Tutorial How to develop your first B&W film.

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D76 powder - if it makes up a gallon, do you have to make up the gallon all in one go? Or can you just use some of the packet?
Make it all up at once. During transport between the factory and you, the different density ingredients will partially separate out and if you make up a part of the powder there is a very high likelihood that the resulting solution will not have the correct proportions of the several ingredients. You will then be wondering why you cannot get consistent results in your development.
 
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Make it all up at once. During transport between the factory and you, the different density ingredients will partially separate out and if you make up a part of the powder there is a very high likelihood that the resulting solution will not have the correct proportions of the several ingredients. You will then be wondering why you cannot get consistent results in your development.
Great, thanks! (Haven't bought any yet, I guess I need a smaller packet)
 

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Use the whole packet. The contents are a mixture of different chemicals, and you can't be certain that the distribution is even throughout.

That's the conventional answer that always used to be given, and I doubt that the formulation has changed. In practice, it would probably be approximately correct if you split, and it therefore would depend on how approximate you're happy to be.
 

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Just devved a film, in my usual Ilfosol 3. Before starting, I noticed that the made-up fixer appeared to have a lot of black deposit around it, so I discarded it, rinsed out and made up a new batch. When it came to fix time, I noticed there was a film of greyish powder on the top of the new stuff. I thought that would make scanning very difficult, so discarded it again, and this time scrubbed out the fixer pot, getting rid of as much of the black deposit as I could, then made up another new batch. This time it seemed to be OK.

I'm guessing this was silver from the fixer deposited on the pot?
 

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Just devved a film, in my usual Ilfosol 3. Before starting, I noticed that the made-up fixer appeared to have a lot of black deposit around it, so I discarded it, rinsed out and made up a new batch. When it came to fix time, I noticed there was a film of greyish powder on the top of the new stuff. I thought that would make scanning very difficult, so discarded it again, and this time scrubbed out the fixer pot, getting rid of as much of the black deposit as I could, then made up another new batch. This time it seemed to be OK.

I'm guessing this was silver from the fixer deposited on the pot?
More greyish powder on the mixed fixer pot again, and lots of black deposit. The fixer was still working according to a clip test, but I ditched it and scrubbed as before (don't seem able to get all the silver off the sides of the pot, maybe I need to get another pot?). This time there was still some greyish powder on top, but much, much less. I carried on anyway, hope anything got taken out in the 6 washes! It's drying now so I won't know for a day or two when I scan them if there's much crud on the film.
 

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I made a new thread about the Massive Dev Chart Timer app, when I should have asked on here! Lots of folk thing it's a good buy, I'm currently too stingy at £8.99!
 

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So, how are folk coping with tap water at well over 20C? Ice cubes, or reducing dev time? :)
 
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I always keep a 2 litre bottle of tap water in the fridge for drinking, but I could use that to bring the temp down for dev. I keep stop and fix in rectangular Jobo bottles that can sit nicely in the bottle section of the fridge for a few minutes if need be.
 

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Stick it in the fridge, soon brings the temperature down. Or ice cubes in a water bath. Either works just fine you just need to be a little more organised.
 

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Aha! Nail on the head time!!! :D

(I think that's the WHOLE story of my photography right there in those 9 words...)
Sorry Chris
 

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OK, what are your thoughts about Stop baths?

I've seen various comments that they are unnecessary (at all), that water can be used instead of a stop bath, and that using a stop bath affects the contrast of the film (can't quite remember why).

I use Ilfostop, just because I always have. Any thoughts?
 
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The data sheet that comes with some Foma films tell you not to use an acid stop bath as the acid can react with components of the developer within the emulsion and cause little bubbles of CO2 which end up, visually, as white dots on the negative.
I cannot see that a quick rinse with a stop bath is going to affect contrast at all - it might with a twenty minute stop bath but not the one minute or so intended. Acetic acid is a weak acid and is very dilute in the stop bath. That means that any reaction with the silver metal in the image will be very slow.
 
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OK, what are your thoughts about Stop baths?

