Agitation, which is better?

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Rick A

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Constant agitation via Unicolor drum and motor base for LF. Thirty second initial then 4 inversions at the beginning of the minute for small tank (roll film).
 

Pentode

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For me, 5 seconds every 30 seconds or five seconds every minute, depending upon the film. It also depends upon the initial agitation; If I'm using the Kodak-approved 7 initial inversions I'll agitate four times every 30 seconds. If I'm using a full minute of initial agitation I'll agitate three times every minute.

It all comes down to what gives you the best results, which can vary - as it does for me - based on which film and developer you're using.
 

Alan9940

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I modify my agitation technique based on total development time. If in, say, the 5-8 min range, I’ll do an initial 30 secs, then 2 inversions every 30 secs. If longer times, such as >10 mins, I’ll do an initial 30 secs, then 4 inversions each minute. Don’t know if this makes an difference, but I figure it’s beneficial to keep the developer moving during shorter development times. That said, I’ve read that Ilford says it doesn’t make any difference. And, btw, I use inversion agitation for 35mm, too, and never had surge marks.
 

MattKing

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I've used the Kodak recommendation for inversion agitation since puberty!
But it is important to understand that the type of agitation is as important as the frequency.
Agitation needs to be inherently random. I twist as I invert, and listen to be sure that the liquid is gurgling and tumbling around and through the film.
I also use continuous reversing rotary agitation, but mostly for the steps after the developer.
 

jim10219

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I used a hundred different methods of agitation, and most produce the same results. You might have to alter your developing times slightly to compensate for increased or decreased frequency, but as long as you’re not creating repeating standing waves, and using plenty of developer, I don’t think it matters much. My methods of agitation change based on what else I’m doing at the same time (multiple tanks at once), age of the developer, and wether I’m trying to over develop or under develop the film. Since I only ever use D76 (I send my color film out) and just a handful of different films, I have a pretty good feel for what works. Keeping as many variables consistent as possible allows to alter a few others without many surprises.
 

hansblix

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I have been exclusively developing in ECN-2 in a small tank and I found that an initial 30-sec agitation followed by 2 inversions every 15 seconds works best especially if you are doing a process that is temp sensitive. That way you can keep it in a water bath between inversions.
I have used continuous agitation and this method above yields me the best results.
What I noticed is that when your schedule is 2 inversions every 15 seconds that there seems to be enough momentum within the tank that when it is at rest it is still moving. Then you invert again and by that time you are just keeping the chem moving. It is basically continuous agitation.

http://www.tmax100.com/photo/pdf/kodakflexsmalltank.pdf

This is the inversion schedule per Kodak spec for Flexicolor/Portra/Ektar for developer. I apply this to my entire process with great results.
 

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juan

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You might want to look up Minor White’s views on exposure/development/agitation and their place in getting tonal values. That said, pick an agitation scheme and use it consistently for a long while. It doesn’t matter which scheme, just use it. After several months you’ll have enough understanding to make changes.
 

Svenedin

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One inversion every 30 seconds for 120 and 4x5.
Stick rotation every 30 seconds for 135 film. Sprocket hole surge marks can occur with inversion agitation.

I’ve used the Ilford method with B&W films for 35 years. I’ve never seen “surge marks” regardless of different developers or films. I believe “surge marks” are a mythical occurrence with standard agitation regimes.
 

Svenedin

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Svenedin, you are doing well. I have experienced these marks with 35mm Portra.

I should have noticed that the thread was about colour film. I don't develop colour negative very often. Even so, I haven't experienced surge marks with that either (or with E6). I use Paterson tanks, reels and inversion. Sometimes just 2 rolls, sometimes big tanks that hold multiple rolls.
 
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marciofs

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I used a hundred different methods of agitation, and most produce the same results. You might have to alter your developing times slightly to compensate for increased or decreased frequency, but as long as you’re not creating repeating standing waves, and using plenty of developer, I don’t think it matters much. My methods of agitation change based on what else I’m doing at the same time (multiple tanks at once), age of the developer, and wether I’m trying to over develop or under develop the film. Since I only ever use D76 (I send my color film out) and just a handful of different films, I have a pretty good feel for what works. Keeping as many variables consistent as possible allows to alter a few others without many surprises.

So in resume, it doesn't matter much since it won't make much difference. Right?
 
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marciofs

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I have been exclusively developing in ECN-2 in a small tank and I found that an initial 30-sec agitation followed by 2 inversions every 15 seconds works best especially if you are doing a process that is temp sensitive. That way you can keep it in a water bath between inversions.
I have used continuous agitation and this method above yields me the best results.
What I noticed is that when your schedule is 2 inversions every 15 seconds that there seems to be enough momentum within the tank that when it is at rest it is still moving. Then you invert again and by that time you are just keeping the chem moving. It is basically continuous agitation.

http://www.tmax100.com/photo/pdf/kodakflexsmalltank.pdf

This is the inversion schedule per Kodak spec for Flexicolor/Portra/Ektar for developer. I apply this to my entire process with great results.
That'S interesting. Thanks.
 
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marciofs

marciofs

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or Ilford - 10 seconds at the start of every minute works well for me with B&W. When I do colour I agitate constantly by rolling the tank/dose manually with the help of this contraption: https://www.jobo.com/cache/res/A_Roller_1100x.jpg
Where do you get it?


You might want to look up Minor White’s views on exposure/development/agitation and their place in getting tonal values. That said, pick an agitation scheme and use it consistently for a long while. It doesn’t matter which scheme, just use it. After several months you’ll have enough understanding to make changes.
Thanks for the advice...
 

Sirius Glass

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Three inversions and back every 30 seconds for 135 and 120. Now I do everything on the Jobo processor so I have no experience with hand inversions of 4"x5".
 

mnemosyne

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I've used the Kodak recommendation for inversion agitation since puberty!

Exactly that. Kodak and Fuji give recommendations for inversion agitation of color negative films and actually they are almost identical and have worked very well for me. I wouldn't look further unless you encounter problems with the "official" routine.

Initial agitation for 30 seconds, followed by 2 seconds of agitation every
15 seconds. Use last 10 seconds of this step to drain tank.

source: cis211, "Using Kodak Flexicolor Chemicals in a Small Tank" Aug 2010
Fuji instructions are they same, except that they require 2 inversions every 15 seconds instead of 2 seconds of agitation.

My personal experience is that inversion agitation gives much more uniform results than constant rotation on my Jobo, but it seems everyone's mileage varies here.

 

miha

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Where do you get it?

You can get these rollers directly trough JOBO store or via many German photo vendors, e.g. Fotoimpex. It's fairly expensive for what it is.
 
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