First time developing film (B&W)

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by justin_ng|1, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Here's the list. I also posted this in a faceboon group and on RFF

    1) Developer. 600ml. Around 20°C. Into the tank, agitate for 1 min. Wait for 1 min. Agitate for 10 sec and so on.

    2) Por out developer. Stop Bath for 30 seconds using water.. Fill the tank and dump the water twice if you use water instead of stop bath.

    3) Fixer. Ilford Rapid Fix. 5 mins. Agitate.

    4) Wash. This washes the fixer off the film. Water?

    5) Dry

    I'll buy hc-110, ilford rapid fixer, film changing bag, two 2L measuring cylinder and a paterson universal tank 2 reel set.
  2. Updated

    1) Water into the tank (to make film stick together)
    2) 18.8ml of hc-110 + 581.2ml of water
    3) Pour out developer.
    4) Pour water into it. 2 times
    5) Fixer. Ilford rapid fixer. around 7 mins
    6) Pour out fixer.
    7) Dry

    Film is HP5+
  3. Some people do a water pre-wash, but it's value is debated. You definitely don't do it to make the film stick together, that would prevent the developer and fixer from working.
  4. Just go to the $2 shop and get some cheap measuring cups. You also need a proper thermometer.

    Don't forget you have to mix up your developer, it's not just 600ml of the chemistry.

    I use a stop bath but some people don't.

    You don't need a 2L measuring cylinder I can do mine with a 600ml measuring cup (plastic).

    Don't forget the recipe is diff for each film and each film developer.

    If you are using Ilford film why not Ilford developer? No problem with Kodak chemistry though.

    Side note is that I don't shoot that much as an avg person. I didn't buy liquid developer because according to the mfg they expire in 6 or 12 months once opened. Liquid developers tend to use higher dilutions like you noted 18.8ml and 581ml of water. This reason I have gone with powder developers. But you need glass bottles to store them. Because you have to mix up the 1L pack straight up, you cannot split powders.

    No rinse aid like Photo Flo? A few people said it works better so I get a spray bottle with water and this stuff and spray it once it hung up for dry.
  5. Thank you very much, but I actually have an updated version, which will be the last version if it's right. I don't want to use photo flo for the moment

    Last version
    1) Mix 293ml of Water + 6ml of HC-110. Make sure it’s 20 degrees
    2) Agitate for 5 mins. Agitate for 10 seconds first. Wait for 1 min, agitate for 6 sec then 30 sec intervals till 5 min
    3) Pour our developer
    4) Water bath. Twice. Agitate for 30 sec
    5) 293ml of fixer. Agitate for 5 mins. Same rule like for developer
    6) Pour out fixer.
    7) Water bath. Once. Agitate for at least 5 minutes. Same rule like for developer
    8 ) Dry
  6. That sounds ok provided the development times are good.

