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Thread: Rinsing

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2018


    Hi guys,

    maybe a stupid questions.
    But I develop Kodak 4x5 and I rinse as stated in the little book that is included with developer.
    On Youtube I see that some rinse between each step of the process.
    What do you guys think? Which is better?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 1999

    Re: Rinsing

    I don't soak or prewet the film I use, I tested it and I haven't found the need of it.
    And I don't rinse between steps (only when I use a hypo cleaning agent after fixing, but I don't usually use hypo clear often). It has worked for me for decades.
    Surely a rinse between the steps will help to keep the chemicals in better shape; I don't find it really useful.

  3. #3
    Louie Powell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Saratoga Springs, NY

    Re: Rinsing

    I have seen a plain water rinse step inserted in place of a stop bath in film developing, but I have never seen anyone rinse between steps. I have seen people do a pre-rinse before starting development (something that Kodak recommended but that Ilford does not). I don't think there is any inherent problem with rinsing, but I will say that whatever process you choose to follow, you must do enough testing to be satisfied that you have calibrated the timing of each stage of the process to produce the optimum result in your situation. Recommended times the various steps in development area based on a set of assumptions, and if you change the assumptions, you may need to modify the timing of some of the steps. For example, a stop bath is intended to neutralize the developer, and replacing a stop bath with a plain water rinse may put additional burden on the fixer which in turn means that you either need more time in the fixer, or else the number of times you can use a fixing bath will be reduced. Ultimately, you need to establish and follow a process in which each step is optimized relative to the other steps and which produces the best possible negatives.

    Also, you only get one chance to develop a sheet of film, and you don't want to screw it up - which means that film development must follow a formula that you are confident will yield the desired results. For that reason, I believe that you should follow your established film development process religiously, with no variations (other than perhaps variations for N-1, N-2, and N+1 that you have tested and verified). The place for experimentation is in print development where there is an opportunity for a do-over if you don't like the results.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: Rinsing

    I do a pre-soak before hitting the developer, but don't rinse between steps. A final wash is the rinsing my film sees.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Oregon and Austria

    Re: Rinsing

    A pre-soak is optional and dependent on your developing method. Since I shuffle sheets in trays, a pre-soak is indispensable in order to keep the sheets from sticking together. I see no reason whatsoever to rinse between developer and stop bath or between stop bath and fixer, even if one uses an acid stop bath and an alkaline fixer (good alkaline fixers are buffered and designed to be used with an acid stop). With a neutral or acid fixer, carried-over stop bath actually prolongs the life of the fixer a bit.

    Rinsing after the fix and before a hypo-clearing (wash aid) bath can extend the capacity of the wash aid significantly. This comes more into play when processing black-and-white fiber-base paper, however. With film, such a rinse would only make sense if one were developing fairly large amounts of film at once. Plus, a wash aid is really unnecessary with film and RC paper since just a short extension of the wash time does the job just fine. Plus, a wash aid can remove the stain of some staining developers like PMK.

    My workflow for film includes only a presoak and a final rinse to remove surface fixer before the film goes into the washer (really just a dunk in a tray of water and a quick shuffle). For fiber-base prints, I don't rinse at all between steps, even from fix to toner and wash aid to washer.



  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: Rinsing

    With color, a rinse in between consecutive baths (but not before a stop bath) can help stretch the lifetime of bleach and fix.
    With b&w, there's not much need apart from the things Doremus points out above.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Re: Rinsing

    Quote Originally Posted by neildw View Post
    Which is better?

    My choice: use plain water stop bath, as you may dump stop water say two or three times then no contamination reaches the fixer. Fast and clean.

    Ilford in film datasheet recommends avoiding pre-soaking because it removes surfactants that are important for an even development, a too short pre-soak may bring on problems, if pre-soaking it has to be long enough. Pre-soaking is important for the shuffle method, otherwise most modern films are designed to not require pre-soaking. Ancient films required it, so ancient literature may misslead a bit.

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Rinsing

    For black and white film, I always briefly (2 min) presoak in plain water. And because I prefer an alkaline fixer (TF4), I'll often briefly rinse (30 sec) in plain water after the acetic acid stop bath, to minimize any acidic carryover into the fixer. I'm getting ancient, so do what reliably works for ancient people; but the same method consistently worked when I was young too, so I have no intention of changing my method.

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