Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

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Olympuse20 Forum Member • Posts: 50
Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

Using Labbox with 120. cinestill with 96df.     Ilford FP4.  and Ilford Delta 400

been doing to constant   have been developing good.    but limited experience.   Wondering if the results would be better  or different if I switch to intermittent

thanks

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just Tony
just Tony Veteran Member • Posts: 3,143
Chemical considerations
2

I’ve only used traditional tanks so I can’t predict if there are any side effects like unevenness, but I can share some thoughts about chemistry.

Continuous agitation especially with non-dilute developer mixes continuously brings fresh developer to every part of the film. Areas with strong exposure keep going and going into higher densities. In some cases that can result in a higher contrast than you might like. Or maybe gives you a punchy contrast that you seek.

Reduced agitation especially with dilute developers work differently. The developer solution gets exhausted in broad high exposure areas leading to reduced global contrast. Local acutance is not affected very much, you still get active development in the edges of high exposure areas if immediately adjacent there is a low density. The developer molecules diffuse across short distances.

None of the above is about steering you one way or another. There are multiple tools in the box, use the tool that makes sense. If you don’t mind running a few experiments you can get a sense of what works in that tank.

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Autonerd Senior Member • Posts: 1,780
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions
1

Haven't used that developer, but I was always taught intermittent agitation (either 4 @ 60 seconds or 2 @ 30). The purpose of agitation is to get fresh fixer on the film, then let it sit to do its thing. Over- or under-agitation affects how much development the film gets.

Can't hurt to go with the developer manufacturers' recommendations.

Aaron

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Fatih Ayoglu Regular Member • Posts: 151
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions
1

Generally, more agitation is more contrast, less agitation is less contrast.

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OP Olympuse20 Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

Interesting. and thanks for the feedback. Excellent.   developed both FP4 and HP5 in constant agitation and find both of these not to have the contrast as compared to TRI-X which has more contrast but I don't like the level of grain in TRI-X

Will try the Delta 400 both ways and see what happens

try to post the neg and reversals in a later post

thanks

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OP Olympuse20 Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: Chemical considerations

if I understand this then. with intermittent agitation areas of high and low density  next to each other will appear sharper [ higher contrast]  because developer is still active and areas of high density will be less contrast because developer is exhausting it self until you agitate

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Bags27 Senior Member • Posts: 1,028
Re: Chemical considerations

On their website, they say:

If you chose to develop with 270ml of chemicals, then yes: you will have to perform a continuous agitation, we suggest to use the additional crank which is more comfortable for continuous agitation. If you instead fully submerge the film with 500ml then you can turn the knob every 30 seconds, or experiment with different intervals of your choosing.

If you were using a Paterson tank, you'd fill it with a minimum of 290ml for 135 film and 500 ml for 120 film, because of the way reels are resized and stacked. But I suspect that the way film gets threaded into Lab-Box, the amount of developer doesn't depend on whether it's 135 or 120 film.

270ml will cover ~ 1/2 the roll of either film size. In the Paterson, the idea is that 290mi will completely cover a 135 reel and 500 will completely cover the 120 reel.

So, the default assumption always with a Paterson is that the film is completely submerged before we consider the question of the affects of agitation.

So, to begin to extract useful information from those who use a Paterson (or similar) tank for development, I suspect it's important to be using 500ml in the Lab-box.

But even then, the application to your needs will be somewhat different. With the Paterson (or similar), agitation both circulates developer, but also circulates air: inverting the Paterson, even with the film completely covered in standing position, means there are moments when the film has no contact with developer. I don't think that's the case with agitating the 500ml of the Lab-box.

If, on the other hand, you use the 270 fill method, your film will be exposed to air for 1/2 the time of each continuous rotation. And that's more exposure to air than will happen with Paterson agitation.

So, the varying methods of agitation will produce different effects between development tanks and the Lab-box.

Thanks for posting: I doubt I'd ever buy it, but have been curious.

sprocket-docket Regular Member • Posts: 289
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

You're using DF96, right? That's not like most other developers, however it's the one I use. Here is the thing with that developer: temperature matters a lot more than agitation. Or, rather, you start with temperature and the agitation you use really needs to depend on the temp. Cinestill says 80 degrees f is for constant agitation. My experience is that you really don't want to go above 80, even though +/- 2 degrees is typically alright. If you're 80 1/2 it's fine, maybe 81, but don't push it. If I've done 81-82 with constant, the results lose fine detail.

Honestly the very best results for me usually come from 75-76 degrees and intermittent agitation, much like the instructions descibe, maybe 2-3 seconds more agitation than recommended each time, if my temp is a degree over 75. I usually use Fomapan 100, HP5 or Delta 400 (don't forget to double time for Delta).

Remember, temperature affects development and agitation affects not development but fixing, since this is a blend of developer and fixer. It all depends on getting the balance right.

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sprocket-docket Regular Member • Posts: 289
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions
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Fatih Ayoglu wrote:

Generally, more agitation is more contrast, less agitation is less contrast.

This is true with normal developers, but not DF96, since it's both developer and fixer. Agitation primarily affects fixing, not developing.

