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Salmo22
30-Jun-2016, 17:09
The past year has been an exception experience as I sold all my Canon DSLR equipment, purchased a Hasselblad setup, and returned to my roots in medium format film photography. Along the way, a little voice kept telling me that one particular composition or another would be even better if shot with a large format camera. Accordingly, I'm strongly considering adding a 4x5 camera to my film arsenal. The main issue I need to resolve is developing the sheet film. Currently, I develop my 120 black and white negatives in the kitchen using my prized beloved Nikor stainless tanks and Hewes reels. While my changing bag/tent will easily accommodate 4x5 film/holders, I'm not sure what I would use to replace my Nikor/Hewes setup for sheet film?

Any comments, suggestions, and/or recommendations would be sincerely appreciated.

Thank you;

Jeff D Welker

Randy Moe
30-Jun-2016, 17:23
Nikor made a special tank for 4x5 sheet. They show up now and again.

There is also a Chinese model available on ebay.

Kyle M.
30-Jun-2016, 17:30
I use a MOD54 in the Paterson 3 reel tank, in my personal experience I had trouble with the film coming loose using inversion agitation. So I found a way to fix the MOD54 in the tank so it won't spin and I now use a Uniroller base, I couldn't be happier with the results.

Lachlan 717
30-Jun-2016, 17:54
Jobo 2XXX series tank with a 2509n insert will do up to 6 sheets at a time. Roller bases can be made for a couple of dollars, or you can buy a proprietary one.

Jim Jones
30-Jun-2016, 18:07
Tray development takes very little amounts of chemicals. It does require a dark room or improvised large enclosure.

LabRat
30-Jun-2016, 19:47
I agree with Jim, start in a tray if possible... Finding some space that can be made light tight is your friend, as you still have to load holders, dev racks, maybe contact print/enlarge somewhere, etc and a changing bag can get as hot/sticky/stinky as a YMCA locker room on a hot day, and you will have more room in the dark somewhere... Bathrooms are usually your best bet as there is a clean drying area inside a shower stall...

Most tanks/tubes have a learning curve to climb, so consider that... I like the S/S hangers in a rack in smaller dip tanks, but dark is required... Or trays for a shot or two...

Steve K

480sparky
30-Jun-2016, 20:30
I use a MOD54 in the Paterson 3 reel tank, in my personal experience I had trouble with the film coming loose using inversion agitation........

I use the same equipment, but don't invert. I use the swizzle stick. Never had an issue.

Daniel Stone
30-Jun-2016, 21:48
JOB CPE-2 and 2500 series drums. You can use the same drums with both sheet film reels and 35/120/220 interchangeable reels. All in the daylight, versus trays in the dark. UNLESS you plan to do stand development.

williaty
30-Jun-2016, 23:09
The past year has been an exception experience as I sold all my Canon DSLR equipment, purchased a Hasselblad setup, and returned to my roots in medium format film photography. Along the way, a little voice kept telling me that one particular composition or another would be even better if shot with a large format camera. Accordingly, I'm strongly considering adding a 4x5 camera to my film arsenal. The main issue I need to resolve is developing the sheet film. Currently, I develop my 120 black and white negatives in the kitchen using my prized beloved Nikor stainless tanks and Hewes reels. While my changing bag/tent will easily accommodate 4x5 film/holders, I'm not sure what I would use to replace my Nikor/Hewes setup for sheet film?

Any comments, suggestions, and/or recommendations would be sincerely appreciated.