    I just think the powder developer may be more economical for many amateurs. $6US for powder developer - makes 1L. under a 1+3 that can process at least 12 rolls. Expires up to 12 months. Mfg says 6 months, I have used it 12 months. I don't have Kodak's spec sheets but going with Ilford liquid developers full bottles opened last 2yr but half bottles last 6 months. If you are using 18.8ml of chemistry. For a 500ml that means 24 rolls before it goes off.
  7. Good thanks! Not using the 18.8ml one. Read my updated version!
  8. 6ml that's even less are you gonna use up your chemistry B4 it goes off.
  9. This doesn't seem like sufficient washing. There should be several changes of water. Either use running water (at the same temp as the rest of the processing) for 5-10 minutes OR use Ilford's water-saver version - fill with water, invert 5 times then dump, fill with fresh water, invert 10 times then dump, fill with fresh water, invert 20 times then dump. Then hang in a clean place to dry.
  10. Huh, so I need to fill it up first, agitate for 5 times (5 circles), dump then 10 times then 20?
  11. I think you are making this more difficult than need be. I will assume you are using stainless steel tanks but that doesn't much matter. All my information here will be in US measurements. For developing 35mm film you will need 8 ounces of developer per roll. If you are doing two rolls at once you'll need 16 ounces and so on. My preferred film developer is D-76 but there are many others. I prefer to dilute mine 1:1 ie 8 ounces of developer with 8 ounces of water. Temperature should be between 68 and 75 degrees F. I think pre soaking for 30 seconds or a minute is a good idea. Agitate the film for 5 seconds every 30 during development. Make sure all of your chemistry, washes, pre soaks and so on are within about 2 degrees of each other. Use the information with the film for developing times. After the development you can use a stop bath or just fill the tank with water and dump it, your choice. If you are using a rapid fix it will need about 5 minutes in fixer. Regular fixer will require more, maybe 8 minutes. Wash the film at the same temperature and use running water into the tank for about 20 minutes. Then put the film in photo flo for about 30 seconds, then use a clean squeegee to take some of the liquid off the film and hang it up in a dust free environment to dry. DO NOT try to dry it with a heat gun or hair drier. Ever. Careful at all times not to scratch the film, especially when it is wet. When it is dry you can cut it into strips and move on to printing. All of this really doesn't take much time and for me is an enjoyable process.

    Rick H.
  12. Ilford Rapid fixer according to the data sheet is 3mins. I go for 4.5mins myself :)
  13. Yes, for the washing at the end, after the fixer. Not sure what you mean by circles. Invert means to turn the tank upside down than back to right side up. Before the developer, you don't even need to put water in. Ilford rapid fixer is made using 1 part stock fixer and 4 parts water for 2-4 minutes (for HP5+) according to Ilford. You need a longer time when it's not as fresh and for films with T-grains like TMax and Delta. I would also recommend against a squeegee as it's easy to get scratches.
  14. Hello Justin
    Here is a good video showing the complete process, I just got back into developing after about 10 years and this refreshed my memory and it should walk you through it.
    garybowen likes this.
  15. Not sure from your description what your total development time would be, as your description is a bit vague. But if it is a total of 5 min, it seems a bit short to me for HP5 at ISO400 in HC110 1:50 (Dillution E); if it's 11 min total, it seems too long. The times I used this dillution, I used around 8:00-8:30, and things came out great. I usually use the 1:63 dillution H, though, for 11 min; all this at 20 degrees Celsius, without presoaking. For agitation, I keep things simple (first 30sec, after 10 sec. for every minute). HP5 works very well like this for me with HC110.

