First time film developing
Old 04-01-2011   #1
PollitowuzHere
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First time film developing

So, I guess I'm finally going to try to develop my own roll of film. Film used will be an expired 35mm roll of Tri-X that's been in the heat, so I'm really not expecting much, just trying to get my feet wet with the whole process. I'm going to be using HC-110 as my developer. My main questions are: using the Massive Devchart as a starting guide, I'm seeing that I can soup it in Dilution E for 8 minutes at 76 degrees Fahrenheit; but I'm wondering, based on research off the internet, can I use dilution H instead and prolong the developing time up to 10 mins? Or is this a mistake? Also, I made a working stock of fixer months ago, does fixer go bad? And lastly, is opening the film can necessary if you leave the film leader out? Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2011   #2
presspass
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I haven't used HC-110 in a couple of years, but I did use it at dilution h and got good results. It can be grainy with TriX, but that's not the point right now. As for fixer, it shouldn't go bad from storage; I use a mixed gallon for about two months and then fix a fresh batch. As for leaving the leader out, that's the old fast way to get film done in a hurry - newspaper deadline stuff. You do stand the risk of scratching it by pulling it back through the felt, but again, this is your first try, so go with what's easiest for you. Good luck.
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Old 04-02-2011   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presspass View Post
I haven't used HC-110 in a couple of years, but I did use it at dilution h and got good results. It can be grainy with TriX, but that's not the point right now. As for fixer, it shouldn't go bad from storage; I use a mixed gallon for about two months and then fix a fresh batch. As for leaving the leader out, that's the old fast way to get film done in a hurry - newspaper deadline stuff. You do stand the risk of scratching it by pulling it back through the felt, but again, this is your first try, so go with what's easiest for you. Good luck.
how many times can i use ilford fixer? approx
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Old 04-02-2011   #4
PollitowuzHere
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So the way I'm thinking of doing it right now will be: 2 minutes of pre-soak (to follow the notes in the dev chart), followed by adding the developer, constant inversions for the first minute and then 4-5 inversions every 30 seconds after, 3 minutes of stop bath (I'll be using tap water), 5 minutes of fixer, and finally another 3 minutes of water for the hypo clear and then 10 minutes of rinsing. Anything wrong with that process?
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Old 04-02-2011   #5
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I've never used Ilford fixer, so I can't say. Kodak rapid fix and Heico fix seem to last a month or so with two to four rolls a week. I use it for six weeks to two months and then mix fresh. There is a solution to test fixer - I think the people who make LFN make it. I've not used it, however.
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Old 04-02-2011   #6
Chris101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PollitowuzHere View Post
So, I guess I'm finally going to try to develop my own roll of film. Film used will be an expired 35mm roll of Tri-X that's been in the heat, so I'm really not expecting much, just trying to get my feet wet with the whole process. I'm going to be using HC-110 as my developer. My main questions are: using the Massive Devchart as a starting guide, I'm seeing that I can soup it in Dilution E for 8 minutes at 76 degrees Fahrenheit; but I'm wondering, based on research off the internet, can I use dilution H instead and prolong the developing time up to 10 mins? Or is this a mistake? Also, I made a working stock of fixer months ago, does fixer go bad? And lastly, is opening the film can necessary if you leave the film leader out? Thanks!
It's your time of course, but using expired, heat damaged film will give you unpredictable results. You won't be able to come to any general conclusions based on how your film comes out. Why not get a fresh roll of 24 exposures (easier to load on the reels too!) and shoot some stuff around the house to learn on. Then you KNOW that it is supposed to come out.

I always use dilution b or h. H is undocumented by Kodak, so I would suggest using one of the standard dilutions and timed before going off into experimental-land. For dilution b, I give it 6.5 minutes at 68F (20C) to get box speed with nice contrast and tight grain. Massive Chart's site has a time/temp nomograph, use it.

Your fixer should be fine, it takes a LONG time to go bad, even at working strength.

If you decide to just pull the film from the canister, do it slowly, as rapid pulling can cause sparks that will show up on your negatives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PollitowuzHere View Post
So the way I'm thinking of doing it right now will be: 2 minutes of pre-soak (to follow the notes in the dev chart), followed by adding the developer, constant inversions for the first minute and then 4-5 inversions every 30 seconds after, 3 minutes of stop bath (I'll be using tap water), 5 minutes of fixer, and finally another 3 minutes of water for the hypo clear and then 10 minutes of rinsing. Anything wrong with that process?
Pre-soaking is good, especially if your developer is at a different temperature than the ambient, room temp. I usually give it less than 2 minutes, but then I'm impatient. You don't say, but be sure to pour out the soak water before adding the developer!

