6 minutes versus 10 minutes

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by ryunin, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. ryunin

    ryunin TPF Noob!

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    A few days after my first film developing at home, I found out I severely underdeveloped it. For some reason, I thought 6 minutes was the proper time, I really have no idea where I got that info, and today I was studying some Kodak charts and saw the time (for Kodak D76 and Tri X 400 using 1:1 solution) should be almost 10 minutes. 4 minutes difference! How do you find out a film is underdeveloped? I thought mine was underexposed, but developed fine until today. Can you see the difference between underexposed and underdeveloped negative?

    Also, the Kodak recommends agitating every 30 seconds, in a small tank like mine, but my friend teacher taught me only to agitate every minute. What difference does that make on the final negative? Thanks.
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First, if your negatives provide a full range of greys with detail in both the shadows and the highlights, your specific combination of exposure and developer timing is probably acceptable. It may not be optimal, though.

    Second, agitation affects contrast. More frequent agitation produces greater negative contrast. What is important is to standardize on a specific film exposure [effective ASA], developer time/temperature and developer agitation frequency. Only in that way can you have some degree of certainty in what you will see when you finally pop the cover on the tank.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Kodak revised some developing times in the 1990's, and they are RIDICULOUSLY, even STUPIDLY SHORT suggested times!!! Just plain off the wall stoooooopid suggestions: the six minute time is one of these 'revised' times many people have commented on over the years.

    Developing with agitation 5 second every 30 is the old "standard". Developing w 10 sec agitation every 60 seconds can create what are known as "edge and adjacency effects", which are kind of almost like Unsharp Masking effects in PS. In the 10/60 sec. agitation system which I prefer, the developer that works on the heavily-exposed highlight areas will exhaust itself as it sits there and develops all that exposed silver in the highlights (the inky, dark areas of the negative). MEANWHILE, in the lesser-exposed shadow areas, the developer will have less work to do, and will remain stronger and more-vigorous, and at the edges of shadows/highlight transitions, there will be just ever-so-slight transitions where "strong and fresh" developer spills over into the EDGES of highlight areas where "weak and tired" developer has more or less slowed down its work. THIS simple act, of allowing the developer to sit and work for 60 seconds, leads to negatives that have thousands and thousands of very small areas where there has been applied a tiny bit more development along transitions or edges of shadow and highlights,and indeed along all sorts of areas where there is a disparity in subject tonal values throughout the negative...this type of developing and agitating longer, but less-often makes for a snappier-looking final print image.

    THis usually works best with diluted developers, like D-76 1:1, HC-110 Dilution B,m and Rodinol....the diluted developers are already "weaker" than using full-strength developers. You need a development time in the 10-14 minute time frame to get this effect at the maximum...ie, 10 to 14 cycles, as opposed to 6 or 8 cycles...
     
  4. Jay DeFehr

    Jay DeFehr TPF Noob!

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    Ryunin,

    Your question is a good one, and all film processors run into it sooner than later. The key to discerning between exposure and development effects is that exposure is most apparent in the shadow values, and development is most apparent in the highlights, but this is a general statement, and it can be difficult to judge which is which without some experience. An Underexposed, but properly developed negative will have weak, or blank shadows, and all the values will look as if they had slid down the curve, so midtones look like shadow values, and highlights look like midtones. A properly exposed, but underdeveloped negative will look similar, having weak values throughout the range, but more detail/density in the shadows than the underexposed negative. This can be a very subtle distinction to make, especially for beginners. Overexposure v overdevelopment is easier to identify. An overexposed but normally developed negative will look more dense than a properly exposed negative overall, and especially in the shadows. A properly exposed, but overdeveloped negative will have dense highlights, and slightly dense midtones, and near normal shadow values. I've seen ring-arounds that show these effects, and they can be useful in training one's eye, but there's no substitute for experience. Look at it this way- you have made a good example of a normally exposed/underdeveloped negative for reference! Keep good notes, and don't get discouraged, it will all come together with a little practice.

    Jay
     
  5. ryunin

    ryunin TPF Noob!

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    Thank you guys, the 6 minutes were the time my friend used for developing the same film with rodinal. I mistakenly considered that the right time although I used D76. So for 1:1 D76 Kodak recommends 9 45 minutes for Tri X 400 in a small tank. Would you agree with them? I will stick to the one minute agitation intervals.
     
  6. Jay DeFehr

    Jay DeFehr TPF Noob!

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    Ryunin,

    There will be no discernible difference in negatives agitated 5 seconds/ 30 seconds of development, and those agitated 10 seconds/ minute of development.

    Jay
     
  7. ryunin

    ryunin TPF Noob!

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    Thank you. I will practice. I was surprised when on one single film there were shots of the same village I took with 1/80 s and 1/800 s. I thought the 1/80s were wrong and was about to throw out that strip of film when an experienced told me they were exposed well, while 1/800 and similar were very underexposed. My scanner had no problem and no overexposure with those 1/80 s images, having all spectrum of greys available, while those 1/800s images lost details in shadows. So ever since I will try to make sure I don't underexpose. Maybe I will learn about the details in the future, now all I can do is trying to expose well and develop according to standard directions.
     
  8. Jay DeFehr

    Jay DeFehr TPF Noob!

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    That's good strategy, Ryunin, and will serve you well. Good luck!

    Jay
     
  9. nb_ken

    nb_ken TPF Noob!

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    Ansel Adams, while a great artist, was also a great chemist. His zone system gives us the definitive answer.

    Exposure provides density, development provides contrast. So, a correctly exposed but underdeveloped neg will show good shadow detail but the contrast will be flat. You won't have enough time in the soup to build up good highlights. This is assuming the scene you shot had average contrast to begin with.

    What can we learn from this? By examining your underexposed negs, you can get a peek at the zone system. If you do this on purpose, you can use development time not as an absolute, but as a tool to control contrast. Here's the zone system in a nutshell: you meter the darkest part of a scene with detail and expose for 4 (I think) stops greater than that, then meter the brightest part of your scene with detail and develop to produce a negative that has exactly 9 (again, I think) zones between the darkest and lightest zones.

    It's all very complicated and Adams had it mastered, but it can be simplified to a generality. If you're shooting on a bright, sunny day, you might overexpose a bit and pull the constrast back by underdeveloping. On the other side, on a gray, foggy day, consider underexposing and overdeveloping to bump the contrast.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  10. aprillove20

    aprillove20 TPF Noob!

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    Well, An overexposed but normally developed negative will look more dense than a properly exposed negative overall, and especially in the shadows.
     
  11. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    Oops! It was covered. Sorry, Derrel!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  12. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Try this link for dev times, its pretty close but with experience you decide on whether to pull or push development for quality negs, personally I always slightly overexpose negative film and underexpose slide/tranny for density but its trial n error till you get what you want. H

    http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php
     

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