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Hans Berkhout
23-Jan-2019, 14:12
I use a few different paper developers, sometimes mix them in different ratios. Not sure how to determine the preferred developing time. Suggestions appreciated, thanks!

Jac@stafford.net
23-Jan-2019, 14:34
Paper development time is largely of a completion process. Short times result in muddled tones, longer times fog.

koraks
23-Jan-2019, 15:26
Develop until the image stops changing. Unless you want ver warm tones and reduced contrast; then back off on development a bit.

Huub
24-Jan-2019, 01:27
Take a negative with good shadow detail. Make 5 test strips of the shadow area and develop those for 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 3 min. and 5 min. This will tell you all you need to know.

Hans Berkhout
24-Jan-2019, 06:27
Take a negative with good shadow detail. Make 5 test strips of the shadow area and develop those for 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 3 min. and 5 min. This will tell you all you need to know.

Thanks Huub. I'll follow your advice, but with a 4x5 Stouffer step wedge in the enlarger. That should tell me about mid- and high tones as well.

John Kasaian
24-Jan-2019, 07:07
I use an old Kodak Exposure Guide. I believe Delta manufactures a copy these days.

Willie
24-Jan-2019, 09:38
I use a few different paper developers, sometimes mix them in different ratios. Not sure how to determine the preferred developing time. Suggestions appreciated, thanks!

With what you post - WHY are you using different developers? WHY different ratios?
Go with one, learn it in and out and change only if you find you can honestly get a "better" image with the change. A "better" image where you can actually see an improvement or difference that is important to you.

Until then you are wasting your time experimenting.

koraks
24-Jan-2019, 10:20
From time to time the argument of "stick to one film/developer/camera/etc" pops up, but it always confuses me. Knowing that experimentation is essential in the process of learning, what is to be gained by eradicating it from our practice?

Andrew O'Neill
24-Jan-2019, 10:58
It's a good argument. That's why.

Louis Pacilla
24-Jan-2019, 11:09
It's a good argument. That's why.

Yep!

cowanw
24-Jan-2019, 11:21
"Until then you are wasting your time experimenting."

Hah, I wonder if someone said that to Daguerre or Talbot

Willie
24-Jan-2019, 11:50
Experimenting to find something new or that works is fine. Experimenting when you don't know what is going on is chasing your tail.
Your question shows you don't understand what is going on yet. Learn the materials so you have them down cold and can get excellent results. Then you can experiment a bit and see if what you do is an actual improvement.

koraks
24-Jan-2019, 12:05
Better follow it blindly then.

Fortunately, I'm monumentally stupid and will continue experimenting and using all sorts of materials in one big messy mixup. And learn a gazillion things in the process.

Doremus Scudder
24-Jan-2019, 12:31
Back on topic...

Paper should be developed fully or, as many say, "to completion." That means that the paper has developed to the point where all the tones possible are there, from deep black on up, and the built-in contrast of the paper has been reached. (Unlike film, we don't control paper contrast with development.)

The point where a paper is "fully developed" varies depending on the type of paper you use. RC papers typically have shorter developing times than fiber-base papers. Most RC papers are fully developed in 1-2 minutes. For fiber base, 2-3 minutes is more the norm.

After the point of full development has been reached, extending development time essentially speeds up the paper. Many graded papers of the past used to change contrast a bit with extended development, but that characteristic has largely been designed out of modern papers, especially VC papers.

What you want to do is choose a developing time based on the type of paper you use and the developer you are using (i.e., read the instructions and find the range of times listed by the manufacturer) and choose a developing time based on that, somewhere middle to high range of times. This should then become your standard time. For example, my standard time for all fiber base papers in the developers I use is 2.5 minutes.

Then, you can use changes in development time as an added control. Lengthening time in the developer is basically the same as giving a slight bit more exposure. I often make a couple of prints at different developing times, say 2, 2.5, and 3 minutes (and even more at times) and compare them. It is a lot easier than playing around with tiny changes in print exposure time, especially when I have lots of manipulations to do.

