developing one roll of film in a two roll tank, and rinse question

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by sixtyforty, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Hello everyone.

    New guy here to the forum and also to developing my own black and white film.

    I've only developed two rolls so far and they turned out pretty decent for my first go. The two rolls were developed together in my arista tank. I would now like to develop just one roll in the same two roll tank but was wondering, will the extra space in the tank during inversions induce air bubbles or anything into my chemicals due to all the sloshing around of the extra air with my chems? I'd hate to ruin a roll of film by making a mistake.

    Any while I'm here, may you tell me about how you go about rinsing your film once developed? On my first two rolls after my stop bath, I used a tank of properly diluted photo flo, at lease I think it was properly dilluted. It was awful sudsy. I drained the tank of the photo flo solution and then rinsed the reels off with some distilled water. Is there a better way to rinse my film than the process I used?

    I thank everyone for your time.

    Here's a pic from my first attempt at developing myself. Tri X in D-76.

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  2. Great photo.

    One roll in the two roll tank is no problem. Check for the recommended fluid volumes Arista recommends for this situation. On Paterson tanks, this information is molded into the plastic on the bottom of the tank. Use the stick/column for agitation and give the tank a rap counter to avoid bubbles.

    I use photo flo and methyl alcohol in water. I squeegee my negatives. There are polarized views on this step of the process. Prepare for pointed debate about this.
  3. You should wash before Photoflo. Photoflo evens out the distribution on the film so no spots of liquid dry and leave "drying" marks on the film

    Large tank is ok for one reel, just do gentle inversion agitation or use spindle agitation

    Washing can be several fills with clean water, or running water for 3 minutes

    Steps are:
    Stop Bath (A rinse with water)
  4. Thank you Wilmarco! I was happy to get a few good shots from my first rolls.

    Our water is fairly hard here in this part of Wisconsin, will that be ok on my negatives if I leave the water run in the tank like you mentioned kmac? I do squeegee my prints if that matters.

    And before i forget, what is the suggested dilution ratio for photo flo?
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  5. AJG


    One roll at a time with the appropriate amount of chemistry should be fine. Just make sure that you push the reel all the way down to the bottom of the light baffle tube--I have had lots of students forget to do that and then have severely underdeveloped film. Washing will work better if you take your reel out of the tank and put the reel in a large enough plastic pitcher with a few small holes drilled in the bottom. Just keep the water flowing fast enough to keep the reel covered. The reason? the fixer you are trying to remove is heavier than plain water and will go away faster if you give it an easier path away from the film. I have developed thousands of rolls of film in my area which also has fairly hard water. A Photo-Flo rinse before hanging film up to dry has prevented drying marks 99.9% of the time. Dilution for PhotoFlo is 1:200--a capful makes about a quart. If you're getting suds you're using too much concentrate.
  6. Thanks AJG. That must be what the extra piece is that came with my tank, to hold down a reel on the tube. I was wondering what it was for. Thanks also for letting me know about the hard water.

    So I can use just plain water for my stop bath? I used ilfostop during my first go round. I went with a 45 second soak with this stop bath. Will that 45 seconds be ok if I use just plain water?

    I developed 9 3/4 minutes @ 68 F (D-76 1-1) for my two rolls but them I read today on someones blog that that time is only for one roll and I should have added 10% time for the two rolls I developed? Is this true?

    You are all very kind for answering my questions, I appreciate it.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  7. Film processing is about dunking your roll into fluids that wouldn't do it any good in the long run but are doing their job while you use them.
    Do not worry about the quality of your water in between, beyond trying to get it on the same temperature as the previously used chemicals. The stuff making water hard only matters when you start drying your film (or stop washing your shiny black car and need to leather the drops off).
    For that reason some folks use distilled (or otherwise treated) water for the final washing bath before drying to dissolve the stains causing stuff from their tap water.
    Photo Flo (or ordinary dish washing detergent) are meant to alter the surface of your water while drying to avoid huge drops leaving stains at their edges.
    Air bubbles reside only on dry film. That is the reason why some people soak their films in water before pouring in a fast acting developer. Or why some manuals suggest to agitate wildly during the entire first minute. - Once the film got entirely soiaked the odds that air bubbles will matter are low. - Folks used to blow oxygen free gas into their huge tanks to agitate the developer inside. - No problems with that method.
    - OMFG! - I hope that's just kind of a typo! - Otherwise it would sound like a major mess!
    List of baths (all of them at similar temperature please!)
    • (++optional pre-rinsing)
    1. developer
    2. stop bath (or at least a quick rinse)
    3. Fixer!
    4. water (several tanks of, fluent is better, longer is better)
    5. Photo flo or distilled water
  8. It was a typo, I meant to say after my fixer! Thanks. It came out wrong as I was typing.
  9. I've always found 1:200 gives me soap bubbles, so I tend to use just a few drops in my final distilled rinse water. Its not a critical dilution, so don't stress about it. I'm from the don't squeegee camp, but if you do, I would advise doing it with fingers pre-dipped in your final rinse water, that way you might feel any grit before you ruin the whole film length. I would suggest doing your final rinse in distilled (with the rinse aid) as this will reduce your chances of drying marks significantly. Final rinse in the tank (with the rinse aid) then hang the film and pour the final rinse water over both sides of the negs. Do this in clean room as dust free as you can make it, and don't enter the room if at all possible, as you'll stir up dust. I use the bathroom, the misting at least once a day helps keep the dust down, but whatever you do, don't wipe your hands on a towel before you leave, you'll just throw half a pound of skin flakes into the air!

