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lmlmlm
26-Jul-2010, 10:38
Hi all.
I am interested in doing my own b/w processing, however would need your advice before buying some stuff and doing my first tests.

While searching the forum i get the most popular methods are either by using the Combiplan (http://www.novadarkroom.com/product/123/Combiplan_5x4_Sheet_Film_Tank_.html), or straight tray developing which seems to be the simplest and cheapest method.

Now, what's not very clear:
1. how many trays will i need? im thinking about this 3 pieces set (http://www.macodirect.de/heavyweight-high-impact-plastic-traysbr3pcs-18x24cm-7x95-p-1997.html) (for developer, fixer and water). is that enough for basic development?
2. what other accesories should i be looking for? (clips?)
3. should i do agitation by hand or using a film clip of some sort?
4. any cheap and practical ways of drying the sheets?
5. are the chemicals dangerous? some people seem to use hand gloves and face masks while developing. is that what you do?

Or, should i think again about the Combiplan?

Hopefully there will be people pacient enough to share their experience.

Thanks!

Mark Stahlke
26-Jul-2010, 11:01
I'm fairly new to B&W processing myself but I'll take a stab at answering your questions anyway. I use a Combiplan tank for 4x5 film and trays for 8x10.

1. I use four trays - developer, stop bath, fixer, water rinse.
2. A thermometer, a timer or stop watch, clips.
3. By hand.
4. I hang the film on a piece of string over the bathtub to dry. This is what the clips are for.
5. It depends. Some chemicals are more toxic than others. Download and read the Material Safety Data Sheets for your chosen chemicals.

Brian C. Miller
26-Jul-2010, 11:15
Hi, Lucian!

First, normal chemicals for developing black & white film are quite safe. Just don't drink them! The reason that some of us may wear gloves and masks is because alternative methods use chemicals which are not safe. Any normal film developer from Kodak or Ilford is safe to handle without protection.

Whether you use trays or Combiplan tank depends on your personal situation. Do you have a room that you can make light-tight? I use my bathroom, which took a little bit of reversible modification. If you don't have a light-tight room for tray development, then you'll need to use a changing bag and load the film into a tank like the Combiplan.

Film clips for roll film (35mm or 60mm) don't work well with LF sheet film. You can use "alligator" clips (for electrical connections) for hanging the film for drying. Just hang the film up where there is no airflow, so no dust will blow around and settle on the film.

For agitation in a tray, just rock the tray back and forth a bit. The important part is keeping the film submerged under the chemicals. I made a little holder to assist with this.

The chemicals used are the developer, stop bath (acetic acid, part of vinegar), and fixer. The stop bath and fixer tend to be a bit smelly, so ventilation is a good thing. I use a stop bath and fixer which are formulated to be essentially odor-free, made by Clayton.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, and remember to have fun! :)

jp
26-Jul-2010, 11:25
So far I have done trays and combiplan. I get kinda bored with trays as it is very simple tedious and you have to stay in the dark most of the time (until it's been in the fixer 2 minutes by my estimation). I still use trays for 8x10 as there aren't so many options for that. A jobo could do it, but it would probably be more work to setup and clean it afterwards than the time wasted standing in the dark tending to 8x10 in a tray.

You would need a glow in the dark timer/watch/kitchen timer and an accurate thermometer. The combiplan gets some critique for being slow to drain/fill and for minor dripping when agitating, but the critique is overblown. It does a very consistent job at processing 4x5 film when used consistently. And it lets me work in daylight except for loading.

If you go the tray route, get a bigger 4th tray for the rinse. That's where things spend the most time, so negatives and prints can accumulate there as you work.

I ordered 130410001589 from ebay and we'll see how that goes too. It might be a reasonable alternative to the combiplan.

I have an insulated wire string and use wooden springloaded clothespins to hang negatives and prints up to dry.

http://www.f64.nu/albums2007/album146/DSC_0112.sized.jpg

I have used photoflo as the last step but have also recently had excellent results using a 1 minute distilled water bath in a clean tray to prevent drying spots. It costs a few cents more per use, but it is working great.

cyrus
26-Jul-2010, 11:38
Ive posted this before so sorry about the dupe but here is a very simple solution to tray development of 4x5 negs. Just take a regular film holder (in this case the ones that hold 4 sheets of 4x5 negs) bend it so it fits and lays flat into an 8x10 tray. You can use the bent part as a handle to agitate and to move the holder from tray to tray.

Brian C. Miller
26-Jul-2010, 12:08
Oh, here's something somebody else did for a cheap darkroom timer: an audio recording! The fellow took a tape recorder, and recorded himself counting off minutes and seconds. Then in the dark he could simply play the tape for his development timing.

(my timer has a beep mode)

lmlmlm
26-Jul-2010, 13:05
Thank you guys your replies are really helpful. I think im gonna buy some cheap chemicals first to give it a go. Is the stop bath mandatory for basic development, or i can do without? I think i read somewhere that this stage is optional.

I will be using cheap Fomapan 100 sheets and Foma chemicals.

Bob McCarthy
26-Jul-2010, 13:44
1. how many trays will i need? im thinking about this 3 pieces set (http://www.macodirect.de/heavyweight-high-impact-plastic-traysbr3pcs-18x24cm-7x95-p-1997.html) (for developer, fixer and water). is that enough for basic development?
!


One way to do it is doubling up on the water trays use.

Note that this only works with an alkaline fixer

I use 3 trays

developer - water - alkaline fixer


Soak in the center water tray

move film to developer tray for the appropriate time

move back to water to stop (well slow down anyway)

then to fixer tray for the perscribed time

near end of fixer step, flip on lights

dump water tray and refill which the fixed negative go into with slow running water

same water tray used 3 times.

bob

cyrus
26-Jul-2010, 15:20
Thank you guys your replies are really helpful. I think im gonna buy some cheap chemicals first to give it a go. Is the stop bath mandatory for basic development, or i can do without? I think i read somewhere that this stage is optional.

I will be using cheap Fomapan 100 sheets and Foma chemicals.

All stop bath is, is a mild acidic solution. Its function is to stop development by changing the pH and also to rinse off developer to prevent carry-over of developer into the fixer which leads to the early exhaustion of the fixer. I have used plain white vinegar mixed with water (1:6) as a stop bath for years. Nothing more is necessary for a stop bath.

As far as timers are concerned, buy a cheap "talking" timer that counts down the minutes and the last 60 seconds.
I use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Tel-Timer-Talking-Countdown/dp/B002VSZP18

(Oh, and you can indeed turn on the light when you place the negs in the fixer for about 1 minute or so, as long as they were placed in the stop bath first. Most people wait a minute before turning on the light once the negs are in the fixer, just to be safe, but in reality there's no more development going on once the negs come out of the stop bath.)

Dave Loftus
26-Jul-2010, 16:00
Issues with the CombiPlan's being slow to fill can be mitigated by draining it inverted, i.e., instead of draining it from the "drain" hole at the bottom, drain it from the "fill" hole at the top, using the "drain" hole as a vent. That technique equalizes the time the "top" of the sheets are in contact with the developer compared to the "bottom."

The CombiPlan tank makes an excellent film rinser, too.

Brian Ellis
26-Jul-2010, 16:55
So far I have done trays and combiplan. I get kinda bored with trays as it is very simple tedious and you have to stay in the dark most of the time (until it's been in the fixer 2 minutes by my estimation). I still use trays for 8x10 as there aren't so many options for that. A jobo could do it, but it would probably be more work to setup and clean it afterwards than the time wasted standing in the dark tending to 8x10 in a tray. . . .



A minor point - you don't need to wait two minutes after film has been in the fix to turn the lights on. The stop bath neutralizes the alkaline developer in the film emulsion and that immediately stops further development. The fix is just removing the unreduced silver halide that is in the film's emulsion. So you can turn the lights on as soon as the film hits the fix tray. Actually you can go a step further and turn them on once the film is in the stop bath which is what I did because I never liked standing around in the dark.

JRFrench
26-Jul-2010, 17:06
I do the same as Brian, its quite cool to watch the image clear in the fixer. You can also see the effects of turning on the lights at different stages when using paper especially, when in dev, and stop etc.

