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abhishek@1985
18-Mar-2014, 17:54
Hi,

I have just started out in Large format pinhole and have some films to be developed. However, being a total newbie, I would like to know your views on which method to use for development.

I don't wanna spend a lot on Jobo stuffs and also I generally use community darkroom for development.

So, I have narrowed it down to either Patterson MOD 54 or tray system. However, I would like to know your thoughts and get some advice as to which way to start so as to make life a little easier for a newbie..

Regards,
Abhishek

vinny
18-Mar-2014, 18:03
Jobo expert drums.

Regular Rod
18-Mar-2014, 18:03
Taking into account your wish to keep costs down, use trays but process film one sheet at a time. Your pictures are more valuable than the time you "might" save if you try shuffling several at once. To avoid streaks use five trays: water pre-soak, developer, water stop bath, fixer, water wash.

Use a non-poisonous developer like Caffenol ( http://www.caffenol-cookbook.com/ ) so you can use your bare fingers to move the film from tray to tray.

RR

Jim Jones
18-Mar-2014, 18:03
Tray development is time consuming, but works well. I use six 4x5 trays nested in a large tray to control spillage. The first tray has water with a wetting agent; next, the developer; then the stop; then the fix; then a water rinse; and finally a holding tray until I'm ready to finish washing all the negatives accumulated in the holding tray. With care, several negatives can be developed at the same time.

Gem Singer
18-Mar-2014, 18:08
If you can keep your development space totally dark for 30-40 minutes, it will be much easier use the tray system.

However, if you cannot, use a daylight tank such as the Paterson Mod 54 or the Combi Plan. A little more expensive and complicated.

Either way, you will need a period of total darkness, but only takes a few minutes to load film into a tank.

Bill_1856
18-Mar-2014, 18:08
Tray is the way.

Heroique
18-Mar-2014, 18:09
I just want to say that I'm a proud tray user, nimble stack cycler, and emulsion down believer.

MIke Sherck
18-Mar-2014, 18:12
I just want to say that I'm a proud tray user, acrobatic stack cycler, and emulsion down believer.

+1

Leigh
18-Mar-2014, 18:40
Like others, I'm a tray developer, emulsion down. I usually do four to six sheets at once.

- Leigh

abhishek@1985
18-Mar-2014, 18:40
Well I haven't started shooting a lot and also have only 1 day a week to develop my films. I really love the idea of developing one film at a time. Think I would do 2 films at a time as in a week i shall have no more than 4 negatives to develop.
Yeah , I do like to keep the cost down and learn the process before making the leap...
Maybe I shall give the 2 film tray development a shot this week..
However wanna know, if I use HC 110 to develop films,can I use the same developer for say four batches developing one after the other or should I need to fresh developer everytime?

Leigh
18-Mar-2014, 18:43
Permit me to suggest using Diafine developer. It's a two-part (Part A and Part B) developer.
It's not sensitive to temperature or time, as most developers are, so it removes two problems with tray processing.

You put the dry film in Part A and agitate very gently for four to five minutes.
Move the film to Part B and agitate in the same manner and for the same time.

Then stop bath, fix, and wash as with any other developer.
Use of PermaWash or similar hypo clearing product dramatically reduces washing time.

Also, do NOT use a presoak with Diafine, so that eliminates one tray in the process.

Diafine produces excellent gray scale and very fine grain; usable with any b&w film.

- Leigh

Kirk Gittings
18-Mar-2014, 18:44
I use BTZS tubes primarily but used tray for the first 30 years till my back got to me. It is simple, cheap, efficient etc.

LuisR
18-Mar-2014, 18:44
Mod54 for me works very well. Never had any issues that affected a printed neg.

DG 3313
18-Mar-2014, 19:43
Beseler 8x10 tube, 2 sheets of 4x5 in 16 minutes. 3 ounces of chemistry with the lights on. I have only been using this system 20 years but, it keeps me in LF B/W.

Heroique
18-Mar-2014, 19:46
However I wanna know, if I use HC 110 to develop films, can I use the same developer for say four batches developing one after the other or should I need to fresh developer everytime?

For starters, you'll want to consult Kodak's HC-110 spec sheet.

They say that if you're using dilution B (1+7 from stock), then you can develop 10 8x10 sheets per gallon in a tray before exhaustion. (I'm pretty sure they mean for the developer, not you.)

A few math steps will make it apply it to your situation.

kintatsu
18-Mar-2014, 20:47
I love using my trays. It takes me about 15 minutes per sheet, but it's worth it to me. Of course, I don't pre-soak, as Ilford recommends against it, and I've never had any issues with not doing it.

Then, there's the tactile side of it. Being able to feel your film and your chemicals adds something to it.

HC-110 is incredible, in my opinion. Dilution H gives me 9 minutes for FP4+. The concentrate also lasts for a very long time.

Steve Sherman
18-Mar-2014, 20:50
As it happens this coming weekend the New England Large Format Photography Collective is sponsoring a "Thru Process" workshop for our 20+ membership.
As one of the instructors I set out several weeks ago to expose some film to exact standards with the only variable being the chemistry and difference in agitation schemes to effect development. Developers tested were Pyrocat HD, D 76 and HC 110.

I can report the Pyrocat HD chemistry in a Reduced Agitation method, constant agitation tray development, divided A & B Pyrocat or rotary processing in Jobo drum method produced significantly sharper negatives than a non pyro developer. These pyro negatives exhibited a shorter toe and quicker transition to the straight line portion of the film's curve. The film used was Ilford FP 4 Rated @ 100 ISO

2 cents.

David Karp
18-Mar-2014, 21:00
I prefer using a slosher in trays, but circumstances often force me to use Jobo drums in a homemade contraption. Search the site for slosher.

lbenac
18-Mar-2014, 21:08
Jobo expert drums.

So am I.

Tim Meisburger
18-Mar-2014, 21:41
If you are in England, I recommend Patterson Orbital trays. You only need a moments darkness to load them, and if that is difficult they can be loaded inside a cheap changing bag. You can set them on a table in front of the tv to spin by hand, or buy a motor base and set a timer to remind you when to pour out one chemical and load the other. They use less chemicals than any other system.

dncswclds
18-Mar-2014, 21:51
I am very new at it. LF anyways and I found the taco method suits my situation until I can get a UN54 or a Yankee Agitank. Just don't have the space for all the trays needed. I also don't know I like the idea of transferring the film from tray to tray as I do not have the metal holders etc.

kintatsu
18-Mar-2014, 22:15
... I also don't know I like the idea of transferring the film from tray to tray as I do not have the metal holders etc.

I don't use tongs. I use my fingers. You can get some good latex or neoprene gloves that are tight fitting and allow you to feel the film.

I use Ziploc trays about 6x12 inches, about 4 inches deep, for my solutions, and have had zero problems from that method. The trays have a nice indent around the edges that allow you to get below the film with your finger quite easily, even with gloves. They also stack quite nicely and take up little space.

I use 1/2 liter developer (HC-110 Dil h (8 ml concentrate to 492 ml water)) and 1 liter fixer. After 4-5 sheets the developer gets replaced, the fixer's good for quite some time, though.

dncswclds
18-Mar-2014, 23:02
Also with tray processing what do people use to time the developing etc.? No led timers etc allowed in "complete darkness". Gralab timer in a far away corner I guess.

Tim Meisburger
18-Mar-2014, 23:21
I use the timer on my phone.

Pete Watkins
19-Mar-2014, 02:15
I'll go along with Tim. The Patterson Orbital is Gods gift. It uses a very small amount of chemicals and with the motor base it's a dream. Developer D-76 1-1 or in my case home brewed D-76H 1-1.
Pete

jose angel
19-Mar-2014, 03:41
I also currently using my cellular phone to timing the process. The app has three illumination options, which works great.
BTW, you can use any dimmed light timer; just place it into a box (e.g. a cardboard box) in the way of barn doors or honey combs work... to avoid side light spreading.

Abhishek, tray processing is somewhat uncomfortable. I personally use a Jobo rotary system, but I`m in the process of switching to a non-motorized system, in order to control edge effects (acutance) on the film grain.
So if I finally don`t build my own developing tank or box or whatever, I`ll buy a MOD 54 device.

I`d also start with one shot chemicals; the Paterson tank will use way more developer volume than rotary systems, but I plan to use highly diluted solutions. In fact, I`m interested in semi-stand developing, so even to discard one liter of high diluted solution every time, it is not of an issue.

Regular Rod
19-Mar-2014, 03:44
If you are in England, I recommend Patterson Orbital trays. You only need a moments darkness to load them, and if that is difficult they can be loaded inside a cheap changing bag. You can set them on a table in front of the tv to spin by hand, or buy a motor base and set a timer to remind you when to pour out one chemical and load the other. They use less chemicals than any other system.

