Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 32

Thread: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    132

    Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    In nearly all of the articles I read on tray processing, most people list one of the limitations as having to work in the dark. So why don't put just make the tray light tight? Though I still do not have my camera yet (waiting on the Chamonix), I'm trying to get my darkroom (read: bathroom) setup so I can get my feet wet right away.

    I was thinking about buying 2 8x10 trays and a larger tray to place them in to have some control over temperatures. I haven't seen any covers or lids for trays, so maybe I'll have to think outside the box and look at kitchenware. Anyways, I was thinking about painting the outsides black and putting a thin layer of rubber coating (or something similar) around the edges of the container and then placing the lid on top. I believe this should create a light tight seal, but what do I know?

    Has anyone tried this? Is it feasible?

    And before someone even asks, no, I am not afraid of the dark .

    Thanks,

    Jason

    (BTW, I'm working with b/w film only. I also do not plan on using the stacking method with the trays. Single sheet per tray.)

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    232

    Re: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    Its an interesting idea, but your only method of agitation would be rocking the tray, which is a very bad idea for film. You would most likely abrade the film on the tray bottom.
    I stack several sheets and go through them one at a time every 30 sec. You might try that, one sheet at a time can make for a long day.

    -Brad

  3. #3
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Temperance, MI
    Posts
    1,984

    Re: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    You could use a paper safe.
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
    Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.



  4. #4
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Posts
    3,782

    Re: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    A "slosher tray" film holder might work for this to avoid scratching. The problem is getting the tray totally light-tight. A simple tray/lid gasket isn't likely to work, as the lid might flex, or be dislodged by tray agitation.

    Also, unless the tray agitation is completely random, repetitive patterns/waves are created, which result in local over-development of portions of the negs.

    It's much easier to simply enclose the tray in darkness (a darkroom).

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Humble, Texas
    Posts
    59

    Re: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonjoo View Post
    I'm trying to get my darkroom (read: bathroom) setup so I can ***** get my feet wet ***** right away.
    Well there's your problem, you're supposed to use your hands.

    All kidding aside, along with the problem's mentioned above you will need to get either the film or the chemicals into and out of the trays. There are too many chances for light leaks. Plus once you get used to working in the dark it is not that hard. You will get used to loading and unloading film in the dark, developing is not that much more difficult as long as you stay organized.

    Richard

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Milford Pa.
    Posts
    2,921

    Re: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    what size film? i use a daylight tank fo r my 4x5. this way i can play on the computer or do other things between agitations. i use a"doran" tank. never had any problems with it.

    for 8x10 and 11x14 i just use trays in the dark. i have been thinking about setting up my 8x10 jobo expert drum but i have just been lazy. i could use it semi stand, or basically just like i use my 4x5 daylight tank. i will get to it one day.....

    as for trays i would say get 4-6 trays. i use a tray for developer, stop, 1 fix tray, a 2nd fix tray, and one tray for clearing the fix, and then a wash tray. i have begun using bulk chemicals. you should try it. itis kind iof fun and very cheap. the fix is sodium thiosulfate and the clearing agent is sodium sulfate (please double check me. i am not looking at the chems. please make sure they end in "ate" i can not remember for sure. i will check when i get home).

    have fun in the dark.

    eddie
    My YouTube Channel has many interesting videos on Soft Focus Lenses and Wood Cameras. Check it out.

    My YouTube videos
    oldstyleportraits.com
    photo.net gallery

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    132

    Re: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    Brad, don't some people develop a single negative at a time in a tray? I want to avoid the stacking method of possible. And if I could get this setup properly, I could run 4 trays at a time, thought that might be asking for trouble

    Ralph, if I can make a 8x10 tray light tight (the same tray most use to develop their sheet film), I should have no problems with randomness right?

    Richard, I develop 35mm and 120 roll film in inversion tanks in my bathroom. At night, I just shut the door, turn off the lights, get the film on the reel, and put the lid on the tank. I'm planning on doing something similar with the trays. Toss a sheet of film into a tray at a certain time interval (so I can figure out the timing for each tray in a systematic order), shut the lid, turn on the lights, and get to work.

    Thanks for your insight everyone. This is all very new to me, but I'm sure someone has either thought of or tried this themselves. I still might give it a go and see how it turns out! Just need that darned camera to show up

    Jason

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    132

    Re: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    Hey Eddie,

    Didn't see your message. I should have specified in my first post, but I will be shooting 4x5. I heard 8x10 trays are the proper size to get the most random development. I'm really wondering if this will work!

    Thanks,

    Jason

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Humble, Texas
    Posts
    59

    Re: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    Jason,
    I thought you were talking about 8x10 sheets. There are several options for developing 4x5 sheets in the light. You can find 4x5 daylight tanks at many of the online stores. I have one of these:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/NIKOR-STAINLESS-...QQcmdZViewItem
    and it works pretty well. Although I have had occasional uneven development using it. I often tray develop my film just to avoid problems. I nearly always develop more than one sheet at a time. I have developed as many as 12 sheets at once.

    I'm not sure if you are interested in how I tray develop, but here is my process.
    I have four trays (Water Pre-soak, Developer, Water Stop, Fixer). I Add film to the water pre-soak one sheet at a time until all the sheets are in the water. If you put them in the water all at once when they are dry they will stick together. After they have all soaked for about 2 minutes, I move all of the sheets to the developer at once. Once the sheets are in the developer, I move the bottom sheet to the top and cycle through this for one minute. I let the sheets rest for 30 secs then repeat the cycle of bottom to top agitation for the number of sheets + 1. That way the sheet that was previously on the bottom is now on the top. Repeat this 30 sec rest then agitate throughout the rest of the development time. I move the sheets to the water stop all at once and do the same bottom to top agitation for about a minute. Then move everything to the Fixer and continue the bottom to top agitation.
    ***Wear either nitrile or rubber gloves when developing this way.

    I have only scratch a handful of sheets in many years of developing using this method.

    Richard
    Last edited by Richard Wall; 17-Jul-2008 at 15:58. Reason: clarity

  10. #10
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Elk, California
    Posts
    1,078

    Re: Tray processing... why not make the trays light tight?

    There is a light-tight tray called a Paterson Orbital Processor, but I think they are rare and mainly used to process paper.

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

Similar Threads

  1. UV light source thoughts
    By Mark_3632 in forum Business
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 22-Aug-2012, 16:54
  2. UV light and PD/PT
    By Wayne Crider in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 13-Feb-2002, 00:14
  3. Alternative technique in tray processing
    By John Welton in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 8-Dec-2000, 22:41
  4. Black &White reversal processing
    By David Carney in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 5-Jul-2000, 16:27
  5. How to make your own light painting sysyem
    By Theo Tan in forum Gear
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 4-Jan-2000, 16:05

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •