View Full Version : sheet film processing in film holders

Terence Spross
19-Jan-2006, 08:29
Has anyone else heard of processing in the film holders?

An acquaintance of mine was telling me how he has processed sheet film in the film holders.

He has a rectangular light tight tank with a sealable top and has adapted dividers to hold the film holders vertical. In the dark he pulls the slides of 4 dual side holders, puts them in the tank and pours in the developer. Put on the top and the lights can go on. He follows the same process he used for roll film - tank inversion every 30 seconds - lights go off and pours out the developer and does the same for the stop bath and first fixer as he uses a two-step fixing procedure. He removes the film and used a tray process for the second fixer and then the wash.

I was concerned about contamination and staining with chemicals trapped behind the film in the holder and maybe that is one reason he uses a second tray for fixing. He claims he hasnít had a problem, though he has only done B&W whereas I often do color and contamination could be a concern. He has always done it this way as he was shown by the person who sold him his setup years ago.

David A. Goldfarb
19-Jan-2006, 08:55
Doesn't sound like a terribly good idea to me. What about the felt light trap in the holders? I can't imagine immersion would be too good for tape on the flap end either. Altogether it would be no go for wooden holders.

Bruce Watson
19-Jan-2006, 09:07

evan clarke
19-Jan-2006, 09:18
Hangers are a lot cheaper..EC

Bob Fowler
19-Jan-2006, 09:25
I think someone is yankin' yer chain...

19-Jan-2006, 09:32
If the guy isn't kidding I'd sure be careful about buying used sheet film holders.

Brian Vuillemenot
19-Jan-2006, 10:26
I process my film in the film holders while they're still in the camera. I go through a lot of cameras that way, but it's worth it in the long run.

Steven Barall
19-Jan-2006, 10:37
Why pull the dark slides at all? All you have to do is open them a little and then fill the holder with chemistry and then close the slide again and then each holder becomes it's own little daylight processing system. And while he's at it, he can just make an exposure and then fill the camera with the chemistry and process each sheet that way. That's where a good pan and tilt head comes in handy for proper agitation. The beauty thing is that by the time he gets home, all of his film is processed and ready for printing.

And when he gets home he just has to pull into the garage and tape the printing paper to the wall and tape the neg to the headlight to make the exposure. If the negs are dense he can use the high beams and the fog lights make great safe lights. And he can do two at a time if both headlights are working but this guy sounds like maybe one of his headlights has been out for a while now.

And so that light tight processing tank of his doesn't go to waste , he can put his digital camera in it to process his digital photos.

George Losse
19-Jan-2006, 10:41
They might be talking about a Polaroid back.

They almost look like holders and basically you process the film as your pulling it out of the holders.

steve simmons
24-Jan-2006, 07:00
You might mean film hangers which is one way to develop sheet film.

I apologize for ther m,ockery that was made of your question. Too often that is how some of these forums operate.

There are other forums you might try



steve simmons

Terence Spross
31-Jan-2006, 08:43
You are right - he mentioned having to replace the felt frequently. Now I'm concerned about the felt dye in the chemicals. Didn't seem to bother him though. It's the way he was taught and it worked for him. Since he is now retired his amatuer endeavers call for only about two 4x5 boxes of Tri-x per year.

There is more - the tank is actually wooden, He says the original photographer working for a boat building company would get all excited if someone tried to say liquids and wood don't mix. He apparently talked about "seasoning" the wood in developer!

(He stays away from computers - so don't look for him on the forum.)

Anyway I've lost my appetite for that approach - and no I not buying any 4x5 folders from him. I do tray developing of 4x5, even C41, and while I was looking to going for a tank approach I'm saving my pennies for other things - guess I don't do enough sheet film a year either to justify a change.

Steve ---- I'll check on the other forums out of curiousity. Thanks.

Ralph Barker
31-Jan-2006, 11:14
Steve - your comment borders on the inappropriate - particularly in view of your plug for your own magazine's forum. When an "unusual" practice is brought up for discussion, some level of humor is to be expected in almost any venue.