All my sheet films I develop in modified Paterson Orbital Processors but the OP was concerned about not spending a lot of money. He has access to a dark room and so trays would be the most cost-effective and safe way for him to start out. The Orbitals cost a fortune these days, although if modified and used properly they are fantastically good.

http://freepdfhosting.com/f640343f29.pdf explains the best way for conventional black and white films. Basically forget orbital agitation and use it as a tray cum tank that works in the light...

RR

Doremus Scudder
19-Mar-2014, 04:29
Tray processing requires a couple of things: complete darkness for the entire processing time (well, at least until halfway through the fixer step), space for five or six trays and, most importantly, practice and dexterity.

For those of us that tray-process 6-8 sheets of film at a time, there was a learning curve involved, during which we learned how to shuffle safely and efficiently and how to generally handle the film in all the different solutions to avoid scratches. Search here and elsewhere for many different approaches to shuffling.

Other than taking a bit of time to learn, I believe that tray processing is the most flexible, most even and most economical method available. I'd only recommend a daylight tank if you absolutely don't have enough space or access to total darkness.

FWIW, I develop up to 8 sheets (usually 6 though) of 4x5 film at a time in deep Paterson 5x7 trays with 500ml of solution in them. I use a pyro developer one-shot and wear nitrile gloves for the entire processing session. I have done this for going on 30 years and rarely damage a negative; certainly no more than I would loading/unloading reels, film hangers, putting film in tubes, etc., etc.

My workflow: pre-soak 3 min; develop, stop, fix 1, fix 2, water holding tray. I wash in a homemade film washer or using a Gravity Works film washer. It is fairly easy to fabricate a slot-type film washer yourself and it is a lot easier than washing in trays. After washing, the film gets a final 30-sec.+ rinse in distilled water with PhotoFlo and is hung by the corners to dry.

Good luck,

Doremus

munz6869
19-Mar-2014, 05:45
I use a regular Jobo 2551 tank with 2x 2509 reels on an old Jobo CPE2 - 12 sheets at a time with 640ml chemistry, and, unless I do something dopey (not unknown), I get even negatives always.

Marc!

koh303
19-Mar-2014, 05:52
In the past 3 months there have been at least 3 such threads, all having pretty much the same discussion, perhaps its time for a sticky "4X5 processing" options/techniques...?

mike rosenlof
19-Mar-2014, 06:05
I use David Kachel's method of open-ended tubes in trays of chemical.

http://www.davidkachel.com/assets/trayproc.htm

I can do 5 sheets in an 8x10 tray. I do fix #2 and wash the sheets individually in sandwich size plastic containers. I have found with TMax films I needed to soak a few minutes in a alkalai solution after fix to remove the last of the antihalation backing. Since I use developers one shot, I use the about-to-toss developer for that purpose.

analoguey
19-Mar-2014, 06:58
Did you get the 'watermark' he refers to? The one that doesn't go away with fixing?

Jim Noel
19-Mar-2014, 10:45
Also with tray processing what do people use to time the developing etc.? No led timers etc allowed in "complete darkness". Gralab timer in a far away corner I guess.
A Gralab timer 4' or more away will not cause you a problem. I have one above the sink which has been there for over 30 years and never had a problem. Of course, it is facing me, not the film in the tray.

Mark Stahlke
19-Mar-2014, 11:00
I develop 4x5 sheets in a Combiplan tank and 8x10 sheets in trays in the bathroom. If I had a daylight tank for 8x10 I'd probably shoot a lot more of it.

jnantz
19-Mar-2014, 11:05
used hangers for years
( was taught originally to develop with hangers )
but i had trouble with a few hangers that marked my film
( or so i thought ) couldn't figure out which one it might have been
and had to reshoot a whole job because of it .. went to trays and never turned back ...
ive done as few as 1 sheet and as many as 40 ...

mike rosenlof
19-Mar-2014, 11:18
Did you get the 'watermark' he refers to? The one that doesn't go away with fixing?

