Do You Control the Print Development Temperature?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by narke, May 2, 2005.

  1. narke

    narke Guest

    while i can use water bath to get 68F for film development, however, i
    found the same method is hard to apply to print development for the
    tray is more large and flat comparing to a tank. my question is,

    is there a recommended temperature for print development? and how
    should i get the temperature?

    thanks in advance.

    narke, May 2, 2005
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  2. narke

    UC Guest

    It's not critical, because you develop to completion.
    UC, May 2, 2005
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  3. narke

    narke Guest

    It's not critical, because you develop to completion.

    by 'develop to completeion', did you mean the shortest time for maximal

    narke, May 2, 2005
  4. Steven ; -)

    70-72 F to start. although 68F is more likely ambient!

    I start a 72F in a tray and use a temp control valve to get there
    ,...eventually your tray
    will equalize to the room temp. I find its nice to work faster initially
    and then work into the ambient temp. :-D

    btw couldn't find that plate drawing maybe OMEGA still has it????
    If not I could redraw it and send as a PDf if you still want.
    Gregory Blank, May 2, 2005
  5. Hi "narke,"

    For normal, single-print-per-negative sessions I don't bother with
    temperature control. I simply dilute my stock D-72 with 68F water and let
    the temp drift (usually downwards slightly, except in August).

    However, for critical sessions where repeatability over time is a concern
    (such as multiple prints from a single negative) I use a Zone VI
    Compensating Developing Timer. An attached temperature probe is immersed in
    the developer tray and the device dynamically adjusts the length of its
    displayed seconds to compensate for any measured temperature drift of the
    solution. I can easily judge where the solution is at by watching the
    seconds tick off and comparing them to the uncorrected wall clock tick in
    the background. The timer has separate settings for film and paper

    While some have dismissed this approach as unworkable for various
    theoretical reasons, in actual use I find that this device does eliminate
    the lion's share of print variability due to changes in developer
    temperature. The timer's original developer, Dr. Paul Horowitz, claims "an
    exponential variation of developing time with [changes in] temperature." If
    true, this type of feedback correction - similar in principle to the
    compensating enlarging timers - can be invaluable in certain darkroom

    Ken Nadvornick, May 2, 2005
  6. narke

    narke Guest

    my room temp in this season is about 82F and keep stable for at least
    weeks. i believe ice bag is not suitable to be immersed into the tray
    since it would pollute the solution. and i cannot prepare a water bath
    for it since if i do so it will need a very large water bath. so what
    about i do it this way:

    do a test to get a Standard Print Time (SPT) for the given temp, and
    use this time to develop print. since the room temp will keep
    consistent in a given time of every day, so i guess i do not need to
    do the test quit often.

    would you experts tell me if or not can i do this way?

    BTW: I have no idea for what Ken mentioned Zone VI
    Compensating Developing Timer and i belive i get no way to get it in my

    narke, May 2, 2005
  7. narke

    narke Guest

    Hi, Gregory

    i'v bought the Omega Enlarger, so i donnot need the draw now. thank
    you anyway !

    narke, May 2, 2005
  8. Buy an water chiller and central air conditioning, or move out of Death
    Once is enough provided all factors remain the smame.
    Gregory Blank, May 2, 2005
  9. Its a great piece of equipment, you"ll be happy for many years :)
    Gregory Blank, May 2, 2005
  10. I normally process everything at 75F. The usual temperature for processing
    B&W film and paper is 68F, but it is too difficult for me to maintain this
    temperature in the summer. I have a Lawlor temperature control valve that
    does a good job of maintaining a constant temperature provided the cold
    water is cold enough (a problem in the summer) and the hot water is hot
    enough (never a serious problem).

    I have two darkroom sinks. The big one is about 2 feet by 8 feet. The small
    one (immediately to its right, and overflowing into the big one) is about 2
    feet by two feet. Both are about 5 inches deep. When processing paper, I run
    75F water into my print washer that drains into the small sink. The small
    sink overflows into the big sink. The big sink has a short standpipe in it
    that maintains a constant depth of water in it that is sufficient to cover
    the bottom of each processing tray, but insufficient to float the trays when
    they have processing solutions in them. So this controls the temperature of
    everything to be about the same.

