.
In fact, I seem to recall that either one or two Intellifaucets were installed on each Kodak K-Lab Kodachrome processing machine before they were discontinued.
Is this level of precision absolutely necessary for black-and-white? Of course not. Could it be useful for home processed color? In my case with large format and all of that stainless, maybe so.
But the convenience factor is undeniable. I've had darkrooms in the past in hot climates with cold water temps of 84F/29C, so I know what a pain manual water tempering can be.
* Before committing to the purchase, I charted my maximum cold water temperatures for a full 12-month cycle, just to see how many months they might go over 68F/20C. Turned out that my highest yearly measurement was 66.9F/19.4C on August 11. Subsequent testing showed the unit will work perfectly at that tiny temperature differential, even at the lowest possible flow rate.
"They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."
—Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs
You don't say which developer you use, but Kodak a few years ago raised their recommended temperature to 75 F (24 C) for their BW developers. Would that be easier for you to maintain.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery