Paper Development Times

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by JamesD, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Living in Snapshot reality.
    This is something I've been wondering about for a long time, but ignored til now. Another post struck up my curiosity again.

    When I dunk a print in the dev (using Dektol and Ilford MC III, if it matters), the sheet remains blank for maybe half a second, then the image suddenly appears. Within perhaps ten seconds, it looks under a safelight like it's fully developed, and no further development takes place (nothing gets darker).

    Is this normal, or is it supposed to take a full 1:30/2:00 for the image to develop?
     
  2. Alan Marcus

    Alan Marcus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Anaheim California USA
    What you discribe is exactly correct and normal.

    What you did not say was:

    Correct development time is temperture related. At 20C 68F development is about 90 seconds.

    Consider that when working with color paper you must learn to expose correctly and develop for the full time, no more, no less. Thus you are forced to use an enlarger exposure meter unless you can afford lots of time and money to make color prints by trial and error.

    This being the case, how about practicing with b&w to learn how to expose to maintain a 90 second development. You can still use safe-light, just keep the print upside down for the entire time. This practice will serve you well later when you go in for color printing.

    Alan Marcus 50+ years experence photo engineering
    ammarcus@earthlink.net
     
  3. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Living in Snapshot reality.

    Not quite sure what you're getting at... I don't develop color myself, too much bother. I plan to stick with B&W for the forseeable future.

    But thanks for the answer! I do develop at 68 degrees, mainly because the industrial AC in my building keeps it there (usually). I check with two different thermometers while working. How I wound up with to is beyond my recollection, but hey, I've got them, might as well use them, yanno?
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    25,298
    Likes Received:
    2,081
    Location:
    In the mental ward of this forum
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hi James, I use Dektol a lot, too, and seeing an image within "half a second" sounds pretty fast to me. What is your dilution? I use 1:2, and just take the water as it comes out of the tap (which I estimate to be in the 70 degree range). I usually start seeing an image coming up within the first 30 seconds. It doesn't have that "fully developed" look until after the first full minute. I let prints stay in the developer a full 2 minutes, simply because, although I may not be able to see it, 2 minutes is the recommended time to obtain the appropriate D-max. After working a few hours I might extend that time another 30 seconds, too.

    Dektol is supposed to be a rather aggressive developer. A couple of seconds still seems really fast. Are you using it 1:1 or 1:2?

    Isn't Ilford MC an RC paper? Maybe that helps get you that speed, too. I use Ilford MGIV a lot, and FB paper almost exclusively, and it all develops at the times mentioned above.
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    The 'standard' development times are 2 minutes for fibre based and 90 seconds for RC.
    This is at 20C.
    It is always important to take prints the full distance of development. This is to ensure you reach Dmax and get the full tonal range. It will also ensure even development.
    If images appear too quickly and you have to snatch them to stop them going dark then you have over-exposed the print. Do a proper test strip and process for the full time.
    Developer/paper combinations are like film/developer combos. The results you get depend upon several factors and are, like most things in photography, down to personal preference.
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    6,071
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    in the middle of north carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I no longer have a darkroom, but I do shoot paper negatives. I always let mine develop the max time recommended. If they are not right, then I know it is the exposure.

    I also agree with hertz (gasp), and Terri.

    It is a matter of personal preference and I am continually working with the chemistry. I always try to do all the lab work the same, time and temp, so that the results are meaningful. That way if I have a problem I am almost positive it is in the exposure or the chemical make up, if I'm messin' with the chemistry.

    Since there are so many variables it seemed only reasonable to cut out a couple. In my case the paper goes right to a flat bed scanner to digitalize for further processing, so some things can be corrected there easily.
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,117
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Tottenville, Staten Island, NYC USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    With either film or paper, the manufacturer's recommendations are almost always the best way to go initially. If necessary, you can tweak the other variables [exposure, paper grade, etc.] to produce 'normal' results. If following the manufacturer's directions does not lead to acceptable results, look carefully at the other variables to determine the cause.

    Once you can achieve consistent results feel free to vary anything one step at a time, including the manufacturer's directions. By that time, you'll have a pretty good idea as to just what affects what.

    It may seem to be a dull, pedantic approach, but at the end of the day, it's the final print that matters. You can best visualize that final print at the time of initial exposure if you know what your processing regimen will do.

    For the adventurous: there will still be lots of happy accidents and surprises ahead.
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    :roll: I'm going to have to be more careful about what I say in future - we can't be having that.
     
  9. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Living in Snapshot reality.
    I develop at room temperature, which is usually pretty dern close to 68 degrees F, and I develop for a full 2 minutes in 1:2 dilution, usually using distilled water. The image doesn't show for the first half second or so, then rapidly begins to build up over a couple of seconds. After the first maybe five to ten seconds, I don't "see" any further image build-up, but that's under a safelight that's way overhead, so it may just be my seeing.

    What got me thinking was the idea that the image would gradually show up and get darker at the same rate, rather than show up all at once, then slow down as it further develops. More of a gentle curve of darkness-to-time than a spike at the beginning.

    I dunno, maybe I've got a mole hill, if you get my drift. I'll pay closer attention next time I'm in there and refine my observations.

    Thanks for all the replies, you guys are great!
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

dektol developing times

,
dektol development times
,

dektol paper developing times

,
developing ilford fiber with dektol
,

ilford paper developing times

,
ilford rc in dektol
,
normal developing time of a paper of film
,

normal developing time of a paper or film

,

paper developing times

,

the normal developing time of a paper or film