Oren Grad
26-Jul-2010, 17:19
First, normal chemicals for developing black & white film are quite safe. Just don't drink them! The reason that some of us may wear gloves and masks is because alternative methods use chemicals which are not safe. Any normal film developer from Kodak or Ilford is safe to handle without protection.

It's worth noting that some people are allergic to metol, a very common developing agent that is an ingredient in many commercial and home-brew film and paper developers. If you are in any way unsure about what you are doing or about your risk, it's always reasonable to use gloves.

Peter De Smidt
26-Jul-2010, 19:44
It's a good idea to practice with some film with the lights on. It can be trash negatives that you've already developed.

For 4x5 film, I use four 8x10 trays. If fill them at least half full with solution.

Step 1: Ttake the stack of film, all of which is all emulsion down, in your right hand. Take one sheet in your left hand with your thumb and middle finger. Hold the film parallel to the surface of the liquid. You can use your pinkie to feel for the edge of the tray.

Step 2: drop the negative from about an inch up flat on the surface of the liquid such that it makes a plopping sound. You don't want to angle the film, as a corner could then go down and scratch other sheets. At least it wouldn't be on the emulsion side.

Step 3: Push sheet down with pinky of left hand.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 for each sheet. Start with only 4 or so sheets.

Step 5: use your hands to move all of the sheets into a stack in the lower left corner of the tray.

Step 6: With your right hand, take the lowest sheet out from the bottom by pulling it away and then up from the stack, and drop it on the surface of the liquid.

Step 7: Repeat step 6 as many times as there are negatives, plus 1. So if there are 6 negatives. Do step 6 seven times.

Step 8: Turn the whole stack 90 degrees clockwise.

Step 9: Go back to step 6 and repeat until about 15 seconds before the time for that solution is up.

Step 10: Drain stack and transfer into next solution.

For the developer, I like to shuffle continuously for the first minute. I then go through the stack +1 and turn stack every 30 seconds.

Consistency is key. A fairly long development time, say 10 minutes, helps with consistency. You can vary dilution and or temp to get the time into that range.

sully75
26-Jul-2010, 19:59
One cheap method that hasn't been mentioned is the "taco" method. This page describes it. (http://www.flickr.com/groups/largeformat/discuss/72157594305554218/) This picture more or less sums it up:
http://static.flickr.com/110/257236162_352bed18af.jpg

I'm not necessarily recommending it (and it doesn't matter if I did because I'm pretty new to this) but I've used it once for 5x7 (two sheets in a 2 reel stainless tank) and it worked pretty well.

The advantages: you can do it in daylight, it's quite cheap on equipment, possibly less risk of scratching than in trays (though not necessarily).

Disadvantages: uses a fair amount of chemical (if you are flushing your spent developer), has it's own set of scratch potentials, not sanctified by the LF gods.

Bill Burk
26-Jul-2010, 21:40
Hi Lucian,
I've tried a Nikor 4x5 tank and had uneven skies and marks in the middle where the spiral rested. I read up on many other types of developing and decided to give tray processing a try. I use 3 11x14 trays dev/stop (I think it prevents pinholes which are devils to retouch)/fix and gloves (more for fingerprint and scratch prevention than fear of metol). I hang the finished negs with wooden clothespins hanging at an angle. The skies are pristine, which I wouldn't trade for anything - even though I occasionally get scratches that are my fault.
Take it as my vote for open trays.
Bill
Bill

John Kasaian
26-Jul-2010, 21:53
Hi all.
I am interested in doing my own b/w processing, however would need your advice before buying some stuff and doing my first tests.

While searching the forum i get the most popular methods are either by using the Combiplan (http://www.novadarkroom.com/product/123/Combiplan_5x4_Sheet_Film_Tank_.html), or straight tray developing which seems to be the simplest and cheapest method.

Now, what's not very clear:
1. how many trays will i need? im thinking about this 3 pieces set (http://www.macodirect.de/heavyweight-high-impact-plastic-traysbr3pcs-18x24cm-7x95-p-1997.html) (for developer, fixer and water). is that enough for basic development?
2. what other accesories should i be looking for? (clips?)
3. should i do agitation by hand or using a film clip of some sort?
4. any cheap and practical ways of drying the sheets?
5. are the chemicals dangerous? some people seem to use hand gloves and face masks while developing. is that what you do?

