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Thread: Shuffling 8x10 in trays

  1. #1
    ryanmills's Avatar
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    Shuffling 8x10 in trays

    I have recently changed to 8x10 film after shooting 4x5 for a while. 4x5 in trays was rather easy and I could do 20+ if I had to. However the mechanics of 8x10 has been a little more challenging. While there are plenty of videos of 4x5 I could find zero videos of someone shuffling 8x10 in trays. Just getting it from tray to tray feels a bit like handling wet fish thanks to the photoflo i use in my prewash and developer. I have also found the speed that seems practical to pull a sheet off the bottom and place it on top quite slow. Right now im doing 10 at a time but im trying to follow jock surges dev method and he does 24 at a time. Trying to figure out how to get it from try to tray and shuffle fast enough. I know its rather hard to describe how to shuffle film but any chance someone has seen any useful videos or photos showing technique for dealing with multiple 8x10 sheets sheets?

  2. #2
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Shuffling 8x10 in trays

    I am such a klutz I cannot make shuffling work at all. Instead I'd rather wait and do two at a time in a rotary processor.

    What is the trick to make it work?
    .

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    Re: Shuffling 8x10 in trays

    Have been hand processing sheet film since the mid 1970s. Worst time was probably around 1980 when I had to process dozens of sheets of Kodak 2566 Kodalith film at a time on a daily basis. 2566 film is a lot thinner than regular pan film and if my memory serves me well Kodalith A+B developer a bit slimy so can imagine how it's going for you. I'd think that adding Photoflo only makes handling the sheets of wet film even harder. Stick to batches of 10 sheets. Also I do not use a prewash so initially having one dry left hand holding the film (like holding a hand of playing cards) and the other taking the sheets one by one and placing in the developer, you start out with one hand dry till all the film is in the developer. For me,, I take my time never rushing while handling the wet film. Again for me, I seem to max out at 8 4x5s, or 4-5 8x10s, or 3-4 11x14s per batch. Consider using BTZS tubes from the ViewCamera Store or just making you own tubes. You'll use less chemistry and get really good random agitation. I'm sure will get even better advice from others in the forum who shoot more sheet film than miself.

    Greg

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    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Shuffling 8x10 in trays

    I do it all the time. First of all, don't try nearly as many sheets at a time. Gosh, did you win the lottery to be able to shoot that much film at a time? Even with 4x5 twenty sheets sounds ridiculous for consistent results. Use an oversized tray. For 8x10 film I use an 11x14 dimple-bottomed stainless tray in a larger water jacket. Nominal 8x10 trays are adequate for the other solutions, though not if they're cramped. The stack is shuffled through every 30 sec, emulsion up. Each time the stack is also rotated 90 degrees, so that each direction comes out the same overall. And I also rotate one more sheet than the total number in the stack, so that the same one won't be always on the top. If it's really critical work, like high-contrast color separation negatives, I never do more than four sheets at a time. Why are you in such a hurry? Lots of things can go wrong if you have too many sheets in the stack - air bubbles, agitation streaks, scratches. My apologies if I'm a sniper and not a machine-gunner. I'm interested in the quality, not the quantity. Just how many of these things are you going to have time to
    print anyway?

  5. #5

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    Re: Shuffling 8x10 in trays

    IMO shuffling 8x10 film in tray development is significantly more difficult than 4x5. I haven't used this method of LF sheet film development for 20 years; nowadays it's all rotary for me starting initially with BTZS tubes, then Jobo Expert Drums. Like Greg, I was only able to carefully shuffle through about 4 - 5 sheets of 8x10 every 30 secs. But, I don't think I ever mastered it because my negs revealed some uneven development--especially near the edge of the film--which I've never seen with rotary development. Tray development is certainly economical, but I'd highly recommend the BTZS tubes; a Jobo being the ultimate solution.

    Good luck!

  6. #6

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    Re: Shuffling 8x10 in trays

    I've been tray developing 8x10 for many years now. It works for my work flow. Here are the mechanics in case you find it helpful. I shuffle 8 pieces of film. I use an oversize tray (11x14 for the 8x10 negs). I rotate them 90 degrees every two times I've gone through the stack - that helps with uneven development. I try to move one sheet every 10 seconds or so which seems to yield a nice agitation to rest ratio. I use my hand to keep the stack corraled in one corner - forefinger and middle finger on the two sides away from the corner the sheets are pushed up against - do not press too hard against the side of the tray because you do not want to bow the film up out of the developer. I develop by inspection and move finished sheets to the stop tray one at a time - even if you are using time and temperature, if you move the sheets into the developer one at a time, you should probably move them one at a time out of the developer.

    I think the big thing is to work slowly and methodically. Moving vigorously and being rushed seems to invite gremlins - you set up standing waves that cause uneven development along the edges or you scratch film etc. Try to get development times to around 10-15 mins and work slowly, but don't dawdle. I find 8x10 quite doable - 8x20 is a much more floppy beast though and seems to demand a slightly different method where you slide the bottom sheet out on the long side before lifting it out. You might find a similar technique smooths things out in 8x10 as well.