For warm-tone papers, extending developing time also shifts the image tone to cooler. If you want the warmest tone from your warm-tone paper and developer combination, experiment at bit to find the sweet spot that gives you the best image tone while still developing fully.

It's usually better to err on the side of more development with papers. Too little development and the deep blacks don't have time to appear and the contrast of the paper is not fully developed. If you have muddy looking prints with no good blacks, you may be developing for too short a time (this is also a sign of exhausted developer).

Unless you are shooting for an optimum developing time for warmer image tones, extending development can be a good tool. Theoretically, you can extend development with no ill effects until the paper starts showing some fogging. Often (and if safelight fog isn't an issue with longer exposure) you can develop up to 10 minutes without fog; it depends on the paper and developer combination. However, shorter developing times are usually better for the workflow. That said, I'll develop a print for 4-5 minutes if I think it will get me the print I want without my having to change what I'm doing with print exposure time and manipulations. Conversely, pulling a print a bit earlier, but still in the development-time range, can work the other way. Sometimes, if a print is just a bit too dense for me, I'll pull the next one at 2 minutes (instead of my usual 2.5 minutes).

Hope this helps,

Doremus

Randy Moe
24-Jan-2019, 12:42
Film I use a fresh water 'stop bath', but for any paper I use citric acid stop bath which stops the development right now.

I mix fresh powder citric acid for each session of 4 prints and toss it.

Somebody once taught me to snatch prints when I thought it was time and into acetic acid. No thank you.

Just develop fully in as short of time as everybody has so far recommended.

Stop bath is part of the entire process.

Hans Berkhout
24-Jan-2019, 14:42
I'll briefly explain a bit for those who are interested in exploration of things unfamiliar..

I was looking to get a subject printed a bit warmer (not warm enough on the wt paper I favor), so I mixed up a hydroquinone based developer. Certainly warm but developing time about 8 minutes. Too shorten this (and likely cool the image somewhat more or less)I could add some stock MH or PH developer or some straight Phenidone solution, try a few different amounts. I vaguely remember having read somewhere (?Lootens?) that multiplying the first image appearance time by a certain factor would arrive at a useful ball park developing time- but I don't remember the factor. I am not inclined to spend too much time trial and error, re invent the wheel etc- hence my original question.

A combination of comments and suggestions (apart from those who advise me to stick with one paper/development combination!) from all of you will get me on the right track thank you, and I believe we can now move on.

Pere Casals
24-Jan-2019, 15:38
get me on the right track

Hans,

I'd recommend you take a look at chapters 7 and 8 of The Darkroom Cookbook. There it's explained very well how to control print tone.

Basicly overdeveloped silver is colder and underdeveloped silver is warmer, with a neutral spot in between, but there are several techniques to obtain that. But just read those 7/8 chapters of the DRCB...

Just using a developer that nears exhaustion it will be unable to fully reduce the silver halide in the emulsion so you obtain warmer tones...

This is the way I practiced. What it can be considered waste, by adding a bit of fresh developer may be a excellent warm tone developer. This technique is specially good with Ansco 130, and other glycin developers. Photographer's Formulary has A130...

I have been experimenting by obtaining a very warm tone with exhausted developer and then moving the print to a tray with diluted fresh developer until the print lowers the warm look to the point I wanted, it can be tested with strips to know the time in the (diluted) fresh developer, dilution allows a longuer time in the fresh developer, better for control.


Also see this: https://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?8204-Ansco-130

interneg
24-Jan-2019, 17:22
From time to time the argument of "stick to one film/developer/camera/etc" pops up, but it always confuses me. Knowing that experimentation is essential in the process of learning, what is to be gained by eradicating it from our practice?

Nothing is to be gained from such limitations - at least until all possible films & papers have been tried for the one that suggests potential for your work. Then it's a matter of refinement to zero in on what you need the material to do. Far more useful than the often silly 'testing' that all too often goes on. Same with cameras - if it fits your way of working & seeing, that's what matters. If it doesn't, try another. It may well be that you end up with a preferred camera/ lens/ film/ paper, but that is because you've done due diligence, not made yourself suffer at the hands of materials & equipment that don't speak to you.

To the OP, you might want to warm the developer up a bit to speed it along & possibly adjust the alkalinity slightly. Or possibly try the old overexposure & underdevelopment routine too, possibly with something a bit faster than a pure hq dev. Anyway, if you've ever lith printed, you'll know that 8 minutes dev isn't a big pain really. You're also referring to 'factorial development' where total dev time is a multiple of emergence time - unfortunately all of these times are empirical...

Bernice Loui
24-Jan-2019, 20:02
Two minuets in Dektol (or similar) . Adjust exposure / paper grade as needed to achieve a visual acceptable DRY print.

Always account for dry down as the wet print will look quite different once it is dry.

Use the same lighting for print evaluation as display lighting. Different light sources and light intensities will also affect print quality and visual presentation.


Bernice

koraks
25-Jan-2019, 00:53
> I vaguely remember having read somewhere (?Lootens?) that multiplying the first image appearance time by a certain factor would arrive at a useful ball park developing time- but I don't remember the factor.

I don't remember the factor either, but it's in Adams' The Print. If you have a copy, you might have a look there.

Luis-F-S
25-Jan-2019, 13:03
Knowing that experimentation is essential in the process of learning, what is to be gained by eradicating it from our practice?

Jack of all trades, a master of none!

Tim V
25-Jan-2019, 13:12
I went back and checked Formulary's recommended times for 130 developer and was instantly confused...

"For normal contrast - prepare the working solution by a 1:1 dilution of the stock solution with water. Develop the print for 45-60 seconds at 20 C/68 F.
For more contrast - develop the print for 45-60 seconds in undiluted stock solution at 20 C/68 F.
For softer results - dilute the stock solution 1:2 with water, and develop the print for 45-60 seconds at 20 C/68 F."

I've always developed FB paper for 2 mins with 130 developer. What do others use?

Larry Gebhardt
25-Jan-2019, 13:52
I went back and checked Formulary's recommended times for 130 developer and was instantly confused...

"For normal contrast - prepare the working solution by a 1:1 dilution of the stock solution with water. Develop the print for 45-60 seconds at 20 C/68 F.
For more contrast - develop the print for 45-60 seconds in undiluted stock solution at 20 C/68 F.
For softer results - dilute the stock solution 1:2 with water, and develop the print for 45-60 seconds at 20 C/68 F."

I've always developed FB paper for 2 mins with 130 developer. What do others use?

I use replenished Ansco 130 developer at 1:1 for 2 minutes with fiber based paper.

Tim V
25-Jan-2019, 17:47
Thanks, Larry. I’ll keep going as I have been, but may do some experiments when time allows.5

LabRat
26-Jan-2019, 06:33
One head's up is for very long development, you often can't see the difference, but upon full dry down these will often block up the shadows more...

Today's FB papers reach Dmax faster than papers of old, so find a dilution that does not block up too quickly, and stick to it... Paper development tends to be a point before the cool blacks just look slightly smoky, but blacken upon drydown on cold tone, and very slightly dark olive on WT...

Final total drydown really happens after flattening in a hot dry mounting press, even if the paper is well air dried...

Steve K

Doremus Scudder
26-Jan-2019, 13:34
Two minuets in Dektol (or similar) . Adjust exposure / paper grade as needed to achieve a visual acceptable DRY print.
Always account for dry down as the wet print will look quite different once it is dry.
Use the same lighting for print evaluation as display lighting. Different light sources and light intensities will also affect print quality and visual presentation.
Bernice

Bernice has it right: settle on a standard developing time and adjust your exposure (and I particularly like the creative exposure timing using Baroque dances!).