Or, should i think again about the Combiplan?

Hopefully there will be people pacient enough to share their experience.

Thanks!

Trays are the cheapest & simplest. You'll need them anyway if you want to print traditionally. You'll want larger trays than the size film you're developing. Four trays are an inexpensive luxury so you might want to take advantage of it(if you have space for four trays on your counter) If you are working in a bathroom you can fill a sink with water and that will take the place of a tray dedicated to being a water bath. Water trays do not need to be chemically resistant plastic---an ordinary food storage container "liberated" from the kitchen wil do the job.

You will need a graduate cylinder (or something like it) for mixing your chemicals and diluting stock solutions into working solutions, a stirring stick of some sort (tongue depressors work nicely, or a really big swizzle stick;) )and storage containers for your chemical stock solutions.

Mine are old brown glass jugs which were given to me by a pharmacist. I don't know if many medicinal syrups come in glass jugs any more. The plastic bottles that hydrogen peroxide come should work as well (you've just got to find a use for all that hydrogen peroxide!) Green glass wine jugs will work too if you can replace the metal caps with plastic (do label them as chemicals so guests won't be tempted to pour themselves a drink!)

You will also want a thermometer dedicate for chemical use. Most photograohy stores sell them,
Wooden clothes pins, as others have mentioned work fine for hanging up film to dry and a drop of photo-flo (or home made equivalent) really helps to prevent water spots.
I believe somebody already mentioned a timer, so let's see....a radio or other music machine is a pleasant companion in the dark room.:)

lmlmlm
26-Jul-2010, 23:39
As Brian suggested i improvised a talking timer by recording my own voice on the phone. That's a good trick! :)

Here's another question: how i am supposed to read the thermometer in the dark? is there a special kind of darkroom thermometer, or..?

Vlad Soare
27-Jul-2010, 00:33
When I started shooting 4x5" I didn't even want to hear about tray development. I read a lot about various development methods and finally went for a Jobo 2523 tank with a 2509n reel.
However, after taking a workshop with Michael and Paula (http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/index_skip.html), where they demonstrated developing by inspection, I realized that tray development is very easy and convenient, and the inspection thing is really awesome.

In fact, I'm surprised that the inspection method isn't more popular, given how many people develop film in trays. If you already develop in trays anyway, why would you not want to inspect? :confused:

For tray development I use a radio alarm clock with luminous, dark green digits. The light level is extremely low and doesn't fog the film (as a precaution, I placed the clock as far away as I could, and it's facing away from the trays).
There are analog darkroom timers with glow-in-the-dark hands, but I don't like them. They get dimmer and dimmer with every passing minute, and unless you "load them up" by keeping them in a strong light beforehand they can become almost invisible by the time the development ends.
I don't read the thermometer in the dark. I just start with the developer at 20 degrees Centigrade. I'm not worried about the developer warming up, because I inspect the film and stop the development when the desired density is reached.

Those 18x24 cm trays seem a little too big for 4x5" film to me. I find 13x18 cm trays to be perfect.

Vinegar stinks. Go to any supermarket and get "sare de lămie" (for non-Romanian speaking members, the direct translation would be "lemon salt", though I don't know if this is its actual name in English). That's citric acid. It's very cheap, dissolves instantly even in cold water, and doesn't smell at all. Half a teaspoon in half a liter of water gives you a pH of about 2.5.

Brian Ellis
27-Jul-2010, 07:38
As Brian suggested i improvised a talking timer by recording my own voice on the phone. That's a good trick! :)

Here's another question: how i am supposed to read the thermometer in the dark? is there a special kind of darkroom thermometer, or..?

I haven't read this entire thread so I may be missing something but why would you need to read a thermometer, in the dark or otherwise, once you start the development process? And of course before that point you aren't in the dark.

robert j fallis
27-Jul-2010, 08:20
there is another way... use tubes to develop in, there is a design somewhere on the internet on how to make light tight tubes from poly sink waste pipe. the cost is not very much. so make two or three tubes..
they use less chemical's about 250 ml,. you just load the film in a dark bag.. and the rest of the process is in the light. I normal sit at the table and do it. you just have to be careful removing the film as the emulsion is soft when wet .. and short finger nails are a must

bob

Peter De Smidt
27-Jul-2010, 08:21
For drying film, I use small metal alligator clips from Radio Shack to hold the negatives by a corner on a line in my darkroom. I've used plastic clothespins in the past, but the alligator clips work much better.

