T-Max with RS dev: replenish or toss after each use

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I'm using film hangers in small tanks (Cesco tanks) to proccess T-Max film with RS dev.. I can develop up to six sheets of 4x5 at a time. My question is, when it comes to the chemistry, I think I'd prefer to dump the dev. after each use, but with the stop bath and fixer, I think it would be a waste and would like to use it for as long as possible, but how do I know when its time to start fresh? These tanks do have floating lids. I will be mixing part A and B of the RS dev. together and then when I proccess I will mix one part dev. with nine parts water as I have read to do it this way on this site, then to the aquired water temp. and time. I would appreciate any opinions from those who replenish the dev. instead of tossing it after each use. Thanks for the advise.

-- Raven (mtand13@netreach.net), August 08, 2000


Response to film proccessing

I'm not familiar with RS developer, but my vote is to dump it. Years ago I did the replenishment stuff, probably with d-76, and it just was not worth the effort. Same with stop and fix, but I am a tray developer advocate. I have run roll and sheet film in 3.5 gal tanks with a water bath commercially (with self formulated d-23), but I still often dumped the tanks to ensure fresh solution. If you are only running six sheets at a time now then I think you should explore tray developing. I often run up to 15 sheets of 8x10 at a time in 11x14 trays with no problem--does take some getting used to and the techniques are different--will probably involve adjusting development times, but everyone I have taught this technique now believe in it.


-- fred (fdeaton@hiwaay.net), August 08, 2000.

Response to film proccessing

I do about two batches of six sheets through a half gallon of developer. That is a little less film than the same ratio of developer to film area as a normal 120 tank. I figure if it works one shot for 120, then it should be able to do a little less area of 4x5, even it takes two batches to get there. I will sometimes add a minus sheet or two as a third batch in developer, since they need less anyway.

-- E.L. (elperdido65@hotmail.com), August 08, 2000.

Response to film proccessing

Raven, far be it from me to tell you how much to spend on your materials, but I use dveloper "one shot." It is penny wise but pound foolish to reuse your developer. First of all do you know for sure without any testing how much to replenish? You are processing up to 6 sheets in a batch. Not much active developer left to replenish. Especially TMax film. Yeah we can sit here and hash about how many angels on the head of a pin but I calibrated my film to specific tolerances and replenishment throws that out the door. Replenishment was designed for machine processing so a large batch of developer could be used more economically without the need for stopping the machine and returning all the temps and pH's to the correct values after the new batch was introduced to the processor. It wasn't designed for the small batch user such as the home hobbiest. When you make up a batch of TMax RS, how much does this chemistry cost for each sheet of film? I use the stop and fix until I reach the recommended usage and then it gets tossed down the sewer. I don't reuse developer. Some people do but I don't because I think it isn't worth it. But then again I don't know your economic situation. James

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), August 08, 2000.

Hi, my economical statis is not great :) but the chemistry is not exorbitant in price. I guess I have a hard time dumping this stuff because of the environement. Yeah, I know except for fixer, its what we're supposed to do. Anyway, I'm going to use the developer once only, but I was wondering if it was a waste to use the stop bath / fixer just once. p.s. I'm just not a tray developing kind of person. Its not for me. Thanks for the advise.

-- Raven (mtand13@netreach.net), August 08, 2000.

> Anyway, I'm going to use the developer once only

I'd dump it. I've used lots of replenished developers over the years (HC-110, Acufine) and they worked ok, but that was in high-volume news photography and it was worthwhile. Consistence was good enough, but otoh we weren't exactly trying for technically superb photographic art either.

> but I was wondering if it was a waste to use the stop bath / fixer

That would be a waste. You can reuse the stop until it turns purple or it collects enough dust, bugs etc that it's disgusting. You can reuse fixer until the clearing time doubles, but you'll probably worry about it so much that you'll dump it long before then.

Don't reuse HCA more than a couple of days.

-- John Hicks (jbh@magicnet.net), August 08, 2000.

I also vote for the one-shot approach. Rodinal is an excellent and inexpensive one-shot developer, especially at something like 1:50 dilution, and is a good partner for TMax100.

