how fast is too fast?

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David A. Goldfarb

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Really short developing times can cause uneven development or mottling visible in areas like skies or inconsistent results from sheet to sheet, but if it's working for you, then I don't see any reason to change. If you're processing in daylight tanks, though, it might make sense to fill the tank and insert the loaded reels in the dark and use an acid stop bath.
 

Ed Sukach

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The "Not under five minutes developing time" caveat has been discussed before.

I'll restate two things to consider:

In C-41 color processing - all the chemicals I've used require a development time of 3 minutes, 15 seconds @ 38C. Well under five minutes for this supposedly hyper-sensitive process. I've done - I don't know - a thousand or two films using this time - In JOBO tanks, with *no* "pre-wetting" - and with *no* unevenness or localized density / color problems.

Irving Penn is his book, Worlds in a Small Room, describes his processing: "Tri-X film, developed in Ethol UFG - for three to five minutes." Either he hadn't heard of the "Not under five..." rule or he chose to ignore it.

What about it gang? Has anyone here actually had adverse results from developing film for - gasp - less then five minutes?
 

lee

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I processed some new trix in HC110 and have pretty uneven development at 3.5 minutes. (streaks mostly) This was Dil B. I have changed to Dil H. Now it seems ok.

lee\c
 

TPPhotog

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Jay - Can I ask a really dumb question here? When we spend so long lovingly getting a print to look just as we want it, why would anyone want shorter development times? OK now you know I'm really thick.
 

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Ed Sukach said:
Has anyone here actually had adverse results from developing film for - gasp - less then five minutes?

It would depend of course on the agitation procedure used. For example, with tubes, when one favours any of the stand or semi-stand development procedures (minimal or extreme minimal agitation) then a time of even less than 10 minutes is not desirable (uneven development, bromide drag etc..). However, using tubes with continuous but gentle agitation it is possible to have even development with times under 5 minutes. In fact for high contrast scenes (SBRs 11 or greater) my times for continuous-gentle agitation in tubes is on the order of 3 to 4.5 minutes.
 
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David A. Goldfarb

David A. Goldfarb

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I often do Tri-X and Classic 400 in Acufine at room temperature, where times may be around 3.5 min., and haven't had problems with it.
 

c6h6o3

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jdef said:
I developed the prints in the same developer that I used for the film. When I made the first enlargement, I was startled by the sharpness of the print. I saw no evidence of uneven development, and the rolls were absolutely consistent in contrast, and printing quality. I don't know how much further this developer could be diluted, but I imagine that at some point it will begin to show a compensating effect. I will continue to work with this developer, and post updates in the Chemical Recipes forum.

Jay
...and maybe share some scans of this miracle with us?
 

Nick Zentena

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Wasn't C-41 designed for machine processing in the time is money enviroment? The last time I did C-41 the night before I loaded the tank with film. Woke up with the worlds worst cold but that wasn't going to stop me. I turned on the heater and went to think about breakfast. By the time the chemicals had warmed up the worlds worst cold had gotten worse. I poured the developer into the tank and started the timer. I turned to walk away and get some extra wash water when I noticed the timer was already below the 1 minute mark. So I either blacked out for 2+ minutes. Maybe. Or I had the timer set for RA-4. I let the timer run and then added the time difference.

Okay so you're going to ask if I could tell a difference. No but then I wasn't running control strips in the tank . So any error would have to been pretty bad for me to notice.

Longer times let you screw up and not notice the screw up. Odds are I ended up giving the film almost enough extra time for a partial push. Not quite a full stop. If it had been B&W with my long 14 minute times an extra 15-30 seconds would have meant nothing at all.
 

gainer

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TPPhotog said:
Jay - Can I ask a really dumb question here? When we spend so long lovingly getting a print to look just as we want it, why would anyone want shorter development times? OK now you know I'm really thick.
Why, because we're so anxious to get to that tedious work of making wonderful prints, of course.
 