I've seen various comments that they are unnecessary (at all), that water can be used instead of a stop bath, and that using a stop bath affects the contrast of the film (can't quite remember why).

I use Ilfostop, just because I always have. Any thoughts?
I use Ilfostop and have never had any issues. Note the Ilford datasheet says stop should be used for 10 seconds.
 
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Never bothered. Hypothetically not using a stop bath should reduce contrast (slightly) as the now very dilute developer will keep working to exhaustion until you pour out the first rinse, so heavily exposed parts of the negative will use up the local developer in the water around it and in the emultion and stop whilst the darker less exposed areas will keep developing.

I've tried, and got reasonable results, from pouring out the developer and pouring in water then letting it stand for a few minutes before getting on with the rinse. It theoretically effects local microcontrast.
 

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The data sheet that comes with some Foma films tell you not to use an acid stop bath as the acid can react with components of the developer within the emulsion and cause little bubbles of CO2 which end up, visually, as white dots on the negative.
I cannot see that a quick rinse with a stop bath is going to affect contrast at all - it might with a twenty minute stop bath but not the one minute or so intended. Acetic acid is a weak acid and is very dilute in the stop bath. That means that any reaction with the silver metal in the image will be very slow.
Interesting about Foma, I've never devved it but was thinking of getting some when my Chroma arrives (for comparison purposes).

I think the effect on contrast might have been related to what @steveo_mcg suggests, but old posts in AP suggest the other way round. Yes, the stop bath does stop the development immediately as it doesn't work in an acidic environment. Using water for stop just dilutes the developer, which carries on working to a lesser extent:

"As far as developing times go, once you pass a certain minimum time, the shadows in a negative don't gain any extra density; it's the highlights and midtones that get darker. This translates to increased contrast. If you have access to an older edition of Michael Langford's "Advanced Photography" (I think it's that book) there is a very interesting set of negatives iluustrating this point. This was cut from the current edition..."
Read more at http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forums/threads/stop-bath.23885/#R7e2yGc3BKXEiEHY.99

The other thing O noticed when reading around was that they weren't just talking about adding a bit of water, they seemed to suggest lots of agitation, or multiple washes using the Ilford method.

BTW several commenters I found suggested that the stop bath improved reproducibility. But I suspect this was mainly about prints.
 

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Interesting about Foma, I've never devved it but was thinking of getting some when my Chroma arrives (for comparison purposes).

I think the effect on contrast might have been related to what @steveo_mcg suggests, but old posts in AP suggest the other way round. Yes, the stop bath does stop the development immediately as it doesn't work in an acidic environment. Using water for stop just dilutes the developer, which carries on working to a lesser extent:

"As far as developing times go, once you pass a certain minimum time, the shadows in a negative don't gain any extra density; it's the highlights and midtones that get darker. This translates to increased contrast. If you have access to an older edition of Michael Langford's "Advanced Photography" (I think it's that book) there is a very interesting set of negatives iluustrating this point. This was cut from the current edition..."
Read more at http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forums/threads/stop-bath.23885/#R7e2yGc3BKXEiEHY.99

The other thing O noticed when reading around was that they weren't just talking about adding a bit of water, they seemed to suggest lots of agitation, or multiple washes using the Ilford method.

BTW several commenters I found suggested that the stop bath improved reproducibility. But I suspect this was mainly about prints.
Oddly enough - I just checked - that's my post :D

For the curious - "pilliwinks" sounds amusing and even "fluffy" but if you'll pardon an oxymoron, they are thumbscrews for the fingers... Don't ask why I chose this name.
 

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I do use a stop bath, mainly because I always have. In the old days, I made up my own from glacial acetic acid; nowadays I use one with an indicator. I've seen the comments (first came across them in one of the Anchell/Troup books) re bubbles. I have half wondered about converting to either an all acid or all alkaline environment, but inertia keeps me with Rodinal and Ilfofix (because it's easy to buy locally). I do use an acetic acid based stop rather than an citric acid one for preference.
 
