View Full Version : Processing Questions

Jeff Dexheimer
12-Oct-2011, 11:53
I have been trying to wrap my brain around everything I need in the darkroom for a while, and while I think I have much of it figured out, but there are still a lot of questions I have.

1. When developing a b&w negative in trays, do you just put the negative in the tray or does it need to be held in something else while in the tray?

2. do I have to process one at a time or is possible to put several negatives in one tray?

I am sure I will have more later. Thanks for now!

12-Oct-2011, 12:09
I suggest keeping it as simple as you can to start and then increase the complexity as you go. I assume you are using 4x5.

Start with 5x7 inch trays, do one sheet at a time (minimal handling, no scratches), use fresh one-shot developer, consider using a larger tray as a tempering water bath for the developer tray.

Then try interleaving multiple sheets at a time.

Then try a slosher tray after you get frustrated with scratches and uneven development. (wait 5 minutes for someone here to tell you that you can interleaved 12 sheets at a time with no problems!)

Then try BTZS tubes.

Then try Jobo reels or Expert tanks.

Then get into arguments with people about Rodinal, Pyro, stand development...

12-Oct-2011, 12:47
Lots of methods possible, as Jerold mentioned.

Trays at least one size bigger than the negs are recommended (more even development due to more agitation occuring at the edges of the trays).

I introduce the film emulsion side down, flip it over an odd number of times so it ends up emulsion up and push the film to the bottom of the tray -- then just rock the tray (I go for a more-or-less random motion).

I use to do two 4x5's at once -- each in its own 5x7 tray with both trays in an 11x14 tray (I just needed to rock the 11x14 tray). Stop bath was in an 8x10 tray, then two 5x7 trays of fix. Whatever system works best for you!

I use a Jobo Expert Tank (3005) for 5x7's and 8x10's -- and trays for 11x14.

12-Oct-2011, 14:29
You can use a regular film hanger to process up to 4 sheets in a tray. The hangers are meant to be used vertically but you can bend the handle and lay them down horizontally into a tray. See this:


Film does not need to be held by anything as long as it is fully submerged (poke it down with your finger)

You can do more than one sheet at a time once you're comfortable with the process of handling wet negs but use a flat-bottom tray, and make sure there are no sharp pieces of plastic sticking out. Remember that the film sheets may stick to each other if not fully immersed in the liquid right away.