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Thread: Is total darkness required for tray developing film?

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Re: Is total darkness required for tray developing film?

    Didn't Adams use a metronome to keep track of time.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    1,438

    Re: Is total darkness required for tray developing film?

    Yes, for exposing prints including burning and dodging. Not for development as far as I know. It's quite hard to reliably count out several minutes with a metronome; it's surprising how fast you lose your count (well...I do!)

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    11,742

    Re: Is total darkness required for tray developing film?

    Use a cricket. Their chrrrrr's vary dependent on temperature. That way you have a cheap compensating timer. Only problem is that they respond to air temperature, and they would probably drown in developer; but maybe you could design a little scuba tank for them. I use the Zone VI compensating timer myself. But crickets are still good for fishing.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Pacifica, CA
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    1,530

    Re: Is total darkness required for tray developing film?

    I can see a little light from time to time in my darkroom. Nevertheless I rarely have more than 0.05 density above base. So I know the amount of stray light in my darkroom for the fifteen minutes or so that the film is vulnerable... the light that actually strikes the emulsion... is negligible.

    I think it might be hard to hear crickets in a film can. But jumping beans might work. They’re waterproof already.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    Oregon and Austria
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    2,079

    Re: Is total darkness required for tray developing film?

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    Yes, for exposing prints including burning and dodging. Not for development as far as I know. It's quite hard to reliably count out several minutes with a metronome; it's surprising how fast you lose your count (well...I do!)
    I now work in my new Eugene, OR darkroom equipped with Zone VI compensating timers.

    However, for my almost 30 years living in Vienna, Austria, I used a combination of metronome and digital oven timer to develop film. I set the timer to the total developing time plus five seconds and the metronome to tick at 60 bpm (once a second). The timer got wrapped in plastic wrap and set next to the developer tray. The metronome was started just before "lights out." Then film unloaded and presoaked. When ready to develop, I felt around for the start button on the timer, pushed it (in synch with the metronome, of course) and then counted down the five seconds to when the first sheet hit the developer.

    After that, I used the metronome to time my agitation (usually one flip every five seconds with six sheets in the developer tray). When the timer went off, I transferred the film to the stop.

    This worked just fine for many, many sheets of film.

    Best,

    Doremus

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