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Thread: When to pull the film out of the developer?

  1. #1

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    Apr 2014
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    When to pull the film out of the developer?

    Hello, I am new to developing by inspection. I am currently developing 8x10 fuji X ray film on trays and I am using Rodinal 1:100. I have been developing my negatives between 5 and 7 minutes but I have no idea what I am doing. I am using a coleman Head lamp with a red LED and have no issues with fogging. At about 2 minutes I can clearly see the white edge of the film holders. I read from Jim Galli that when he develops lith film by inspection once he gets detail in the shadows the multiplies that time x 4. Is there a similar rule of thumb for X ray film?

  2. #2

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    Re: When to pull the film out of the developer?

    Not all images have shadows or dark areas (or very dense areas either), so it's best to get an appreciation for an overall range of tones.

    If you have some spare negatives that have been exposed and developed to your satisfaction, you can look at them under your LED illumination: this will give you a good idea.

    You can keep one handy in the darkroom and refer to it while developing film. Eventually, you will recognize the desired appearance.

  3. #3

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    Re: When to pull the film out of the developer?

    Thanks Ken.

  4. #4

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    Re: When to pull the film out of the developer?

    In negatives with sufficient shadow areas, I pull them once the shadow detail is very clearly seen on the side of the film that was towards the back of the camera during exposure. With double sided films, under a small led light, this produces negatives for me that are good to print on new cyanotype and van dyke brown (ie they are very high in contrast). With generic blue and green xray film, this is usually after 5-8 minutes in rodinal 1+100 to 1+150. As you see, there are quite some parameters involved and I think the only good approach is to find a regimen that works for you.

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: When to pull the film out of the developer?

    Proper development produces highlights that have a density compatible with your printing process. If you can see that in the dim light great, otherwise use time and temperature control.

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