After the fix, I rinse the negatives in water, and then agitate them in a tray with Kodak Hypo Clear (or simply a solution of sodium sulfite.) After that, they are rinsed in a tray of clean, tempered water. Finally, I dip them into a tray of distilled water with 1/2 strength photo flow added, along with a splash of alcohol. The negatives are then hung up to dry.

robert j fallis
27-Jul-2010, 08:22
PS use the black pipe.. the grey and white are not light proof

Vlad Soare
27-Jul-2010, 08:44
Here's another question: how i am supposed to read the thermometer in the dark? is there a special kind of darkroom thermometer, or..?
I haven't read this entire thread so I may be missing something but why would you need to read a thermometer, in the dark or otherwise, once you start the development process? And of course before that point you aren't in the dark.
Because you want to make sure the developer's temperature remains constant. Otherwise, if you start at 20 degrees, you may end up at 22 in winter, and at 26 in summer, so your development times would vary from month to month. :)
Of course, if you develop by inspection you don't really care what temperature you end up at.

cyrus
27-Jul-2010, 09:02
Because you want to make sure the developer's temperature remains constant. Otherwise, if you start at 20 degrees, you may end up at 22 in winter, and at 26 in summer, so your development times would vary from month to month. :)
Of course, if you develop by inspection you don't really care what temperature you end up at.

Seems to me that once you start developing there usually isn't a lot of time to futz with the water temp anyway in order to maintain perfectly constant temps. HP5 in 1:1 D76 takes about 9 minutes of development time which isn't enough to check water temp and adjust by adding more developing solution at the right temp to compensate.

The downside to shuffling sheets of film by hand in developing trays is that your body heat may raise the temp of the developer a couple of degrees at most. If that's a concern, using my bent filmholders has the benefit of avoiding that.

Bob McCarthy
27-Jul-2010, 09:16
I would think the air temp of the room would have an impact.

I use a waterbath and maintain the room temp at my development target.

68 in winter, 75 in summer works well with little drift.

bob

lmlmlm
28-Jul-2010, 01:39
So, im getting closer to my first test processing. I bought the cheapest plastic food containers, which are square and roughly 30% bigger than a 4x5 sheet, and some Foma chemicals. I will do one sheet at a time at first, until i get the hang of it.

I am still wondering whether i should mix the chemicals (dev & fixer) in the dark, or is that something you do before turning the lights off?

Thanks!

jp
28-Jul-2010, 04:38
Mix the chemicals any time you want in any light conditions.

Glenn Goldapp
28-Jul-2010, 21:33
I use 6 trays. First is water. Second Developer, Third is a weak stop bath. Fourth is first fix. Five is second fix. I fix for 1/2 the time recommended in the first fix and 1/2 in the second fix. As the first fix begins to exhaust I replace it with the second and make a fresh second fix. This ensures that the negatives are always fixed fully with a fresh fixing bath. The Sixth tray is hypo clearing agent. It is then into the wash tank. I have been using this system since 1972 and to this day the negatives are as good as the day they were processed. Actually learned this in Yosemite from Ansel Adams. I fix the prints the same way but without a hardening fixer so that I can tone the prints with Selenium. It seems to work as well with the prints because I made a series of prints in 1981 which I have kept boxed over the years. Still sell those prints and they look as good as the day I made them. One final comment should be added. With film and prints the wash tank should have a slow overflow with a small drain or syphon at the bottom to allow any chemicals that settle to the bottom to flow out.

cyrus
29-Jul-2010, 10:12
A final rinse in distilled water is a pretty good idea to avoid streaks and drying marks.