Thank you;

Jeff D Welker

I just went through this and tried a couple of different things recently. In art school, I tried and failed at tray developing. I never managed to get a single negative that wasn't scratched. So that was right out this time. I had an HP Combiplan tank, but it annoyed me with leaking and the long time it took to get chemicals in and out of it. The MOD54 thing has too many people saying they've had problems (though the MOD54 film drying rack is NICE). In the end, I went with a 2500-series Jobo tank and the 2509N reel for 4x5. I find it easy to load, regardless of what some will tell you on the internet. To do it for minimum money, you can just roll the Jobo tank around on the kitchen floor for agitation. No, I'm not joking. To make it a little easier, you can buy 4 non-swiveling casters at Lowes and make yourself a little manual roller base. If you feel really ritzy, you can buy a Color by Beseler motor roller base off eBay for $25 and use that (which is what I did). If you buy the short Jobo tank, it won't balance on the Beseler base. At Lowes, I bought a short segment of 6" PVC pipe. I push the Jobo tank down into the PVC pipe to make the tank act like it's longer so it'll roll on the base without tipping off.

I'm quite happy with the results I'm getting. Developing is consistent and repeatable. Nothing gets scratched. Very little chemistry is used (300mL to run 6 sheets using XTOL).

Lachlan 717
30-Jun-2016, 23:52
To do it for minimum money, you can just roll the Jobo tank around on the kitchen floor for agitation. No, I'm not joking.

I used to put a lump of 4x2 under two legs of the kitchen table to ostensibly create a ramp. I'd then roll the Jobo tank up, and gravity provided the return. Albeit an arc, as the lid is larger in diameter than the base...

koraks
1-Jul-2016, 01:38
I use the MOD54 without problems. The only downside is that it uses more chemistry than a Jobo tank on a roller base or in a jobo cp*.

carylee2002
1-Jul-2016, 02:29
I use the BTZs system and it works good for me

Viewcamerastore.com

Professional
1-Jul-2016, 02:48
MOD54 and BTZS here, also have one of those tanks i forgot the name, and i also have trays but i hate trays very much, i tried twice and never felt comfortable, so i will never look back for developing in trays again.

Salmo22
1-Jul-2016, 05:08
Many thanks for the recommendations/suggestions. Looks like I have several alternatives. Using trays in a makeshift darkroom just won't work for me.

The Joker
1-Jul-2016, 05:35
I use a jobo 2500 series tank with the 2509n 4x5 film reel which takes 6 sheets of film. I prefer this over and above the combiplan system even if it does use more chemistry when NOT used on a roller base or jobo processor. When used on a roller base or jobo processor it is more economical on chemistry than a combiplan.
And if you have the right jobo processor you can get the jobo expert tanks but things are getting pricey when you look at those.

Rick A
1-Jul-2016, 05:46
My counter top set up, Unicolor drum holds four 4x5 negatives, uses minimal chemistry. My drums are getting old and drip just a wee bit so I keep things neat with the trays.

152322

Taija71A
1-Jul-2016, 08:52
Kodak Stainless Steel 4x5 Film Hangers for me...
In 'Vinny' Low volume ABS Sheet Film -- Processing Tanks.

But, like Steve said... A 'Dark' Room is of course required.
--
'Free Bump'... For an excellent, LF Member-made Product.

http://www.vinnywalsh.com/#!products/c2jd

tgtaylor
1-Jul-2016, 09:40
Probably the least expensive set-up for rotary processing 4x5 and roll film is a Beseler motor base (~ $35 for one in good condition with reversing option), Jobo 2563 tank (Catlabs sells them new for $119) which holds 12 4x5 sheets, 6 rolls 135 and 8 rolls 120, and 2 2509N reels (Catlabs sells them new for $69 each) for processing 12 sheets of 4x5 at a time. Processing 12 sheets with the 2563 requires 730mL of chemistry which is only 130mL more than Kodak's minimum requirement for Xtol 1:1. Add a Harrison change tent and you can do everything on the kitchen table with the lights on.

Thomas

dpn
1-Jul-2016, 09:57
I had problems with the Mod 54, and settled on either the taco method or tray developing, depending on my mood.