Dr.Kollig

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Development below 2 mins

In 2002 I received a developing agent similar to Ascorbic Acid, he named it SEB, it is used for developing microfilms. Developing microfilms is something like 30 secs, his developer is high in Phenidone and SEB plus Carbonate.
So I formulated my own film developer (named K2), using borax as alkaline and ended up around 2 mins, using a Jobo CPE, no problems, fine grain but poor sharpness. The second version (K4) used borax/boric acid like ID-68 and gave times of 4-5 mins, similar grain size and still sharpness too low.
A high concentration of Phenidone gives high initial speed in developing, for normal film the minimum seems to be around 60-90 secs, even 2 g Phenidone could not get below these values with reasonable contrast. I read some eastgerman book that Aminfunctionality gets to the silver quicker than Hydroxyfunctionality, so based on that Phenidone attacks first and the time for this reaction might around 30-60 secs, than the Phenidone gets recovered by HQ and/or Ascorbic Acid. If the later reaction is slower, it would explain the low contrast below 60-90 secs, basically a Phenidone-only developer like XR-1 is pretty low in contrast, HQ etc. is required to build up contrast.

So anything longer than 90 secs sounds reasonable to me, just let me know if sharpness is good, as I gave up on that K2/K4 developers and switched to a staining developer based on Catechol combined with potassium hydroxide diluted 1:1:90 developing times around 20 mins and great sharpness with 100 speed films but grainy with 400 speed films.

Regards,

Wolfram
 

TPPhotog

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Jay & Gadget Gainer - Many thanks for your answers. I didn't realise that development time didn't make any difference to the detail in the negative (as long as it's correctly developed). I'm having one of my blonde weekends :smile:
 

Ed Sukach

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Why use "short" times - less than 5 minutes?

Different dilutions of a given developer will, in my experience, have a different effect on the film.
A certain film in a certain developer at a given strength will "look" different (bear with me gang - I'm trying to keep it simple) than it would with the same developer at another strength. We may find an "improvement" - depending on what we are trying to do - with "R" developer at 1:50, 10 minutes - instead of 1:100 for 30 minutes (this whole thing depends on aesthetics ...), and a still greater improvement at 1:15 for 7. Extrapolating, the times for a still greater concentration could well decrease to something under 5 minutes with "X" dilution - and the idea of following the "Not less than 5 minutes" rule would limit that course of action.

Developing time itself is of little concern to me - the characteristics of the negative ARE.
 

Tom Hoskinson

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Dr.Kollig said:
In 2002 I received a developing agent similar to Ascorbic Acid, he named it SEB, it is used for developing microfilms. Developing microfilms is something like 30 secs, his developer is high in Phenidone and SEB plus Carbonate.
So I formulated my own film developer (named K2), using borax as alkaline and ended up around 2 mins, using a Jobo CPE, no problems, fine grain but poor sharpness. The second version (K4) used borax/boric acid like ID-68 and gave times of 4-5 mins, similar grain size and still sharpness too low.
A high concentration of Phenidone gives high initial speed in developing, for normal film the minimum seems to be around 60-90 secs, even 2 g Phenidone could not get below these values with reasonable contrast. I read some eastgerman book that Aminfunctionality gets to the silver quicker than Hydroxyfunctionality, so based on that Phenidone attacks first and the time for this reaction might around 30-60 secs, than the Phenidone gets recovered by HQ and/or Ascorbic Acid. If the later reaction is slower, it would explain the low contrast below 60-90 secs, basically a Phenidone-only developer like XR-1 is pretty low in contrast, HQ etc. is required to build up contrast.

So anything longer than 90 secs sounds reasonable to me, just let me know if sharpness is good, as I gave up on that K2/K4 developers and switched to a staining developer based on Catechol combined with potassium hydroxide diluted 1:1:90 developing times around 20 mins and great sharpness with 100 speed films but grainy with 400 speed films.

Regards,

Wolfram

Hi Wolfram,
Perfection XR-1 contains Phenidone, Metol and Hydroquinone.