Bob McCarthy
29-Jul-2010, 11:08
I use 6 trays. First is water. Second Developer, Third is a weak stop bath. Fourth is first fix. Five is second fix. I fix for 1/2 the time recommended in the first fix and 1/2 in the second fix. As the first fix begins to exhaust I replace it with the second and make a fresh second fix. This ensures that the negatives are always fixed fully with a fresh fixing bath. The Sixth tray is hypo clearing agent. It is then into the wash tank. I have been using this system since 1972 and to this day the negatives are as good as the day they were processed. Actually learned this in Yosemite from Ansel Adams. I fix the prints the same way but without a hardening fixer so that I can tone the prints with Selenium. It seems to work as well with the prints because I made a series of prints in 1981 which I have kept boxed over the years. Still sell those prints and they look as good as the day I made them. One final comment should be added. With film and prints the wash tank should have a slow overflow with a small drain or syphon at the bottom to allow any chemicals that settle to the bottom to flow out.


That is the best generally accepted way to archivally process prints as the paper absorbs chemistry and is difficult to clear, but ... somewhat overkill for film. I have my first negatives from the late 60's and they are just fine.

Develop - stop - fix - into a film washer

A great wash was the key from my education on processing.

bob

stevebrot
29-Jul-2010, 17:14
One cheap method that hasn't been mentioned is the "taco" method. This page describes it. (http://www.flickr.com/groups/largeformat/discuss/72157594305554218/) This picture more or less sums it up:
http://static.flickr.com/110/257236162_352bed18af.jpg

I'm not necessarily recommending it (and it doesn't matter if I did because I'm pretty new to this) but I've used it once for 5x7 (two sheets in a 2 reel stainless tank) and it worked pretty well.

The advantages: you can do it in daylight, it's quite cheap on equipment, possibly less risk of scratching than in trays (though not necessarily).

Disadvantages: uses a fair amount of chemical (if you are flushing your spent developer), has it's own set of scratch potentials, not sanctified by the LF gods.

I use the "taco" method in a generic Patterson-type plastic tank (<$20 USD) and it works well for 4x5. As noted, it requires about a liter of chemistry and is a bit of a waste. I am going to experiment with using developer diluted to 1/8 strength coupled with longer development times. So far no issues with scratches or uneven development (fingers crossed).


Steve

sully75
29-Jul-2010, 17:28
Are people washing with tap water mostly? I've been experimenting with distilled and not sure if it makes a difference. One thing I'm stopping doing is wiping out my tanks with bath towels. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm suspecting a whole lot of my dust was lint from the towels.

DanK
29-Jul-2010, 17:50
Are people washing with tap water mostly? I've been experimenting with distilled and not sure if it makes a difference. One thing I'm stopping doing is wiping out my tanks with bath towels. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm suspecting a whole lot of my dust was lint from the towels.


I wash with tap water, but placed an in-line 'cheapie' filter to catch the larger particles....

My tap warm in the summer, around 75 degrees F - so I add a water bath step after the fixer - usually around 72 degrees.... doubt it does anything - I do it to ready the film for the higher wash temp...instead of 68 straight to 75....

I wash tanks, and trays in hot water and use a sponge to ensure residual isn't attached....

If I need to quick dry a tank, or tray for any reason - I use the Premier Professional Photo wipes...large, lint free....and inexpensive....

Thanks,
Dan

DanK
29-Jul-2010, 17:52
But, I only used distilled for final rinse with Photo-Flo before I hang the negatives....

Thanks,
Dan

lmlmlm
29-Jul-2010, 22:44
Just to let everybody know this is my first developed sheet based on what i learned from this topic, its not much of a picture but the process worked :)

How long do you usually keep the negs in the stop bath after the developer stage?
Thanks!

Vlad Soare
29-Jul-2010, 22:56
That looks pretty good, given it's your very first try. A little underexposed, but that's no development problem.
On the other hand, what does look like a development problem is that one half of the sky is lighter than the other half. The transition from the darker to the lighter side of the sky is a bit too harsh, which makes me believe that it probably didn't look like that in reality. How did you agitate? Did you just rock the tray?

Are those dust spots actually on the negative, or is it just a scanning issue?

Thirty seconds in the stop bath is more than enough. Even ten would probably suffice.

lmlmlm
29-Jul-2010, 22:59
Indeed for this sheet i only rotated the tray, not really touching the sheet itself. Wasnt sure what to do with the sheet really..