The only issue I ever had was the antihalation dye not being removed, and that was only TMX and/or TMY which I removed by a few minutes in the just-used developer after fixing when the films were in their little sandwich trays.

sepstein17
19-Mar-2014, 11:26
I've had great results using a slosher which I had a local plastics mfg co make for me - handles four 5x7's at one time....Photog's Formulary has one for approx. $60 which will compartmentalize 6 sheets of 4x5 at one time -- all you'll need are trays and darkness and a timer and some chems. Good luck,

DrTang
19-Mar-2014, 11:34
I have a jobo deal that can hold 6

and after years and years and years of shakin and bangin and shoshing developer all over the kitchen table,

I discovered the fill it up, sit it down, and drink and watch tv for an hour method

how sweet that is!

Kirk Gittings
19-Mar-2014, 11:42
A Gralab timer 4' or more away will not cause you a problem. I have one above the sink which has been there for over 30 years and never had a problem. Of course, it is facing me, not the film in the tray.

Yes I have had Graylabs fog Tri-x in trays at even greater distance. Also Graylabs lose accuracy so test them. After 20 years with one I discovered mine was 1.5 MINUTES slow at a 10 minute setting.

Maris Rusis
19-Mar-2014, 12:29
Processing: 4 place slosher that fits an 8x10 tray.
Timing: VoiceCraft talking timer $20.

kintatsu
19-Mar-2014, 13:13
For timing, I use a metronome set to 60 beats per minute and a kitchen timer. By counting ticks, you can keep track of the time and cycle your agitation to your method and schedule. The kitchen timer's just a reminder that the developing time is up. The metronome I use is online at seven strings website, and plays over your PC speakers.

EdSawyer
19-Mar-2014, 13:52
Nikor tank for B&W, Phototherm SSK4 for color.

Leigh
19-Mar-2014, 14:15
Also with tray processing what do people use to time the developing etc.?
No led timers etc allowed in "complete darkness".
I use a Gralab 900 timer. It has an LED display, with provision to turn it off if desired.

It's a process timer, with nine independent steps, automatically switching from one to the next.

It has programmable tones that beep every 30 seconds, and rapidly in the last 10 seconds of each step.

112450

- Leigh

Light Guru
19-Mar-2014, 14:37
Also with tray processing what do people use to time the developing etc.? No led timers etc allowed in "complete darkness". Gralab timer in a far away corner I guess.


I use the timer on my phone.

I use the massive dev app on my iPhone. I turn the brightness on the phone all the way down and then put the app into green mode. I have the phone positioned a ways back on a shelf above my developing trays. This lets me see the timer and I have had no issues at all with it effecting the film.

dncswclds
19-Mar-2014, 17:06
A Gralab timer 4' or more away will not cause you a problem. I have one above the sink which has been there for over 30 years and never had a problem. Of course, it is facing me, not the film in the tray.
Well for one thing I do not have 4' to work with (a bathroom) so what I can do is leave it on the floor by the door and develop in the bath tub. Just need to get smaller trays as I only have 8x10. First step is getting my 4x5 resealed from light.

Dennis
19-Mar-2014, 17:26
The very best tray for developing 4x5 film is a Pyrex glass bread pan. It is just smaller than 4 inches across at the bottom though wider than that at the top. The film will be held straight in a stack if you do multiple sheets and they will never touch the bottom so you can easily get a finger under the stack to rotate. I do emulsion down for multiple sheets and emulsion up if I do only one sheet. A liter of developer gives a luxurious volume in the bread pan. Buy it at a grocery store.
Dennis

mdarnton
19-Mar-2014, 17:37
Hmmm. Odd man out, I guess: hangers.

Leigh
19-Mar-2014, 18:59
Hangers are nice. I use them with deep tanks when I have a large number of sheets to do.

The downside in my experience has been the large amount of chemistry required for the tanks.

I have small 8x10 tanks that accommodate six hangers, each holding four 4x5 sheets = 24 sheets.
These hold 4 quarts (3785 ml) of solution. 4000 ml of Rodinal at 1:100 is enough to do 16 sheets.

- Leigh

Kirk Gittings
19-Mar-2014, 19:05
Yes I have had Graylabs fog Tri-x in trays at even greater distance. Also Graylabs lose accuracy so test them. After 20 years with one I discovered mine was 1.5 MINUTES slow at a 10 minute setting.

My replacement which is now 10 years old is still bang on.

sdynes
19-Mar-2014, 19:21
+1 for massive dev app on the iPhone. I use the sounds, and have the phone upside down so there's no light. Now if only they'd develop a voice interface so rather than tapping the screen with your Pyrocatted gloves to go to the next timer stage you could say 'start stop', 'start fix' etc...

alavergh
19-Mar-2014, 19:39
I have the massive dev chart app on my iPad and it's nice, but I'm not brave enough to trust it. Does it shut off all other notifications? I don't want my tablet or phone to change and light up mid developing.

Personally, I use trays. Some of you seem to have missed that he doesn't want to spend extra on expensive jobo stuff but of course they asked what you prefer too so...oh well. I use a mixture of 5x7 and 8x10ish trays for processing 4x5. My water pre soak is 8x10. Dev, stop, and fix are smaller trays. The Perma wash and photo flo are in 8x10s. I wash by sitting in trays, 8x10, water, and every couple minutes I dump the water and refil. Then I dry on either small clips on a line/hanger or a plastic dish drain rack.

I use an old gralab timer that becomes pretty dim pretty fast. I develop on a folding table and I have my timer under the table. At the start, I have it covered with a dark towel and I estimate pre soak time.

Flauvius
19-Mar-2014, 19:44
Achor Hocking glass beer glass from WalMart, and a K-Mart kitchen timer: it has the biggest buttons on all kitchen timers I have seen and it does not have a LED to contend with.

With the top and plunger I made, from a plastic coffee can lid and a venetian blind rod, my tacho-method negatives are scratch free and the seim-stand agitation is perfect - every time. Just make sure to use an only plastic paint brush handle or a tooth brush handle between the glass and film so you can grab it when it comes time to remove it.

Steve Sherman is right, Pyrocat produces negatives with incredable accutance.

The real question should be: How much time are you willing to spend in the dark to develope a single sheet of film? My system takes about 50 minunets to develope a single sheet of film, but for me the end product is worth the time needed to produce "satin like" mid-tones and sutle highlights with detail to at least Zone 14.

Flauvius

Roger Hesketh
19-Mar-2014, 19:51
Expert drum, rotary base, Smiths laboratory stop clock and a glass of malt whisky.

analoguey
19-Mar-2014, 20:44
The very best tray for developing 4x5 film is a Pyrex glass bread pan. It is just smaller than 4 inches across at the bottom though wider than that at the top. The film will be held straight in a stack if you do multiple sheets and they will never touch the bottom so you can easily get a finger under the stack to rotate. I do emulsion down for multiple sheets and emulsion up if I do only one sheet. A liter of developer gives a luxurious volume in the bread pan. Buy it at a grocery store.
Dennis

I was tempted to try this but I don't really have a darkroom - will be using the bathroom, and the chance of breaking glass pans made me drop the idea.
Do you have them all lined up, in a sink?

Light Guru
19-Mar-2014, 20:56
+1 for massive dev app on the iPhone. I use the sounds, and have the phone upside down so there's no light. Now if only they'd develop a voice interface so rather than tapping the screen with your Pyrocatted gloves to go to the next timer stage you could say 'start stop', 'start fix' etc...

Like I said earlier I keep my phone on a shelf above my trays with the brightness turned all the way dawn and the app set to green display and it never affects my film.

You don't have to touch the screen ether to advance. Most people miss the settings of the app because they are not in the app but are accessed from the iPhone settings app built into the os. Simply turn on auto run timer and set how many seconds you want before the next timer starts.

Light Guru
19-Mar-2014, 20:59
I have the massive dev chart app on my iPad and it's nice, but I'm not brave enough to trust it. Does it shut off all other notifications? I don't want my tablet or phone to change and light up mid developing.

Simply turn on the do not disturb feature on the iPhone.

I personally use my previous iPhone as I don't want to risk my current one accidentally taking a bath in photo chemicals.

Dan Dozer
20-Mar-2014, 07:48
I shoot both 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 and want to keep my developing process the same for both types. I've decided on tray processing for all my film. In my earlier darkroom days, I tried the shuffle method for multiple sheets, but never really liked it. I process most of my film in PMK Pyro and need trays a little larger than the film size because of that (11 x 14 tray for 8 x 10 film). I made a slosher tray that fits into the same 11 x 14 tray that works great for 4 sheets of 4 x 5 film. Used a sheet of perforated plastic I got at Walmart in the crafts department for about $2 a sheet and some hot melt glue.

