Kodak tri-x with hc-110 help.

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by xypex982, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. xypex982

    xypex982 TPF Noob!

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    Ive developed about five rolls of tri-x 400 with hc-110 dil B and following the box time 3 1/4 mins at 20c. So being sick of the terrible results I tried 5:30 with a roll I shot through a Diana and the results were much better, but it was shot with a Diana so who knows what it would look like in my AE-1. So what I am asking is when you guys use dilution B and tri-x 400 what times do you guys use at 20c? Should I try more like 6:30? It just seems like the images when that I developed for 5:30 still weren't the same look as I have seen people get online with hc-110.

    The five and a half min results through my Diana

    Diana 35mm - a set on Flickr
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, I happen to have developed a few thousand rolls of Tri-X in HC-110 Dilution B. Seriously. I think it's a great developer, but if you are mixing it up using concentrated developer and then water, it is absolutely *imperative* that you rinse the measuring graduate with the same amount of water, multiple times, and do it the same,exact way, each and every tank of film.

    My preferred time with HC-110 and 2 rolls of film was 7 minutes.

    Take a look at Kodak HC-110 Developer - Unofficial Resource Page

    which is an HC-110 fan page,and note that the author openly writes that he believes that Kodak's "new" suggested time for Tri-X is the WRONG TIME....and I would have to agree. A suggested time of 3.5 minutes at 20 degrees Centrigrade/68 degrees Farenheit is simply ludicrous! Your bad results show that the time yields crummy-looking negatives that do not develop anywhere near the film speed or contrast desired...I looked at your sample pics--TOTALLY flat negatives. The other thing leading to the idea that the Kodak times are wrong is the fact that development times of 3.5 minutes are *NOTORIOUSLY* unreliable and not-repeatable. For over 15 years, Kodak literature specifically warned against short developing times!

    A second factor many people are totally unaware of is the accuracy of their own thermometer; are you using a quality process thermomenter, or a simple darkroom thermometer? I used to do lab tech work, processing 4, 8,12,or 16 rolls of Tri-X in HC-110 dilution B every night. It is common for stainles steel dial thermometers to read as much as 3 to 3.5 degrees differently than one another, and using an ultra-short dilution time of 3.5 minutes seems patently ludicrous to me. When I read that the suggested time for Tri-X in HC-110 B was 3.5 minutes, I did not believe what I was reading....it used to be more like 6:30 to 7:00 at 20C. Development times for films is a highly individualized,personalized matter than incorporates many things: Exposure Index you exposed at, your light meter, your camera, how you meter (Zone System with a calibrated spot meter or wave-o-meter-and-just-shoot),as well as the developer's exact strength, thermometer accuracy, and agitation method and agitation time/soak time.
    It's a lot like pizza cooking--times are 'suggested starting times', not written in stone. But 3.5 minutes....something is very,very suspicious about that time...it is highly suspect.

    Agitation using HC-10 can be done 5 seconds every 30 seconds, or 10 second on the minute, using a rolling-pin agitation method, made famous by Bill Pierce in the early 1970's. Clearly, the 3.5 minute time period for developing any B&W rollfilm is, well, just idiotic. Simply no other way to put it,and in fact the older data sheets warned of the dangers of very short developing times--uneven,streaky development, inadequate emulsion speed,and extremely unpredictable and un-repeatable results.

    Obviously, experienced darkroom workers dispute Kodak's published 3.5 minute time with dilution B HC-110. It's highly concentrated; 6 millilitres is enough to soup a whole roll of film, and so exact dilution and strength are paramount if mixing it one-shot or by the gallon. If the negs look thin, you need to develop longer, no matter what Kodak says. Especially if using a fixed shutter speed camera like a Holga or Diana.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  3. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    I used to work for Kodak and I think they are crazy saying 3.5 minutes. 7 is more like it. That's Kodak for ya.
     
  4. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    years ago when kodak changed the formula for tri x they posted those numbers for hc110 and of course the "old guard" went crazy. the long and short of the story was that people felt there had been a mis print in the instruction and kept their own times. I know people who called Kodak and finally someone in the support section allowed that there may have been a typo of some kind. why it wasn't changed is beyond me.

    Developing under 5 mintues is an accident waiting to happen unless it is a specific developer I.E. Acufine which calls for shorter times but is a two step process.

    Years ago the time suggested was 7.5 minutes for that dilution ratio, which in our lab was toooooooo much. After specific testing we now do 6 minutes and on occassion 6.5, but no less no more.
     
  5. xypex982

    xypex982 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys! Yes I know the negs were very flat, but I was just so happy for them to be so even, trust me im embarrassed to show the results I have been getting before.

    Derrel How do you mean? When I mix I go from concentrate, I put the whatever amount of ml of the HC-110 dil B calls for into a little measured babies medicine dropper thing. Do you mean when I go to add my water (any time my film touches water except for the 10 min bath I use distilled water) that I should use the dropper a few times with the water so that is gets the residue?