Vlad Soare
29-Jul-2010, 23:13
Agitation by rocking the tray works very well for papers, but not for films.
Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqm8e7gUvxY) is a good how-to video on tray development. You'll need some patience, though. The guy talks a lot; I believe it's only in part 3 that he gets to actually demonstrate the agitation technique. :)

Roy Menzies
8-Aug-2010, 03:08
I have never processed sheet film before and am about to start. Someone just gave me a sort of hybrid tank system. The outer GRP daylight box is a Calumet, possibly for dental xray plates. Inside are 3 main vertical tanks for dev, stop, fix, with stainless steel film hangers (tanks and hangers "Kodak 4x5") and a slender tank, maybe for pre-soak. There are 6 hangers but 4 seem to fit more comfortably. The films are obviously moved from tank to tank. Two questions:
A) Is this a good method and B) the tanks need almost 2 litres of chemicals and the ID11 I just bought makes 1L stock so it must be diluted, ergo, can only be used once. This is going to cost almost as much as going to the lab! Help please:confused:

Vlad Soare
8-Aug-2010, 03:44
Deep tanks do indeed take massive amounts of chemicals. You'll never be cost-efficient with one-shot developers in them.
The efficient way of developing in deep tanks is to reuse the developer and replenish it on a regular basis. You mix two liters (or whatever you need) of full-strength developer and use it with several films, making sure you adjust the development time according to the manufacturer's recommendations (with ID-11 I believe it's +10% for each additional film, though I'm not very sure about it). From time to time you remove a little spent developer and replace it with the same amount of replenisher.
I don't know if Ilford offers a replenisher for ID-11, but Kodak does. It's called D-76R (it's different from the developer itself - you shouldn't use D-76 as its own replenisher).

Later edit: I see Ilford offers a replenisher for ID-11, too. Just make sure not to get it mixed up with ID-11 itself. The formula is different. Not by much, but different nevertheless.

Roy Menzies
8-Aug-2010, 06:39
Thank you for the quick response Vlad, yes it is +10% per extra process. I may just get a tall skinny 1/2 litre tank made up by a local plastic fabricator who "owes me". I could then fit in 2 or 3 sheets and use diluted developer once-off. I believe it lasts about 6 months diluted if properly stored. It is 30 years since I last processed film and then, only 120 in a Paterson tank. It was so easy!

Vlad Soare
8-Aug-2010, 07:56
I believe it lasts about 6 months diluted if properly stored.
Not diluted. Only the full-strength solution keeps that long. If you dilute it 1+1 or higher, you must use it immediately and then dump it.
Paterson tanks can be used with 4x5" sheets, too. See post #15 above.

Bruce A Cahn
8-Aug-2010, 08:02
Keep your hands out of the developer. Repeated exposure may cause severe splitting of the flesh. I use one surgical glove. For drying, I put two wooden clothespins on a wire coathanger, hung on the shower rod. 4x5 goes on one pin, 8x10 on two. Use photoflo mixed weak.

lutherasmith
8-Aug-2010, 08:36
Hi, Lucian!

First, normal chemicals for developing black & white film are quite safe.

Some people develop adverse reactions to the chemicals. I recommend limiting your exposure to all chemicals. If if is possible use gloves.

Jay DeFehr
8-Aug-2010, 10:21
I use the "taco" method in a generic Patterson-type plastic tank (<$20 USD) and it works well for 4x5. As noted, it requires about a liter of chemistry and is a bit of a waste. I am going to experiment with using developer diluted to 1/8 strength coupled with longer development times. So far no issues with scratches or uneven development (fingers crossed).


Steve

Steve,

You can use less solution if you agitate continuously, either by inversion or by rolling your tank.

Nathan Potter
9-Aug-2010, 09:10
Ive posted this before so sorry about the dupe but here is a very simple solution to tray development of 4x5 negs. Just take a regular film holder (in this case the ones that hold 4 sheets of 4x5 negs) bend it so it fits and lays flat into an 8x10 tray. You can use the bent part as a handle to agitate and to move the holder from tray to tray.

Interesting Cyrus. The bent stainless film holder is what I've been doing for years. I use a single sheet version for special N+ or N- times in tray. Single shot developer. Just have to be careful not to over agitate. :)

Nate Potter, Austin TX.