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Autonerd Senior Member • Posts: 1,780
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

sprocket-docket wrote:

Agitation primarily affects fixing, not developing.

Not saying this is wrong, just that I was taught differently (at least for D-76). Developer working on a given bit of film gets exhausted, and the purpose of agitation is to get fresh developer on the film. Is that not correct?

Aaron

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Bags27 Senior Member • Posts: 1,028
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

Autonerd wrote:

sprocket-docket wrote:

Agitation primarily affects fixing, not developing.

Not saying this is wrong, just that I was taught differently (at least for D-76). Developer working on a given bit of film gets exhausted, and the purpose of agitation is to get fresh developer on the film. Is that not correct?

Aaron

me too.

sprocket-docket Regular Member • Posts: 289
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

Autonerd wrote:

sprocket-docket wrote:

Agitation primarily affects fixing, not developing.

Not saying this is wrong, just that I was taught differently (at least for D-76). Developer working on a given bit of film gets exhausted, and the purpose of agitation is to get fresh developer on the film. Is that not correct?

Aaron

Please, just read up on DF96. I acknowledged that this is not the same as with other developers. DF96 is DEVELOPER + FIXER IN ONE. It behaves completely differently because you have the two counteractive effects, and your job is just to balance them properly.

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DrBormental
DrBormental Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

Olympuse20 wrote:

Interesting. and thanks for the feedback. Excellent. developed both FP4 and HP5 in constant agitation and find both of these not to have the contrast as compared to TRI-X which has more contrast but I don't like the level of grain in TRI-X

You can expose and develop most films to a contrast level of your choice. Films by themselves do not "have contrast". Look at datasheets closely:

For example, Tri-X datasheet states: "The following starting-point recommendations are intended to produce a contrast index of 0.56", i.e. for different contrast index you'll need to adjust dev. time.

HP5 datasheet says the same thing: "adjust the recommended development times until the desired contrast level is obtained".

Sometimes manufacturers list different development times for different contrast index. You can develop HP5+ and Tri-X to look 100% identical. This is the primary reason why you should stop using monobath and switch to developer+fixer routine.

sprocket-docket Regular Member • Posts: 289
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

DrBormental wrote:

Sometimes manufacturers list different development times for different contrast index. You can develop HP5+ and Tri-X to look 100% identical. This is the primary reason why you should stop using monobath and switch to developer+fixer routine.

I disagree strongly with the idea that you can make TriX and HP5 look identical. Part of the look of films is grain structure, and they're inherently different. Also, if you're happy with the look of monobath then you shouldn't stop using it just because someone on the internet tells you to.

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Autonerd Senior Member • Posts: 1,780
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

sprocket-docket wrote:

Autonerd wrote:

sprocket-docket wrote:

Agitation primarily affects fixing, not developing.

Please, just read up on DF96. I acknowledged that this is not the same as with other developers. DF96 is DEVELOPER + FIXER IN ONE. It behaves completely differently because you have the two counteractive effects, and your job is just to balance them properly.

No, that part I get -- it's the idea that agitation affects fixing rather than developing which is new to me. Unless you are saying that's only the case with DF96 (which I will read up on).

Not trying to start an argument here -- I am really curious.

Aaron

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DrBormental
DrBormental Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

sprocket-docket wrote:

Also, if you're happy with the look of monobath then you shouldn't stop using it just because someone on the internet tells you to.

Agreed! But in his case, he's unhappy. And manufacturers instructions bear more weight than "someone on the internet".

sprocket-docket Regular Member • Posts: 289
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions
1

Autonerd wrote:

Unless you are saying that's only the case with DF96 (which I will read up on).

Yes, that's exactly what I am saying (apologies if I didn't make it clear enough).

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sprocket-docket Regular Member • Posts: 289
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

DrBormental wrote:

sprocket-docket wrote:

Also, if you're happy with the look of monobath then you shouldn't stop using it just because someone on the internet tells you to.

Agreed! But in his case, he's unhappy. And manufacturers instructions bear more weight than "someone on the internet".

Read the OP again.

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sprocket-docket Regular Member • Posts: 289
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

I didn't realize you're using the lab-box before - I think from what I've seen, you kind of have to use constant agitation with that one, as it doesn't fully immerse the film? Someone with actual lab-box experience will know better. You can't really use intermittent agitation if part of the film is left out of the water, or your roll will develop unevenly. You might want to try a patterson tank if that's the case, it would at least give you the option of experimenting with 80 degrees/constant versus 75 degrees/intermittent.

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DrBormental
DrBormental Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: Agitation. constant vs Intermittent. Opinions

sprocket-docket wrote:

DrBormental wrote:

sprocket-docket wrote:

Also, if you're happy with the look of monobath then you shouldn't stop using it just because someone on the internet tells you to.

Agreed! But in his case, he's unhappy. And manufacturers instructions bear more weight than "someone on the internet".

Read the OP again.

No need. I already gave him the correct answer to all his troubles. This thread can now be closed. By monkeying with monobaths and labboxes he's only delaying the inevitable, which is switching to proper chemistry in a Paterson or JOBO.

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