Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: B&W film developing without a hot water tap?  (Read 13076 times)
lowep
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 415


WWW
« on: September 28, 2012, 08:49:25 AM »
ReplyReply

Ever tried developing B&W film without all the conveniences of darkroom plumbing? Where I am at the moment we just have cold running water, so am trying to figure out how to control water temperature without having hot running water for blending with cold? Is it possible just to boil water then add cold water to get the right temperature then go with that. Or...Huh
Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 7970



WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 12:55:45 PM »
ReplyReply

I would first try an experiment with plain water: Boil some water as you suggested and mix it with cold to, say, two degrees warmer than your preferred developing temperature. Then agitate the plain water from time to time as if it were developing film, until the time when you would normally stop development, and check its temperature then.

If it has cooled down four degrees in that time, the same starting temperature with developer should work just fine (the "normal" deve temp will be reached at about half way through). On the other hand, if it has warmed up, or cooled differently, you can calculate a better starting temperature that will average out to your normal one.

This works best if your darkroom air temperature is pretty close to the developer temperature.

Good luck, and let us know how this works.
Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
lowep
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 415


WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 01:12:55 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks for the good idea Eric. Best ideas are simple ones! Now that I can see how to do this the next step will be to get hold of film, developing tank and chemicals. Maybe also dig out my Speed Graphic. But first I will try with plain water as you suggest and let you know what happens.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 01:14:53 PM by lowep » Logged
WalterEG
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1155


« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 03:54:30 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi Lowep,

Eric's suggestion is bang on the money in my opinion.  But perhaps there are alternatives to consider.

  • Alternative 1:
    I use brewing mats purchased from Home-Brew suppliers.  These are waterproof flat plastic platforms with about a 15 watt heating element in them, initially to help with constant temperature for fermentation, but also useful for maintaining stable temperatures for processing.  I have two of these (they are about 8 inches square, and I store my chemical bottles on them.  If only developing sporadically I would suggest turning them on only on a morning when you think you might be putting some film through the soup on the evening.
  • Alternative 2:
    Use DIAFINE developer.  Diafine is a two-bath compensating developer which gives increased film speed and renders magnificently easy negs to print due to the way ot works.  I purchase my Diafine from Freestyle Photographics and they freight it to Australia for me so I doubt there would be an issue obtaining some irrespective of where you live.
    Diafine is NOT VERY TEMPERATURE CRITICAL and will work within a very broad range of temperatures.  If it is room temperature then the risk of reticulation caused by solutions of differing temperature is negated.

Photography = so many problems with so many more solutions.

Cheers,

W
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 03:56:09 PM by WalterEG » Logged
joneil
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 141


This is what beer does to you....


« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 07:07:32 PM »
ReplyReply

Start with your cold water, and slowly add your boiling water until you bring your temp up to where you want it.  Works easier than the other way around.   Works fine too.
Good luck
Logged
Chris Calohan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2001


Editing Allowed


« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 08:45:02 PM »
ReplyReply


    • Alternative 2:
      Use DIAFINE developer.  Diafine is a two-bath compensating developer which gives increased film speed and renders magnificently easy negs to print due to the way ot works.  I purchase my Diafine from Freestyle Photographics and they freight it to Australia for me so I doubt there would be an issue obtaining some irrespective of where you live.
      Diafine is NOT VERY TEMPERATURE CRITICAL and will work within a very broad range of temperatures.  If it is room temperature then the risk of reticulation caused by solutions of differing temperature is negated.



    www.freestylephoto.biz for US customers, though I suspect this url will work in any country. The folks at Freestyle are exceptionally competent. I used them for all the years I taught darkroom photography.
    Logged

    What! Me Worry?

