Tutorial How to develop your first B&W film.

Asha

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How the heck do I use it?
First of all never forget to install the vertical tube . If you do then light can and probably will enter and fog you film….I know from experience!!!:(


So IN THE DARK with the tube in place, insert your tacos into the tank.

Fit the funnel ensuring that it firmly clicks into place and wont fall of when the tank is inverted.

attach lid ( optional)


Remove from changing bag, tent, darkroom, bed covers or whatever:p

Insert chems into funnel ( I usually prewash my film but not everone does).

Attach lid.

agitate as required.

Empty chems at each stage and replace with next ...ie, dev, stop, fix; wash.

Remove lid, funnel and tacos.

Jump with joy or curse the air blue depending upon the results! :ROFLMAO:

Rinse all parts of tank thoroughly, leave to dry then store as you wish.

Voila:)
 

Asha

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Just to add, I would suggest having a play with the "wet" process without film or perhaps with a sheet if you have a duff ne ( alternatively sacrifice a sheet), before going live with it all so as to avoid being "blind" as it were when you do it with important frames.;)
 

StephenM

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Hopefully, this supplies enough info. Basically, just make sure that the vertical tube (which forms part of the light sealing) is in place before screwing down the lid.
 

StephenM

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And taking encouragement from the quote in my signature - I failed to notice that there was another page to this thread until after posting Asha's posts miraculously became visible.
 

Asha

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And taking encouragement from the quote in my signature - I failed to notice that there was another page to this thread until after posting Asha's posts miraculously became visible.
:ROFLMAO:
Perhaps you had inability to notice this evening but at least you only have the one fault…….I lack technique as well:D
 
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Thanks @Asha. The extra step @StephenM's instructions provided was to lock the funnel; I couldn't see how you could do inversions as it was (without knowing this).

The Paterson instructions talk about an agitator; I don't have one of these. Is it necessary, or can other agitation techniques be used?
 

Asha

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The Paterson instructions talk about an agitator; I don't have one of these. Is it necessary, or can other agitation techniques be used?
The supplied agitator ( of which I have non as the cats have hidden them as their toys!!), allow you to 'spin' the center column / tube so of course spin the spools when installed.
The idea is to disperse air bubbles but tbh if you gently tap the tank on a surface a couple of times after agitation it does the same job, besides spinning the center column in your case with tacos installed in the tank would be futile anyway!
 
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It looks like I might need 800 ml of chems to make sure that a 4x5 taco is completely covered. It's possible that 750 ml would do. At 800 ml the chems are about an inch or so deep in the funnel of the Paterson System 4 2-reel tank. Does that seem about right?
 

Asha

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It looks like I might need 800 ml of chems to make sure that a 4x5 taco is completely covered. It's possible that 750 ml would do. At 800 ml the chems are about an inch or so deep in the funnel of the Paterson System 4 2-reel tank. Does that seem about right?
You don't have to have an inch of soup in the funnel ( it won't hurt if you do;))
If the tacos measure 4 inches from the base of tank to their upper edge then the soup needs to be just a tad over that height ( to ensure they are submerged in solution) but it's not worth skimping on maybe an additional 50 or 100ml to ensure that the complete surface of the film is developed correctly
 
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It looks like I might need 800 ml of chems to make sure that a 4x5 taco is completely covered. It's possible that 750 ml would do. At 800 ml the chems are about an inch or so deep in the funnel of the Paterson System 4 2-reel tank. Does that seem about right?
If you are agitating by inverting the tank, make sure that there is enough of an air gap above the developer as it is the air moving through the developer that does the agitating.
 
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You don't have to have an inch of soup in the funnel ( it won't hurt if you do;))
If the tacos measure 4 inches from the base of tank to their upper edge then the soup needs to be just a tad over that height ( to ensure they are submerged in solution) but it's not worth skimping on maybe an additional 50 or 100ml to ensure that the complete surface of the film is developed correctly
I made a taco with some blank film someone gave me, put it in the tank and added water until it was just above the taco (it floated, so checked by pushing it down), then put the funnel back to see how high it came up, then poured it out into a measuring jug. (I hadn't expected the coloured result, presumably an anti-halation layer that had not been removed.)

If you are agitating by inverting the tank, make sure that there is enough of an air gap above the developer as it is the air moving through the developer that does the agitating.
Well there was still an inch or more above the water level visible in the funnel, so presumably a similar (maybe slightly smaller) depth of air invisible under the funnel...

What sort of agitation regime should I use?
 
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Today will be my first go at Tri-X (400, shot at 400) with HC-110. I've just checked the Massive Dev Chart (web version), and it has two entries for dilution B (1+31), both at 20C. the first says 7:30, but the notes say it was a previous version of the film, so presumably ignore that. The second entry says 4:30 - 6 minutes! That's quite a range... I've not come across this sort of thing before. Any hints as to how to deal with it? I know @simon ess uses HC 110...

