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Thread: Open tray b&w develop process help.

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Oregon and Austria

    Re: Open tray b&w develop process help.


    As others have mentioned, the volume you are likely to need in a tray is somewhat independent of minimum volume requirements for developing the film.

    I process 4x5 in Paterson 5x7 trays and have zero problems with scratching or unevenness, so I suspect 5x7 in an 8x10 tray will work well too. If you develop multiple sheets at a time, shuffle along the short axis (I turn each sheet 180 with each shuffle).

    I use 500ml of solution in my trays and develop in batches of 4-8 sheets, with 6 being my preferred number. No problems with running out of developer activity using PMK or HC-110 in high dilutions one-shot. When only developing one or two sheets, I'll sometimes just mix 300ml of developer, but that is a bit less in the tray than I like.

    If you are trying to use your developer optimally, go about things the opposite way: determine first how much volume you need in a tray to comfortably and efficiently work without damaging your negatives and then calculate back to see how much film that can develop. I can imagine that a liter of developer in an 1x10 tray will develop 6-8 (or maybe more) 5x7 sheets easily. So that would be an ideal batch for you, depending on how many sheets you are comfortable shuffling at one time.

    If your developer has significantly more capacity than one batch, there are a couple of things to do to stretch it a bit. The first is to use the developer more dilute and adjust your development time accordingly. This takes some testing time, but works fine for most developers. The second is to reuse the used developer for a second batch, increasing the development time somewhat (10-15% usually) to compensate for the partial exhaustion. This is, IMHO, not as ideal as the first option, but many do it successfully.

    Hope this helps,


  2. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    Re: Open tray b&w develop process help.

    Doremus and all replied to the thread,

    Thanks for sharing detailed experience and advice. It is very helpful.


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