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September 21, 2005

Confusion Abounds

The traditional photography companies have been tweaking their formulas lately, which means if you're a sucker like me shooting on the same black and white film you've been using for ages, you're just setting yourself up for disaster.

My favorite film has had the same development time forever: 8 minutes, 30 seconds. It's permanently etched into my very soul after three years of high school photography shooting nothing but that film.

I bought a single roll a couple weeks ago, and the development chart printed on the box still listed that time.

If you look at the data sheets the manufacturer has posted online, or purchase your film in a 3-pack, then the development time for the same dilution and the same developer is now 11 minutes.

You're going to end up with disastrous results if you underdevelop the film by 3 minutes. It's akin to baking a pie for half the listed time. It might barely pass for a pie, but it ain't gonna be cooked by anyone's standards.

Even more bizarrely, an old new single roll lists the development time as 11 minutes while a new new single roll listed it at the trusty ol' 8:30.

I'm not even going to pretend to understand what's going on; I'll just get in the habit of checking the instructions every time I develop a new roll of film.

Posted by Colin at September 21, 2005 11:47 PM

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