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View Poll Results: Do you measure temperature when developing B&W film?
Yes, I always ensure it's exactly 20 deg C/68 deg F 141 58.75%
Yes, but a few degrees here or there is acceptable 86 35.83%
No, never noticed any issues 13 5.42%
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Old 08-22-2016   #81
sevo
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Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post
I live in a place with thermostatically controlled heating and cooling; I assume most here also do.
Thermostatic cooling is barely present in Europe - so far I have not seen it in any private home apart from a presentation tour through a skyscraper full of valeted flats that appeared to be more hotel than home.
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Old 08-22-2016   #82
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This is exactly rght. The temp you use, within limits, isn't so important if you compensate by altering your development times. Higher temps require shorter times. Most developers are designed to perform their best between 65 and 75f. . . . .
"Within limits" is important. Superadditivity (the effect of two or more developing agents combined) may vary, leading to more or less speed, contrast and grain, if you go too far outside those limits. In reality, you can often go quite a lot hotter with modern films (old ones softened and/or reticulated) but not a lot colder.

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Old 08-22-2016   #83
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Thermostatic cooling is barely present in Europe - so far I have not seen it in any private home apart from a presentation tour through a skyscraper full of valeted flats that appeared to be more hotel than home.
Air conditioning surely qualifies? But I agree it's far rarer in Europe than in the USA.

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Old 08-22-2016   #84
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Can we leave physical chemistry and get back to practical chemistry? My tap water temperature varies from about 50 degrees F in winter to about 72 degrees F in summer. Having just finished developing some vacation photos in D76 1:1, I had to cool the solution to 68 degrees F to keep the same times as I use during the rest of the year. This is why I have a thermometer. It takes an extra couple of minutes but the results do seem reproducible.
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Old 09-05-2016   #85
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The rule of thumb that I learned (an approximation of the Arrhenius equation near room temperature) is that reaction rates double for a 10 deg C increase in temperature. So if you develop at 70 deg F instead of at 68 deg F, you'll see about a 10% increase in density.
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Old 09-05-2016   #86
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I grew up in a home without air conditioning. When hot in summertime
I waited until the cool of the evening, or developed in the early morning.

Our freezer had just the two ice cube trays it came with.
Those precious ice cubes were reserved for cold drinks!

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Old 09-06-2016   #87
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Hi,

A water bath for the tanks was what I used, meaning the kitchen sink full of water and controlled with ice or hot water and the developing tanks sitting in it: I was doing slide film so no prints were involved.

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Old 09-06-2016   #88
Erik van Straten
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I voted "yes", but I always develope at 23 degrees Celcius exactly.

Erik.
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Old 09-06-2016   #89
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Temperature is critical, but the question is really framed incorrectly. What I mean by "critical" is that it is a variable that cannot, cannot, be ignored if you want consistent results. This is also true if you are cooking food, by the way. It is THE variable. But more important is the way you control it. Luckily, in the range that we care about the most the relationship between time and temperature is pretty linear. Years ago, Zone VI made a timer with a temperature probe that would shorten or lengthen its "seconds" depending on what happened to your water temp. It was a nifty gadget because you could set it up to account for temperature drift during a developing or printing session. Absent that, a good set of tables, or at least test notes, is vital.

As others have mentioned: the linearity of the time/temperature relationship breaks down when the developer is too hot (you can melt the emulsion -- which is just refined gelatin after all, or have a development time so short that development is uneven because the developer never gets through the emulsion to reach the silver salts it is supposed to "develop"), or if there is too much temerature difference between or among your baths (emulsion can crack or reticulate). I know this because along the way I have probably personally made every dumb mistake that can be made in the film development process. After years, the "smart" part of your brain kicks in and you ask yourself why you would ever allow unintended variables in your process . . . it would be like cooking pancakes with a different heat level every time. Why make things so complicated?

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Old 09-06-2016   #90
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my tap water is 73. I can develop film in half the time that it took in Wisconsin, where my tap water was 65. I don,t notice any difference in the sheets of 4x5 film that i develop. YMMV

Nik
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Old 09-06-2016   #91
Bill Clark
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A lot of variables with photography, that makes the medium interesting to deliver the message. The trick is to establish consistency with the many variables of photography to achieve consistent results.

Temperature is one of the variables. Try to use your solutions at 68 degrees farenheit unless the recipe, like color film developing, calls for something different.

No consistency, then it gets hard, impossible, to figure out the "why" things turn out the way they do.
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Old 09-10-2016   #92
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Temperature is a fundamental factor in chemical reactions like those involved in film development.
I always check solutions temperature before starting, but I don't try to control it, I simply adjust the times to the "natural" temperature of things in my lab.
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Old 09-10-2016   #93
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Same here - I process at ambient temperature and adjust the dilution and time to match. I usually aim for about 8 to 10 minutes to keep the development even.

In August, I can not get the room temperature below 26c even with a 10kw AC plant running at maximum. To add to the fun, the water pipes run up the outside of the building, giving a blast of 60c *cold* water if you are not careful.

In fact I was able to process my last batch of colour film at ambient temperature (Tetenal kit us d at 30c), just by turning off the AC for an hour...
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Old 09-12-2016   #94
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hi, i only develop in room temperature water and i live in the tropics, the water here range from 28.5 to 31C. as a general rule of thumb, i halve the time for 20c development as a starting point. i have not had issues with developing at 30c, except for pqdeveloper where i actually experienced reticulation, which in a way makes the textures interesting, a couple of observations (after developing around 300 - 500 rolls a year for the past few years):

* grains are generally larger at 30c than at 20c
* dev time is generally halved, for normal dev as well as stand development.
* developers used include d76, rodinal and currently xtol.

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Old 10-09-2016   #95
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If your water temp varies where you are you learn ways to heat/cool it at the start of development. I consider it the starting point but also have to factor in Dilution of developer. For a short time there may be a noticeable difference between 5 mins vs 6 mins at a standard solution. However as we dilute our developer and allow for time as a compensating development process time and temp become less relative (within reason) . Size of film may also impact your processing decisions, 4x5 or 6x9 has less grain issues than the same image shot on 35mm. I find I like 70 degrees and will usually use the manufacturers time without factoring , but I also know my shutters have variability, the way I metered the scene may not be consistent, and ultimately the SBR of the image will have more impact than a couple of degrees. You can go crazy trying to perfect this stuff, but what we strive for is an anticipated predictability.
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Old 10-18-2016   #96
Juan Valdenebro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinyljunky View Post
...how important temperature is in B&W developing?
Does everyone measure the temperature for B&W developing?
Has anyone noticed any issues with hotter/colder temperatures?
Do any film/developer combinations need precise measurement?
How important temperature is in B&W developing?
Really important.
Does everyone measure the temperature for B&W developing?
Most photographers. A requirement for best development, and for best wet printing too.
Has anyone noticed any issues with hotter/colder temperatures?
Of course. Most people. I have.
Do any film/developer combinations need precise measurement?
Most of them.

I can't remember one single time my room or water temperature was exactly what I needed... Never in more than 20 years. Developing without a thermometer sounds crazy to me...
But it's easy to do it well: I don't presoak, and just as I pour developer inside the tank and do the first invertions, I place the tank inside a big bowl with water (4-5 liters) at the right temperature (same developer temperature). Depending on weather, I keep at hand a glass with a few ice cubes, or a mug with very hot water...
In the agitation rests, every minute or two I put the thermometer inside the center of the bowl's water, and check... As soon as there's a small change in temperature (less than half a degree), I add a small amount of ice or hot water, stir, and see how precise temperature returns. Fixing and washing are close too.
Cheers,
Juan
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Old 10-20-2016   #97
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It is paramount in achieving consistent results, at least with all conventional developers. If you vary the temperaure then time should be altered to compensate accordingly.
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Old 10-20-2016   #98
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I assume we are talking about B&W. With color film, you'd better stick to the recommended temperatures or you will get color shifts besides other unpleasant results.

For B&W film temperature is important, the reduction reaction of silver halides to metallic silver follows Arrhenius law. But you do not need to stick to 68 F or 20 C; these numbers do not have the magical properties of the numbers 13 or 7.

If you correct your developing time according to the manufacturer's recommendation, you will also get consistency, at least for a few degrees over or below the sacred 20 C.

With temperatures from 18 to 25 C in the developer, the time correction indicated by manufacturers works reasonably well for me. I have been developing my B&W for about 50 years, all types of film, mostly classic emulsions; in Rodinal, D-76, ID-11, Tmax, DDX and Beutler developers.

Over 25 C it may get hairy with some emulsions; below 18 C it gets boring. I remember TMax being recommended at 24 C, for instance. More than 5 C changes between baths are risky.

With most developers and 100 ISO film, time correction for temperature difference to 20 C, for a few degrees each side, is in the order of one minute for each degree centgrade. For instance at 22 C give it 2 minutes less. This is a rough guide; do follow the manufacturer's graph or correction table.

