View Full Version : Developer 130 temeprature

Michael Geller
15-Apr-2013, 07:38
I am looking for a way to use photographers formulary 130 (not the older 130) in warmer weather. In Summer, ambient environmental temp is usually no lower than 76 degrees.

Experimentally, I have lowered the 130 to 68 degrees in a beaker surrounded by cold water before starting but is that sufficient?

Since I would like to stay with the 130, I wonder what other options might be tried.

I am using the 130 to develop Ilford multigrade warmtone FB paper in a Jobo 2830 drum on a Beseler base.

Gem Singer
15-Apr-2013, 07:58
The type of paper developer you are using has no bearing on the problem. All B&W processing chemicals should be used around 70F.

Since it's also hot here in Texas in the summer time, I merely keep a gallon of distilled water in the frig, and use it to mix the

processing chemicals. Then, temper it to around 70F. It's easier to warm the water (use the microwave oven) than to cool it.

The exact temp of paper developer is not as critical as the temp of film developer.

15-Apr-2013, 08:08
You could also use Kodak's "drift method" by running a test drum and using the mid-point for the film run. For example, suppose you start your test run at 68F and the final temperature is 72F. Then a starting temperature of 66F should result in a final temperature of 70F for an average temperature of 68F.


evan clarke
15-Apr-2013, 08:50
I use about two pounds of Glycin a year making this developer..I use it a lot and like it best at 73 deg.

Drew Wiley
15-Apr-2013, 09:04
Significant temp differences will affect the image color a bit, probably due to how hydrquinone activity is affected (I'll let someoneone else try to confirm or deny that per chemistry - but a color difference is visually detectable, whether warmer or cooler). There are a couple of simple tricks you can use in a water jacket on a hot day. One is simply to leave a very slight flow of cool water entering thru a tube. Another is to use those "blue ice" things in the water jacket. Note this the surrounding jacket or second tray, not the tray containing the actual developer. Ideally, the inner tray should be stainless to quickly transfer temp, while the outer tray (water jacket) should be plastic, which is a better insulator.

15-Apr-2013, 10:18
Can you adjust the time? I am not sure how it would work but I do know that if my developer temp is higher I can decrease the developing time to adjust. My film chart goes up to 75 degrees. Of course this is for film but I suspect the same thing could be done for paper as well. You may want to contact Ilford directly and ask if they have any suggestions.

Gem Singer
15-Apr-2013, 10:27
I might be missing something here, but the OP is asking about developing paper, not film, in a rotating drum in ambient temperatures above the optimal.

It seems to me that if the initial temperature of the developer solution was within a few degrees of the optimal temperature, the few minutes it takes to develop paper

in a rotating drum will have very little effect on the optimal temperature of the developing solution. Of course, if the OP was developing paper in an open tray, the developer solution

would warm up much more rapidly.

Having used the Photo Formulary version of Ansco 130 for a good many years, I found that the dilution ratio and the type of paper used had more of an effect on the tone of the

print than the temperature variations.

Drew Wiley
15-Apr-2013, 12:26
Fooling with the time also messes with the image color. But exactly how depends on the specific paper, and even what
kind of light color you might have used (if VC). An even bigger variable is the freshness vs age (oxidation) of the glycin itself. Drums can be kept at stable temperatures. You just condition your chem bottles in a tempering bath in advance, just like in color work. No big deal.

15-Apr-2013, 13:31
I use about two pounds of Glycin a year making this developer..I use it a lot and like it best at 73 deg.

+ 1

i use an awful lot of this developer too ... it lasts forever,
and works best for film and prints at about 73 ..

15-Apr-2013, 14:00
I love it when someone asks such an arcane question and I have an equally arcane answer.

Check out my chart: http://www.paulraphaelson.com/downloads/ansco130temp-time.pdf

I used ansco 120 and 130 almost exclusively, with no climate control in my darkroom, and eventually discovered that differences in developer activity due to temperature change were ruining the consistency of my gold toning.

The differences were barely visible in an untoned print, but huge after toning in selenium or Nelson gold. I found this developer to give best results with relatively short times, but that may be specific to the paper I was using.

I came up with these time factors based on image emergence times. They work. I get completely consistent tonal curves and print color, pre- and post-toning, by adjusting time according to temperature.

I wouldn't go colder than this; metol becomes essentially inert below the mid 50s.

Drew Wiley
15-Apr-2013, 16:30
Yep. The very different way certain toners react demonstrate that the effects of temp are real, even though they might not
be superficially apparent at first.

15-Apr-2013, 16:49
More precisely these are the effects of development. Temperature just speeds or slows development activity. I found (with the developers I used) that this effect can be compensated for entirely by changes in time if you get the factor right, and if you stay within the activity range of metol.

I was suprised by this, since metol, glycin, and hydroquinone have different temperature / activity curves. It would have made sense if attempts to compensate with time had altered contrast. But I didn't find this to be the case as long as temperature stayed above 56F.

Gem Singer
15-Apr-2013, 17:41
Photo sensitive paper, needs to be developed to completion in order to obtain the maximum black the paper has to offer (D-Max).

Film, on the other hand, only needs to be developed for enough time to obtain the proper contrast without blowing out the highlights.

The OP stated that he wants to develop Ilford Warmtone Fiber base paper using Formulary 130 developer for rotary development in a drum (which is not the ideal method).

That is continuous agitation without the ability to observe the progress of the development under a safelight (similar to film development).

He needs to be certain that the paper has been fully developed and fixed before removing it from the drum and inspecting the print under a bright light.

The temperature of the process (within limits) is not as critical as the development time. As long as he maintains the temperature of the developer within the low 70F range,

he should be fine.