The SP-445 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1653453089/sp-445-compact-4x5-film-processing-system?ref=user_menu) should start shipping soon:

cjdewey
1-Jul-2016, 10:02
Paterson tank and MOD54 is very nearly as easy to develop in the kitchen sink as medium format film. (And the tank can be used to develop two rolls of 120 at the same time.) I don't o use a changing bag, but rather load/unload film in a dark bathroom at night. It's not the most efficient with chemicals, so if that's a concern, and you have more than 6 exposures, you might be able to immediately reuse the developer with no noticeable ill effect. Or tray develop (cheap food containers work pretty well for me) single sheets of film in the dark bathroom at night.

barnacle
2-Jul-2016, 00:34
Combiplan for me, usually. It eats 1050cc of chemistry to do six sheets, and it sometimes drips a bit, but once the film's in it in a changing bag it's daylight all the way.

Neil

Old_Dick
2-Jul-2016, 08:30
Homemade BTZS tubes. Must of cost me a couple bucks to make two. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMXQO5ATgiY will give you a good idea.

Randy Moe
2-Jul-2016, 10:17
Homemade BTZS tubes. Must of cost me a couple bucks to make two. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMXQO5ATgiY will give you a good idea.

Fred's demo is what made me decide to not use tubes...

Trays in the bathroom was my first effort. Later I tried ziplock bags, put film in, add chems. close ziplock and have fun. Ziplocks do work.

Then I made a real darkroom.

Eliverto
2-Jul-2016, 14:31
This is my home made roller, from scrap wood. Fixed 4 polyurethane casters, and some pieces of carpet where the tank touches the base. Rather lousy, but works ;)

152361

Luis-F-S
3-Jul-2016, 09:42
Then I made a real darkroom.

#1! Unless you have a very very dark kitchen! L

IanG
4-Jul-2016, 01:59
I've developed a vast percentage of my 5x4 negatives either in my kitchen or bathroom. I've been using 2000 series Jobo tanks since 1976, bot take two reels of 6 sheets of film, I use inversion agitayion.

While living abroad I had no darkroom so the Kitchen or Bathroom was the only option, but in my previous house in the UK with no hot water in the darkroom it was easier to use the kitchen where I had ready access to hot water. Since moving 2 years ago I'm back to film processing in my new darkroom.

Ian

Roger Thoms
4-Jul-2016, 13:02
Fred's demo is what made me decide to not use tubes...

Care to elaborate, just curious, as I have processed thousands of sheets in BTZS tubes. Just processed some 4x5 today.

I have a combination of a blacked out closet and my kitchen. Load the film in the tubes and fill with water for a pre soak, and then replace the caps with chemistry filled ones in the closet. Then move to the kitchen and finish processing in daylight. Yes I un-cap the tubes and drop them in the stop bath tray in the daylight, and then remove the film and fix it in a tray in the daylight. Freaked me out when I saw Phil Davis do that in a workshop. :)

Lots of different methods, this is what works for me. One of these days I do hope to have a real darkroom.

Roger

billie williams
4-Jul-2016, 15:20
Combi-plan for me - all the way. It's so easy! And my tank doesn't drip at all. They are no longer manufactured but you can find them all the time either here or on flea-bay. Let me know if you have questions - I'd be happy to type to you about it.

seezee
5-Jul-2016, 12:39
I use a Combi-Plan, also, but I don't use it as a daylight tank — I find it fills & empties too slowly & I don't want to risk uneven development. But it's great in my darkened bathroom.

I do a modified 'dip & dunk' agitation, whereby I grasp the negative carrier by the film clip & gently move the carrier up and down, side to side, front to back, in a sort of 3-dimensional figure eight motion. But as long as you ensure the lid is snapped down tight, inversion works fine with no leaking. Just be sure you are tipping it along the narrow sides, not the wide sides, during inversion, or the surge may dislodge your film.

One more thing: I wound up removing the blue gaskets because I found my negs would often dislodge anyway. It seems the gap was a little too wide to hold them snugly, but removing the gaskets narrowed things nicely.

Per Madsen
5-Jul-2016, 23:11
I use the HP CombiPlan as a daylight tank with a pre-soak with water to avoid airbubbles and to give an even development.