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I think the effect on contrast might have been related to what @steveo_mcg suggests, but old posts in AP suggest the other way round. Yes, the stop bath does stop the development immediately as it doesn't work in an acidic environment. Using water for stop just dilutes the developer, which carries on working to a lesser extent:

"As far as developing times go, once you pass a certain minimum time, the shadows in a negative don't gain any extra density; it's the highlights and midtones that get darker. This translates to increased contrast. If you have access to an older edition of Michael Langford's "Advanced Photography" (I think it's that book) there is a very interesting set of negatives iluustrating this point. This was cut from the current edition..."
Yes, increasing development time increases contrast. If you wish to be nerdy about film development, Ilford's Manual of Photography has much detail.
 
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I use citric acid - bought about a kilo of powder for not much from eBay and mix one teasponfull in water. I did once get a problem with holes in the negatives, which might have been with Fomapan, and I reduced the amount of citric acid after that experience.
 
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How to unlearn the things you know for definite. :rolleyes:

Since Fujilove mentioned the data sheet in post #455, I've had a look at it and it can be found here: https://www.ilfordphoto.com/amfile/file/download/file_id/2046/product_id/669/ The big one for me is that the stop bath only lasts 7 days at working strength, yet I use it for months on end on the understanding that it will change colour when it is exhausted. Looks like I'm really using some kind of water -type strength liquid instead then. :thinking:
 

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How to unlearn the things you know for definite. :rolleyes:

Since Fujilove mentioned the data sheet in post #455, I've had a look at it and it can be found here: https://www.ilfordphoto.com/amfile/file/download/file_id/2046/product_id/669/ The big one for me is that the stop bath only lasts 7 days at working strength, yet I use it for months on end on the understanding that it will change colour when it is exhausted. Looks like I'm really using some kind of water -type strength liquid instead then. :thinking:
Are you using a citric acid based stop (in other words, is it odourless)? I use acetic acid based stop baths because of the limited life of the citric variety.
 
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Are you using a citric acid based stop (in other words, is it odourless)? I use acetic acid based stop baths because of the limited life of the citric variety.
Yes, I'm using Ilfostop which is citric acid. I pretty much use Ilford chemicals as standard, although occasionally diversifying on "better" developers. :rolleyes:
 

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Oddly enough - I just checked - that's my post :D

For the curious - "pilliwinks" sounds amusing and even "fluffy" but if you'll pardon an oxymoron, they are thumbscrews for the fingers... Don't ask why I chose this name.
When I read the AP post, I thought: a guy who makes reference to books rather than 'tinternet, wonder if that's @StephenM !
 
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How to unlearn the things you know for definite. :rolleyes:

Since Fujilove mentioned the data sheet in post #455, I've had a look at it and it can be found here: https://www.ilfordphoto.com/amfile/file/download/file_id/2046/product_id/669/ The big one for me is that the stop bath only lasts 7 days at working strength, yet I use it for months on end on the understanding that it will change colour when it is exhausted. Looks like I'm really using some kind of water -type strength liquid instead then. :thinking:
That datasheet is confusing because it’s says, “ILFOSTOP contains an indicator dye that is pH sensitive and changes colour from yellow to purple as the stop bath becomes exhausted.”...but it also says it lasts only 7 days, which suggests it should be changing colour by then, which isn’t the case. Mine usually lasts two or three months, unless I process a ton of film. I wonder whether they mean it remains in exactly the same state for around a week, then becomes gradually weaker. When it turns purple it’s completely exhausted?

Or maybe they just want us to buy more chemicals than we really need?

Surely not?! ;)
 

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That datasheet is confusing because it’s says, “ILFOSTOP contains an indicator dye that is pH sensitive and changes colour from yellow to purple as the stop bath becomes exhausted.”...but it also says it lasts only 7 days, which suggests it should be changing colour by then, which isn’t the case. Mine usually lasts two or three months, unless I process a ton of film. I wonder whether they mean it remains in exactly the same state for around a week, then becomes gradually weaker. When it turns purple it’s completely exhausted?