    Also: "I don't want to use photo flo for the moment". I see no advantage whatsoever to not using photoflo or a similar washing agent as the very last step after washing the film. It helps cleaning the film, and keeping it clean, and it doesn't cost all that much (for example photo wash from tetenal is pretty cheap). Likewise, I do use a normal stop bath (citric acid, like Ilfostop). Especially when starting out, I wouldn't deviate too much from the "tried and tested" processes as it makes it much easier to troubleshoot issue if they'd occur. As you gain experience, the inevitable experiments will come, but I'd get the basics down in a solid way. After all, the first time you see your own negatives come out of the tank is real magic, and you shouldn't put that magic moment at risk.
  16. if you loaded your tank properly, there is no chance of film 'sticking together'
  17. 1 minute initial agitation is far too long. All you need to do is invert the tank twice after filling, then bang it down on your work-surface a couple of times to dislodge any air bells that might have stuck to the film. I have a folded towel under the tank to prevent damage to the tank or worktop.<p>After that it's one inversion every 30 seconds, bringing the tank smartly down on the worktop again.<p>Incidentally it's important to have some air space in the tank, otherwise inversion agitation doesn't work properly. It's air bubbling through the tank that does the agitation. You need to keep the tank upside down for a few seconds to let the air do its work. A quick flip and back is of little use.<p>The guy in the video above shows exactly the wrong way to do inversion agitation.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  18. Agreed, I was just responding to his post in which he said that was the purpose of prewash.
  19. My darkroom experience extends back to the early 1970s and for the past 25 years, I have a general set of film processing steps I follow. I should add, some film/developer combinations have unique agitation or other steps but this is a good guideline to follow.
    1. After preparing the solutions and setting them in beakers in the correct amount for the tank, look up and determine the developing time. Take the film end you clipped off (the start of the film) and soak it briefly in water and put into your film fixer, stir occasionally and time how long it takes to clear the emulsion from the film - the correct fixing time is double the clearing time, whether it's freshly made or has fixed several films, the longest it should take to clear the film emulsion is 5 minutes (fixing time is 10 minutes). It it is longer than that (fix time exceeding 10 minutes) then it's time to discard fixer and make a fresh bottle. Typically one litre of rapid fixer will fix at least 20 rolls of 35mm film. All solutions/water should be at the same temp. i.e. 68ºF or75ºF and all chemicals diluted for use. Now we start to develop the film.
    2. Water pre-rinse (optional), fill tank with water, agitate and let sit for up to one minute, pour out
    3. Developer - add to tank and agitate for 15-30 seconds at first, tap tank to dislodge bubbles and agitate for 5 seconds every 30 second until the developer time is reached, pour out (discard)
    4. Stop bath, I use indicator stop bath made one gallon at a time, works over and over and changes from yellow to purple when it is not effective, add stop, agitate 5 second, and again after 30 seconds, then pour back into the stop bath reusable bottle
    5. Fix bath, fix the film twice the clearing time (see 1 above) with 5 second agitation every 30 seconds, after fixing, pour film fixer back into storage bottle
    6. Water rinse, fill tank with fresh water, agitate 10 times, discard
    7. Hypo clearing agent (optional but recommended)
    (i.e. Kodak HCA, ILford Gallerie Washaid, Heico Permawash) I use Permawash. Fill tank with this solution, agitate 30 seconds, let sit 30 seconds, repeat and then discard (2 minutes total)
    8. Wash film in running water for at least 10 minutes. leaving film on reel!
    9. Wetting agent (optional but highly recommended) I use Kodak Photo Flo 200 in water (200:1) Pour into film tank enough to cover film reel, tap gently to dislodge bubbles and soak for up to 2 minutes
    10. Pull film from reel and hold to let most of the solution run off the side, hang until dry (time varies)
    It may sound over the top, but this is what works for me, haste makes waste and taking shortcuts in the darkroom never works out in the end. Good luck.
    garybowen likes this.
  20. I've been developing film since the early 1970s. The above advice is good, but here are a few more tips:

    1. Mix the film developer with distilled water, not tap water. Tap water varies from one place to another and even from one season to another. Distilled water is always the same. The other solutions are less critical and can be mixed with tap water.

    2. After washing the film in tap water, fill the tank with distilled water and agitate vigorously for one minute. It's amazing how this simple step removes fine debris left behind by the tap-water wash (often tiny particles picked up from old pipes). The fine debris is virtually invisible but will show up as tiny white spots on your prints. You can't brush or blow those particles off the negatives later, because they become embedded in the film emulsion as the film dries.

    3. Definitely soak the film for 30 seconds in Kodak Photo-Flo before hanging it to dry. This step prevents water spots. Photo-Flo is cheap, and a tiny bottle lasts almost forever. I mix my Photo-Flo in a gallon jug of distilled water for additional safety.

    4. Never wipe the film with a sponge or squeegee to speed up drying. Eventually you will scratch the fragile wet film. After 30 seconds in Photo-Flo, just hang up the film to dry in a dust-free place overnight. A shower stall is good because the door helps to keep dust out. It's especially good after taking a shower, which removes lots of dust from the air. Leave the film alone while it dries to avoid stirring up dust.

    My methods may seem extreme to some people, but they greatly reduce the amount of embedded dust particles in the film and save lots of time later when spotting prints.
    rodeo_joe|1 likes this.

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