View Full Version : X-ray development

3-Jul-2014, 05:36
Yesterday I developed my first attempt with x-ray film using pyrocat-hd in glycol, but the emulsion came off in lumps. It is double sided film so one side will always be touching the bottom of the tray.

I've seen it recommended to put glass in the bottom of the tray, but that must stop development, and make it very hard to pick up an edge to flip it over.

Anyone got any good tips before i have another go?


Ralph Weimer
3-Jul-2014, 06:21
I use picture frame glass on the bottom of a tray. I develop for 6 or 7 minutes sloshing the tray, and turn the negative over maybe 4 or 6 times. I have no trouble manipulating the film (There's just enough space between the glass and the tray to pry up the film with a fingertip ((I use nitrile gloves)) ). I have no scratches, no uneven development, and certainly no lumps of emulsion coming off. My tip would be try using the glass.
Some people strip one side of the negative; I have no interest in taking the time and effort doing that, and I don't think it's necessary for my work. YMMV.


3-Jul-2014, 09:02
Why not just use pyrex glass baking dishes for the developer?

Not sure they do them big enough. The negs are 6" x15". Hoping to use them for carbon transfer printing.

Good suggestion though.


3-Jul-2014, 11:05
Old style enameled metal (porcelain?) trays with no ribs work well for me too. I don't get any scratches with those- the hard part is finding ones that aren't chipped up.

5-Jul-2014, 11:37
Brucep, I posted this a while back in one of the other X-Ray threads:

When I first tried 8X10 X-ray film (because of this wonderful forum) I was inundated with scratches. I soon learned of the different techniques for processing (flat bottom trays, glass bottom trays, gallon zip-lock bags, tubes). I have tried some of these...but...due to my being rather stubborn, I just could not bring myself to process just one sheet at a time.

I just processed (in one session) 6 sheets of double sided CSX (Fugi?) 8X10 X-ray film in 9X11 print processing trays (the kind with raised sections on the bottom about 1 1/2" wide), and did not get any scratches...none. I have been using HC-110 1:63.

I set 3 trays in my bathtub, developer, pre-soak / stop, and fix. I pre-soak for about 2 minutes, adding them to the tray one at a time, then add the entire stack to the developer. The dev tray has 1500ml of solution in it.

I agitate (shuffle) by very gently lifting one end of the stack (that is farthest away from me), then sliding the bottom sheet out, being careful to minimize any contact it makes with the edge of the tray or the film on top of it (I do this by holding the end of the top 5 sheets up with my left hand while sliding the bottom sheet out and up with my right hand).
I then lay it on top of the stack and with my fingertips, push it down.
The process of doing this for one sheet takes about 10-12 seconds. With 6 sheets of film, I do this as if I had 7 sheets, after the 7th sheet, I turn the tray 1/4 turn, take about a 15 second break, then repeat (this way the same sheet is never left on the bottom during the break).

When time is up the whole stack goes into the water tray again, same agitation, once through the stack, then I put them into the fix tray one at a time, lifting the top sheet from the water tray and laying it in the fix then push it down with fingertips. Same agitation method is employed once all 6 sheets are in the fix.