Kevin J. Kolosky
20-Mar-2014, 09:15
I like glass jars

John Berry
25-Mar-2014, 23:49
I used to use trays but use hangers now after switching to Pyrocat-p at high dilution, 1.5-1-200. Vertical as per SK's recommendation. If you are going to use trays I recommend flat bottom, as it keeps the neg from sticking to the bottom. DON"T use 5x7 for 4x5 as you are prone to overdeveloped edges, especially with continuous agitation, which I also recommend. When developing more than one at a time you want a tray large enough to rotate the negs 90 degrees each movement so you know when you have went through the whole stack ( if you go through the stack and count one less than you have in there, you have a couple stuck together. Don't think it can't happen.). I use a gray lab that doesn't glow. I made my own tanks out of clear 1/4" lexan, 3 for $40.00. Very useful when using NVG's. All my wet work is done in a 4x6 half bath.

Nana Sousa Dias
27-Mar-2014, 18:14
I use Jobo Expert Drums, 3005 (8x10"), 3006 (5x7") , 3010 (4x5") and a modified 3063 tank with wich I can develop up to 10 8x10" sheets with 1 liter of developer.
I find the Jobo expert tanks the most practical way for develop film sheets. My Jobo ATL 2 commited suicide but I keep using my Expert tanks with a board with 4 wheels and "animal" traction.

Kirk Gittings
28-Mar-2014, 07:32
After decades of developing sheet film and trying many different systems I believe rotary processing is the most consistent and even. I use BTZS tubes. I used to think tray development was the best till I started scanning film. Scanning film can best reveal negative defects. Apply a steep curve to an even middle grey subject and you may see what I saw. Fine scratches and increased edge density particularly as I tried to develop more than 4-6 films.

Nana Sousa Dias
28-Mar-2014, 07:36
After decades of developing sheet film and trying many different systems I believe rotary processing is the most consistent and even. I used to think tray development was the best till I started scanning film. Scanning film can best reveal negative defects. Apply a steep curve to an even middle grey subject and you may see what I saw. Fine scratches and increased edge density particularly as I tried to develop more than 4-6 films.

I always use rotary process, with Jobo Expert tanks. Now that my Jobo ATL 2 commited suicide, I roll the tanks by hand, using a vegetable cutting board with 4 wheels. It works great, it's simple and cheap.

Luis-F-S
28-Mar-2014, 09:07
Stainless steel 1 gal tanks on 4-up hangers. L

Jmarmck
12-Jun-2014, 12:05
I recently processed my first 4x5 BW negs. I used a Nikkor 4x5 stainless steel developing tank. As it was my first time I loaded the sheets with the emulsion side up. Needless to say I had problems with all but one of the negatives. That and I think I shoved the film to tightly into the reel. I plan to use the tank again this weekend but this time load it with the emulsion side down. The tank drains and fills a tad slow and is a bit sloppy but at least I can have the lights on as I do not have a wet light tight room for now.

Now, I need to fix the minute hand on the ancient Graflex timer.

cyrus
12-Jun-2014, 12:14
Here's my 4x5 developing technology: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?20072-Solution-for-tray-development&p=184999&viewfull=1#post184999

Take a film hanger, bend the handle of the hanger 90 degrees, now you can lay it flat in a tray once you load film in it, no scratches, cheap, and you only need enough solution to cover the horizontal hanger in the tray not a vertical tank.

I use a talking count-down timer like this: http://www.amazon.com/distributed-by-Dynamic-Living-com-Compact-Talking/dp/B0007LNEO6/

Bruce Barlow
13-Jun-2014, 05:04
Trays.

I have done up to 16 sheets at a time, emulsion side down, bottom-to-top agitation. I can get through 16 sheets of 4x5 in 30 seconds. Usually, however, I luxuriate in laziness with 8 to 10. Why stress over developing film?

A good, long water presoak with a gently shuffle gets them all ready for the developer. Plunking them in one at a time helps get any evil, scratch-making dust washed away.

One - count 'em - one sheet of film has had a scratch in 30 years, and I can't swear that it happened in development. Odds are that any scratch is on a non-keeper anyway, which it was in my case. No great loss.

For 5x7 and 8x10, the limit is about 6 before I feel rushed. The secret there? 10x12 trays, where 8x10 trays are too small, 11x14s are too large, but 10x12s are juuuust right.

Go forth and trayify!

sanking
13-Jun-2014, 07:23
Regardless of one's preference for developing film there is no question but that rotary processing gives the most even and consistent results, and is scratch free. Good negatives can be made by development in tanks and trays, but by any reasonable standard of comparison these negatives will come up short in some regard when compared to negatives developed with rotary systems like Jobo, BTZS or home-made tubes.