I give the tank exactly 3 inversions every half minute, after the initial 1 min agitation. I include pouring time in the first minute.

I fill the tank twice with tap water and immediately pour it out for a stop. The acidity of the fix solution completely stops the development. Diluting it with tap water only slows it waay down.

5 minutes of fix is good. I use 4 min for fresh fixer, 5 min after a few rolls, and six as the solution nears capacity. I monitor the capacity of the fixer by putting a bit of exposed leader in the solution and timing how long until the silver halide dissolves. When it takes 3 minutes, the fixer is very weak, and should be changed.

It takes just as long to rinse hypoclear from film as it does fixer. Skip that step and wash for 20 minutes in running water, or use the "ilford method" of successive fill-agitate-dump-and-refill, steps.

Hang the film in the shower for an hour (if you are impatient) or until it is flat (overnight.)

Good luck!
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Old 04-03-2011   #7
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I'll agree with Chris101 on two points and disagree on one.

First agreement: yes, using outdated film for your first test is introducing more variables than you need.

Second agreement: with film, hypo clear/wash aid is a complete waste of time and money.

Disagreement: pre-soaks are not encouraged by the majority of film manufacturers: the best they'll say of them is that they are unlikely to do any harm. The main exception is Rollei, but they're not manufacturers.

If you insist on using pre-soaks, then at least be consistent in the time. The swelling of the gelatine from a pre-soak affects the imbibition of the developer, and unless the pre-soak is consistent, you are risking variations in developmemt. This is probably more of a theoretical objection than a real one -- pos/neg development is very forgiving, or a lot of people wouldn't get away with what they do -- but why add any risks if you don't have to?

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Old 04-03-2011   #8
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Originally Posted by smile View Post
how many times can i use ilford fixer? approx
I use Ilford Rapid Fixer diluted 1+4 so for one liter working solution I use 200ml of fixer and 800ml of water. Each one liter patch I use for 10-12 rolls and each T-grain film roll is equivalent to two normal rolls.
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Old 04-03-2011   #9
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You can leave the leader out and I do if I need a few exposures for test purposes. The key to avoid scratches is pull the film out at the same angle it come out inside the camera. Other angles may cause scratching and it has for me.

Just use a can opener for good work. Cut the leader square, turn off lights, open can.
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Old 04-03-2011   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
I'll agree with Chris101 on two points and disagree on one.

...

Disagreement: pre-soaks are not encouraged by the majority of film manufacturers: the best they'll say of them is that they are unlikely to do any harm. The main exception is Rollei, but they're not manufacturers.

...
Hi Roger,

In theory I agree with what you have written. In practice, in my own bathroom, I find that I rarely have a good temperature to develop film. In the winter, I heat my house with space heaters, and in the summer, I keep the ambient temperature near 80F. This variation causes problems with developing the film, and I have found that, by bringing all the solutions to my preferred temperature, and tempering the film, reels and tank to that temperature with a minute long presoak in water at the development temperature results in more consistent development.
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Old 04-03-2011   #11
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I have the same problem as Chris101, really rarely will I have water that is nowhere near to what you could consider good developing temperatura. Well, here are some results from negative, used instead dilution B since I found a way to cool the chemicals down to 68 degrees. Scanned with an Epson V500, sharpening applied using Lightroom.





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Home made Fixer test strips...
Old 04-05-2011   #12
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Home made Fixer test strips...

Take any old piece of B&W film - like the discarded leader - and cut it into strips.

Take one strip and swish it around in some freshly mixed fixer until it clears. Note how much time this takes.

When the clearing time doubles, your fixer should be discarded.

This is a really old rule-of-thumb, but A. Adams suggests it in his book The Negative, and he ought to know.
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Old 04-07-2011   #13
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Wondering, what's the main difference (if any) between developing 120 film and 35mm. I know you need more chemicals and maybe the developing time changes, but other than that, anything I should know? Also, how does one load 120 in a reel?
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