View Full Version : Return to Travel Processing

Frank Petronio
23-Mar-2009, 11:48
I'm looking for discussions and good examples of traveling with minimalistic B&W film developing kits -- What works well; What chemistry is easy to travel with and handle on the road; What needs to be purchased locally when flying; What shouldn't freeze or boil... stuff like that. Also what would be the most forgiving temperature-wise developer/fixer workflow for 4x5 TXP?

I am figuring on trays, right? Or?

What are the best ways to get water to a consistent temp. in bathtubs and bathroom sinks? Also what do people do about tropical water temperatures, when the tap water is 80 degrees F?

And is anything particularly forgiving to reticulation? I want grain but not like that!

I'll have a Harrison changing tent and I'll be scanning in a hotel room, not making optical prints -- probably need to have enough chemistry to do 40 sheets plus another 40 rolls of 35mm per trip. What do you suggest?

23-Mar-2009, 12:17
If I'm travelling I occasionally take my Jobo 2000 tank (12 5x4's), some Pyrocat HD and fixer, I have flown with that & my Wista with lenses and processed on the go with no problems. I take a small thermometer & a small measure, it's easy to borrow or find something cheap to measure a litre or two with sufficient accuracy once you're at the destination.


23-Mar-2009, 12:29
you could take the moderately compact Paterson orbital for four (4) 5x4 sheets at a time with minimum chemistry usage. Otherwise maybe a 120 dev tank and use the taco method??

Claude Sapp
23-Mar-2009, 12:42
I still find that a few BTZS tubes is part of the perfect travel kit. I include some PMK and fixer in smallish bottles, and have an old Kodak thermometer that I put inside a narrow hard plastic tube to protect it. All this with a couple 5x7 deep plastic trays to fix and wash the film has worked well for me on the road.

23-Mar-2009, 13:17
I've just bought some HC110, but haven't tried it yet-
it works at major dilutions, and could be decanted into quite small bottles-

I haven't thought about taking developing on the road,
but I reckon I could travel fairly well with my Nikor tank,
good for 12 sheets at a time, and no need for any extra containers,
except for a graduated jug-

I reckon you might need to develop more than four at a time-

Ron Marshall
23-Mar-2009, 16:30
I use XTOL and TF4, no stop, no hypo-clear, in a Jobo Expert drum hand-rolled.

On the road I would switch to HC-110, if flying, as the syrup would be less likely to leak. The problem, if flying will be the fix. Don't know if it is permitted, in liquid form. I have seen formulas online to mix from dry ingredients; you could take those in premeasured amounts to mix with a given volume of water.

Tim Meisburger
23-Mar-2009, 16:44
I regularly use D-76 a 80 degrees or more on Shanghai 100. I looked into tropical developers, but learned that modern film is made so that the emulsion does not slide off at high temperatures. You merely have to adjust development times. As to what that does to the image, I see no difference, but probably I'm not experienced enough to be able to see a difference anyway...

Tim Meisburger
23-Mar-2009, 16:49
I also use a Paterson Orbital, with development times of about five and a half minutes, which I can load in a small dark bag. But you can only do four sheets at a time, and I understand you shoot a lot more than that, so its probably not a viable option. For size, convenience and capacity, I would think the Combi-Plan tank would be a good option, as I think you can do twelve sheets in that.

23-Mar-2009, 18:23
Consider Diafine or Harold Harvey's 777 (now available from the Forrmulary).

Jeff Bannow
26-Mar-2009, 05:41
I think the Nikor 4x5 daylight tank would be perfect - 12 sheets of 4x5 at a time. When I was thinking of doing the same, I was going to take D-76, TF-4 for fix and some Photo-Flo. Water for stop and wash at the end and you're golden.

Drying might be a bit of a challenge though.

Ken Lee
26-Mar-2009, 06:27
Get an InfraRed viewing device (http://www.atncorp.com/NightVision/NightVisionBinocularsGoggles/ATNViper)and some plastic food containers (http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/devtray.html). I routinely develop 20 or more sheets at the same time. Plain water stop bath and a non-smelly fixer. Wash your film in the tub, using a Dish Rack Film Washer (http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/dishrack.html).

The plastic containers are cheap enough that if you like, you can purchase them over and over again, rather than transporting them. Of course, they are smaller than "photo" trays.

If you skip the IR viewing device, the price goes down, but if you take it, there's no need for a changing tent. Also, you get fewer scratches when you see what you're doing. You can also develop each negative by inspection, which can be handy when you haven't tested the local water.

Reticulation comes from changing the temperature back and forth: sudden expansion and contraction, repeatedly. If you develop at say 20 C, and subsequent steps are in much warmer water, it won't matter. In fact, washing times are much shorter in warm water.

I do all these things at home, for the same reasons that one would want to do them while on the road.

Ken Lee
26-Mar-2009, 08:36
Another thought is that with an IR viewing device, we get less dust than if we use a changing bag or tent. If any dust falls on the film or holders, we can see it, and brush it off. We can't do that inside a changing tent.

26-Mar-2009, 09:20
i've been thinking about this a lot recently, as i'm planning on taking the 4x5 to the third world next march. it occurs to me that in most of the places that i've stayed, getting the room dark enough, even at night, to do film would be nigh-on impossible without also carrying around a bunch of plastic and gaffer tape. a changing tent seems like much less hassle.

i would like to hear what people do when the tap water is over 80 degrees F; i assume just throw some ice in there?

26-Mar-2009, 09:45
There are lots of time/temperature compensation charts on the web if you do a search-
Ilford have a good one-

This is the one from Freestyle, in Farenheit-