ECN-2: Underdevelopment

Liz-Lith.jpg

A
Liz-Lith.jpg

  • 3
  • 0
  • 99
Stray (2014)

H
Stray (2014)

  • 6
  • 2
  • 149
Time #2

Time #2

  • 1
  • 0
  • 87
Summer Dreaming

A
Summer Dreaming

  • 6
  • 0
  • 153

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
181,870
Messages
2,516,432
Members
95,431
Latest member
coolzizi
Recent bookmarks
0

newcan1

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
720
Location
Chattanooga
Shooter
35mm
I used to develop a lot of ECN-2 (as 35mm still film), and after a fairly long hiatus, I am getting back into it.

I am finding that if I mix the Kodak developer formula by the book, and use standard developing times and temperatures, the results are thin (e.g., film leader is not dark enough, negatives are thin). I know that I had had similar results when I was doing a lot of this, and one of the things I did was to increase the amount of CD3 from 4g/L to 5.4 g/L. I also experimented with development times.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I am thinking that the ECN-2 developer may not be ideally suited to the small tank environment. The film I am testing right now is admittedly a bit old -- Vision 320T -- so I expect speed loss -- but it's the leader that bothers me. I will try again this weekend with the CD3 boost and longer development times..but am I the only one to have experienced this? (Please, no generic comments on how awful expired film is, etc. etc.....it's not that).
 

fdonadio

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
2,034
Location
Berlin, DE
Shooter
Multi Format
Are you agitating constantly? I recommend slow inversions, like one second to invert and one to get the tank upright again. It’s tiresome, though.
 
OP
OP

newcan1

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
720
Location
Chattanooga
Shooter
35mm
I was agitating two inversions every 15 seconds, returning to the water bath in between to try to maintain temperature. Temperature held up pretty well.

I am beginning to think -- as I have experienced this with b&w film also -- that expired film not only loses speed, but it also takes longer to develop. So part of the apparent speed loss may be attributed to underdevelopment. I have some GAF b&w film from the 70's that seems at first blush to have lost two stops, but the negatives are always low contrast. I suspect that if I were to adjust developing time to normalize contrast, the speed loss would also diminish. I wonder if the same thing is going on with my Vision 320T stock.
 
OP
OP

newcan1

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
720
Location
Chattanooga
Shooter
35mm
I developed some fully exposed film (like a leader) for 5 minutes and 8 minutes respectively. They were darker than the lead on the normally developed film. My next test will be to shoot a test roll and develop for 5 mins (I know, crossover possible). I am thinking that part of the issue with this 15 year outdated film might have something to do with dye formation. Is it possible that because of age/condition, dyes may not form properly? I will probably also do a test doing double development, as in the past this has enhanced saturation and contrast (and grain).
 

fdonadio

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
2,034
Location
Berlin, DE
Shooter
Multi Format
For B&W film, it’s recommended to overexpose old film by one full stop per decade (past expiration). I’ve heard color film loses even more sensibility.

So instead of pushing on development, I would also overexpose when shooting.

Increasing agitation should help increase contrast and dmax.
 

Rudeofus

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
4,618
Location
EU
Shooter
Medium Format
In my experience old photographic material loses not only speed, but also contrast, and overexposure will only fix the speed loss issue. ECN-2 being a very low contrast process already, I am not at all surprised that you see thin negatives. If you are unsure about your ECN-2 development process, try it with fresh Cinestill film stock first. Once you are happy with the results and confident in your process you can adjust the process to work with whatever expired material you want to throw at it.
 
OP
OP

newcan1

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
720
Location
Chattanooga
Shooter
35mm
Rudeofus, I have had success with fresher stock. A couple of years ago, I did a lot of experimentation with ECN-2, and had great success with Vision3 stocks. I ended up with a slightly modified developer using 5.2 g/L CD3 instead of 4g. I did find that older stocks often came out thin or muddy. Still very scannable, but not printable in the darkroom. Vision3 250D came out with a contrast level close to standard C41 materials (judging by observation at least). The contrast "gap" in that case could be bridged by adding H2O2 to the RA4 developer, and I made some very good darkroom prints from the Vision3 stuff.

Based on yesterday's tests I am going to see what I get if I develop the Vision 320T stock for 5 minutes. I will do a second test double developing at 5 minutes (dev/stop/fix/wash/bleach/wash/dev/stop/fix). I will post results here. My initial test looked like the film had settled around ISO 40 or 80.
 

Rudeofus

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
4,618
Location
EU
Shooter
Medium Format
When you added CD-3, did you adjust pH back to original target ?
 
OP
OP

newcan1

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
720
Location
Chattanooga
Shooter
35mm
I did not. I know I should. But when I originally tried increasing the CD3, it nevertheless improved contrast and density a bit without any observable crossover. I found that going above 5.2 g/L was not helpful. I can do a pH test; I just hate using a pH meter as it is very frustrating to calibrate! (I am not a scientist by trade!)
 
OP
OP

newcan1

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
720
Location
Chattanooga
Shooter
35mm
These images were taken on the Vision 320T film, with 85B filter, EI of 80 ISO, developed 5mins (106F) with ECN-2 developer adjusted for 5.4g/L CD3. Scans from negatives. I slightly adjusted the scans to alter contrast and brightness, as these things can be done in the darkroom. I may try a double development test tomorrow.

vision320T003ADJ_04.JPG vision320T006ADJ_03.JPG vision320T010ADJ_01.JPG vision320T014ADJ_02.JPG
 

eatfrog

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
111
Location
Lulea, Swede
Shooter
35mm
Just want to chime in that my findings with expired vision2 500t developed in c41 are in line with your findings too. I had to prolong development by a minute to get a fully black leader and clearly visible edge markings.
 

lantau

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Messages
806
Location
Germany
Shooter
Multi Format
Interesting to hear that. So I know that my Vision3 is still fresh enough . But they weren't old when I got each roll.
 

georgegrosu

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Messages
434
Location
Bucharest, R
Shooter
Multi Format
When deviations from film processing occur, I prefer to change physical parameters: time or temperature to get the desired photographic effect.
If the physical parameters do not help to get a good photographic effect, then it's the chemical side.
The variations in the concentration of substances and their photo effect have been found here.
https://www.kodak.com/uploadedfiles/motion/h24_08.pdf
The study is not done for all the movies, but you can get an idea of the way photographic effect variation is possible.

George
 

Attachments

  • Effects of CD-3 Variations—5213, 5254, and 5242 Films in Process ECN-2 Developer.jpg
    Effects of CD-3 Variations—5213, 5254, and 5242 Films in Process ECN-2 Developer.jpg
    205 KB · Views: 233
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom