Im new and have just did a few rolls of 120 film, I cant process these till monday (today is friday) is there a way I should store them? I have a load of unprocessed colour films too, should these be kept a certain way?
Ive noticed people agitate differently, is there a recommended method? is there much difference? also, what is 'clearing time' and does hard or soft water make a difference to water marks on negs, what about distilled water?
I also read when loading 120 film onto a reel (I havent done this either) you should cut off a triangle from somewhere, I assume this is from the corner, but how big a triangle?
lots of questions, hope someone can help.
I'm going to have to severely disagree with Derek. He seems to know some random facts here and there but not the whole picture regarding them.
Put film (when not in use) in the fridge or freezer. Develop as soon as possible after exposure.
Agitation is usually in a gentle motion. For small tanks (ones for reels), the preferred method is the quasi-spiral method (It's a hand movement in dance called the figure 8). If you don't know how to do that, ask someone to show you. If you still don't get it, one of the popular ways is simply tilting the tank all the way over to upside down and bringing it back up vertically. This is one inversion. Each inversion should take about 2-3 seconds and be done as smoothly as possible to reduce surge marks.
The standard for agitation is constant agitation for the first 30 seconds, none for the rest of the first minute, then 10 seconds every minute (5 seconds every thirty seconds should be fine).
The most important thing is consistency. Once you do it one way, do it the same way all the time.
Stick with as pure water as possible. Although you can use tap water. the chemicals and pollutants may interfere with your photo chemicals giving them lower life, etc. In addition, hard water may leave mineral deposits on/in your film if you do not dry it well or squeegee it off (highly unrecommended, that's just asking for scratches). Try to use a wetting agent to allow for more even, faster drying and the reduction of water spots. Distilled water would be ideal, but can you afford it? A water filter installed on your faucet should be good enough. Also one thing you might want to invest in is a wash aid to greatly lower your wash times (saving a lot of water as well as limiting the swell of your film).
As for 120 film, the snipping is to make a test strip for a dev/fix test. You can cut it off of the corners in the initial about 1/2 inch of film. Make sure you have enough to clip on, though.
In room light, take one piece and drop it into developer and develop for half of the recommended time. then, take both pieces, and drop it into fixer and fix until the undeveloped piece is clear (no longer carries a milky appearance). Make a note of that time. When all is well, your developed piece should be very black, and your undeveloped piece should be pretty clear. You can make a densitometer reading to find your film base + fog. You have found that your developer and fixer are working correctly. In addition, you have found your fixing time (multiply clearing time x2 for general purpose, x3 for archival purposes)
For more information, you can read the Film Developing Cookbook
by bill Troop and Steven Anchell. A very excellent book.