Tutorial How to develop your first B&W film.

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Looking on the Massive Dev Chart, it has two times for Ilford Ortho+ in HC 110 B shot at 80, at 20 C, 6 minutes and 8 minutes. There's no explanation. Any hints as to which to pick anyone?
 
Messages
5,294
Name
Nige
Edit My Images
No
Last edited:
Messages
6,287
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Lol. I didn't check and did mine in HC-110(B) for 8 mintes! Results here: https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/threads/ians-contact-sheets-for-2020.705747/page-3#post-8719788

Looking back at the contact sheet, it is a bit over exposed, but only a bit. Nothing that couldn't be recovered in Lightroom and I was really pleased with the DR of the film.

I'd suggest 8 min wouldn't break it. How about split the difference :)
Didn't spot this until after it was done, Ian. Thanks though. Now drying...
 
Messages
6,287
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
Didn't spot this until after it was done, Ian. Thanks though. Now drying...
Let us know the results. I'm curious too.
 

Asha

Blithering Idiot
Messages
10,781
Name
Asha
Edit My Images
Yes
Looking on the Massive Dev Chart, it has two times for Ilford Ortho+ in HC 110 B shot at 80, at 20 C, 6 minutes and 8 minutes. There's no explanation. Any hints as to which to pick anyone?
Iirc FP4 sheet film also has two times with no explanation....I simply went half way between them then adjusted accordingly with future sheets.

As always the figures are guidelines to get what is considered a reasonable result, after that, any tweaking is down to personal tastes.
 

StephenM

I know a Blithering Idiot
Messages
4,061
Name
Stephen
Edit My Images
Yes
I haven't checked the Massive Dev Chart, but the dual times given by film manufacturers used to be because condenser enlargers required lower contrast negatives than the diffuser type; and the times were to give two different gamma values, appropriate to the enlarger.

As near as makes no difference for our purposes, development time is used to adjust the contrast - the more, the merrier.
 
Last edited:

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
They're drying... I've tried sleeving them and they proved almost impossible to get in, so after the second strip I popped them back in the shower cabinet. Must remember to get them sleeved before the Missus goes up to bed or there'll be trouble!

I'm not good at reading negatives, but these do look plenty contrasty.
 
Messages
6,287
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
What's the verdict @ChrisR Did they turn out well exposed would you say? I have another roll of Ortho Plus in the tank and am leaning towards a 7 minute time unless you reckon your 6 minutes looks good and not under at all...
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
What's the verdict @ChrisR Did they turn out well exposed would you say? I have another roll of Ortho Plus in the tank and am leaning towards a 7 minute time unless you reckon your 6 minutes looks good and not under at all...
I haven't scanned it yet, but just held the negs up to the light and they look nice and contrasty! That was 6 minutes (less 15%). What would I see if it was under?
 

StephenM

I know a Blithering Idiot
Messages
4,061
Name
Stephen
Edit My Images
Yes
The best place (and the only place I know!) to look to see easily what the effects of under/correct/over exposure and under/correct/over development are side by side is an old edition of Michael Langford's book (either Advanced or Basic Photography, I can't recall which and both are currently inaccessible. The book has a plate or two showing a contrasty scene with 6 negative images, three to indicate exposure and three development.

Based on memory (and the assumed correct development time being pretty close to what you were using), I'd expect the only really visible difference to be in the degree of contrast. Shadows will have pretty much finished developing, and the extra time builds up highlight density - clearly seen in Langford's illustrations.

Naturally, being extremely valuable and interesting, these photos were removed from later editions....
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Messages
6,287
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
No worries. I was just curious. My 8 min negs looked fine to me, and so do the 7 minute ones! Was just curious how the 6 minute ones turned out. Enjoy fathers day :)
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
I did a dev session yesterday, FP4+. The negs wre hanging in the shower cabinet from about 3 pm until after 8 pm, so ought to have been well dried. However, when I came to cut and sleeve them I had the devil of a job getting them into the sleeves (the translucent ones). I didn't think it was particularly damp yesterday, although I guess it has been quite humid for a while. Has anyone else been having this problem? Any suggestions for useful sleeving technique?

I ended up with most of the strips cut into 5s, which seemed to sleeve a little easier (still 2 6s though). Sometimes I managed to slightly pinch the film to raise the edges, which seemed to make it slightly easier to push in. But once it stuck... 5 minutes of struggle!

I'm just about to scan them, I hope they go back into the sleeves a bit easier than yesterday...
 

RaglanSurf

Forum Idiot - FPOTY 2017,18
Messages
11,413
Name
Nick
Edit My Images
Yes
I seem to be having a bit of a brain outage, if I do a clip test with my developer can I just dunk the film clip in daylight?
 

