View Full Version : My first 8x10 film development

Cecil Pang
16-Sep-2003, 09:06
After a month of try and error, I finally was able to develop to my satisfaction the first sheet of 8x10 HP5+ in a print drum using a Jobo CPE2+ processor. Before I adopt this method to be my standard procedure, I would like to have your opinion. Do you see any flaws in this procedure?

The trick is to fix in the print drum for 1.5 minute and rinse for thirty seconds. Then pull the film out and finish the fixing and hypo clearing in a tray. After that, use a piece of paper towel to gently rub the entire surface of the back of the film under water. The final step is to wash the film in a tray for 20 minutes. I have a print washer but for one or two sheets of film I often find it easier to just soak them in trays and change water every one or two minutes.

Richard Knoppow
16-Sep-2003, 09:23
Why are you rubbing the film underwater? Is this because the anti-halation dye is not being removed or decolored?

Andrew O'Neill
16-Sep-2003, 09:24
Hi Cecil, just wondering why you would rub the back of the film with a towel? I've been using 8x10 HP5+ for years in tubes without doing so.

George Losse
16-Sep-2003, 09:43

I use the Jobo to process my 8x10 sheet also. I use the 3000 series tanks which won't work in your CPE2 processor. I fix for the full length of time in the tank. I started recently spliting the fix in two baths. Then after the fix, I do three short water washes in the processor. Less for the film and more to rinse the fixer out the processor.

If there is any color left on the film after fixing from the anti-halation layer, it clears when I put the sheet into a tray of Perma-Wash.

George Losse www.georgelosse.com

Cecil Pang
16-Sep-2003, 09:47
I don't know what it was, but something did not come off the back of the film. And if I completed the fix and hypo clearing steps in the drum, the back of the film was not clean even after the rubbing in water.

I did not pre-soak the film. Could that be the problem? I use XTOL 1:1 and my understanding is pre-soaking is not recommended.

Cecil Pang
16-Sep-2003, 09:56
Hi George,

The reason I am going through all these troubles is because I do not have the processor that takes the Expert drum. The print drum is not designed for film development and the film back sticks to the wall of the drum.

By the way, why do you have to use Perma-Wash in a tray? Can you not do this in the Jobo as well?

Gary Meader
16-Sep-2003, 10:17
Cecil- If your film back is sticking to the tube, when you remove it to go into the fix tray, leave it in long enough for the backing to be removed chemically. No need to rub. In my experience, HP5+ is a bit like the T Max films in that the backing takes fresh fix and a bit longer to come off. But no need to remove it mechanically, it'll come off eventually. Best of luck.

Paul Metcalf
16-Sep-2003, 13:55
Cecil- I use the CPE2+ and print drums to develop 8x10 FP4+ and Tri-X using PMK (two fill and dump method). Do everything in the drum up to final rinse (to include a 5 minute pre-soak with water and a post-fixing staining step with Potassium Metaborate which doesn't fog like used developer but still stains), then hang the sheets in my 11x14 print washer to finish rinsing (and staining). All of the anti-halation dye comes out either before or during this final wash (and the emulsion is fully developed, fixed and stained as it's facing inward with no obstructions). Then a quick dip into spotting solution (Jobo recommends not to use the tubes for this as these solutions gunk up the drums/processor), hang to dry. This is actually the easiest process of all the darkroom processes I use.

Richard Knoppow
16-Sep-2003, 15:03
I agree with Gary Meader. The developer can't circulate to the back of the film in the print drum. Normally the anti-halation dye is either removed or turned into a colorless form by the developer. Fixing bath will also decolor the dye although its slower. You must have a dark place to work or you would not be able to load the drum. I suggest taking the film out of the drum after the stop bath and fixing in trays. That should insure getting the dye out. Wash aid does not need to be used in trays but it probably should treat the back of the film to help remove fixer from the gelatin back coating. I am not sure if this really has an effect but it seems to me to be good practice. For single sheets of film tray processing works very well. I use print drums for processing film but my drums are old Unicolor and Besler drums which have ribs to keep the film or print material from touching the drum. If you are using a wash aid you don't need to wash for 20 minutes. 5 minutes is enough. Probably three changes of water in five minutes will result in archival washing.

George Losse
17-Sep-2003, 07:23

I understand you area different processor. I was pointing out that my experiences are with a different drum for 8x10.

Besides the 3000 series tanks, I also use a 2800 series drum for 8x20 and 11x14 sheet film. This series has little ridges on the inside to keep the film from sticking to the tank wall.

I use a water pre-wash with all the processing I do. It usually comes out a nice dark blue or greenish color depends on the films in the tank. But I still on occasion have some negs that come out of the tanks after fixing with a hint of the dye on them. That clears when placed into a tray with the prema-wash. I read somewhere that Jobo does not recommend that you use any washing aids in the tanks.

The use of the short water washes after the fix came from a bad experience of having some residual fixer in the processor. It nicely fixed a couple of long drips on the film in the next tank to be processed that day. Lesson learned, now I always water wash at the end of the processing cycle.

George Losse

Andrew O'Neill
19-Sep-2003, 13:19
As I mentioned before I never had this problem with HP5+ but I did with TMY 400. Instead of keeping the film in the fix longer than needed and risk bleaching out fine detail in the shadows, I'd put a bit of fixer on the back of the film with my finger. Cleared the backing right away.

Rolfe Tessem
19-Sep-2003, 17:30

The idea that pre-soaking is not recommended for Xtol is a misconception that arose from the fact that rotary processors were well established when Kodak introduced Xtol, unlike earlier developers. Thus, Kodak did testing with rotary processors and published the times for rotary processing without pre-soak. Previously, Jobo had done extensive testing and had determined that with a five minute pre-soak, the development times almost precisely coincided with the published times for small-tank inversion processing. This was an easy way for Jobo to give their customers a good cut at processing times without engaging in extensive testing of their own. There is absolutely no problem in using a five minute pre-soak with Xtol and, in fact, if you use one of the automatic Jobos such as the ATL-1000 that I have, you don't have any option -- it is hard coded into the programs. You just use the times Kodak publishes for small tank inversion processing rather than the ones it publishes for rotary processors.