I use Rodinal 1 to 100 so the development times are quite long (over 10 minutes):

I have two of them and essential spareparts for a third (filmclip and tank lid).

vdonovan
6-Jul-2016, 08:47
Another vote for the Mod54. I've developed probably a hundred sheets of 4x5 in my kitchen over the last three years, with good consistent results.

Bob Salomon
6-Jul-2016, 09:45
I use a Combi-Plan, also, but I don't use it as a daylight tank — I find it fills & empties too slowly & I don't want to risk uneven development. But it's great in my darkened bathroom.

I do a modified 'dip & dunk' agitation, whereby I grasp the negative carrier by the film clip & gently move the carrier up and down, side to side, front to back, in a sort of 3-dimensional figure eight motion. But as long as you ensure the lid is snapped down tight, inversion works fine with no leaking. Just be sure you are tipping it along the narrow sides, not the wide sides, during inversion, or the surge may dislodge your film.

One more thing: I wound up removing the blue gaskets because I found my negs would often dislodge anyway. It seems the gap was a little too wide to hold them snugly, but removing the gaskets narrowed things nicely.

Throw the blue gaskets away. They were only for using the CombiPlan for 69 processing and the divider rack for 69 was discontinued in 1983 but when we moved production back to the BiWex factory in Sweden they kept including the blue washers. They are not for 45 processing and change the spacing for proper 45 film holding.

Jim Noel
6-Jul-2016, 10:47
“Tray development takes very little amounts of chemicals.”
“The only downside is that it uses more chemistry than a Jobo tank on a roller base or in a jobo cp*.”
“I prefer this over and above the combiplan system even if it does use more chemistry when NOT used on a roller base or jobo processor.

These just happen to be three of the instances I found in this thread. The theme is very common.
Why is it that people are always worried about using minimal amounts of developer, and other chemicals? In today's world they are the cheapest part of the equation. Using minimal quantities often leads to questions of under-development, one edge of the film not being developed, streaks and other problems.
If you are in the habit of following this trend, I urge you to get out of it. One of these days your "Moonrise" negative is going to suffer because of it. And when it does just hear me saying "I told you so."

williaty
6-Jul-2016, 14:07
There's no reason to waste money by using more developer than necessary. There's no reason to create more of a disposal problem by using more developer than necessary. If you can cut your developer usage by 75% (which is entirely realistic going from something like a MOD54 to a Jobo 2553 with 2509N), that's several boxes of sheet film "free" at the end of the year. That's just considering the straight developer cost. Add in the distilled water and disposal costs (since many developers can't be dumped down the drain in many places) and the amount of additional film you can shoot is even greater. You're also reducing your environmental impact by causing less developer to be shipped, less water to be used, and less potentially hazardous waste to be produced. Why wouldn't you want to do something that saves you money and is a good neighbor thing to do?

As far as concerns about quality problems, if you follow the directions carefully for all your chemicals, it's a non-issue. If you read the side of the 2553 tank and see that it says you can use 272mL for your sheet film and forget to check if that's enough developer, that's your own darned fault. In my case, I use a 2553 with 2509N and the side of the tank says I can use 272mL. However, Kodak says for XTOL 1:1 with 1.5 8x10-equivalent-units loaded in the tank I have to use at least 150mL of stock developer so the tank gets 300mL of working strength developer, not the 272mL the side says is a minimum to cover the film.

How is that difficult or unreasonable?

Randy Moe
6-Jul-2016, 14:30
Very simple, my hands are wore out. I was a factory mechanic. I drop everything and anything too fussy stops me. I had a set of BTZS tubes and practiced dry. Couldn't get the DRY film in and out. Wet would have been worse. I sold the tubes here.

Then I made my Gas Burst system and find hangers are just doable.

I cannot load roll film on steel reels and I want to. I TRY often. Then I go back to the only plastic reel I can load with great difficulty.

