View Full Version : Denser edges w 4x5 Hanger Development: Help Please

G Benaim
22-Oct-2006, 05:27

As some of you might remember, I'm in search of a method for deving 4x5 that works consistently and can be done w DBI. So I'm trying tanks and hangers, and keep getting one or two sheets in every batch with higher density along the sides, in the shape of the hanger rails, very straight lines. In one case, I got a denser bottom rail. I've been using Rodinal at 1:50 and 1:100 w pre-soaking and agitation for 15 secs once a minute. I'm guessing the problem is w the agitation. So far, I've followed Bruce Barnbaum's instructions in is book, oof lifting out of the tank, tilting to one side without stopping at the end, neither slowly nor fast.
If any of you have dealt w this problem successfully, tell me what worked for you. Thanks, and at least I'm not getting scratches in the middle of every shot as I was w shuffling!


PS: Can one do semi stand development w hangers w agitation every 5 mins?

David A. Goldfarb
22-Oct-2006, 06:18
Usually it's an agitation issue. I think for tank processing, 15 seconds in and out is probably too much. When it's time to agitate, I remove the hangers and tilt to one side and put them back in, wait for the next agitation cycle, and do the same, tilting to the opposite side. Maybe try this, but agitate every 30 sec. instead of every minute.

If it's one or two sheets per batch, are you sure it's not a leak issue with one or two of your filmholders? They also have very straight lines.

G Benaim
22-Oct-2006, 06:24
So you're saying agitate more often, one side each time? It's not light leaks, as the extra density matches the shape and size of the rails to a T.

David A. Goldfarb
22-Oct-2006, 06:51
That's what I do, and I haven't had edge density issues that way.

Another thing may be that I do 4x5" in 5x7" tanks, but I also do 5x7" in the same tanks and don't have problems that way either.

G Benaim
22-Oct-2006, 07:13
Do you the the tank size matters? I'm actually not using the 2 lt tanks but rather 1 liter fod containers.

Michael Rosenberg
22-Oct-2006, 07:25
I have gotten the same problems with some hangers - that were not Kodak hangers. Are they Kodak hangers? And if not take them in to a local store and trade them in for kodak holders.


David A. Goldfarb
22-Oct-2006, 07:40
I don't know if the tank size matters in this case, but there can be some edge issues associated with processing in too small a tank or tray in general. For instance, if you process in too small a tray, you'll get more agitation near the edges of the film than at the center. I would think the same thing could happen with too small a tank.

Kirk Fry
22-Oct-2006, 13:02
I had the same problem until I moved to pans and HC110. Still use the hangers to wash.
When you get to 8X10 you will being doing pans or tubes anyway.

22-Oct-2006, 13:05
I have been doing sheet film processing for 30+ years, thousands of sheets. 4X5, 5X7 and 8X10. Though agitation if done violently or excessively will effect image quality with jets and edge density, this is not a common problem. Learn the proper technique and follow it. I lift the hangers up and lower them in about six seconds, I do this twice in a one minute cycle.
Now for salvation, I will wager you it is your tank. Certain tanks will play havoc no matter the skill of the user. First, you MUST have adequate clearance between the bottom of the hanger and the tank. I have several narrow tanks that have clearance of ½ to ¾ inch, this is NOT adequate clearance. The clearance can be diminished as the spreading space around the tank increases. Take a Kodak Hard Rubber tank, it has plenty of space forward and back of the hangers (this is probably one of the design reasons for the length of the upper hanger support rods). So you will find that you can ‘crowd’ 9 to 10 hangers per tank (I do this as standard practice). The space at the base of the tank is about 1 inch, but there is that side space.
In narrow 8X10 tanks I will drop 4 quad 4X5 hangers (one hanger holds 4 sheets of film, so 4 of these represents a run of 16 sheets, three hangers will handle 12 per run, compared to the best a 4X5 tank of 10 sheets). I use nitrogen burst tanks that have the distributors removed, there is a lot of clearance down there. Thing is I don not lift the hangers out, I just lift 50 to 70 percent up and lower once each minute. I have even smooth negatives. The trick with these is to lift slowly and lower back. With 8X10 hangers/tank this will take about 12 seconds each minute.
I only agitate in a tray face up single sheets and this is for controlled water bath developments.
An excellent technique is in old color print tube processors, be sure to use a reversing processor base.
If all else fails there is the Bitz Tube (4X5 and 8X10). I worked with Brian Mikiten* to evolve the original design. If you can not process with these take your self out and shoot you, there is nothing easier to use. By the way, we ran tests and decided that you could un-cap the tube in subdued room light and do the stop bath and fixer, there was no measurable fog in either florescent or incandescent lighting.
Mikiten* is one of the modern Gods of photography. He is a large format man and design a computer format for taking the image from negative exposure through the finished print with a system so dumfoundenly concise that even Kodak converted to his film and paper computer based testing system. You can find this at the Arizona based Bitz location (Brian lives with his wife, children and cats in San Antonio Texas).

G Benaim
23-Oct-2006, 02:37
Thanks Tim, for the advice. I gather you don not tilt when you lift the hangers out?

G Benaim
25-Oct-2006, 03:45
Quick update:

I tried to apply most of the advice received so far. First, I tried the same 1 lt tank but using only kodak hangers, got sprocket holes and density on sides and bottom. Next I tried the large kodak tank, w side tilt every 30 sec only to one side, eliminated extra density on the sides of the neg, still got some att the bottom. Should the kodak tank be filled too the brim, or is it enough to completely cover the neg? I'm getting pretty frustrated, so any help is greatly appreciated.

Peter Schuyler
25-Oct-2006, 04:44
A 5 min. presoak will help a lot.