    Also when I agitate I use the 5 seconds every 30 seconds method, with a almost tumbling motion, do you guys suggest a rolling pin motion instead? If so how far should I roll it? Far so that it spins 360 several times? Also I have heard differnt agitation times and methods can affect the contrast, should I just keep with my method until I get the dev time about right to keep the variables down?

    As far as temp, I just use this analog stick that has a point and you read it on the top, and I assume its stainless steel. I throw my mixed chems into the freezer until according to my thermometer say 20c, which it reads from the bottom of the container I assume where it would be the warmest.


    I understand that it takes some honing in, I just hope that this method will give even better results next time

    1 min pre soak (in distilled water) *constant agitation*

    6:30 in dev (still debating agitation method/time)

    stop (I usually put stop in agitate for a min, dump and do again)

    fix *kodafix* (I always use the checking leader fix time then x2 it method of figuring that out...tends to come out to be 4 mins for the roll)

    stop

    10 mins of running water from my sink

    1 min of a tank of distilled water with2 drops of photo flow constant agitation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, I meant that the measuring device for the HC-110 syrup must be rinsed the same way each time, since it takes only about 1/4 ounce of syrup; you need to get every bit of the syrup rinsed out of the measuring device,so that you always have the right amount of developer in your final solution.

    I agree with the 1-minute pre-soak in plain water. I agitated 10 seconds upon filing the tank,and smacked the tank down HARD 2x on the counter to prevent bubbles adhering. Then, at the 1 minute mark, I used roller-pin agitation, rolling the tank back and forth, on its side, rolling about 9 inches or so each direction, rolling for 10 seconds at each 1-minute timer mark.

    Allowing the developer to "soak" for 1 minute between agitation does something very simple: it creates what are called edge and adjacency effects, which is sort of like a type of "edge sharpening". Here's how it works: the developer exhausts itself as it develops the highlight areas,which have been heavily exposed. The less-exposed shadow areas though, exhaust the developer significantly LESS, due to their lower exposure. This means that the developer, as it soaks and gets exhausted, develops the edge transitions between highlights and shadows, creating microscopic "edge" enhancements at the "adjacent" areas between shadows and highlights. This exhausted developer/stronger developer edge and adjacency effect is made more pronounced by a longer soak time: if the developer is agitated every 30 seconds, fresh developer is more or less continually distributed,and the edge and adjacency effects do not develop to nearly the same degree.

    This type of developing with longer periods between agitation is/was also very popular with users of Rodinal,another highly concentrated liquid based developer that I have a lot of experience with. Again, personal factors determine one's exact,precise developing times. Temperature, and agitation, as well as the timing commencement, all ad up. When does the time begin? As soon as you start pouring the developer into a 4-reel tank, or only once the tank has been filled, or emptied?

    Bill Pierce was a master darkroom worker/photojournalist back in the day. He was an excellent writer. I learned a lot about B&W film exposure and development from his many articles.
     
  7. xypex982

    xypex982 TPF Noob!

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    So I carefully mixed my chems, making sure my sropper had all the dev residue cleaned out of it and in the mixture. Got everything to 20c and did the following

    1 min soak in distilled water

    6:30 in dil B, 30 sec of roller pin agitation at start then 5 seconds of rolling ever 30 seconds.

    stop

    4 mins of fix with same agitation method

    stop

    20 mins of slow running water through the tank

    then photo flow.


    These are the results, now the Chinon Genesis II I used doesn't have the best AF, and it was the first time I have ever used it.

    img371 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    was this printed in a darkroom, or scanned? on my monitor it is very flat.

    also, you don't use stop bath after the fixer

    and you may want to check ilfords site for washing fim. less water
     
  9. xypex982

    xypex982 TPF Noob!

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    They were scanned. Your right I think they look flat to me too but better than the 5 1/2 min here Diana 35mm - a set on Flickr


    Ohh I don't? No stop after fix?

    Ilford? but I used hc-110 and tri-x?

    Any suggestions for making my negs look better? More time in the dev?
    I feel myself getting closer, just need a lil help from you experienced guys and gals.
     
  10. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    it doesn't make any difference to use Ilford's washing method with other film.

    in fact you can mix chemistry , it doesn't have to be from the same manufactor.

    i agree they are certainly better than those on flicker.

    the negative might be fine, it is the scan that needs tweaking.

    can you post an image in reverse so we can see the detail of the negative?

    i can't image that at 6.5 minutes you can't get a better "print", it just takes practice
     
  11. xypex982

    xypex982 TPF Noob!

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    "he negative might be fine, it is the scan that needs tweaking.

    can you post an image in reverse so we can see the detail of the negative?"


    How do you mean post an image in reverse?
     
  12. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy TPF Noob!

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    Agreed. In my years of scanning negatives, I think I've come across one where I didn't feel it needed some tweaking. The images in the Flickr set look like negatives that are fine, but just need some appropriate post processing.
     

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