I suspect (from its development behavior) that XR-1 may also contain some form of Ascorbic Acid. If I get sufficiently curious about this I may perform mass spectroscopy on one of the remaining original packets of XR-1 in my collection.
 

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I have no idea about Jay's developer but many high energy developers that develop film in less than five minutes do not give full emulsion speed compared to a standard like D76. Also, many people believe, and I have seen a lot of evidence of it myself, that very dilute developers and minimal agitation give not only greater emulsion speed but also more apparent sharpness.

Sandy
 

Dr.Kollig

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jdef said:
Wolfram, this developer is extremely sharp. Thanks for sharing your experiences with fast acting developers.
Jay

Fine, 90 secs should do for a japanese green tea. I will give it a try one I've found the time to expose some film in DAYlight.

Let's see if the used developer can be used to sharpen the razor blades, so fixing timne could be used for shaving. :D

Regarding film speed, there is a minimum of, I think, 4 Ag atoms to start development, some developers require 6 Ag in a crystal, so high energy developer which can do 4 Ag crystals should yield full speed. Please do not quote me on the Ag numbers, it is rather the idea that higher energy developer can developer smaller numbers and giving higher speeds.

The idea of diluted developers is gaining speed film in relation to contrast, low density areas are developing all the time, as they need very low numbers of developer molecules, while high densities are controlled by exhausting.

So the idea would be a high energy developer being able to develop all crystals and control density by a very short developing time.

Regards,

Wolfram
 

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Tom Hoskinson said:
Hi Wolfram,
Perfection XR-1 contains Phenidone, Metol and Hydroquinone.

I suspect (from its development behavior) that XR-1 may also contain some form of Ascorbic Acid. If I get sufficiently curious about this I may perform mass spectroscopy on one of the remaining original packets of XR-1 in my collection.

You're correct Tom, just the rate Phenidone:HQ 7:1 instead of 1:10, is the big difference. I use the patent formula A with Efke 25 and 50 and expose the films at 100/200 ASA, 15 mins at 20°C. Zone 1 might not be at 0.1 but overall the negatives are looking good. You can not get negatives with less grain at 200 ASA than that combo - in 35 mm. But higher sharpness, as I think Efke 50 is not that sharp.

Wolfram
 

Dr.Kollig

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Gentlemen/Ladies: Let's start the engine...

Maybe we should do a 2005 APUG competition on the fastest useable b/w developer? :D

I guess, Morton is already running experiments on straight Rodinal pumped thru the film canister. :tongue:

Good night, I'll have to start dreaming about it.

Wolfram
 

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jdef said:
My problem with dilute developers, is the compensating effect, which accounts for the increased film speed, and reduced contrast. A good solution for high contrast scenes, but not advantageous in my portrait work.

Jay

The idea that very dilute developers are only capable of reduced contrast is a widely held misconception that can easily be disproved with a few simple tests.

For example, few would argue with the fact that Pyrocat-HD at the 1:1:200 dilution is a very dilute developer. At that dilution one liter of working solution contains only 0.25g of pyrocatechin and 0.01g of phenidone, a remarkably small amount of reducing agent. Yet this highly dilute solution will develop all films to their maximum possible CI, using minimal or semi-stand agitation, in 45 - 90 minutes. And as a bonus you get what is for all practical purposes a real increase in EFS of up to 1/2 of a stop, and great apparent sharpness. In fact, one person who uses this method of development commented to me that it makes his negatives developed by other procedures look out of focus.

Sandy
 

chrisg

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Apologies if someone already made this comment and I missed it, but I find the biggest issue with short development times is control of contrast index. If you're normal development time is, for example, two minutes then the difference between N and N-1 is probably going to be on the order of 15 seconds - not a lot of margin for error. Granted, it's not the end of the world if you're off by 15 seconds and have to change paper grades or print with a different contrast filter than usual, but it is a consideration. I prefer my normal development times in the 8-10 minute range because it gives me more margin for error.