    Life is about a little kid driving a Mini...
    Jim Pascoe
    Sr. Member
    ****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 789


    WWW
    « Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 09:47:13 AM »
    ReplyReply

    It is not necessary to have any running water at all - as long as you have some method to bring the water to the right temperature - say 20 degrees C.   Suppose you have 200ml of water at 15 degrees and 200ml of water at 25 degrees.  Add them together and generally you will be around 20 C as a starting point. I cannot see why you would need to boil water unless you have some VERY cold water to contend with.  Here where I am in the UK the cold water temp varies from about 10 C in the winter to around 20 C in the summer (just right). Temperature is not that critical for mono film and there are tables supplied to extend the dev time if the temperature is too low.  For subsequent steps the temp is less important anyway, as long as you do not make too big a jump.
    I have sat with the tank sat between my legs on very cold days to keep the temperature up.

    For washing the film it's not necessary to use running water at all.  You can use the water change method.  Fill the tank and invert five times. Drain tank.  Repeat but invert ten times.  Repeat again and invert twenty times.  This is also much less wasteful of water than leaving a hose running for 20 minutes.

    Jim
    Logged
    Rob C
    Sr. Member
    ****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 12213


    « Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 10:49:42 AM »
    ReplyReply

    I used to have a heating unit on which to place the developer and fixer trays when printing; it was by Ilford, I think, and also perfect for developing film. You just stand your tanks on it and pray the electricity doesn't get switched off.

    I have to disagree with Jim about developer temps for b/w film: everything is important if you intend to repeat your processing with proper consistency, even the way you agitate; the fewer the variables the sooner you know what you're doing and can predict and judge the correct timing for your particular needs and techniques; I seldom found manufacturer's guides to be accurate for my ways of working.

    Rob C
    Logged

    Jim Pascoe
    Sr. Member
    ****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 789


    WWW
    « Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 11:05:39 AM »
    ReplyReply

    I used to have a heating unit on which to place the developer and fixer trays when printing; it was by Ilford, I think, and also perfect for developing film. You just stand your tanks on it and pray the electricity doesn't get switched off.

    I have to disagree with Jim about developer temps for b/w film: everything is important if you intend to repeat your processing with proper consistency, even the way you agitate; the fewer the variables the sooner you know what you're doing and can predict and judge the correct timing for your particular needs and techniques; I seldom found manufacturer's guides to be accurate for my ways of working.

    Rob C

    Hey Rob - can you believe we are stalking the same threads!  I suppose I was comparing to C41 or reversal processing where the temp is really critical for colour accuracy.  I agree it is best to get it right, but tenths of a degree perhaps not so important.  If you are doing it regularly then certainly consistency may be more important because at least you will know how the film will react to your methods.

    Jim
    Logged
    Kevin Omura
    Newbie
    *
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 14


    « Reply #9 on: October 14, 2012, 11:44:53 AM »
    ReplyReply

    This was a problem photojournalists had in the field. I had a small portable kit in a rubbermaid tub. Two stainless steel tanks and reels a couple of chemical bottles and a submersible heater made by a company called Devtek (sp?). It looked like a black metal box with a U shaped heating element sticking out one side. The heater had a control on it so you could lock your temp, basically it fit crossways in the Rubbermaid tub which was then filled with water. I sat the chemical bottles on top and this kept my chemicals at the proper temp. In my case it was for colour neg film but could also be used for B&W. You might be able to find a used one as all the major wire service guys used them as well as many of the major newspapers.

    I'd also agree with how important temperature is on film processing. I had the misfortune of thinking the hot water at a venue I was working in would stay constant. It was a federal election and the people who owned the mall we were working out of shut off the hot water about and hour before we were to process our film! At the time I was sent there with this little coffee heater because my Devtek was not available. Grrr of course this little heater failed instantly so I wound up processing colour neg in cold water and had to guess on a possible development and bleach time. The negs came out looking like they had been dipped in chocolate but was barely able to get a scan on the Leaf and send the photo to Toronto way past deadline.
    Logged
    hasselbladfan
    Sr. Member
    ****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 407


    « Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 10:00:06 AM »
    ReplyReply

    In the old days, we used a heating element from an electric kettle in a big pot.