StephenM

I know a Blithering Idiot
Messages
4,061
Name
Stephen
Edit My Images
Yes
Yes, if all you want to know is if the developer works.
 

RaglanSurf

Forum Idiot - FPOTY 2017,18
Messages
11,413
Name
Nick
Edit My Images
Yes

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
I'm just about to scan them, I hope they go back into the sleeves a bit easier than yesterday...
After 24 hours in the sleeves under a heavy book, the strips definitely went back into the sleeves a lot more easily. I think it must have been the humidity; a few things here have not properly dried after a whole day on the stands! I always have a little difficulty with sleeving; drying negs is a bit of a tossup between not quite dry and much too dusty!
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
OK, I fell down the Tri-X in HC 110 dilution B rabbit hole (again), and it doesn't seem to be mentioned in this thread (though I remember comments about it elsewhere... since starting writing this post, I discovered those comments were in a thread I started, here... but I'll continue, since that thread didn't really get anywhere!)

Shooting 135, Tri-X is my favourite ISO 400 film, and HC 110 is currently my only available developer. I shot a roll of Tri-X earlier in January during those misty foggy days, and when I devved it I thought it looked under-exposed, basically very thin. I was wondering whether the centre-weighted meter on my Pentax MX was somehow having a problem metering in those conditions. One or two shots were absolutely fine, and most were easily salvable in PP, though there was a bit more grain than I usually expect (or so I convinced myself).

Fast forward another couple of weeks, we'd had a snowy day or two and I finished the next roll. Before devving, I began to wonder if I'd under-cooked the first roll a bit, so looked it up in the Massive Dev Chart. Hmmm, 7.5 minutes, I saw, sure that's quite a lot more than I used last time, I must have written it down wrong on my crib sheet... So any way, I devved it based on 7 minutes 30 seconds (actually 6 minutes 20 seconds as it's a continuous agitation Rondinax tank). When I hung them up to dry, they definitely looked nice and contrasty, although a bit less so when dry. The roll scanned well, so I decided I'd better update my crib sheet.

At this point I looked more closely at MDC, and discovered the note against the 7.5 minute time, that this referred to an earlier version of the film. The next line gives times of 4.5 to 6 minutes for the current version. That's quite a variation, so I decided to check the data sheets for HC 110 and Tri-X. Both these gave recommended times of 3.75 minutes for Dilution B (1+31) at 20C! Checking t'internet will find you lots of shock! horror! at the Kodak times, including suggestions that it's really the time for Dilution A, and that it's just too short and folk should use the unofficial Dilution H (1+63) and simply double the time. I can't do the latter, as my Rondinax only uses 200 ml, ergo 6.2 ml of HC 110 syrup, and apparently you should have a minimum of 6 ml of syrup for one roll of film. So I'm stuck with Dilution B.

When I was updating my crib sheet, I realised that my time of 5 minutes 30 was actually based on 85% of @simon ess 's suggestion of 6 minutes 30, which has mostly worked well for me in the past. So, I'm not sure quite what the problem was in that first roll, but I'm guessing exposure problems rather than devving.

Anyway, this is all a bit of a mad ramble, but the gist of it seems to be that Kodak are wrong, @simon ess is right, but you can add another minute or so with no problem!
 

simon ess

Just call me Roxanne.
Messages
8,767
Edit My Images
No
Anyway, this is all a bit of a mad ramble, but the gist of it seems to be that Kodak are wrong, @simon ess is right,
That makes a change. Thank you for noticing Chris. :)
 
Messages
6,287
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
When I was updating my crib sheet, I realised that my time of 5 minutes 30 was actually based on 85% of @simon ess 's suggestion of 6 minutes 30, which has mostly worked well for me in the past. So, I'm not sure quite what the problem was in that first roll, but I'm guessing exposure problems rather than devving.
My time is 6:00 at 400 and 8:30 at 800. Dil B at 20 degrees. I shovelled quite a lot of Tri-X through those times last year so am pretty happy with them.
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
My time is 6:00 at 400 and 8:30 at 800. Dil B at 20 degrees. I shovelled quite a lot of Tri-X through those times last year so am pretty happy with them.
The Covington HC 110 resource is interesting, particularly the last paragraph in the following quote:

"Note about Kodak Tri-X Pan and Plus-X Pan: Kodak's published time for the new 400TX film in dilution B is 3 3/4 minutes at 68 F. That is too short to be practical, and I think they have made a serious mistake; it looks to me like the time for dilution A. I think they used the wrong dilution in their testing for both 400TX and 125PX.
Numerous photographers tell me that the correct time for 400TX is only a few percent shorter than for the old TX. Even Kodak told me the same thing – though they insist that they didn't mix up the dilutions.

