Factor that affect developing

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by bagopeas, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. bagopeas

    bagopeas TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,

    im trying to get my head round to a few factors that affect the developing process. I know that they have to be a certain way but i dont actually know why.

    can someone clarify:

    - the significance of having the right temp (developer and room) & what will happen if it is not?

    - what will happen if you reduce or increase the time in developer ( more than the needed amount)

    - does the developer age? if so how does it affect the process?

    - how does light affect the developing? i mean there a red light in there but its safe right, ive had no problems so far.

    can you affect the contrast of an otherwise flat image while developing ( by keeping it in longer in the bath) or should u sort that out on the enlarger first by burning/dodging?

    thanx in advance
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    the significance of having the right temp has to do with being consistence as most modern developers have a wide range of temperatures that can be used; however, the time will change depending on the temperature. there are a few that recommend something other than the traditional 68 degrees.

    i am not sure if the rest of your questions refer to film or paper so i am taking a quess at which you mean.
    increasing the time will increase contrast and grain(with film)

    developers can oxidizes and stop working

    developing film with a safe light on is a no no, altho some may develop by inspection which means at some point they may view the negative under a very dim safelight, or green light. If you mean while printing, then the light ; if safe , will be ok, unless it is too strong and close to the paper. you can test the safe light by placing a piece of paper on the easel and place an object on the paper and let it sit there for 5 minutes and then develop the paper , use stop bath and fix then look at the paper in normal light to see if you can see an outline of the object. If you do, you may move the light further away from the easel and developing trays.


    not all red lights are darkroom safe lights , but if your using one that is meant for the darkroom that should be fine.
    if you mean effecting the contrast while printing, you would change the paper grade with the filters your using with the enlarger or change the grade of the paper if using a version that is already graded. You can effect the contrast with the developing process but not to a great degree. burning and dodging effects how light or dark sections of the print are not the contrast.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think you are referring to paper developing,an will answer from that perspective.

    Reuced time in the developer will yield muddy prints that lack a full tonal range. If you "pull" a print early, the blacks will usually look less than ideal, and the highlights will not develop fully either. There is sometimes a great temptation to "pull" a print early,based on what is seen in the dim safelight environment; that's a big mistake! A print needs to spend the FULL time in the developer,and to resist the temptation to pull the print, I always tried to develop prints face-down.

    As developer ages, its potency is reduced,and it will require a longer time to develop prints than if the developer is fresh. The best idea is to dump old developer and start with fresh,new developer. If the developer is cold, chemical reactions will be slower than normal,and excessively cold developer will fail to develop prints with a full tonal range.

    As far as the safety of a safelight--the degradation is usually easily seen by placing a plain sheet of paper next to the developer tray. Place a 25 cent coin on the paper,and allow the paper to rest face-up for the normal development time of 2 minutes. Then flip the safelight off, and develop the paper, stop bath it, and fix it. See if there's a visible shift in the paper's tonal value where the coin was...if there's a small,round white patch of paper surrounded by even slightly-darkened paper, you'll know that the safelight is fogging your paper at its current intensity or distance.

    I think that a flat image can have its contrast boosted a small amount, perhaps half a paper grade, by extended development, such as three minutes or so in developer with constant agitation--provided your safelight is truly safe and non-fogging! I think one of the biggest mistakes many people make is to develop in a tray with too little developer--the small amount of developer exhausts rather quickly,leading to inconsistent results.
     
  4. bagopeas

    bagopeas TPF Noob!

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    thank you all for ur help! appreciate it
     
  5. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    While there are many factors which can affect print development, my sooth would be to attempt to keep the process as consistent from print to print as possible, using only exposure time and contrast filtering [if using VC paper] as the variables. This means paying heed to the developer manufacturer's information regarding maximum number of prints, for example.

    Reason? Simply that you want to be able to work your way back to the moment of negative exposure with a [relatively] clear idea of what to expect in the finished print. You can do this only when your processing is standardized. If there are too many variables, you may find more surprises in the darkroom than you wish.

    This is not to say that questions such as those you've raised aren't interesting. They are.
     

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