View Full Version : Too hot to process!

Robert Hughes
4-Jul-2010, 11:50
I was going to process a roll of film last night, but my apartment thermometer sat around 86F. Yes, it even gets hot & muggy in Minnesota. Oof da! It feels like I'd have about 4 minutes in the soup before the roll fogged out.

4-Jul-2010, 12:25
That's cool :D

It's 10:26pm here and higher than that, and I process when it's 42C+ outside (107.6F), but I'll sometimes stick the air conditioning on for a few minutes first :)

Just process at a more sensible temperature like 26C (79F), it's not a problem but it is far more important to keep all stages within 1C, but as the water temp here is remarkably stable I get to +/- 0.2C without really doing anything.


4-Jul-2010, 12:29
In the summer time, our tap water warms up and hits 70F (Winter time it is in the low 50's). Must be tough for folks in places like southern Arizona with "cold" tap water being so hot.

Sounds like 4 or 5 in the morning would be a good time to start developing for you!

4-Jul-2010, 12:42
Sounds like 4 or 5 in the morning would be a good time to start developing for you!

Sometimes I return from the UK, 4 in the morning I come out of the air conditioned airport and get hit by the wall of heat even that early :D

It's what you get used to, and you change your processing to suit, I have a 20C UK and Winter in Turkey regime, then my Summer regime there's no visible differences in quality of negatives.


Donald Miller
4-Jul-2010, 13:00
I've processed in the summer in Phoenix. I use ice to cool a tempering bath and tube process. No problem...

BTW we hit 117 day before yesterday.

4-Jul-2010, 13:36
Here in TX, our air conditioning barely keeps it below 80F in here, and sometimes doesn't even keep it that cool. I've been going to make a temperature-regulating faucet but I'm not sure the tap water even stays below 20C. I've been contemplating drilling a couple holes in my chest freezer and making a recirculating chiller circuit, but for now I use ice cubes and ICY COOLS (http://www.amazon.com/Icy-Cools-Reusable-Ice-Cubes/dp/B0000CFPNN). It's rather inconvenient.

Brian Ellis
4-Jul-2010, 14:27
It's about 75 here in Central Oregon now with a nice breeze, it will go down to about 50 tonight. Of course this week is our one week of spring. As a friend of mine says, there are four seasons in Central Oregon - Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Road Under Construction.

4-Jul-2010, 14:40
BTW we hit 117 day before yesterday.


Pat Kearns
4-Jul-2010, 15:44
BTW we hit 117 day before yesterday.

but Donald.......that's a dry heat. LOL :p

Wade D
4-Jul-2010, 17:23
I live 35 miles East of San Diego in the foothills. It's averaging about 85 degrees F right now but in mid summer it stays in the high 90's/low 100's. I can process at 80 F now with D-76 1:1 so the time is long enough. Somewhere around here I have a formula for tropical developer that I'm going to try this year when it gets hotter. Now where did I put that...:rolleyes:

Tim Meisburger
4-Jul-2010, 19:10
I did a lot of research about tropical developing when I first started out here in Bangkok, and eventually learned that if you are using modern film there is really no need. Older films had a softer emulsion that was negatively affected by heat unless special hardeners were used, but for modern film that is not a problem. I process at 80 degrees or more all the time (in Bangkok we set our AC to 80), and all the high temps mean is shorter development times, which is actually a benefit, not a hardship. Just use a temp conversion chart to figure out development times and have at it!

Jess C
4-Jul-2010, 19:46
Film processing pretty much comes to a halt for me during the summer around here where, unless you have a water chiller, the tap water comes out at 95 degrees farenheit.

Maris Rusis
5-Jul-2010, 00:18
My standard development for Fomapan 200 sheet film 8x10 format is 3 minutes with constant agitation in Xtol at 90F. Remember the E6 process runs at 100.4F! Modern film can be developed at remarkably high temperatures provided the tender emulsion touches nothing but liquid and air.

My all time hottest development was Tmax 400 at 113F in Tmax RS. This was in the town of Blackall in Queensland where the water supply is an artesian bore that comes out of the ground at 180F. The coldest tap water I could find was that 113F. Results? Negs were a bit grainy and contrasty but useable.

Don't give up just because 68F is unavailable.

5-Jul-2010, 06:07
It's been around 28 degrees C in the UK for the last week or so... (sorry, don't know what that is in F. Not very hot by Bangkok standards, I'm sure!)

That means mid 30s in my darkroom (in the roofspace). That's too hot to process for me...

You can still process film and paper at those temperatures if you use the development time adjustment charts, no problem at all.

...It's ME that can't stand it!!!

5-Jul-2010, 06:29
It was 28C (82.4F) just before I returned from the UK last month, it's a very different heat in terms of it's high humidity than the 37C I'm sat outside in now, which while warm isn't unpleasant.

BTW I use a free Timer utility on the PC Wlab/Dlab, has C to F conversions, Dev time adjustments etc very useful.

Personally I can't understand why anyone wants to mess about with cooling systems when it's easier & quicker to just work at a higher temperature.


5-Jul-2010, 07:32
I would take old plastic or glass soda bottles, wash them, fill them, freeze them, and use them to control temperature of a water bath to the temperature you want to develop at. I also do mark them for Developer, Stop, Fix and wash the outside before and after use. I do put the bottles directly in the solution. I find that an immersion in 2/3 of my solution for 10 minutes cools the liquid down to about 60 degrees F. I them SLOWLY mix the cold with the 1/3 warm solution to bring the temp up to 68 degrees. For fine tuning I have something like the Icy Cools mentioned above.

5-Jul-2010, 14:40
My cold water will be in the high 70s in a month or two, maybe more in a hot year. my standard practice has been to fill a Rubbermaid container and add ice to a convenient temp between 68 and 72. In the winter I do a similar thing adding hot water to get it above the low 60s. Saves water too account I can't just let tap water run for washing, and in summer the washwater goes via bucket onto the plants outside. The Rubbermaid holds several gallons and that's enough mass to keep temp drift low in ambient temperatures that may be several degress off the target.

Tim Meisburger
5-Jul-2010, 19:19
I'm with Ian on this one. The warmer it is, the quicker the process. If my tap water were 68, I'd be sorely tempted to put it on the stove and warm it to 80 to shift development times from 9 minutes to 5...

But I'm lazy and easily bored, and my development system requires constant agitation by hand.

Cheers, from hot, hot, hot (but not as hot as New York) Bangkok

Wade D
6-Jul-2010, 00:49
According to my uncle who was a Photographers Mate in WW2 the tropical developers were made for use in the Pacific theater. High temperatures during the island hopping that was prevalent, with the film of the time, made it necessary. I still might try mixing some just to see how it works with a non essential roll. I really like D-76 1:1 as my standard developer.

Brian C. Miller
22-Jul-2010, 23:20
When it gets hot, I feed my Jobo CPP2 with a bucket of ice water, with frozen gel packs in it. A little aquarium pump is enough to provide pressure up to the Jobo intake, and everything works fine.

When I am not using the Jobo I just adjust for the ambient temp, if it isn't outrageous. If the temp gets too high, I'll start keeping my chemicals in the fridge.

Brian Stein
24-Jul-2010, 05:27
The old tropical development strategy for temps above 105F/42C involved presoaking in a hardener (formalin/ anti-fog [6-nitrobenzimidazole nitrate]/ Na sulfite (Na2SO4)/ Na carbonate), then using a tropical developer. These developers used low alkali to minimize gelatin swelling addition of sodium sulfate for same and also to slow development. You could then use a tropical stop with chrome alum and Na2SO4 and then a fix with an acid hardening fixer with acetic acid thioSO4, NH3Cl, pot. alum, boric acid and of course more Na2SO4.
Modern emulsions rule!

I can post recipes if anyone wants to punish themselves.....