Shuffle in trays was also tryed. I can't feel the film. I do ULF one sheet at a time until I make a ULF Gas Burst BIG tank.

Tonight I will slosh 14X36 X-Ray back and forth as I don't have that big of tray.

Planning and time. Sure am glad I can walk again. :)




Care to elaborate, just curious, as I have processed thousands of sheets in BTZS tubes. Just processed some 4x5 today.

I have a combination of a blacked out closet and my kitchen. Load the film in the tubes and fill with water for a pre soak, and then replace the caps with chemistry filled ones in the closet. Then move to the kitchen and finish processing in daylight. Yes I un-cap the tubes and drop them in the stop bath tray in the daylight, and then remove the film and fix it in a tray in the daylight. Freaked me out when I saw Phil Davis do that in a workshop. :)

Lots of different methods, this is what works for me. One of these days I do hope to have a real darkroom.

Roger

seezee
6-Jul-2016, 15:05
Throw the blue gaskets away. They were only for using the CombiPlan for 69 processing and the divider rack for 69 was discontinued in 1983 but when we moved production back to the BiWex factory in Sweden they kept including the blue washers. They are not for 45 processing and change the spacing for proper 45 film holding.

Ah, thanks for that.

Michael Cienfuegos
8-Jul-2016, 09:06
I have successfully used a Unicolor 8x10 print drum to process four sheets of 4x5. It works well, you just have to be sure to put a spacer between the sheets so they don't slide together while on the motor base. I have a Nikor tank and reel for 4x5, but I don't like it.

m

Patrick Gauthier
8-Jul-2016, 13:44
The taco method is easy and reliable with the Paterson universal (super system 4), and then you can also dev you MF and 35mm negs too.

I should say that at first the taco method involved some T&A (trial and adjustments :)). I use 750 mL of developer now because it makes sense for my dev dilutions, but I have had success with 500 mL. Taco in the paterson universal will run max 4 negs at a time.

I've been wanting to try the mod 54 (max 6 negs at a time). Consider you're needs in terms of number of sheets vs. volume of chems. Wasted chems sucks. Do you most often come home with multiples of 4 or 6 negs?

Expect some marks on the film from the bands, but so long as they are properly wrapped they will not be on the emulsion side. This isn't a problem with digital processing as scanning the emulsion side you can't see the marks, but I'm not sure about with enlarging. I've heard of some techniques to avoid the issue, but for me there's no issue (maybe it will come back to haunt me if I do enlarging - I don't know - maybe others can comment if artifacts on the shiny side of the negs appear on the prints).

koraks
9-Jul-2016, 04:51
Since both scanning and enlarging are about transmission and variations in density, any visible marks on either the emulsion or the backside of the film *will* end up in the scan or the print. If it's invisible, then you're lucky, but I personally would consider it bad practice to stick with a development method that systematically leaves non-image marks on the film.

Patrick Gauthier
9-Jul-2016, 19:02
Since both scanning and enlarging are about transmission and variations in density, any visible marks on either the emulsion or the backside of the film *will* end up in the scan or the print. If it's invisible, then you're lucky, but I personally would consider it bad practice to stick with a development method that systematically leaves non-image marks on the film.

Indeed I agree. I did some reading (http://http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/00BYMB). Others suggest the kind of marks I describe are simply the anti-halation layer not being removed because of the band contact, and suggest removing the bands post fix, while still in the fixer, and letting it finish the job of removing the anti-halation layer. I will have to give it a try!

koraks
10-Jul-2016, 04:25
Indeed, it should do the trick!

Kinografx
10-Jul-2016, 07:56
Hi- I've been souping 4x5 negs with the taco method for awhile now (4 sheets long-wise in a tall stainless can) and love it. It's easy, and using hc110 at double the dilution h and stand developed for an hour it uses lots of water but only 7.5ml chemistry in 900ml h20. You don't get any marks on the base if you just roll the little hairbands up or down a bit halfway through the fix.