I'll only be using 200 ml of chems, so in order to get 6 ml of concentrate, I'll need to stick with dilution B... (dilution H, 1+63, has a time of 9 minutes at 20).
 

simon ess

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I use dilution B, 6 1/2 mins at 20 deg.
 
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I use dilution B, 6 1/2 mins at 20 deg.
For some reason I used HC 110 B for 5:30, which several sources seemed to suggest. The first time I tried I used 9 ml of concentrate because I'd somehow got it into my head that the Rondinax used 300 ml rather than 200! This time I used 6.2 ml as recommended. The negatives look reasonably dense, except for those inside a church which are under-exposed. It'll flatten overnight and I'll see soon if they scan OK.

There's one odd thing about this film. About the first 30 frames have a narrow dark bar at both edges of the film (outside the perforations, so outside the image area). After that the edges are clear as one would normally expect. Obviously it won't affect my images, but anyone any idea what caused it? (Just in case it's a hint of some emerging problem.)
 
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For some reason I used HC 110 B for 5:30, which several sources seemed to suggest.
D'oh, Chris: 5:30 is roughly 85% of 6:30; 85% is the reduction factor for continuously agitated systems like the Rondinax, or I suppose the Jobo etc!
 
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Somewhere I saw a reference that there were floating bits in a bottle of Ilford Rapid Fixer. I've noticed floating bits the last few times I've mixed fixer. Is it likely to have gon off in some way? It seems to have fixed the film, but the floating bits are potentially a problem scanning.

Also, I mixed a large quantity of fixer for my 4x5 dev session; it has only been used once, stored in a new 1 litre pot. When I got it out for a 135 dev session, the pot was coated in bacl (presumably deposited silver salts). Is this normal?
 

Andysnap

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I also had some floaters in my blix, I wonder whether it is the cold weather. My kitchen has no heating so overnight it gets very cold in there. It didn't seem to affect the development and I gave the negs a good 10 minutes washing just to make sure.
 
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Somewhere I saw a reference that there were floating bits in a bottle of Ilford Rapid Fixer. I've noticed floating bits the last few times I've mixed fixer. Is it likely to have gon off in some way? It seems to have fixed the film, but the floating bits are potentially a problem scanning.

Also, I mixed a large quantity of fixer for my 4x5 dev session; it has only been used once, stored in a new 1 litre pot. When I got it out for a 135 dev session, the pot was coated in bacl (presumably deposited silver salts). Is this normal?
I also had some floaters in my blix, I wonder whether it is the cold weather. My kitchen has no heating so overnight it gets very cold in there. It didn't seem to affect the development and I gave the negs a good 10 minutes washing just to make sure.
Thiosulphate in diluted fixer oxidizes over time (even in concentrate) and throws off a sulphur (yellow) precipitate - you can filter this off but the fixer has less and less thiosulphate to do the fixing and to keep the silver in solution so you get a black/silver coating on bottle too. Even if you do fikter off you would be best to check clearing time to make sure fixing is good enough.

One drop of fixer on a cut off bit of film leader and leave it till you get a clear spot. Then with eye on clock put leader in a sample of the fixer and time how long it takes till spot and film look the same. That is clearing time. Fix for twice clearing time.

For paper fixer can use a similar test with a bit of film with a twist - test clearing time when fresh and write on bottle - then fix paper for time recommended and not exceeding area limit. If you want to store and use for another batch of prints then note area used and test clearing time again when you want to use it. If it is over twice original time then ditch it and start fresh. Though if you want truly archival prints this is not recommended. YMMV
 
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Thiosulphate in diluted fixer oxidizes over time (even in concentrate) and throws off a sulphur (yellow) precipitate - you can filter this off but the fixer has less and less thiosulphate to do the fixing and to keep the silver in solution so you get a black/silver coating on bottle too. Even if you do fikter off you would be best to check clearing time to make sure fixing is good enough.

One drop of fixer on a cut off bit of film leader and leave it till you get a clear spot. Then with eye on clock put leader in a sample of the fixer and time how long it takes till spot and film look the same. That is clearing time. Fix for twice clearing time.

For paper fixer can use a similar test with a bit of film with a twist - test clearing time when fresh and write on bottle - then fix paper for time recommended and not exceeding area limit. If you want to store and use for another batch of prints then note area used and test clearing time again when you want to use it. If it is over twice original time then ditch it and start fresh. Though if you want truly archival prints this is not recommended. YMMV
Thanks David. These floaters were in freshly mixed fixer, rather than diluted. However, I've just checked, and I think I bought my old bottle of Rapid Fixer in August... 2015! I bought a new bottle today, from Camerabase in Edinburgh (£10.99 for a litre, over the counter, a good price I think... 500 ml of Ilfosol 3 for £7.99, too!).
 