    Good luck, DJ

  7. #7

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    Re: Shuffling 8x10 in trays

    Quote Originally Posted by N Dhananjay View Post
    I've been tray developing 8x10 for many years now. It works for my work flow. Here are the mechanics in case you find it helpful. I shuffle 8 pieces of film. I use an oversize tray (11x14 for the 8x10 negs). I rotate them 90 degrees every two times I've gone through the stack - that helps with uneven development. I try to move one sheet every 10 seconds or so which seems to yield a nice agitation to rest ratio. I use my hand to keep the stack corraled in one corner - forefinger and middle finger on the two sides away from the corner the sheets are pushed up against - do not press too hard against the side of the tray because you do not want to bow the film up out of the developer. I develop by inspection and move finished sheets to the stop tray one at a time - even if you are using time and temperature, if you move the sheets into the developer one at a time, you should probably move them one at a time out of the developer.

    I think the big thing is to work slowly and methodically. Moving vigorously and being rushed seems to invite gremlins - you set up standing waves that cause uneven development along the edges or you scratch film etc. Try to get development times to around 10-15 mins and work slowly, but don't dawdle. I find 8x10 quite doable - 8x20 is a much more floppy beast though and seems to demand a slightly different method where you slide the bottom sheet out on the long side before lifting it out. You might find a similar technique smooths things out in 8x10 as well.

    Good luck, DJ
    Good answer. I would only like to add that an even larger tray ,16x20, and larger quantity of developer make it easier for me to work in a similar manner.

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Shuffling 8x10 in trays

    Heck, there are people who shuffle small stacks of 20X24 film in trays. It's just a matter of practice. But some films are distinctly more fragile and prone to uneveness or scratching than others. TMY400 is one of the BEST 8x10 films to handle. Fomapan 200 is one of the worst, because it develops exceptionally fast,
    and seems to have very sharp corners and no resistant overcoating. These distinctions alone can realtically determine how many sheets you do at a time.

  9. #9
    ryanmills's Avatar
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    Re: Shuffling 8x10 in trays

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I do it all the time. First of all, don't try nearly as many sheets at a time. Gosh, did you win the lottery to be able to shoot that much film at a time? Even with 4x5 twenty sheets sounds ridiculous for consistent results. Use an oversized tray. For 8x10 film I use an 11x14 dimple-bottomed stainless tray in a larger water jacket. Nominal 8x10 trays are adequate for the other solutions, though not if they're cramped. The stack is shuffled through every 30 sec, emulsion up. Each time the stack is also rotated 90 degrees, so that each direction comes out the same overall. And I also rotate one more sheet than the total number in the stack, so that the same one won't be always on the top. If it's really critical work, like high-contrast color separation negatives, I never do more than four sheets at a time. Why are you in such a hurry? Lots of things can go wrong if you have too many sheets in the stack - air bubbles, agitation streaks, scratches. My apologies if I'm a sniper and not a machine-gunner. I'm interested in the quality, not the quantity. Just how many of these things are you going to have time to
    print anyway?
    Ha, well how many I do at a time depends on the lighting, in really harsh light I would do upto about 22 to calm the curve a little. Most light was 8 to 12. That and on trips i tend to come back with a pretty large amount I need to get through. My last big trip in europe was 600 sheets 4x5. Its draining for me to think about doing like than 12 at a time.




    Quote Originally Posted by N Dhananjay View Post
    I've been tray developing 8x10 for many years now. It works for my work flow. Here are the mechanics in case you find it helpful. I shuffle 8 pieces of film. I use an oversize tray (11x14 for the 8x10 negs). I rotate them 90 degrees every two times I've gone through the stack - that helps with uneven development. I try to move one sheet every 10 seconds or so which seems to yield a nice agitation to rest ratio. I use my hand to keep the stack corraled in one corner - forefinger and middle finger on the two sides away from the corner the sheets are pushed up against - do not press too hard against the side of the tray because you do not want to bow the film up out of the developer. I develop by inspection and move finished sheets to the stop tray one at a time - even if you are using time and temperature, if you move the sheets into the developer one at a time, you should probably move them one at a time out of the developer.

    I think the big thing is to work slowly and methodically. Moving vigorously and being rushed seems to invite gremlins - you set up standing waves that cause uneven development along the edges or you scratch film etc. Try to get development times to around 10-15 mins and work slowly, but don't dawdle. I find 8x10 quite doable - 8x20 is a much more floppy beast though and seems to demand a slightly different method where you slide the bottom sheet out on the long side before lifting it out. You might find a similar technique smooths things out in 8x10 as well.

    Good luck, DJ

    Oh god, i could not even think about 8x20... And thanks, I think i have kind of ended up doing it the way you described. I have about 10 boxes I still need to do but its getting easier and faster. I cant really change the time, I shoot trix 320 @ 100 and the lens already changes the contrast a little from my 4x5 work. I cant afford to tinker with 8x10 too much. Just trying to keep it as close to my 4x5 method that was perfect.

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