Or maybe they just want us to buy more chemicals than we really need?

Surely not?! ;)
Interesting! Anyone got any litmus paper to test the pH of month-old IlfoStop?
 

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It wasn't clear to me that the working life referred to the indicator rather than the stop as a whole; but then I'm coloured by my own experience of citric acid stop baths forming mould round the rim of a deep tank, which doesn't happen with acetic acid (lemons go mouldy; pickled onions don't (or don't hang around long enough to!)).
 

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I've been using Ilfosol 3, and I'm pretty near the end of my second bottle. It's full near to the brim with marbles, but obviously a fair amount of developer still in there. The last film (Tri-X) I developed (with several candidate shots for this month's FPOTY :( ) seems to be very thin-looking, and the scans have turned out pretty gritty; skin tones in particular are dire. Is this likely to be a symptom of exhausted developer (or getting that way)?
 

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On a related note, I've been thinking of trying HC110, which I know @simon ess uses to great effect. I believe the general idea for longevity is to keep the syrup at full strength, and use a measuring syringe to extract the desired quantity (that would be 6 ml for dilution B for the 200 ml of solution required for my Rondinax tank). Thinking about this, how do you manage to use such a syringe as the bottle (1 litre I believe) gets more empty? Do you have to pour some out, extract the measured amount, then pour the leftover back in?
 
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You need a stopper with a small hole. My Rodinol bottle comes fitted with such a stopper. I push the syringe into the hole, turn the bottle upside-down and pull the plunger on the syringe to the required amount.
 

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My 20mm syringe reaches very nearly to the bottom of the concertina type bottle thing I keep the dev in.

Just the last few uses need to be poured out and syringed from another small container.
 

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You need a stopper with a small hole. My Rodinol bottle comes fitted with such a stopper. I push the syringe into the hole, turn the bottle upside-down and pull the plunger on the syringe to the required amount.
Then you have another cap to go over the stopper?
 

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how do you manage to use such a syringe as the bottle (1 litre I believe) gets more empty
I never have used a syringe.
The concentrated solution is quite thick ( viscous i think is the word) so I use a tiny teaspoon,( or is it known as an egg spoon, i dunno) but either way a level measure is 3ml.
Perhaps less accurate than a syringe method but I've never had need to be so precise with the "B solution" measurements and my negs have developed just fine.
 

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I've just looked at the Massive Dev Chart, and the times for HC 110 dilution B are a bit weird. Tri-X at 400 has two sets of times: 7.5 minutes, and 4.5-6 minutes, both at 20 C! FP4+ at 125 is shown as 7-9 minutes, also at 20 C. Where do you go from there?
 

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I've just looked at the Massive Dev Chart, and the times for HC 110 dilution B are a bit weird. Tri-X at 400 has two sets of times: 7.5 minutes, and 4.5-6 minutes, both at 20 C! FP4+ at 125 is shown as 7-9 minutes, also at 20 C. Where do you go from there?
Experiment!

Let's be honest, the figures listed in the chart or anywhere else are not obligatory...they are simply guidelines.

It's up to us as individuals to play around with times, solutions, temperatures and agitaion to find our personal preferences based on the final results ( not unlike experimenting with exposure!)…..It's all part of the fun of home developing.;)
 
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I've just looked at the Massive Dev Chart, and the times for HC 110 dilution B are a bit weird. Tri-X at 400 has two sets of times: 7.5 minutes, and 4.5-6 minutes, both at 20 C! FP4+ at 125 is shown as 7-9 minutes, also at 20 C. Where do you go from there?
FWIW, I dev Tri-X for 6.5 mins.

I used some FP4 some time ago. I seem to remember I did it for 7 mins
 

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So, I've bought my first Paterson System 4 tank off the evil bay. It's unboxed, so no instructions. There's a tank with a lid, under that a funnel, and under that a vertical tube that fits into a thingy on the bottom.

How the heck do I use it? (Ignore the spool, this is for tacos!)

Thanks in advance...
 
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