Many years ago when Phil Davis began work with photographic sensitometry to develop the BTZS system he tried many methods of developing film but eventually found that the only method that provided enough consistency for precise testing was rotary. Jobo was not practical for students and others with small darkrooms so he experimented with various types of light tight tubes and eventually came up with what is today known as BTZS tubes. Development in BTZS tubes is remarkably simple, uses a very small amount of chemistry (about 75 ml of working solution per sheet of 4X5 film). You can buy a tube set from the View Camera store. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMXQO5ATgiY for a demo on using the BTZS tubes.

Rotary processing in print drums is also possible, but the dividers sometimes create turbulence patterns that may cause uneven development in some cases.

Sandy

Brian C. Miller
13-Jun-2014, 07:50
Jobo was not practical for students and others with small darkrooms ...

Color me confused.

My bathroom, configured for printing:

116671

Normally I have a CPE2+ on the counter to the right, where you see the sink and tray. When I run my CPP2, I set it on the wood plank there that's on the bathtub to the left. Now, if you're talking about the size of a bathroom like in a 1967 18ft Fireball travel trailer, then I'd agree with you, and suggest that the Jobo be put on the trailer's kitchen sink. Yes, I lived for many years in that trailer. I didn't have an 8x10, but I did have my Super Graphic. I hung my film up to dry in its 2ft x 2ft shower. If I didn't have room for the Jobo CPE2 or CPP2, then I would use the drum on the rollers. And I do use the expert drums on the rollers.

If someone doesn't have the space for a Jobo or even a drum on rollers, then the space isn't there for trays, either. Trust me on this one. A person could still use the minimal tanks that have been sold in the F/S forum, but trays take real estate, and a 5x7 tray isn't that much smaller than an 8x10 tray.

sanking
13-Jun-2014, 08:57
Jobo was not practical for students because most of them did not have the money to invest in a Jobo. Plus, you can mark each tube for different time of development, which has always been important with the BTZS method of testing.

If you believe you have room to run a Jobo in your work space, then use it as this system will give nice negatives.

For my part, I decided to not sacrifice space in my work room for a Jobo, and use BTZS tubes for 4X5 and 5X7. However you cut it a set of BTZS tubes takes up a lot less space than a Jobo, and the results are just as good as with Jobo. And you gotta have trays regardless.I have also developed a lot of ULF film (7X17, 12X20 and 20X24) in print drums. The drums work nicely once you work the kinks out.

Sandy

DannL
13-Jun-2014, 09:16
Regardless of one's preference for developing film there is no question but that rotary processing gives the most even and consistent results, and is scratch free. Good negatives can be made by development in tanks and trays, but by any reasonable standard of comparison these negatives will come up short in some regard when compared to negatives developed with rotary systems like Jobo, BTZS or home-made tubes. . . .

I must agree. I have been using the 8x10 and 11x14 "Chromega" Color Processing drums on a roller base for about ten years now. Never had a drop leak from a tank in all that time. And never had a failure because of the drum. The 8x10 drum is designed to handle 9x12,4x5, 5x7, 8x10 and odd sizes falling in that range. That drum will handle four 4x5's at a time. And I think the 11x14 drum will handle six 4x5's at a time. It's too bad they are so difficult to find, complete.

Leigh
13-Jun-2014, 09:37
You cannot achieve the compensating effect of any compensating developer when using rotary processing.

Compensation requires that the liquid in contact with the emulsion remain still so the reaction can exhaust the developer.

Since I always use a compensating developer, I use trays (or occasionally tanks).


... but by any reasonable standard of comparison these negatives will come up short in some regard ...
Wow. Talk about assumptions and generalizations tripping over each other. :p

Could you please quantify "... short in some regard ..."?

I've been developing sheet film for 54 years. Although there were some issues in the first year while I was learning the proper technique, I've had no problems since of any kind.

Rotary is certainly easier for those who don't want to invest the time and effort into learning how to do things right.

- Leigh

sanking
13-Jun-2014, 10:39
It is absurd to say that one can not achieve compensation with rotary development. You choose the right developer and dilution so that it will exhaust as required for compensation, and you get compensation. If the working solution is formulated so that it begins to exhaust during development compensation is achieved. Try The Film Developing Cookbook by Stephen Anchell and Bill Troop for a lay understanding of the principles of film development and developers, and Volume 1 and II of Modern Photographic Processing by Grant Haist for a more scientific exploration of the subject.