    Easy to set-up / re-use and give it an extra boost, if temperature dropped.
    Logged
    Deardorff
    Full Member
    ***
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 103


    « Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 06:38:41 PM »
    ReplyReply

    What is the room temperature? Fill a few 5 gallon jugs with water and let it sit all day and you will have room temperature water.  Suppement from heated water from an electric coffee maker or such if you need things a bit warmer.
    Logged
    PeteZ28
    Newbie
    *
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 35


    « Reply #12 on: December 06, 2012, 09:05:47 PM »
    ReplyReply

    I know this is a bit old, but I (usually) use inexpensive distilled water from the grocery store for diluting my dev. and doing an Ilford style rinse after, also with the distilled water. Since the jugs are always in the corner of my kitchen, they're pretty much always at 68*F which is perfect for B&W. If it's up or down a couple degrees I just adjust my dev. accordingly. Likewise, my chemistry lives under the sink, so it is also always at pretty much the perfect temperature.

    Simple, and only requires a sink for waste water etc.
    Logged
    bill t.
    Sr. Member
    ****
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 2693


    WWW
    « Reply #13 on: December 15, 2012, 05:32:31 PM »
    ReplyReply

    If your ambient water and air temperature is lower than your desired developing, and you have electricity, just keep a big tank of water warmed up exactly where you want it with a fishtank temperature controller.  Store your chemical bottles in the tank.  You can keep you stainless steel Nikkor tanks exactly at temp by letting them soak there between agitations.

    But however it is warmed, a big volume of water will give you very fine temperature control bath.
    Logged
    kmeyers
    Jr. Member
    **
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 56


    « Reply #14 on: December 22, 2012, 08:34:48 PM »
    ReplyReply

    In the winter time I use a heating element for fish tanks. They are inexpensive and you can "dial" in the temperature you want. I keep heater element right in the tray with my developer and one in my fix tray.

    -Ken
    Logged
    wakibaki
    Newbie
    *
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 1


    « Reply #15 on: May 24, 2014, 07:15:13 PM »
    ReplyReply

    I just used to heat the chemicals in the microwave. With a bit of experience you can hit the temperature you want spot on.

    w
    Logged
    Deardorff
    Full Member
    ***
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 103


    « Reply #16 on: July 05, 2014, 09:10:19 AM »
    ReplyReply

    Having lived places with no electricity and cold winters I find it is easy to do. Already posted once so I'll expand a bit on it.

    Put your water in jugs and let them get to room temperature overnight or a day. Then use the chemistry at that temperature. Fairly easy to do.

    I used it with 3 five gallon jugs I would fill at night after a darkroom session of film developing or printing. The next night after dark the jugs were at 68 degrees - the room temperature.

    My printing was straight B&W prints as well as Pt/Pd prints. All contact prints as I was working with 5x7 and 8x10. For rinse the fill and dump method worked well. Couldn't use tap water as it ran downhill and under the cabin and was at temps just above freezing all winter long. Even in summer it never got over 40 degrees.

    It can be done if you plan a bit.
    Logged
    Michael Lloyd
    Newbie
    *
    Offline Offline

    Posts: 37


    Random Pixel Generator


    WWW
    « Reply #17 on: September 01, 2014, 01:04:37 PM »
    ReplyReply

    Interesting. I have to contend with the other side of this question, warm water. I just drop a couple of the bottles that came with the Jobo, almost full of water, into the freezer an hour or so before I want to develop negs. The Jobo is filled up and circulating at about the same time. I use ice in a baggie to bring the water temp down from 25-27 to 20 and then drop the chilled water bottles from the freezer into their respective slots. The temp controller hold the bath at 20 nicely.
    Logged

    Remove the dark slide before starting the exposure.
    Pages: [1]   Top of Page
    Print
    Jump to:  

    Ad
    Ad
    Ad