    For film, most B&W processing is recommended at 68F (20C), but for a few
    developpers, 75F is recommended. There is no great harm these days, with
    films hardened considerably more than a century ago, to develop at somewhat
    warmer temperatures. Of course, you calibrate your development time and
    dilution to give the contrast index you need.

    For paper, which is developped "to completion," the temperature is less
    critical. Within certain limits, you can compensate for having a warmer
    processing solution (mainly the developper) by exposing the paper slightly
    less, or developping for a slightly shorter time. Some people develop
    slightly underexposed paper for a longer time to compensate. For me, these
    tricks do not work very well.

    If you do not keep notes, or change developpers all the time, and make only
    one print of a negative each session, it does not matter all that much what
    temmperature you use. If you need repeatable results, you need a stable
    light source in the enlarger or contact printer, repeatable temperatures and
    times for exposing and processing, and use of the same (generally fresh)
    processing solutions. Even then, you may need slight changes from batch to
    batch of paper.
    Jean-David Beyer, May 2, 2005
  11. narke

    pgg Guest

    I don't understand why you would need any temperature control with print
    developers because prints develop "to completion".

    In the winter, my basement darkroom gets down to 55 degrees and I noticed
    no difference in my prints.
    pgg, May 3, 2005
  12. narke

    UC Guest

    The development is more or less self-terminating....
    UC, May 3, 2005
  13. I've found the opposite to be the case with the materials I use, namely
    Zone VI print developer and Ilford FB MG paper. I'm not a chemist, but
    it's my understanding that some developing agents become inactive below
    a certain temp. Hence I try to keep my print chemicals at around 70* F.
    I use a kaiser photographic hotplate under the developer, and heating
    mats for under seedlings under the other trays. I find that if I keep
    my basement darkroom air tempature at a normal level that my solution
    temp dips down into the mid 50s in winter.

    Peter De Smidt, May 3, 2005
  14. As Peter mentioned, below certain temperatures, some developers cease to act.
    There are some charts in The Darkroom Cookbook that you might want to look at.
    There are even developers specially formulated for low temperature processing.

    In the winter my darkroom is also about 55 degrees. I use two electric heaters
    to warm it up to the mid-60s, partially for comfort, partially so that I do not
    have to wait forever for the processes to complete. I do not bother with a
    water bath for B&W printing. I do, however, for color printing.

    One advantage, I believe, from development at colder temperatures is the
    reduction of fog. So if that is a concern, work in the cold.

    Francis A. Miniter
    Francis A. Miniter, May 3, 2005
  15. narke

    narke Guest

    Buy an water chiller and central air conditioning, or move out of
    take easy :) just the darkroom, my darkroom gets no air conditioner
    and i can not afford to buy one :)

    narke, May 3, 2005
  16. narke

    narke Guest

    I don't understand why you would need any temperature control with
    if development is self-terminating, why people bother to do 'stop' ?

    narke, May 3, 2005
  17. narke

    narke Guest


    i want you sinks! :)

    narke, May 3, 2005
  18. narke

    John Guest

    It depends on the formula of the developer you are using. Also some basements get
    quite cool. My darkroom used to get so cold that I had two electric space heaters running
    and still had to bundle up. Note that hydroquinone looses activity with temperature drop.
    To compensate one must develop longer and/or use more alkali. Some photographers would add
    a teaspoon of lye to the developer to kick up the activity.

    JD -
    John, May 3, 2005
  19. This is one of the arguments for using divided developers for
    printing--the time/temperature variable becomes irrelevant. I use it
    exclusively (see my article on it in the Chemistry Recipes section of
    the APUG forum) and have used it successfully in a range of ambient room
    temperature from 55-85 degrees.
    LR Kalajainen, May 3, 2005
  20. I made them out of 3/4 inch exterior grade A/C plywood. I screwed the parts
    together but applied 2-part resorcinol waterproof glue to the edges first.
    I then painted them with marine varnish that I mixed 1+3 with thinner so it
    would penetrate as far as possible. I then applied two coats of Klenk's
    2-part Epoxy enamel. Every few years it devellops a slight leak where the
    wood checks, but these are fairly easily fixed. In those days, the plywood
    was about US$10 for a 4 foot x 8 foot sheet. It is much more now, but still
    way less than a new stainless steel sink.
    Jean-David Beyer, May 3, 2005
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