View Full Version : What options for daylight processing?

26-Jul-2007, 07:31
Hi all,

A newbie processing question.

I don't have a darkroom and want to process my own B+W film (mainly 4x5 and less so 6x9).

I used to hand-process B+W 35mm film in Paterson tanks, using a changing bag to place the film on the reel, w/out darkroom access.

Can I do something similar with the 4x5 format? Is there a particular Jobo system for this type of processing?

Is there an automated Jobo system which does not require hoses to be connected to taps/running water system. (I would be working in a confined space with access to electricity but not running water).

Any comments appreciated.


Ron Marshall
26-Jul-2007, 10:08
I don't have a darkroom at the moment. I have a large changing bag and a Jobo 3006 expert drum which I hand roll on the $25 Jobo roller base. The 3006 holds six 4x5 or 5x7 sheets. The 3010 holds 10 4x5 sheets. I fill the tank using a funnel while it is sitting upright. 300ml fills in 10 seconds. I have seen them sold on ebay for about 1/2 the price they are new. Good luck!

26-Jul-2007, 10:12
6x9 roll film or sheet film?

Basically the answer to all your questions is yes. Which way you go depends on volume,budget and what else you might want or need.

Pat Kearns
26-Jul-2007, 11:56
There is an article on the LF homepage about using the Unicolor system. Beseler color drums and motor bases work as well. They can be found on ebay at low prices. Jobo, BTZS, and Combi Tanks should be explored as well.

26-Jul-2007, 12:45
To further muddy the water and complicate your decision, there's also the "taco" method. Bend a sheet of 4x5 film into a taco shape, and secure with a rubber band. Two sheets can be placed in your Paterson tank (no reel, just the center core) for daylight processing.

Bob Salomon
26-Jul-2007, 14:32
The HP CombiPlan T tank is a daylight processing tank with inversion agitation for up to 6 sheets of film (12 sheets with B&W if loaded back to back). You would only have to load it in the dark and it comes with a loading guide to help you do that.

John Kasaian
26-Jul-2007, 15:06
If you click on the Large Format Homepage on the blue banner above you'll find an article on using the UNicolor processor for developing sheet film. These go for about $35 on ebay and can handle 4 sheets at a time using very little chemistry.

26-Jul-2007, 15:10
I am using a Jobo 2521 with a 2509n reel. Do a search here for more on this.

Peter Galuszewski
27-Jul-2007, 12:57

Sorry to piggy-back on this thread, but I am in a simular situation - I do have access to a makeshift darkroom, but would like to have a daylight method for film (4x5). I was intrigued by the taco method mentioned by Danny - any more details? How much chemistry and what sized tank? Any way you could do more than 2 sheets? It would be a temporary solution before I go to a drum system of some sort - but in the meantime, I have the option of trays, and my "darkroom" is not really spacious enough to do that (at least the part I feel is light tight enough to be safe for film - I print in a different place that seems to be ok for that, but I worry with film wanting absolute darkness). Mmmmmm... taco method.

David Carson
27-Jul-2007, 17:35
Shoot Polaroid 55 pos/neg film; you fix the neg in daylight.

Paul H
27-Jul-2007, 21:30
I don't have a darkroom, but just use a changing bag to load and unload the holders and to load the tanks. Processing is all done in daylight tanks.

Up till now, I have been processing my 9x12cm and 4x5" sheet film in my 120 tank. For a single sheet, I just bend it emulsion side in, put in the centre column and put the lid on. Process as per normal using inversion, ensuring you have enough chemicals to cover the sheet. You can if you want just roll the tank around if you want to use less chemistry, but since I use Rodinal or PC-TEA at 1+50 or 1+100, volume is not really an issue.

If I have more than one sheet to do, I use the taco method. Bend the sheet, emulsion side in and slip an elastic band over. The elastic band should be tight enough so that the the opposite edges of the sheet almost, but not quite, touch (a gap of a little finger is perfect). I can fit four tacos in my 120 tank. Develop using inversion as per roll film.

I've just received a Paterson Orbital though. This will process up to four sheets of 4x5 or two 8x10s. It looks like a tray with a light proof/trapped lid. Uses around 250ml of chemicals as far as I can tell and have read. I have the manual base, but you can also get a motorised base. I'll have to give it a spin this weekend.