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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Agfa APX sorting out the test strips for development..


With the test film exposed it's finding the time to process the strips. I have enough equipment that allows me to develop them one after the other. I will need at least a morning for cutting the film into lengths, setting out the chemicals and kit, develop,stop, fix and wash. Not forgetting that PMK Pyro developer can only be mixed in each case just before use.
The film was inserted into a Nikon F5 with automatic load which is a bit of a pain. If it was manual loading you would be able to mark the film before you shut the back and wind on to the first frame. I know from experience that the F5 has about 150 mm (6") lead before the first frame which would be an extra two shot if it was manually loaded making Agfa's APX a forty picture film. Each test strip is five frames long with two blanks to allow for error when cutting it to lengths of 235 mm (9").
This is the first time I have had to use my new darkroom in full black-out as I usually use a changing bag to load film into the process tank. I'm pleased to say there were no light leaks. So I could see where to cut the film in the dark I laid a rule on the work top with two bits of tape attached to it at 150 mm and 235mm respectively. All I needed to do was pull the film from the cassette and cut to length at the tape marks. It surprised me how well this method worked. The remaining exposed film I wound back into the film holder to be processed later when I know the development time is right.
My working method for producing the test negatives:
  • Add Part A of the developer mix to 250 mls of filtered water (tap water will do) and wait till the temperature reads 21 degrees C.
  • Pre soak for 1 minute. I have found that PMK pyro developer is prone to air bells/bubbles forming on the film that are not always dislodged by taping the tank on the work top.
  • Add part B of the developer and make up to 300 mls in doing this it will bring the temperature down to its working level of 20 C. stir and pour into the processing tank.
  • Invert continuously for the first minute and tap tank on work top at the end.
  • Invert once ever 15 seconds. For 6.5 minutes.
  • Stop, fix and wash as normal.
  • Repeat the above twice more with developing times of 26 and 13 minutes respectively.
If all goes well you will get a set of beautifully toned negatives.


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Test results