In Search For The Perfect Time

  If you’ve read one of my later posts, Getting used to a new film, you’ll know I’ve been experimenting each roll trying to find the correct time for my specific developing method.  I haven’t photographed anything much for the last few weeks, and I’ve had my Leica M2 loaded with Fomapan 400 the whole time.  Finally I got the roll done this week and decided to develop it. Instead of checking my log, I figured I left it off at 7:30 at 20C  (rotary development!).

  So, I developed the roll according to the time in my head.  After I scanned the first couple frames, which were looking very decent, I remembered that I made a mistake.  7:30 at 20C is the time I’ve been using for Fomapan 100 sheet film, I should have been trying to develop this roll at at least 8:30 according to my log.  However, this roll looks just fine, right? Well here is the messed up part according to my notes.

8:55 with pre-wash at 20C is my “tried and true” time for XTOL 1+1 dilution,
So how can 7:30 without pre-wash, 1+2 XTOL at 20C look this good?

  The answer is simple. For XTOL 1+2, 7:30 20C is my Tri X ‘standard’ time. And 7:30 is my Foma 100 Sheet film time. So.. Why the hell not?  7:30 would also be the best time for Foma 400 135/36 – Sometimes you just shouldn’t think too much and instead, just go with it. The result speaks for itself.  I like the way it looks and let’s leave it at that.  No need to get technical all the time.

“I said seven , seven minute abs, not six! “


All the times mentioned in this post are for rotary development.

6 thoughts on “In Search For The Perfect Time

  1. Lovely! I think it worked fine! By the way, the other day one of my friends who is a archive preserver, told me that some films have a base of nitro, (foma was one of them) which are not very stable and possible self ignitable. Also most of my films (t-max, tri-x, HP5 etc.) have a trio-acid base that makes them unstable as well! And once they start showing the first signs of degrading (smelling like vinegar and bending) it is irreversible! YOU END UP WITH SEVER BENDING WHICH BREAKS THE EMULSION! The only films with archival quality base of polyester, are some Rollei, Technical Pan and Kodak’s infra red. So much for everlasting B&W material! All the color films have the same problems, of course!

    • Oh I know I’ve been ask to try and restore some old negatives . The Agfapan 25 smells like acid , curiosity made me try and wash the leader and I’ve witnessed “plastic ” melts in water. And those are only from the last 60s. But the majority of older film I’ve handled held up just fine especially Kodak brand. I mean I’ve seen 1968 developed Agfapan melts while I developed a roll of Kodak verichrome pan that was shot in 1959 just ” fine “. I think it had lots to do with the final wash and storage conditions .

  2. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in developing, and most of the time the results are just fine. Black-and-white film is very flexible.

    Great photos, by the way! The one with the pumpkins is great.

I'd Love To Hear From You

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s