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I bought a new bottle today, from Camerabase in Edinburgh (£10.99 for a litre, over the counter, a good price I think... 500 ml of Ilfosol 3 for £7.99, too!).
Buying chemicals over the counter? Now that really is a nostalgia trip for me here in the Highlands. I used to get Jessops stuff from a Chemist in Nairn before Jessops opened their own shop in Inverness. The guy in Nairn used to give a 10% discount on the Jessop price as he said there was quite a high profit margin, but never got any discount in the Jessops shop. Happy days!(y)

PS: and don't even think about asking in Jessops nowadays for anything film related. They even stopped sending film away to get processed several years ago.:(
 
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So, next time you're in Edinburgh, @Peter B !
Well, as I visit my sister in Glasgow a couple of times a year, you've managed to activate my brain to remember the Calumet depot on Glasgow, now trading as Wex. Their chemical prices seem very keen, to such an extent that I'm wondering whether VAT will be added at the checkout as was the Calumet way. Even better than that, they deliver free on orders over £50 including the Highlands, since they use the nationwide Royal Mail and Parcelforce service. :D

Chemical prices out of interest https://www.wexphotovideo.com/darkroom-chemicals/
 
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Thanks David. These floaters were in freshly mixed fixer, rather than diluted. However, I've just checked, and I think I bought my old bottle of Rapid Fixer in August... 2015! I bought a new bottle today, from Camerabase in Edinburgh (£10.99 for a litre, over the counter, a good price I think... 500 ml of Ilfosol 3 for £7.99, too!).
Just heard back from Ilford on twitter, reminding me that...

"Full, unopened bottles of ILFORD RAPID FIXER concentrate stored in cool conditions, 5–20 C (41–68 F), will keep for two years. Once opened use completely within six months and keep all bottles tightly sealed until used."

So I should definitely junk that old bottle, and it looks like I should have bought the smaller 500 ml bottle! :(
 
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Well, as I visit my sister in Glasgow a couple of times a year, you've managed to activate my brain to remember the Calumet depot on Glasgow, now trading as Wex. Their chemical prices seem very keen, to such an extent that I'm wondering whether VAT will be added at the checkout as was the Calumet way. Even better than that, they deliver free on orders over £50 including the Highlands, since they use the nationwide Royal Mail and Parcelforce service. :D

Chemical prices out of interest https://www.wexphotovideo.com/darkroom-chemicals/
Those are good prices, Peter. A lot of t'internet prices were over £12 plus postage for a litre, Wex at £9.99 is pretty darn good!

Might be worth pre-ordering though; Calumet Edinburgh used to have a limited range of film stuff, but you could order something into store for nowt. Although since they used to have the best price for Tri-X by far (my favourite film), it was easy for me to make £50 for free postage!
 
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Today will be my first go at Tri-X (400, shot at 400) with HC-110. I've just checked the Massive Dev Chart (web version), and it has two entries for dilution B (1+31), both at 20C. the first says 7:30, but the notes say it was a previous version of the film, so presumably ignore that. The second entry says 4:30 - 6 minutes! That's quite a range... I've not come across this sort of thing before. Any hints as to how to deal with it? I know @simon ess uses HC 110...
I use dilution B, 6 1/2 mins at 20 deg.
I just happened to be looking up the HC 110 data sheet (trying unsuccessfully to find where this assertion that you need at least 6 ml per film comes from), and I noticed the development times for Tri-X roll film (400TX). At 20 C it says 3 3/4 minutes for Dilution B! The same figure appears in the Tri-X Data Sheet, although that also has a comment: "With agitation at 30-second intervals. Development times shorter than 5 minutes may produce unsatisfactory results". The Tri-X sheet gives a time of 6 minutes for a 2-stop push (rated at 1600)!

So I'm very confused given that all the times from MDC, and Simon's times, are much longer than Kodak recommends! (And I should say, I really like Simon's results, although my own last dev of Tri-X in HC 110 B had massive grain...)

Luckily, the film I've just finished and next to be devved is FP4, so I've some time to get my head straight on this one!
 

simon ess

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The 3 minute time is widely known to be completely wrong. Ignore it.
 
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I've just found a different Filmdev (https://filmdev.org) that looks interesting. "FilmDev is a free website for sharing film developing recipes & dev times. It works by linking recipes to photos on Flickr so you can easily see the development results."

It's quite interesting. I looked up Tri-X in HC-110 and there are 43 lots of "recipes", though many of them are variants of the same thing, ie sometimes HC 110 B, sometimes 1+31, sometimes 1:31 etc. But it's potentially quite useful.
 
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