    Nice picture, detail in the sky means you haven't fried it!
  10. Few drops on the Photo-flo. Produces bubbles in the can, but sheets the spots right off.
    As for the squeegee business, I go by the advice my Dad used to give, “Hold ‘em by the edge”, so I don’t like the idea of touching them any more than I have to.
    Vincent Peri likes this.
  11. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I also am strongly against squeegeeing film. Too much risk of scratching the negatives.
  12. Thank you everyone for the replies, I will try just a few drops of photo flo next time.
  13. To be effective, Kodak Photoflo needs to be 200:1 or the recommended dilution of whatever brand you're using. If it's sudsy, it's been vigorously mixed or agitated too much. Mixing it gently and pouring it slowly significantly reduces the chances of turning it into a bubble bath. Pouring the liquid can be eliminated if you mix it in a suitable tray the size of a tv dinner tray, let it settle, then holding the film by the ends with hanging clamps on, slowly run the film through it several times. After which, hold the film at 45 degrees to allow excess Photoflo to drain to the bottom edge of the film

    The other method, once the washing step is completed, is to leave the film in it's reel, in the tank (with top removed), and slowly pour the Photoflo in until it just covers the reel. Gentle agitation can be by spindle slowly spinning the reel, or by rocking the tank but avoid sloshing the Photoflo. (Dump tank in water straight after removing reel and emptying the Photoflo)

    Photofloing is not like the developer step where you have limited time. With the Photoflo step, you can take your time, to make sure the whole film is covered with Photoflo, the excess is drained off, and then hung soon after. Your heart beat should be back to normal as you're doing the Photoflo step because the vital and timed dev and fix steps are done already, the film can't really be spoiled unless it gets scratched or a toxic chemical is splashed on it. Photoflo will do neither of those, at worse it will only leave faint "water" marks if not done correctly, but ample time can be spent to ensure the step is done right
  14. Thank you kmac. I just got done developing my one roll. Everything went a bit smoother this time. I didn't fumble around as much loading my reel. I did squeegee this roll as the last one but don't think I'm going to do it anymore, if just the right pressure is not applied it chatters as it runs down the film. Just a few drops of photo flo was used and it seemed to be ok, it didn't make suds this time.

    I also ordered an anti newton piece of glass for my epson V550, it should help quite a bit with my scanning this time around.

    You are all very kind and I thank you for helping me with my questions.
    Moving On likes this.
  15. I rinse still on the reel under a faucet on very low.

    For best results, I put a funnel in the center of the reel (lid off)
    such that the water goes down to the bottom of the tank, and then comes up.

    In some cases if you pour water on the top of the reel, there isn't enough
    exchange all the way down. To be extra sure, I dump out the water once
    or twice, and let it refill.

    I believe the recommended capacity (for 135-36 or 120) for D-76 1:1 is one roll per 16oz.

    Note that they allow for two rolls in 16oz with a 10% increase in time.

    It seems that should also allow for one roll in 8oz with a 10% increase,
    but it doesn't say that.

    So, the recommendation is 16oz of 1:1 for one roll for the time given,
    or for 2 rolls 10% longer.

    So, you should go for 16 oz, not because of agitation problems, but to be sure
    that there is enough developer for the whole roll.
  16. Thank you Glen for clarifying things for me. I will remember to add the 10% to my developer next time on two rolls.

    I'm happy with the way they are turning out. I have no idea if the amount of grain present is normal or not, I've looked over some pictures here in one of the threads and there is a gentleman using pyro developer and his photos look superb. They have very little grain present. I suppose thats the fun part of everything, experimenting with different developers and films and such.

    Here's a pic from last nights roll.

  17. Not bad but there's a mark on the left center, what is it, a thin water mark ?
  18. I'm not super familiar with them, but I think its called a newton ring. Something to do with the scanning process. I have an anti newton ring piece of glass coming in the mail that should alleviate this, or so I have learned in another thread here.
  19. When I use one reel in a two reel tank I just add an empty reel on top. I use SS tanks & reels and I don't like the reels sloshing around in the tank.
    robert_bowring likes this.
  20. I have one and two reel tanks, and use the one reel tank when I have one roll.

    But for the OP, with D76 1:1, it is recommended 16oz for a 135-36 roll.
    I suppose 8oz for a 135-24 roll should be fine, though.

    If you have a partially full tank, one reel or two, you probably don't want to shake
    it around too much when agitating. Slow inversions, and let the solution mix on
    each inversion should be fine.

    With an almost full tank, it will take more shaking to get the liquid to mix.

Share This Page