I have been shooting 4x5 many years now, and I have a refined workflow that involves tank processing or rotary processing. I just recently purchased an 8x10" camera w/ a 5x7" reducing back. This is my first foray into anything bigger than 4x5", and I don't have the ability to process the 5x7 in my daylight tank or my rotary processor. Therefore I am back to when I first got a 4x5" -- tray processing. To complicate the matter, I am using a film that I have never used before. I only tray processed 4x5 once or twice and wound up with scratched negs, so I quickly moved on. After reading AA's the negative, I now have some technique that has helped me avoid scratching the negs. However, I am having some unexpected results as far as contrast is concerned.
I am using Arista.EDU 100. This is rebranded Fomapan 100. The developing data gives 3.5' for 1:25 Rodinal. The MDC recommended the same time for 1:25 and 8-9' for 1:50. I had in my notes 7.5' @ 1:50 from others that have used fomapan 100 on Flickr. I adjusted my time down for a temperature of 74 degF and came up with 5.75'. This technique (or formula) that I use for adjusting dev time has always worked perfect for me.
The neg came out WAY flat (N-2 at least), so I decided to use the 9' recommended for 1:50 in the MDC. Adjusted to 72 deg yesterday gave 7.5'. This was a little better, but still looked thin, so I went another +30% development by going to 1:25 and souping for 5'. This one almost hit the mark. My contact print on polycontrast paper with no filter looked almost there. However the black point was not quite where I would like it, and if I printed down more the highlights would start to look dull. I have to more test sheets shot of a five zone test scene, so I am thinking of going +%15 with the first, and +15% more with the next.
I am wondering if tray times are significantly different than tank times. Because I have never had my times been too far away from the manufacturer recommendations. It makes me wonder if I am doing something wrong. I am now going to be processing at twice the recommended time on the data sheet that came with the box.
Here are some potential issues:
1. I use the restroom to load the holders. It is 99% light tight, but there is a TINY leak that comes from around the door jamb. I turn my back to it, and hold the anti-halo side away from me (two more stops of protection). I have never had an issue with it fogging my TMAX 100. It is so dark that I cannot see the film and the film holder right in front of me even after my eyes have dark adjusted.
2. DARK green safelight. I have a little safelight that has three filters in a rotating box. There is one amber and two green filters. One is dark but you can still see that it is green, and another green that is opaque with the lights on, you can't even tell it is on when the regular light is on. It is so dim that the glow-in-the-dark paint on my Graylab timer gives off more light than it. I don't think this is an issue because my trays are no where near the light, and the area where the trays are are it is recessed away from the light. Again, I can't even see my hands in the trays when my eyes are dark adapted. I don't see any evidence of an uneven fog on the negative. I read the article on developing by inspection and it states that one should keep the negative at least 4' away from the light and read the back of the film by reflection. I don't think I would even be able to see the negative four feet away from this light.
I am thinking this filter is to be used up close by transmission, and the other green filter is to measure by reflection at a further distance. The translucent green filter would have to be used with a switch because it is just a little dimmer than an amber light used for ortho film or wet printing.
The obvious solution would be to turn it off, but the next film I had planned on giving 15% more time without changing any other variables. I also posed this question as I have no experience with these green safelights, and maybe someone could chime in here, and give me some useful information about the two different density green filters. How can the be used effectively. Does it really need to be turned off if it is no brighter than the glow paint on the timer.
Thanks for reading this marathon post, but I would like to learn as much as possible from the old hands out there.