View Full Version : TMAX and Dev. by Inspection

29-Jul-2000, 22:10
Hello All,

I was introduced to the development by inspection method recently at a workshop. I had the opportunity to do some of the processing myself, and felt that this might ba a method that I should consider for my own processing.

We were using Ilford and Bergger films at the workshop. Back at home, I've gotte n the right filter and a switch setup so that I can do my own development by ins pection. I have been using TMAX 400 recently, so that's what I started my tests with.

The problem is, I don't see the density changes through the base side like I was able to with the Bergger and Ilford films. It appears that the TMAX (in D-76) does not clear enough to see the density through the base, as is the traditional method for development by inspection.

I know the anti-haliation dies take a good bit to clear in TMAX 400. Does this make the films essentially unsuitable for development by inspection in the tradi tional method? Clearly, you can still look at the emulsion side, but that's not the way everyone does it, presumably because the negative looks overly dense fr om the emulsion side.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sean Billy Bob Boy yates
29-Jul-2000, 22:58
Good question.

How long is your pre-soak? Increasing it might help a bit.

I have just started d.b.i. seriously and am convinced it's the way to go although it was rocky starting at first.

8 X 10+ is no doubt easier to judge than smaller formats and using a 15 watt bulb in the familiar Kodak bullet-shaped (or bee-hive shaped) safelight with the # 3 Wratten safelight 3 feet away made all the difference-I had been using the 7 watt Brownie safelights.

I have also limited myself to shooting simple compositions with bold, obvious highlight areas and developing the same day (or weekend) as I shoot, until I get more familiar with the look of things.

That said, a fellow who has been doing it longer than I uses the same 7 watt Brownie, 2 feet from his tray, and views the negative transilluminated, as on a light board, rather than reflected. He says it works well for him that way. He is using Bergger film and I think Tri-X.

30-Jul-2000, 17:42
Thanks Dan and Sean,

I'll try a longer presoak. I normally do about 2 minutes, but I'll increase it to 5 or so, and I'll use moving water so the water won't get saturated with the purple dyes.

I am doing 8x10 film, and I thought that switching to a different developer might help. I'm processing for platinum, so the negatives aren't too hard to read, the contrast needs to be pretty high for a successful platinum print.

I love the notion that I can make a subjective judgement about when to pull a negative based on experience. If I don't expose the negative quite right, there is one final chance to make some corrections while in the soup.

I'll post back after some further presoak trials with TMAX 400.