View Full Version : How Much Soup for Tray Development?

4-Dec-2009, 13:18
I'm tired of the Yankee tank I've been using and want to develop my 4x5 in trays now. I have some 5x7 trays I'd like to use but wonder how to determine the proper negative:soup ratio?

In other words, I probably can't fit too many 4x5 negatives into a 5x7 tray comfortably (2 or 3?) but, I think number of negatives is also a function of how much developer I can put in the tank too right?

MIke Sherck
4-Dec-2009, 13:38
The quantity of soup depends. If you're using Campbell's thick and chunky soup, you'll need at least four cans or whatever fills your tray. It takes a lot of the "thick" part to develop films; I think the "chunky" is for prints. But I could be wrong. The quantity of a thinner soup, such as Chicken Noodle, would be, of course, different.

Too little soup makes the chances of scratching a negative greater, so you'll want at least an inch in the tray for a stack of, say, eight negatives. Of course, all soup has a nutritional capacity and you don't want to use your soup past its capacity, so make sure you finish all your soup before heating another can and souping more negatives.

There's a website for non-traditional soup recipes because some people like to make their own soup, but I don't know what it is off hand. Campbell's has always worked well for me.


Mark Sampson
4-Dec-2009, 13:39
I use 8x10 trays with 2 liters of chemistry in each; that lets me process up to 12, more usually 8, sheets of 4x5 at a time. For trays you want lots of room around the films and plenty of developer; this promotes evenness of development.

Rich Eskin
4-Dec-2009, 19:27
Depending on your developer and what dilution you use, the volume of working solution may vary. Sometimes the technical specification indicate how much stock solution you need per 80 sq. inches of film (1 35 mm roll or 4 4x5s). If you can find that for your developer, that would be your best approach.

Doremus Scudder
5-Dec-2009, 02:50
I develop 4x5 in 5x7 trays. I use oversize Paterson 5x7 trays, and 500ml of solution seems to me to be about minimum. I develop in batches of six most of the time, using the developer one-shot. Less than 500ml seems uncomfortable and riskier (scratches).

Of course, you need to make sure you are not exceeding the capacity of your chemicals, especially if you use very dilute developer, in which case you would need more. Usually, this is not a problem. Most manufacturers give a so-and-so-many 8x10 sheets per liter capacity number which you can easily scale down to how many 4x5s per 500ml of developer you can safely develop. Certainly, if you are developing only 2-3 sheets at a time and using standard developer dilutions, you shouldn't have a problem with capacity.

Sometimes, when I am developing only a few sheets (e.g., I have four sheets to develop today before I fly to the States for three months), I will use a more dilute fixer in order not to waste chemicals. I dilute Ilford Rapid Fixer up to 1+19 (with a clip test to determine the correct, longer fixing time). The capacity of 500ml of this weaker solution is 12 4x5 sheets, so I'll be wasting some....

FYI, there are those who use extremely dilute fixer one-shot, a method that is very economical if you develop only a few sheets at any given time. Search here and at APUG (a member named Dancqu, if I remember correctly) if you are interested in that. I normally develop in larger batches and use the fixer as close to capacity as I dare...

Hope this helps,

Doremus Scudder

Armin Seeholzer
5-Dec-2009, 03:03
Doremus very good work on your HP!
Like your pics very much!

Cheers Armin

Doremus Scudder
5-Dec-2009, 04:05

Thanks very much!


Louie Powell
5-Dec-2009, 16:35
I use a six-sheet slosher in an 11x14 tray. 800ml of solution.

Michael Wainfeld
6-Dec-2009, 19:49
Louie-Is that a flat bottomed tray, that is, no ridges? I tried to figure out how much solution I'd need for a slosher in an 11X14 Paterson ridged tray and I think it came out to 1200cc. I'm currently using 800cc in 5X7 trays.