This past weekend a friend and I decided to try some new, or new to use at least, with Kodak’s 2238 film. We decided to shoot the film at 50 ISO. He would develop his in Rodinal, a tried and true developer for this film and one of my favorite developers for it. I, on the other hand, decided to push my limits and luck, and develop my roll in Kodak HC-110 (old formula) in a two-hour stand.
My process was quite simple. I would use HC-110 at 1:100 for two hours with mild agitation at the one hour mark. After loading the tank with the film I mixed 10ml of the developer in 990ml of distilled water and made sure it was mixed well. Set my timer for one hour and poured 500 ml of the developer into the tank. I agitated (swizzled) the film for the first minute, gave the tank a rap on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles, and let it set. One benefit of stand development is that you don’t need to babysit the process, so for that hour I hopped online and chatted with my friend who was in this experiment with me, fed the cats, prepared the negative sleeves for when the film had dried and waited. When the one hour was up I gave the tank four gentle swizzles with the swizzle stick, rapped it on the counter, and reset the timer for one more hour.
At the end of the second hour, I followed my usual stop/fix/wash regime. What came out of the tank surprised me. To be honest I was somewhat disappointed with what appeared to be underdeveloped negatives. Yet, knowing that this film has different batches and that not all batches come out clear, I easily got over my initial feelings.
Most of the images came out more contrasty that I thought they would, but that is not a real deal-breaker for me. I figured there would be some increase anyway. So, was this a success or a failure? Yes. I did get some usable images, though not as many as I had anticipated. One image, in particular, was a resounding success. However, a lion’s share of the images appeared underexposed. I have a couple of ideas on why this happened.
- I used a Nikon FM but did not have batteries in it for the meter so I metered using a Sekonic L-358 in incident mode. I’m not saying the meter gave me bad readings, I’m sure it gave me the correct reading for the condition I told it to read. I’m sure the weak link was in my transfer of those readings to the FM.
- Perhaps a dilution of 1:100 was too weak and exhausted more quickly than anticipated. Perhaps a 1:75 or even 1:50 would have been more appropriate, or an additional hour to the stand time would have been called for.
- Maybe agitation at the half-hour marks would have been called for instead of once at the one hour mark.
So while the roll was not the success I was hoping for, neither was it a complete failure. I do plan on trying this again very soon (in fact I have the F100 loaded and ready to go) but will alter my process in some undetermined way, the next time. If you have any suggestions or ideas concerning my process please feel free to comment below or contact me via email.