Temperature for print developing

Making your print in the darkroom
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Alastair Moore
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Temperature for print developing

Postby Alastair Moore » 16 Apr 2015, 22:34

Hey all,

So I've finally got my mini-darkroom up and running and getting some prints out of the door. I shall no doubt have a bunch of (dumb) questions over the course of the next few months - my apologies in advance.

First question though is about temperature of developer when making prints. Why is it important to keep the temperature consistent when you're developing to completion? When developing negatives, you obviously need consistency to be able to repeat the same process to get the exact same results from your negatives but it seems to me its a bit different with printing. Is temperature less of a factor but still a factor or does it not really matter? If so, why? I'm not talking about temperatures fluctuating between say 16c and 30+c but perhaps between 22 and 26c.

Thanks!

Barry Kirsten
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Re: Temperature for print developing

Postby Barry Kirsten » 17 Apr 2015, 07:23

It depends on how critical you are about the quality of your prints. If you want to preserve delicate details, particularly in the shadow areas, time and temperature are very important (as is developer concentration, paper grade or filtration used). Although you can get reasonable prints by a basic method, a fine print that glows requires attention to parameters... and sometimes much patience. Ansel Adams' book 'The Print' is the bible on printing in my opinion, but I believe there are other good books on the subject.

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Alastair Moore
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Re: Temperature for print developing

Postby Alastair Moore » 17 Apr 2015, 10:20

Thanks for the advice Barry! It's still early days in my wet printing "career" but I reckon a 20c water bath for my pre-mixed chemicals wouldn't be too tricky to put together. I'll try that out this weekend.

Cheers!

smbooth
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Re: Temperature for print developing

Postby smbooth » 17 Apr 2015, 10:30

I'm nowhere near being a fine art printer so if find that if my chemicals are within the 19- 25 degC mark then all is OK.

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Alastair Moore
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Re: Temperature for print developing

Postby Alastair Moore » 17 Apr 2015, 15:39

I wouldn't say that, Shane! I've seen your prints and some of them are damn fine!

Barry Kirsten
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Re: Temperature for print developing

Postby Barry Kirsten » 17 Apr 2015, 16:13

Me either Shane, just saying what I've learned over the years. To be fair to Ansel, his attention to detail was partly dictated by the need to repeatedly make fine prints for sale; so taking care to control everything and record his printing workflow made this goal easier to achieve.

smbooth
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Re: Temperature for print developing

Postby smbooth » 22 Apr 2015, 09:09

It is really very true, consistency is a big part of processing film and making prints and is something that should be thought about more.


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