Friday, 18 September 2015

How well will RO9 Special/ Studional perform a month on from dilution.

Nikkormat FT2 camera
 The developer has been diluted for two months, it's time to see if there has been any degradation of the solution over those months. It was not my intention to put the developer on the spot by using an out of date film and then to pick a make of film that I find difficult to get good results with but the die had been cast by the fact that a film had been loaded into my FT3 some time ago and then promptly forgotten about.

Developer  has changed colour
So what happened? To start with as I poured the developer into the graduate it was a gorgeous turquoise in colour. This is the second time I have used this batch of Studional so I have not a clue what this colour represents, it was clear when it was fresh. For all I know this could mean that it is dead and buried and the best thing to do is pour it away. RIP. I carried on anyway no point stopping now. I need to know what the colour represents. Good or bad?

This batch of developer had been diluted 1+15 but according to the data sheet it should be 1+30 for Fomapan 200 processed for 12 minutes plus 20% increase for the age, as the table indicates. Seeing as I have not taken any notice of the indications this will not work I throw caution completely to the wind and cut the development time in half and add 20% which I ignored developing for eight minutes. What the hell!

Contact print Fomapan 200.

So what did you think happened? Well! Yes, you are wrong. I am astounded these are some of the best negatives I have made with Fomapan 200 they are crisp and punchy or should I say they have a very good tonal separation, producing some rich blacks as the photographs that illustrate this post show.

8 X 10 print on  Ilford RC gloss

I should throw caution to the wind more often if the results are going to come good like this!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Using RO9 special/ Studional as it was intended.

Negatives are FP4+ and Fomapan 100
I have had the opportunity to use RO9s/Studional as it was intended. Multiple development from the same batch of developer (1 litre will do 12 films). This is a new departure for me, I prefer the single use type. I was a little apprehensive with this decision but gathered four 120 format films together so I could put to the test the assertion that you can develop any number of film on the same day it was diluted without having to add a compensation factor for each film involved, as you do with other developers. This was something I had not heard of before.

Made using a Zero multi format pinhole camera.
 The two makes of film were FP4+ and Fomapan 100 in both cases at box speed. It just so happens that the dilution for these films is 1- 25 with a big time difference - four minutes for the FP4+ and ten for the foma 100.

As mentioned before in another article the developer has a syrup consistency to it as you pour it out. At this point I must add a warning because of the concentrated nature of RO9 special/Studional you need to take precautions when pouring it out to make up the working solution. I have found out to my cost that if you get it on your hands it has a nasty bite. Something I have not experienced when mixing up other developers.

Made using Bronica SQAi.
 With the developer made up the first film to be treated was the FP4+. I was curious to know how well the short process time would work. This will be the quickest I have ever produced the latent image. The actual time suggested was three and half minutes - you need to be careful of short times when it comes to processing film, so I upped it four minutes. Not a lot I know but it could mean the difference between a reasonable set of images and a good set. I can report that it was a good set of negatives with good density across the whole film. The next film out of the processing tank was the Fomapan 100 processed at the suggested time of ten minutes. Again a good set of negatives in fact when held up against the FP4+ film they looked Identical in density. To cut this short the third and fourth films were the same in look as their predecessors. I was not expecting such good results.

Made using a Bronica SQAi.
  The method I used was made up of my trusted inversion procedure and a returning of what was left of the 600 mls of developer back to the storage bottle. Let me explain, when you pour the developer out of the tank there is a a certain amount of fluid lost to this action. It is only a small amount but can be enough to stop the top edge of the film being fully immersed. With this in mind I poured the developer back into the litre bottle and then poured it out again into the measuring cylinder before each film processed. I could have just topped up the difference. This is me erring on the side of caution. This action may have rejuvenated any depletion that had occurred but I suspect that this is not the case with this developer.

Idle time between
two batches
Development lengthened
few hours (but development none *on same day)
None *
1 – 3 days
4 – 8 days
1 – 2 weeks
over 2 weeks