Temperature of stop-bath, fix and wash

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by raja_a._adal, Jul 14, 2000.

  1. I have found a few threads on this topic, but nothing authoritative. In my appartment the temperature ranges from 17C (63F) in the winter to 31F (88F) in the summer. Although I carefully calculate my developer temperature to average out to 20C (68F) for Delta 400 in Xtol 1:2 and 24C (75F) for Delta 3200 in Xtol 1:1 (by keeping a bottle of distilled water in the fridge and mixing it with non-refridgerated water in the summer), how much does the temperature of the other solutions matter.

    <p>

    I figured that with hardened modern emulsions, even a 31C (88F) wash water would be OK if I handled my negs carefully, and so far I haven't experienced any visible problems. Does anyone think that the temperature of the baths other than the developer makes a visible difference in quality? By the way, although this is not the place for it, the same question applies to printing. Thanks in advance for your always so helpful combined wisdoms. Raja
     
  2. Raja, I would be very careful about extreme temperature differences
    when developing film. It is my understanding that having the stop bath
    much warmer (say 5F or so) can cause the emulsion to swell and crack.
    (This is called reticulation.)

    <p>

    I prepare the developer the same way you do and then chill the stop
    bath and developer if they have been prepared in a previous session.
    (If not, I prepare them like the developer.) The tap water here often
    reaches 80F or more in the summer so, after fixing, I use a water bath
    of the correct temperature (68-70F) an add the warmer water to this
    bath gradually so there is no sudden temperature change. I haven't had
    any problem with reticulation.
     
  3. As I understand it, reticulation with modern films is almost
    impossible to achieve.

    <p>

    I live on an island in the Gulf or Mexico, and my 'cold' tap water,
    which I use to wash my film and mix my chemicals [except for the
    developer], comes in at around 87 degrees F, or more. I have never
    had ANY problems going from 68 degree F film developer to 80 + degree
    F water stop or film and paper wash.

    <p>

    chris
     
  4. Living in the more temperate UK I only ever watch the temperature of
    the developer, never that of stop/fix/wash water. In winter I use a
    water bath to up the developer temp by about 2 deg C. In 20 years of
    this practise I have never seen reticulation - probably wouldn't
    recognise it if it ever occured!!
     
  5. I develop at 75 deg. F and keep all the subsequent baths within 2
    deg. The last time I was casual about temps was about 20 years ago I
    put some Plus-X from 68 deg. fixer to 80 deg. wash water and it
    reticulated.
     
  6. With those fluctuations, I would go with a developer called Diafine. It
    is a very fine grained, high acutance, 2 bath developer that is not
    temp. critical. I would advise to keep all the chemicals the same temp
    because of reticulation as another poster stated.
    Cheers
     
  7. It is important to keep the temperature of the chemicals close to the
    same. Temperature shock can induce reticulation, as mentioned above,
    though not as likely with modern films. More importantly the
    temperature shock can increase the grain size. (I think it induces
    increased clumping.)

    <p>

    If you need to process using high temperatures, there are specific
    high temperature developers which might be useful. Also, PMK is
    supposed to be OK to 85 degrees F, according to its designer.
     
  8. I live in the desert and do not have a wet darkroom, I develope
    at temps up to 84-F with HC 110-E all the time and up to 90 with
    ABC-Pyro, all solutions are the same temp,so, no problems. Pat
    P.S. I have a compemsating timer, which makes a big difference.
     
  9. I use ice in a baggie to cool the solutions to around 75F; Dr. Richard Henry found a significant increase in apparent graininess with several films at 77F+ development temperature, and I've seen it quite a few times.

    <p>

    I can't do anything about the wash water temperature; in summer here it's around 80F or so. So often I'll develop the film at 75F, stop it at 76F or so, fix it at 78F, HCA at room temp which is usually around 80F etc.

    <p>

    At any rate, with modern prehardened films and occasional unintended large temperature shocks I've never managed to reticulate or damage the emulsion.
     
  10. I live on the Texas gulf coast, and the temperature of the
    water from the tap varies greatly. I use distilled water for
    the developer and the final rinse (with Edwal LFN). For stop,
    fix, and the first stages of washing, I put tap water in the
    plastic jugs that the distilled water came in, and keep it in
    a room that has moderate temperature. The difference between
    solution temperatures is minimized this way. For rinsing, I
    use a modified form of Ilford's recommended procedure, which
    does not use a lot of water. I modify it by using a quick
    rinse after the fix, then hypo eliminator, then more changes
    of water and more time than they recommend. I do adjust the
    temperature of the developer to 68 or 75 F. ,and almost
    always manage to keep it to within one degree F. by using
    a simple water bath (cool water with a couple of ice cubes in
    a tray; the developing tank spends more or less of the time
    in the tray depending on the cool water temp). I spin the reels
    2 at a time in a lettuce spinner "centrifuge" and hang the film
    up to dry in a damp shower stall. Very low-tech, but it all
    seems to produce clean consistent negatives. If for some reason
    the stored water is too hot, I do cool it down before I start.
     
  11. I have always kept my stop, fix, hype clear and wash to within 2 deg F of my developer. In the summer my tap water is about 74 deg F in the winter I prefer 68 deg F (I'm a creature of habit).I develop my prints with all solutions at room temperature (around 75 deg F) . My darkroom is heated in winter and cooled in winter.

    <p>

    When I started developing negatives after a 10 year hiatus my first rolls (t-max 400) were developed in the kitchen sink with wash water 10 degrees colder than all chemicals. The negs were grainy and barely printable. Under a 10X loupe the grain structure was clumped and uneven.Careful attention to wash water temperature has eliminated this problem.
     
  12. I've always felt that keeping all solutions at the exact same
    temperature reduces apparent grain size or clumping. No real data
    though. I run a pot of hot or cold water and set each solution bottle
    (beaker actually) in it to bump the temperature where I want it.
    After that I set everything in a water bath at 20 degrees to keep it
    stable during processing. The tank goes there too, between agitation
    cycles. Keeping the wash stable was impossible till I got a control
    valve- highly recommended. Now all I need is a water filter for all
    that grit...
     
  13. Hi,

    <p>

    I always make sure that I use the same temp for the developer and
    wash bath, 68 degrees if possible. Lately it's been difficult to get
    that because it is summer here in the U.S. so I try to get it as
    close to 68 degrees as possible.

    <p>

    As for chemistry, since I premix the stop and fix, I honestly don't
    know what the temp is. I think it would be wise to stick all three
    in a holding tray with water at the temp you want for processing. I
    haven't tried it yet but would like to at some point.

    <p>

    I was always told that the temps should be kept near the same and
    expecially the water wash. I always make sure that it is close if
    not right on.

    <p>

    I've never had any trouble with reticulation or clumping grain. As
    for printing, believe it or not, I don't regulate the temp at all -
    whatever comes out of the faucet (on the cold side of course) is what
    I use to mix my developer. Never had any trouble with prints either.
     
  14. In looking for info on something else I came across a test done by Dr. Richard Henry on the effects of temperature changes

    <p>

    He tested Pan-X, Plus-X and Tri-X by taking one batch abruptly up from 68F to 75F and another batch abruptly down from 75F to 68f....and measured _no_ significant differences in granularity or acutance and certainly no emulsion damage.
     

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