View Full Version : pre-soak question

brian steinberger
18-Apr-2005, 22:33
I always pre-soak my Tmax negatives in plain water before placing them into the developer. When I empty the tank of pre-soak water, the water is always a blueish purple color. I'm just curious if anyone knows why this happens, and what is happening by pre-soaking the negatives. And what happens if you don't pre-soak your negatives, prior to development? Thanks!

Geary Lyons
18-Apr-2005, 22:43
The "color" is from removing the antihalation backing on the film. As the stripe suited lady would say, "It's a good thing"! Soaking allows for more even development.


Steve Hamley
18-Apr-2005, 22:44
Yup, what he said.


Mark Sawyer
18-Apr-2005, 23:15
It occurs to me that my washing machine has a presoak, and a wash cycle adjustable from 4 to 14 minutes. Just use HC110 instead of Tide, fix cycle, rinse cycle, rinse cycle, spin dry... If I ever have some exposed film I don't care about, I'm gonna open a bottle of tequila and try out the Maytag AutoLab...

Brian Ellis
19-Apr-2005, 06:42
The idea behind presoaking is to let the emlsion swell upand stabilize before it's placed in the developer, which supposedly promotes more even development. A presoak used to be standard darkroom procedure back in the old days of thick emulsion films. IMHO it's unnecessary with today's "thin emulsion" films such as T Max. At least one manufacturer (Ilford) specifically recommends against presoaking.

I've developed both with and without a presoak when using T Max and haven't found any difference either way. I think it serves no purpose and just provides another oppoturnity to scratch the negatives or otherwise mess something up and I have enough of those opportunities already.

Diane Maher
19-Apr-2005, 11:23
"At least one manufacturer (Ilford) specifically recommends against presoaking."

I've noticed this too, but I do it anyway, even with their films, without any apparent problem. I do a prewash for the other films I use too.