Ice or hot water are useful to achieve initial temperature; afterwards it is best to keep the tank in a water bath at constant temperature. BTW, I use analytical chemistry thermometers, standard issue. Kitchen thermometers may easily have more than 1 C error.
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Old 11-06-2016   #99
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I'm relatively new to developing at home, and film in general to be honest, but I've taken a fairly simple approach to developing; I fill a jug of water and keep subtracting and adding water until it reads 20C on the thermometer. I do this up to 3 times until all my jugs of chemicals are full.
I then process the film using these solutions, not monitoring the temperature through the process. If there's a couple of degrees loss in the developer, my simple mind suggests that the same loss will be made in the stop and fixer, so I feel the total temperature is consistent across the process.
I save 1-2 litres of water at the same temperature and use this for an initial wash, then wash for 5 mins from the taps, adjusting the hot and cold to get it as close to 20C as possible.
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Old 11-26-2016   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayt View Post
The water gets pretty warm here in HK so I use ice to lower the developer to 68F. usually the development time is under 10 minutes so the risk of the temp rising in the tank is minimal. If you use a warmer temperature then you need to compensate with shorter development time. There is a chart you can find online but I find that to be a crude estimate. I tend to stick to 68F for consistency.

Same here, it's 24-25 degrees c out of the tap in Bangkok sometimes so I have to use ice chilled water and find a good balance for keeping it just nicely in the 20 degrees c spot for my developing.
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Old 12-29-2016   #101
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[quote=vinyljunky;1976100]Didn't find any threads on this topic, just curious to know how important temperature is in B&W developing? QUOTE]

It's only important if consistent results are desired. Inconsistent water temperatures are the easiest way to ruin film development.
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Old 02-09-2017   #102
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[quote=Gregm61;2679947]
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinyljunky View Post
Didn't find any threads on this topic, just curious to know how important temperature is in B&W developing? QUOTE]



It's only important if consistent results are desired. Inconsistent water temperatures are the easiest way to ruin film development.
Time and temperature are linked. However, the temperature is not fixed on one number. For reasons known only to Kodak and Agfa, all development regimens are based on 68 F / 20 C and variable time for different films.
There are tables available online that converts the time for different temperatures. Ilford had a good one online. I have not looked in ages. I printed it and put it next to my timer.
Is there an app for that? Time/Temperature table app?
So, piece of cake. Get an accurate thermometer and timer and follow the table.
Wayne


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Old 06-06-2017   #103
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this cannot be a poll... but you can always search for panthermic developers
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Old 07-05-2018   #104
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Tap water is usually above 68f even in a Texas winter.
I have a styrofoam box that fits in my kitchen sink. It will hold enough water to use for presoak, stop, and wash. If I have to adjust the temp of the tap water anyway, it is easy enough to get to 68f. I set my developer in a plastic bottle in the water beforehand. My tank will sit in the water during development. I expend the water at the finish, as wash, so I use about 3 gallons total to develop a 4 reel tank.
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Old 07-05-2018   #105
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Back in the '70's with Tri-X if you went too fast (too hot) you could cause changes in the look of the grain. I seem to remember something about being able to tweak contrast a bit too, but can't speak about specifics. I also remember hearing about differences in chemical product based upon where it was shipped to be sold. There are large tap water differences around the world that could impact results, but they might have addressed this with changes to the formula.

As mentioned before, yes temperature is very important if you want consistent results. It's all part of the chemical equations for film and paper. Sort of like using a CPU with a bad math-co-processor..........

B2 (;->
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Old 07-05-2018   #106
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Reaction rate dependence on temperature is represented by the Arhennius equation. But the general rule of thumb is that reaction rates double for each 10 deg C increase in temperature. So, yes, temperature is important, but +/- a deg C will make little difference.
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Old 07-05-2018   #107
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My darkroom is in the basement. Yearly temperature runs from about 18 to 21. rarely outside that range. I keep water at room temperature, measure, and use the Ilford chart to tweak developing time. I don't own a densitometer.
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Old 07-05-2018   #108
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As long as your temperature ranges are within reason, if you develop consistently, you should be OK. Granted, I have never made any tests to see what temp variables would do to my negs, but I keep a pretty good written record and have that to fall back on.

Obviously, you have to have the temps within the film's tolerance. You couldn't use ice water or steaming hot water, so temperature is certainly important. Again, if you consistently develop for what you got out of the faucet, no problems.

Consistency and keeping some sort of records (for when you may have over exposed a roll, used out dated film, etc) are the keys. For sure you can get too much grain from too much heat, but how much is too much? That's why writing down stuff helps a lot.

Having said all that, I always keep the developer and fixer within 1 or 2 degrees of where it is supposed to be. Stop bath I quit using, and just go w/ a reasonable temp out of the faucet. Same for the 30 minute wash. On the stop bath, I actually did test with stop bath and with plain tap water and saw no difference. The fixer goes off quicker though.
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Old 07-05-2018   #109
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Nothing to worry about so long as you do not mind finding proper contrast by experiment for every roll!!.

Get it right to begin with and it all works.

I have a darkroom book Ilford gave out at some seminar 35 years ago. Time adjustments for deviating from 68 and it works too.
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