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develop OLD, exposed b&w film?
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Sep 1, 2013 12:10:25   #
Just came upon a bunch of missing 120 rolls of long ago exposed Tri-X. Normally use HC-110 for this. Any suggestions for possible adjustments to normal development time for best results?
Sep 1, 2013 12:44:24   #
boringoldphotog wrote:
Just came upon a bunch of missing 120 rolls of long ago exposed Tri-X. Normally use HC-110 for this. Any suggestions for possible adjustments to normal development time for best results?

I remember doing this years ago but can't remember how!
Some things to do are :
1.Pre soak the film in cold water and change the water a few times
2. Take a snip of film for test strips
3. Use a high concentration of developer for your test strips and then use the same concentration for the actual film, I'm sure I was using ordinary Ilford developer (can't remember what) but HC-110 is probably the best for this job.
4. If the film's really old it's going to be hard to load in the spiral, sorry, don't know how to fix that.
Good luck :thumbup: :thumbup: I'm sure that other Hogs will come up with good advice.
If you get a result, please post on UHH
Sep 2, 2013 01:20:04   #
BHC (a regular here)
boringoldphotog wrote:
Just came upon a bunch of missing 120 rolls of long ago exposed Tri-X. Normally use HC-110 for this. Any suggestions for possible adjustments to normal development time for best results?

Because the film is so old, I'd sacrifice a frame or two for strip tests. And, because HC-110 is such a fast developer, I would swith th D76 (1:1) which will give more latitude on the time trials.
Sep 2, 2013 03:16:38   #
Unless I was doing a 'Press' deadline job, I would often dilute D76 1:3 for a longer slower developing action on the negatives. Sniping a short length off, and doing that first, seems the logical way to start. Best of luck. You might find that the film could be rather brittle as opposed to the more usual state of flexibility. Handle with extra care, in the dark.
Sep 2, 2013 08:32:53   #
Before starting to develop, set up a way to examine the film with a safe light after the minimum time has passed. Give your eyes a chance to get used to the darkness. Good luck.

chastay from Photo Press International
Sep 2, 2013 09:51:59   #
I use Rodinal. (R09 One Shot its now called. I get it from Freestyle.) Anyway, if I was you I'd use Rodinal and do a "stand" or "semi-stand" development process. Rodinal is the only developer I've ever used. Perhaps your HC110 is good for stand developing too, I don't know.

The reason I would use a stand process is because this way I wouldn't have to worry about an exact development time for the film. Depending on the dilution strength I'd let the film stand in the developer at least an hour. (Perhaps with an agitation half-way through--hence semi-stand.) Perhaps I'd go an hour and a half or even two. The film would develop until the developer is exhausted and I think this might get you as much out of the film as is possible.

By the way, for an hour stand I dilute at 1+100. I've never done a higher dilution but I know people do. Nevertheless, for this old film I'd dilute 1+100 and probably let it stand 1.5 hours.

Good luck.
Sep 2, 2013 10:32:22   #
im a bit rusty but in my press days using trix pan pro and sometimnes having to develope on the run......i used d76 always and at 75 degrees faranheight 4mins in the darkroom.N0 a/c. But also i find old film is no different to new film.....i once developed a roll on the floor of a mini while driveing back to work 96 miles. by diluting the dev 50/50 with water and just let it cook for an hour......luckily it came out just right.I still have those shots from 35 years ago and the negs look as good as new.
D76 used to be the magic developed in my day and could give you 8 stops latitude with trix, either way. Hope the shots are worth it
Sep 2, 2013 13:23:45   #
Your film is most likely going to have some base fog...I'd go with the D76 with at least 1:1 distilled water...a test clip would be an excellent plan...the good news is...with any luck you can scan the negs, make some corrections and most likely produce a reasonable product....good luck.
Nov 10, 2013 21:31:24   #
Thanks for all the replies, and sorry for the delay. Have been busy evaluating most of the suggestions made.
After all the horror stories we've all heard about OLD exposed B&W film having increased base density/fog, losing contrast, etc., this project was a shocker. These films were normal in all respects - could have been exposed a week ago (based on the subjects, all of which I recognized, the films ranged from 29-35 years old). NO increase over normal base density, loss of contrast, etc. Having said that, they all developed more or less predictably in the different developers, with D-76 giving a slightly better (and normal) contrast from the subjects as recalled. HC-110 and "Rodinal" were very good also but tended to overdevelop a bit more quickly by any extension of development times in the trials.
(I didn't try any of the high dilution, lengthy development times suggested by some, as a single initial "normal" D-76 development proved so successful). I'd give more details on all this if any of the differences were more than minimal. In all, FYI, 28 rolls were developed, as well as 32 sheets of 4x5 Tri-X found along with the rolls. Same remarks for the sheet film.
Don't know if I was lucky about the normality of the films, as they weren't stored in any special way and went through a couple major moves (which is why they were "lost" for so long), but these were well worth the effort and I hope the above might be of interest and possible help to all of you if you experience a similar problem. Thanks again for the support.
Nov 11, 2013 03:40:43   #
Glad you got the trial development done successfuly with D.76 (good old standby).Perhaps that is why Ilford used the same formula, and called it ID 11. I still have a job - lot of 24 boxes X 5 rolls of 220 Tri-X un-exposed. Must give that some use one day, nothing serious though,just to see what results I could get. Oh and a few tins of 70mm Kodak Aerographic film dated 1989. There was more 'Thrill' in picture taking/ developing back then.
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