There are of course ways to develop other than rotary that may give better negatives for specific applications. Stand, semi-stand or minimal agitation, with the right formula and working dilution, is good for micro-contrast and enhanced adjacency effects, as is nitrogen burst development, which is one of the best developing systems out there. And two-bath development with Diafine or Pyrocat is a great procedure for achieving compensating effects in scenes of very great contrast. But, for even and consistent development these methods often fail in one way or the other compared to rotary, especially where the emphasis is on "even" as when one is testing with sensitometry. Even development is where the other methods of development often come up short compared to rotary.

Sandy

Leigh
13-Jun-2014, 10:46
It is absurd to say that one can achieve not achieve compensation with rotary development. You choose the right developer and dilution so that it will exhaust as required for compensation, and you get compensation.
Sandy, I'm amazed.

I always thought you were a very knowledgeable practitioner. Guess I was wrong.

Compensation works by exhausting developer locally, in areas of significant density.
The key word here is "locally".

Your explanation of how this can happen while constantly refreshing the developer would be interesting.

Perhaps you have different laws of physics in your part of the world.

- Leigh

sanking
13-Jun-2014, 10:59
Leigh,

I provided you with appropriate reading material that may enlighten you on how developers work. If you exhaust those resources I can help with more.

Sandy

paulr
13-Jun-2014, 14:14
I like rotary development. I can't speak to all its absolute merits, but I had some early traumatic experiences that scared me away from trays.

My favorite system is the Jobo 2500 (I think?) drums, on a reversing roller. Really simple setup and no processor required. Jobo's expert drums are better designed for achieving perfect evenness, and would be a better choice if your film/developer combination is prone to streaking. I stuck with the non-expert (dilettante?) version because it holds 12 negs as opposed to 10. And I personally didn't have evenness issue with it.

From a theoretical standpoint, I'd assume an intermittent agitation process would be better if you were trying to encourage edge effects, but I haven't seen this tested in real life.

sanking
13-Jun-2014, 15:26
............

From a theoretical standpoint, I'd assume an intermittent agitation process would be better if you were trying to encourage edge effects, but I haven't seen this tested in real life.

Absolutely. Adjacency effect/edge effects depend on local exhaustion, which is much easier to achieve with reduced agitation techniques such as stand, semi-stand, and minimal agitation. The risk with reduced agitation is uneven development, and in some cases bromide drag. The increased acutance one can get from edge effects can add a lot of apparent sharpness when printing optically by projection or contact printing.

Sandy

Brian C. Miller
16-Jun-2014, 21:21
If you believe you have room to run a Jobo in your work space, then use it as this system will give nice negatives.

Yes, believe in the smallness of the space! ;)

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I've been using that Jobo like that for over a decade. I bought a used set of BTSZ 8x10 "new" tubes, and so far I've used them once. I'm in the middle of a pinhole project, so I'll see if I like the Jobo expert drum or the tubes better.

Andrew O'Neill
16-Jun-2014, 22:59
I use BTZS tubes, for constant rotation, stand, and semi-stand development. Tubes are filled to the top with developer and stood on end for stand/semi-stand. Have done it for years and works like a charm.

jerrybro
25-Jun-2014, 19:15
I've done trays, ok for 1 or 2 negs, I can't manage more. Tried homemade tubes, worked great and sold me on constant agitation. But for any volume of negs its hard to beat the Jobo, 2509n reels and a processor. Maybe with the fat tubes and big processors, but my wife still watches what I spend.

Leigh
25-Jun-2014, 19:23
Tried homemade tubes, worked great and sold me on constant agitation.
But for any volume of negs its hard to beat the Jobo, 2509n reels and a processor.
Constant agitation of any type defeats the compensating function of any compensating developer.

Obviously that only matters if you use a compensating developer and want that effect.

- Leigh

jerrybro
25-Jun-2014, 19:26
Constant agitation of any type defeats the compensating function of any compensating developer.

- Leigh
To quote Yamaha, "different stroke for different folk".

Kirk Gittings
26-Jun-2014, 07:01
I use BTZS tubes, for constant rotation, stand, and semi-stand development. Tubes are filled to the top with developer and stood on end for stand/semi-stand. Have done it for years and works like a charm.

Andrew do you have any problems with evenness with this method?