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Thread: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

  1. #21
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Lots of very good information here!

    My two bits, I have a few Honeywell Rocking Trays. These were first made for processing 8x10" color prints but are perfect for one-at-a-time 8x10 film processing with minimum (or all you wish) chemistry. All stainless so they keep developer at an even temperature in a water bath consisting of one 11x14 or 8x10 tray. Each end has a film retaining edge. There are emptying ports at each side-end for rapid chemistry change.

    Today I use Unicolor rotors and tubes for daylight processing far more economical than JOBO.

    Sloshers as Pere posted are really efficient for 4x5. I donated mine away.

  2. #22

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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    I tray develop my own 4x5 film, but one tank option no one has mentioned yet is the MOD54 unit which fits inside a Patterson 3-reel tank. I normally develop 6 sheets at a time in trays with one liter of working developer (usually a highly diluted developer such as PMK or Pyrocat). I don't know how much more is needed in the Patterson tank, but with any high-dilution developer as those above mentioned, or Kodak HC-110, it will still be inexpensive. B&H sell the tank and MOD54 as a kit.
    I bought a MOD54 together as a set with a Paterson Super System 4 where it just fits in. While inserting the film is easy I never trusted the lid enough to actually use it. It also taken 1 liter of chemicals.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

  3. #23

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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Don't forget that you need an option that takes 9x12cm sheets not the more common 4x5. Make sure any tank you buy does this. I use the old adjustable Nikor stainless steel cut film tank for 9x12cm. Unfortunately they are rare and expensive nowadays. If you can afford one the upside is that you can probably sell it easily if you don't like it.

  4. #24

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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    .... Having the things done with common materials is not a very Pro way it is something amazing for amateurs like me.
    I like simple practical solutions too - especially when they work! (Mine don't always....)

    Alan

  5. #25

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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Pere View Post
    Don't forget that you need an option that takes 9x12cm sheets not the more common 4x5. Make sure any tank you buy does this.
    The 2509 /2509n reels have this option as standard.

    regards
    Tony

  6. #26

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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Quote Originally Posted by mbodine View Post
    Hi All,

    I'm evaluating my options for developing film at home because it's so expensive to have done professionally. I have been shooting 9x12cm sheet film and don't have access to a completely dark room. I do have a changing bag to that I use to load the film. I've been looking at the options, and this tank seems like a good option: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...customerReview

    Anybody have advice about using tanks like that? Or advice in getting started with developing in general?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    A bathroom with a piece of cardboard wedged into the window frame when it's night time is dark enough for my developing needs. Use a towel to block light from leaking under the door, maybe self adhesive weatherstripping if you've got leaks around the door frame.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #27

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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyowen View Post
    The 2509 /2509n reels have this option as standard.

    regards
    Tony
    Yes, but make sure when buying second hand that those "plates" for keeping the film inside the grooves come along come along.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

  8. #28
    David Schaller
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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    Yes, but make sure when buying second hand that those "plates" for keeping the film inside the grooves come along come along.
    You can use the reels without the wings, especially if you fully load the reel with six sheets.

  9. #29

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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Am I the only one left using the Combi-Plan T 4x5 developing tank? Not made any longer, but they pop up on the bay from time to time.

    Does six 4x5 films or plates, plus a few other formats. DIsadvantage is that you can't invert it, but I've never found that an issue, and with a high-concentrate developer like R-09 the 1050ml load isn't an issue either. Takes 20-30 seconds to load and drain, so you don't want to do short dev times, but again, I've not had in issue with 9 min develop, two minute wash, and 4 minute fix.

    Neil

  10. #30

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    Re: Developing B&W sheet film at home for a total beginner!

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schaller View Post
    You can use the reels without the wings, especially if you fully load the reel with six sheets.
    I routine develop only 2 or 4 sheets in the 2509 reel without any wings. In fact, I think I read that some experience uneven development with the wings. I'm sure I must have them lying around somewhere, but I don't see any need for digging hem up.
    Overall, I find the 2509 to load quite easily (more so than the mod54) and it's economical in terms of chemistry. Do watch out for the minimum developer amount per sheet as it's easy to exhaust it with some developers; e.g. 6 sheets in 300ml of pyrocat hd 1+1+100 basically means development to exhaustion and inconsistent results compared to roll film or less sheets!

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