Simple Agitation question

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by brian steinberger, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. I've read in Ansel's book "the negative" and "way beyond monochrome" that you
    should agitate for the first 30 seconds of the development cycle and then once
    every 30 secs throughout the cycle. Then I look at Ilfords specs and they say
    to only agitate for the first 10 seconds and then 10 seconds once every minute.
    I'm using both Ilford film and developer.

    Is it once per minute or twice? I'm confused. I'm processing two 120 rolls on
    SS reels in a spiral tank.
  2. make your own tests using strip test of the same subject and then, print both to see the difference. Agitation change the contrast of your negs.
  3. Either routine will give pretty much the same results. Both methods fall under the category of "standard agitation" and consist of 5 sec agitation every 30 sec or ten sec every minute. I use the 10 sec every minute route because I only have to pick up the tank half as much! lol
  4. Brian,

    If you pre-soak with water to wet the emulsion, a 30 sec agitation will help in the displacement of the water with developer.

  5. It just doesn't matter much what scheme you use, they all work fine. Some claim better highlight and contrast control using less frequent agitation. I prefer less frequent agitation. What is important is what happens during the first 30-60 seconds. Be sure to agitate continuously and not too gently during this time. It sets the stage for everything that subsequently happens. If you do this properly, you'll never have air bells, uneven development, or many other problems that crop up.
  6. Pick one. Get very consistent with it. That will take out one vairable and allow you to adjust using more quantifiable factors like dev time. The only time I alter my agitation is when I use Acufine - the manufactures stresses "very gentle agitation". I don't really know why, or what they mean exactly, but I just followed their insturctions and got great results. And of course, for stand and semi-stand developments, like some high dilution Rodinal work.
    The bottom line is, 10sec then 5 every 30, or 30 then 10 every minute (which I use) is pretty much so close as to be practically the same. Pick the one you're comfortable with, try to develop a pace of agitation that feels natural and easy to repeat and thus, you take out one variable out of the equation, allowing you to make more predictable changes using more easily measured means.
  7. I use Adam's technique and give 30 seconds of continuous agitation followed by one inversion every 30 seconds. The important thing is consistency - find a techique that works for you and stick to it.
  8. I happen to use Ilford's agitation method as I use their chemistry 90% of the time but I have also mixed and matched agitiation strategies with a few different developers and found them to be much of a muchness

    I would echo the other responses of "pick a method and stick to it". It will be one less thing to worry about in the darkroom!
  9. Go back and read Conrad H answer again. Remember it and do it. People who try to cure development marks by slowing down agitation and using less create more marks and problems.

    Ilford`s 10 sec and 10/60 has worked for me for years on their film except for 4x5 on hangars. Then go 60 and 10/60. Kodak`s works for their film 30 and then 5/30.

    Do not pour developer into a stainless tank. With larger sizes it has the potential of causing problems. Lower the film into the tank in the dark. The wet/dry boundry must start and progress across the film without stopping and move as rapidly as possible. Keep this in mind if you ever start having problems.
  10. Brian,

    You will not, repeat "WILL NOT", get anywhere without doing your own density tests. The aim in development is to get a density of zone VIII that will suit your printing techniques (see pages 220 239 and following pages. So use any recommended agitaion method thay you are confortabale with and that achives the desired results.

    Just remember to run your zone 1 test 1st.

  11. Use a beseler motor base...

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