Chris
 

sanking

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jdef said:
Sandy,
I've read where you've written that you haven't seen adjacency effects with fast films, and recommend slower films for those techniques.
Jay

Gee, did I write that? If so I must have had a temporary loss of memory because I have developed virtually all of my HP5+ roll film with minimal agitation for years and years precisely because of enhanced adjacency effects. It is true that the adjacency effects are often much more pronounced with medium and slow films, but with appropriate dilutions and agitation I believe you can get enhanced adjacency effects with any film.

Sandy
 

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I have developed and printed close to 75 sheets of JC 400 (Classic 400/Fortepan 400) using Pyrocat HD and minimal agitation and the apparent sharpness gains from adjancey effects are startling (I made same scene, same exposure comparisons with gentle but continuous agitation). The results are not as pronounced as with Efke PL100 but nonetheless the gains are there.
 

Tom Hoskinson

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jdef said:
Fransesco, your results seem to be quite a departure from Sandy's. Sandy looked at his film under a high power microscope, how have you evaluated your results?

Jay

Jay, I can not speak for Sandy, but I have made similar comparative tests to the ones described by Francesco with similar results. Paraphrasing Francesco: Not as dramatic an improvement as one sees with Efke 100 but a a significant improvement nonetheless.

I have several optical microscopes and I typically optically inspect these negs at magnifications of 3x to 60x. I would not call 3x to 60x high powered, but certainly adequate, since I can see the differences in the negatives and contact prints without magnification .
 

Tom Hoskinson

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jdef said:
...As I've noted, this developer is producing extremely sharp negatives, undiluted, in less than two minutes development time.
Jay

Jay, basic sharpness is manufactured into the film. Adjacency effects and microcontrast effects (which are what I am talking about) are a function of the developer/developing process.
 

Jim Chinn

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Ed Sukach said:
Why use "short" times - less than 5 minutes?

Different dilutions of a given developer will, in my experience, have a different effect on the film.
A certain film in a certain developer at a given strength will "look" different (bear with me gang - I'm trying to keep it simple) than it would with the same developer at another strength. We may find an "improvement" - depending on what we are trying to do - with "R" developer at 1:50, 10 minutes - instead of 1:100 for 30 minutes (this whole thing depends on aesthetics ...), and a still greater improvement at 1:15 for 7. Extrapolating, the times for a still greater concentration could well decrease to something under 5 minutes with "X" dilution - and the idea of following the "Not less than 5 minutes" rule would limit that course of action.

Developing time itself is of little concern to me - the characteristics of the negative ARE.


I have a copy of an old Camera and Darkroom that contains an article about the differences that can be achieved in a negative through various dillutions of HC110. I'll have to find the article but the main point was that at least for HC 110 a better control of the negative was achieved through controlling dillutions rather then relying on increase/decrease of developing time to control expansion/contraction.
 

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jdef said:
Maybe I misinterpreted what you wrote:

Sandy King-


"1) Medium and high speed films (BPF, JandC Classic 200 and 400, TRI-X 320, HP5+, etc.) Very little if any adjacency effects with rotary processing, and only very slight adjacency effects with minimal and extreme minimal agitation.

2) Slow fine grain films such as Efke PL 100, Ilford FP4+, Tmax-100, Efke 25. Very little if any adjacency effects with rotary processing, but considerable adjacency effects with minimal agitation, and very pronounced adjacency effects with extreme minimal agitation."

I guess I interpreted "only very slight adjacency effects" with fast films, and "considerable/ very pronounced adjacency effects" with slow films to be a recommendation of slow films for that technique. My appologies.

Jay

Number 2 above is right on. I use HD with Delta 100 (35mm) and minimal agitation. I always found Delta 100 in XTOL 1-2 to make very sharp negs but I saw a noticable increase in sharpness with HD. I also found the JOBO processing with HD makes an inferior neg to Delta 100 in a JOBO.

For sheets I have begun to go retro and experiment with HC110 and work at higher dillutions.
 
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