Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Four film how well did they develop.

Film development.

It has taken quite a time to reach this point. There have been numerous interruptions, not all of them good, but the results are in and there are some surprises.

The different makes side by side
All the films are 120 format and 6x6 negative size. They were exposed at box speed and developed in the same way with the same thirty month old batch of stock ID11. When I checked the date I was Shocked. It did explain the slightly wheat looking tone to the developer. To be honest I did not give a second thought as to whether it would work or not. The developer was diluted 1+1 and used only once at a temp 20c, No pre-soak was used. All inverted for the first thirty seconds this is equal to twelve inversions and then four inversions every minute this is equal to ten seconds. Then stopped, fixed and washed as normal.

FP4+ negs

I chose to develop the FP4+ first. This is the film all the others are going to be judged against, so there was no pressure to get the development spot on. The suggested time by the manufacturers is eleven minutes, but I find my negatives tend to be a bit thin so process for fourteen minutes. While the negatives were drying I looked over them to see how well they had turned out. I was surprised to find they are some of the best negatives I have produced. Let's hope I can keep this standard up for the rest.

Rollie 400s negs
The next film to be loaded into the developing tank was the Rollei 400s. This did not have a very auspicious start after loading the film into the back of the camera. I had mistaken the noise it was making for the film coming off the spool. I am so used to the sound FP4+makes when being wound on. I checked to see if it was OK in a blacked out darkroom and it was. This lead to four frames being lost. The suggested development time for this film in ID11 is eleven minutes. I must say I had my doubts but developed it for the said time anyway. Need I say they look thin; will have see how well they print!

Fomapan 100 negs
The five litre can of ID11 is getting very close to being used up and the developer is getting darker in colour each time I use it, could be a close run thing as to whether there is enough to do two more films. Next into the soup was the Fomapan classic exposed at 100 ISO. The suggested development time for this speed is eight to ten minutes. This is another film I have no previous knowledge of, so which is it 8,9 or 10 minutes?. With the thin looking Rollei negs at the front of my mind I've chosen ten minutes I feel it may produce better results and it did. My calculated gamble paid off this time. Producing the density of negative I like and very close to the FP4+ results.

Adox chs negs
The last one to meet the spiral was the Adox CHS exposed at 100 ISO. The suggested time for ID11 at this speed is 7.5 minutes. I took no notice of this time at all. Boyd by the results of the Fomapan I pushed the time to ten minutes. Where did this time come from? The previous results indicated that a longer development time would produce denser negatives so I decided to do the same for this. Was I right? NO! I should have gone longer. These are the thinnest negatives of the lot. Again, will have to see how they print.

Experience and knowledge has played it's part in the development of the Fomapan, 400s and Adox but even so the later two's results are 'off' by my standard. The times suggested for developing the films are from a trusted source. So I am a little disappointed that they did not turn out better than they did. Having said that it maybe the developer losing its potency as I start to scrape the bottom of the bottle. It is, to a certain extent, a gamble when using old material, combined with ones I have not used before. All is not lost, it just means that the thinner negatives will be a bit more of a challenge to print properly.

How are they going to print?

Finally the Id11 ran out before I had a chance to do another roll of the 400s. If I had, I would have extended the time by three minutes. With the Adox I would have increased the time by five minutes.