Evaluate the dry print under optimum display lighting.

Refinement: use changes in print-development time instead of small tweaks to the print exposure time (just don't underdevelop).


One heads up is for very long development, you often can't see the difference, but upon full dry down these will often block up the shadows more...
Steve K

@LabRat

Extending development basically speeds up your paper. That's why you're seeing "blocked up" shadows. You should see the effect in the mids and highs as well. After the final curve shape has been reached for most modern papers, the curve just shifts to the faster side of the graph with extended development. This is pretty-well documented.

Best,

Doremus

Randy Moe
26-Jan-2019, 13:38
Are you saying both are correct?

2 variables, exposure and development.

Snatch is back!


Bernice has it right: settle on a standard developing time and adjust your exposure (and I particularly like the creative exposure timing using Baroque dances!).

Evaluate the dry print under optimum display lighting.

Refinement: use changes in print-development time instead of small tweaks to the print exposure time.

@LabRat

Doremus Scudder
27-Jan-2019, 12:45
Are you saying both are correct?

2 variables, exposure and development.

Snatch is back!

Randy,

What I'm saying is that once print development is "complete" (defined as final contrast being reached), extended development tends to move the paper curve the same direction in the tone reproduction scale as more exposure. The difference another couple minutes development can give is sometimes significant. I can see differences in some prints with a 15-second difference in development. You're not going to get a change equal to 25% by extending development, but you can get 10-15% with some papers. I often find this easier than adding a second or even fractions of a second to the exposure time.

So, the base line is correct exposure with full development. Small changes can be made by changing the developing time within the range of full development. I try to standardize on a development time that is 30 sec. to 1 min. longer than full development time so I have some room on the short side as well as the long side. Say prints are fully developed in 2 min. I'll choose 2.5 min. or even 3 min. as my standard time and then be able to extend or shorten development time as needed. So, yeah, "snatch is back" as long as the print is fully enough developed!

Often, I'll make several prints with different development times but otherwise identical, dry them down and compare them. The subtle differences often make or break a print.

Hope that's clear...

Doremus

Randy Moe
27-Jan-2019, 14:32
Doremus,

Very clear.

Thank you!


Randy,

What I'm saying is that once print development is "complete" (defined as final contrast being reached), extended development tends to move the paper curve the same direction in the tone reproduction scale as more exposure. The difference another couple minutes development can give is sometimes significant. I can see differences in some prints with a 15-second difference in development. You're not going to get a change equal to 25% by extending development, but you can get 10-15% with some papers. I often find this easier than adding a second or even fractions of a second to the exposure time.

So, the base line is correct exposure with full development. Small changes can be made by changing the developing time within the range of full development. I try to standardize on a development time that is 30 sec. to 1 min. longer than full development time so I have some room on the short side as well as the long side. Say prints are fully developed in 2 min. I'll choose 2.5 min. or even 3 min. as my standard time and then be able to extend or shorten development time as needed. So, yeah, "snatch is back" as long as the print is fully enough developed!

Often, I'll make several prints with different development times but otherwise identical, dry them down and compare them. The subtle differences often make or break a print.

Hope that's clear...

Doremus

Bernice Loui
28-Jan-2019, 09:10
This is why it is SO important to evaluate for a dry print with the presentation lighting when trying to figure out print exposure, paper grade (contrast), development time. What looks great in the tray can be awful once dry.

Print test strips are mostly useless for trying to hone in on proper exposure, development time, paper grade and... for what the nice print will be. The whole sheet of papers will be used and trashed during the print making process.

If toning is to be done, there will be a change in the print's personality too.

Do allow time for the developer to run off the print before stop. The amount of time needed for the developer to run off enough before dunking the print into stop can be a significant time requirement. As the prints get larger, run off time can be longer than expected.... and be careful, large wet prints crinkle easy.


Bernice







Often, I'll make several prints with different development times but otherwise identical, dry them down and compare them. The subtle differences often make or break a print.


Doremus