Detailed film question

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by fightheheathens, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    ok, some of you may have read my earler thread about my problems with getting PanF+ to correctly develope.
    i took my film and question to a local photography store that is very knowledgble with film and they were equally miffed. they noticed that the numbers along the bottom of my film were equally underdeveloped thus rulling out an exposure issue and making it only a developement problem. furthermore because the same developer worked with HP5 and T-max 100 and Ilford Delta 100, we decided that it was only a problem with the developement of PanF+. Furthermore, i contacted ilford and they were also miffed as to why this was happening. They suggested i Use the ilford developer DD-X.

    i might try it, but right now im working my way though a batch of Xtol and im very happy with it (minus the panF+)

    I want to use this film, i have done quite a bit of searching on it because of this problem and i have yet to find someone who doesnt like this film. It sounds exactly like what i want from a film.

    so, how do i figure out the proper developement time of this film for me?

    my plan was to buy a roll, and with out exposing it, cut it into approximate 6 frame strips and develope each strip to a different time. then when i look at the developed strips i can compair the numbers on the bottom to see at what time they turn fully black. thus meaning the film was properly developed. This is my idea, though i know there are other ways to determine the proper developement of a type of film.
    are there other ways?
    or how do i go about finding the proper developement time for this film for me?
     
  2. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    That's exactly what I had, the first time I used PanF

    Developing an unexposed film is not going to give you the same results as an exposed film, and you want to get as close as possible to what you will be doing normally, so fill the roll with shots first. Trying to judge the development time based on how dark the frame numbers are seems unlikely to give you very precise information - what are you going to compare them with? How will you know what is dark enough?

    There are a number of testing procedures, some of which are very precise and involve the use of a sensitometer. A variation on these, using a handheld spotmeter and a lightbox, can be found here:

    http://www.zone2tone.co.uk/testingm.htm

    It's quite a lot of work, but would give you the answers you need.

    If you haven't got a sensitometer or a spotmeter then you can make a series of exposures of a scene (a still life that you set up with a variety of light and dark tones in it), expose them over a range of settings, cut the film into 3 sections and develop for the normal time, an extra 10%, an extra 20%, and then assess the results visually. The detailed instructions are in a book at home, so let me know if you are interested and I'll type them up.
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For what it's worth, I routinely shoot Pan F at ASA 25 and develop in Microdol X for 15 min. at 68 degrees F. Results are admirable.
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    my favorite test subject for testing film and camera exposures is a newspaper. Generally you can tell even slight differences. If you have a scanner scan sheet of four or more negs at a time to see the subtle differences. At least that's how I do it.
     
  5. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    hmm,
    i might try that instead.
    I guess the thing is that i dont want exposure to play a roll in this. Or if i do, exposure has to the exact same in all shots. after showing people the problem, its been isolated to a developement only problem.
    I would rather fix the developer problem then over expose and underdevelope the film.
    As to my plan, i was just gonna develope the film in strips at different times keeping agitation and temp the same. as for compairing i was just gonna look at the numbers on the bottom of the film. (ilford also has little bar thingies on the edge of their film and the word Ilford) My understanding of it is, when a film is fully developed, those numbers along the bottom of the negative should be the blackest black. if the film is underdeveloped, those numbers will be somewhere around middle grey depending on the degree to which the film is underdeveloped. My plan is to look at my negs and when the numbers appear to get no darker as time is increased, IE neg developed for 14min has numbers as dark as neg developed for 15 min but nubmers developed at 13 min are not quite as dark. Ill then use this developement time as a starting point.

    im quite frustrated by this, i shouldnt have to correct developement time by upwards of 5 minutes (iv'e increased developemet time by 30% and results were beter but still to thin) and i shouldnt have to over expose my shots by 2 or more stops
     
  6. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    The second method I was talking about would allow you to check film speed and development time simultaneously, but there is no reason why you couldn't do the development tests on their own. Formal testing is a pain, and plenty of people manage perfectly well with trial and error, so having already added 30% to your development you could just try adding some more.

    I've just looked at Ilford's suggested development times for PanF in stock Xtol, and at EI 50 they quote 6.75 minutes. Was that your starting point?
     
  7. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    yeah, in stock xtol, i tried 7 min and then 10 min and both were underdeveloped though what was developed at 10 might be usable...
    both rolls were exposed at EI 50
     
  8. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    How are you agitating?
     
  9. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    im doing 3 agitations every 30 seconds. I start with 30 seconds of continous agitation.
    I've thought about doing more agitation but i havent gotten around to it.
     
  10. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

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    Try increasing agitation to 5-7 vigorous inversions over a period of about 5 seconds, every 30 seconds. I generally do 5 inversions, but I'm using TMax and Tri-X with TMax dev, so you might need a bit more.

    Also, you might check your dev temperature a couple of times to make sure you're staying above 68 degrees.
     
  11. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    I doubt this has anything to do with agitation, it sounds like more of a film speed issue and underdevelopment or a combination of each.

    agitation can increase contrast, but the problem this person is experiencing is exactly the reason.. I stayed with Kodak only.!


    time tested & approved by millions of photographers!
     

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