-- fw (finneganswake@altavista.net), August 09, 2000.

Raven, All the information you need about the capacity for your fix you should be able to find in the info sheet that comes with the package. I don't know how much one of your tanks holds, but whatever it is, a little basic arithmetic should give you the recommended number of films you can safely fix before discarding the solution. Most manufacturers include a generous "fudge factor" in their recommendations as well, so not to worry. Just keep track of the number of films and fix for the recommended times. Also, with a floating lid, fix should keep at least 30 days (again, read your info sheet!). As for stop, use indicator stop and toss it when it changes color. I don't recommend replenishing the developer, but, if the capacity of the tank is more than one liter, you may be able to develop an additional batch of 6 with no noticable differences. Again, check the info sheet, calculate the amount of concentrate/stock solution you need for one film, and see how many films can be developed in your quantity of developer. Keep in mind that the second batch may be a little less developed (weaker) compared to the first even if you are within manufacturers recommendations due to the fact that you are developing in batches and not all the films at once. The first batch gets the best of the developer. Alternately, you can reduce developer quantity or increase dilution (and developing time) to insure that your one-shot developer has just enough developing agent in it for the number of films your tank holds. Just do the numbers. Trying to stretch developer is foolish and results in unprintable negs. On the other hand, using twice or three times as much developer as you need and then tossing it down the drain is equally foolish and irresponsible as well. Hope this helps. ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (ScudderLandreth@compuserve.com), August 09, 2000.

I would not disagree with the "dump" advocates but the TMAX RS 1:9 posts earlier were referring to rotary processing with minute amounts of the stuff per sheet. I use 50ml of working solution per 4x5 sheet in a Jobo, so that translates to 300ml of working solution per 6 sheets. You are processing 6 sheets at a time in whatever the Cesco tanks hold. What is that? I have no idea. A half gallon (about 2000ml)? To me this seems wasteful only because after 6 sheets that amount of developer would hardly need replenishment. That much chemistry would have the chemical capacity on a computed "per square inch" basis to do 40 sheets! I would be tempted to do the replenishment routine as per instructions until you run 40 sheets (assuming I have the tank capacity right) and then chuck it and start fresh. It is not an overly expensive developer so the mix and throw approach isn't all that wasteful, but I try to minimize the amount of chemistry I dump for environmental reasons, and consistency of working solution per square inch is the best way to get consistency in your negatives.

-- Rob Tucher (rtphotodoc@juno.com), August 09, 2000.

Hi, Like many others who have posted, I would dump the developer. I am not certain, but I was always led to believe that the Tmax RS A+B + adequate water for 1 1:9 dilution was a one-shot solution. So while it may be possible that I am juust wrong, it is also possible that you could compromise future film runs by reusing the diluted developer. As far as fix is concerned, I use mine over and over; I do keep notes as to the amount of ilms processed, and I use Edwal Hypo Check-- actually Anshell's formula from The Darkroom Cookbook, to test the fixer. As to sop bath, I use plain water. I have never seen the need to use an "official" stop bath. Bob

-- Bob Moulton (bobmargaretm@home.com), August 09, 2000.

I agree with Bob to dump a 9:1 dilution, use plain water in place of a stop bath and then use rapid fixer at film strength to get very rapid clearing of your negatives. With a thin film like tech pan, the film is clear before I can get the tank open!

-- Gene Crumpler (nikonguy@worldnet.att.net), August 09, 2000.

I disagree. TMax RS was designed, like Acufine and some other developers, to be a fill back up to level and re-use developer. Divide that gallon into four quarts (the old glass pop bottles, Arizona Tea bottles or empty one-liter glass beer bottles are far superior to any plastic stuff). Use quart 2 to replenish quart 1; then 2 is empty, do the same thing with 3 and 4. Rodinal, D-76, HC-110, XD-11, are all great developers and so is TMax RS for roll and sheet films-don't worry, however, unless this is being used a lot by commercial and scientific processors, I doubt it will survive much longer. Just a guess.

-- David Stein (DFStein@aol.com), August 13, 2000.

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