"However, it's generally agreed that Kodak's published time of 7.5 minutes for TX in dilution B was a bit long. Most photographers recommend about 6 to 7 minutes.
I want to thank Dick Dickerson and Silvia Zawadzki (retired from Kodak, part of the team that invented Xtol) for correspondence about this. They, too, think the wrong dilution was used in Kodak's tests. It will be interesting to see if the published time changes in future Kodak publications.

"After further thought, I suspect that there really isn't much difference between 3.5 minutes and 5 minutes. The reason? This is almost entirely within the induction time (the time taken to start development). Results with development times this short are notoriously irreproducible and I recommend higher dilutions."

BTW his recommendation is 6:30 at 20C...
 
Messages
6,287
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
BTW his recommendation is 6:30 at 20C...
Just ordered a (relatively!!) el-cheapo bulk roll from AW. Will deffo try 6:30. I do think HC-110 is a great partner to Tri-X. Will be intereesting to see if it pushes as nicely as HP5 does in DD-X. And by "nicely" I mean "still keeping the characteristics of Tri-X but able to shoot it at higher ISOs" rather than just "less grainy".
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Just devving another roll. Decided to "compromise" on ~7 minutes (standard time, reduced to 6 for Rondinax). No idea why!

Does anyone know how long a mixed batch of Ilfostop should last? I mixed up 750 ml when I started devving 4x5 in January 2019, and I've been drawing off and replacing 200 ml at a time for 135 film ever since!
 
Messages
5,294
Name
Nige
Edit My Images
No
Just devving another roll. Decided to "compromise" on ~7 minutes (standard time, reduced to 6 for Rondinax). No idea why!

Does anyone know how long a mixed batch of Ilfostop should last? I mixed up 750 ml when I started devving 4x5 in January 2019, and I've been drawing off and replacing 200 ml at a time for 135 film ever since!
According to Ilford:

Storage and solution life Concentrate

ILFOSTOP concentrate will keep for:-
5 years in full airtight bottles
12 months in half full tightly capped bottles

Working strength
7 working days.


I'm not sure what working strength means? I mix up a batch and I usually change mine when I mix some fresh fixer. It probably takes 3-5 months between batches based on my rate of shooting film. It's never actually turned purple though.
 
Last edited:

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
According to Ilford:

Storage and solution life Concentrate

ILFOSTOP concentrate will keep for:-
5 years in full airtight bottles
12 months in half full tightly capped bottles

Working strength
7 working days.


I'm not sure what working strength means? I mix up a batch and I usually change mine when I mix some fresh fixer. It probably takes 3-5 months between batches based on my rate of shooting film. It's never actually turned purple though.
Well, it's way more than 7 days (not yet 700 days, though)! It's still a nice yellow colour, not a hint of purple. I mixed it at the same time as mixing the 750 ml of fixer; I test the film leader with that before every film, and it's still clearing in under 2 minutes, and doesn't have obvious floaters.

Apart from colour, I guess to test it I'd have to get some pH testing strips?

My comfort factor is that a lot of people say they don't bother with a stop bath, either straight into the fixer, or just use water. So I guess if it's gone off it'll probably do as well as water?
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
What's the verdict @ChrisR Did they turn out well exposed would you say? I have another roll of Ortho Plus in the tank and am leaning towards a 7 minute time unless you reckon your 6 minutes looks good and not under at all...
I'm sorry I never showed an image in response to this! far too late for you, Ian, but...

2006BPMXBW07 Poppy Ortho 80 6.jpg

Ortho 80 devved in HC 110 B based on 6 minutes (actually reduced by 15% from that because of using the rotary Rondinax tank). There seems to be a full range of tones there, though some of the others on that roll do look a bit flat.
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Thermometers... I have a very robust thermometer in my "dev kit". The main problem is that it is VERY slow to adjust to the temperature. This makes getting the water to 20 C, either by adding warmer water (as now) or cold water (the occasional summer warm spells) very time-consuming. Does anyone have any recommendations for a faster reacting thermometer? When I search just now for digital thermometers I mostly seem to get ones for people, with restricted range! (Little known side effect of Covid!!!)
 
Messages
6,287
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
far too late for you, Ian, but...
I've started developing anything made by Ilford in DD-X now. HC-110 is reserved for everything else. Ortho 80 in DD-X looks lovely.
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
Messages
10,106
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
I've started developing anything made by Ilford in DD-X now. HC-110 is reserved for everything else. Ortho 80 in DD-X looks lovely.
Interesting! At £20 and 1+4 though, that's quite expensive per film (OK, nearly a pound, so not THAT expensive!).
 
Messages
7
Name
David
Edit My Images
No
The first time I tried to develop a film I was forced by my mother to work on a picnic table in the middle of the lawn. She would not allow me to bring 'chemicals' into the house. I tried to explain that most of the contents of her cleaning cupboard were far nastier than any of my photographic stuff but she would have none of it.
 
Top