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Thread: 8x10 processing options

  1. #1

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    8x10 processing options

    I recently purchased an 8x10 camera, mostly to be used for wet plate photography, but since it came with 2 perfectly good film holders I am considering starting to shoot 8x10 film as well. The only problem is that I have no experience developing anything larger than 4x5 and am looking for some advice as to how I should proceed. I will likely not be developing more than 4 sheets at a time.

    To start, I have to say that tray development or anything else that requires a darkroom is not an option. I do not have a darkroom and have no ability to build one. One of the reasons I "stopped" at 4x5 is because it was the largest I could shoot, load in my closet, and develop in my kitchen in a Patterson daylight tank.

    Hers is what I was considering:

    Jobo CPE2 with or without lift. The big con here is that it is expensive and while not strictly on a super tight budget I am not sure that I want to drop between $500-$3000 given my infrequent processing. It also takes up a huge amount of space and would need to be stored somewhere when not in use given that I have no dedicated film processing space. On the plus side I am somewhat familiar with the process and, I could also use it for all of my processing from 120-8x10 and get consistent results.

    Cibachrome/Unicolor tubes with or without a motor base (or even Jobo tubes with an alternate motor base or hand rolled). Big plus here is that they can be found fairly cheap and will likely give fairly consistent results, but the downside is that I am totally unfamiliar with the process for using the non Jobo tanks and seem to have a very difficult time finding any sort of manuals/instructions online for any of them and feel I would likely be wasting a lot of film/chemistry getting things right.

    BTZS tubes. While not terribly expensive, they seem more expensive than they really should be (or maybe Im just cheap), but they do seem to be a decent option since I will only process a few sheets at a time anyway. Not sure how I feel about having to take them from develop to stop in the light though (and a darkroom isn't an option).

    DIY tubes from pvc or similar. I figure about the same as the BTZS tubes, just cheaper.

    Thoughts? Anything I am not thinking of?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: 8x10 processing options

    Don’t use PVC for tubes, it lets light through the walls. I made some 4x5 tubes from ABS and they worked quite well.
    I would just get a Jobo tube and manually spin it in the sink full of water like a BTZS.
    You can't teach an old dog new tech's!

  3. #3

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    Re: 8x10 processing options

    If you make your own tubes, make sure you use Schedule 40 Electrical Conduit (gray.) Google photographer Steve Sherman for info on these types of tanks. Catlabs has a holder for 8x10 film that I believe fits into some Paterson tank. A not so cheap option would be a Jobo Expert Drum; spin manually or on a motor base.

  4. #4

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    Re: 8x10 processing options

    I use tray processing inside a cheap paper safe with diluted developer (xtol 1:1 or 1:2) one shot, to not waste developer and ensuring the sheet is well covered with developer. When development done I close lights and I open the paper safe to move the sheet to the stop bath, after 15s I open lights, and I also fix with lights open, this tells fixer strenght and points fixing time (x2 the time it takes to clear).

    You can use two paper safes to process two sheets at the same time.

    I like this way because I have some control from agitation intervals and because bromide streaks are not helped by gravity when low agitation used.

  5. #5
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 processing options

    I built a tube before out of PVC and after 2 coats of black spraypaint it proved to be light-tight. The BTZS tubes are very well made though and much nicer (my tube was for 8x20, which I used a couple times before deciding tray was way easier).
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  6. #6

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    Re: 8x10 processing options

    Paterson orbital, if you can find one. If you go with low agitation pattern, do not forget to trim the wings.

    Best,
    Pau


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Best,
    Pau

    Some pictures in Flickr.

  7. #7
    mitch
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    Re: 8x10 processing options

    the btzs tubes are welding rod holders look at Lowes , Home depot or Target to get them they are cheep.

  8. #8

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    Re: 8x10 processing options

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    If you make your own tubes, make sure you use Schedule 40 Electrical Conduit (gray.) Google photographer Steve Sherman for info on these types of tanks. Catlabs has a holder for 8x10 film that I believe fits into some Paterson tank. A not so cheap option would be a Jobo Expert Drum; spin manually or on a motor base.

    I saw that CatLabs makes a holder for 8x10 similar to the MOD54 I use for 4x5 but it says specifically that it is for Jobo tanks. I couldn't find any accurate info on whether or not they would work in a Patterson tank. If they do I think buy-ing a 5 reel tank and an 8x10 holder from Catlabs is an attractive option.

  9. #9

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    Re: 8x10 processing options

    I've just been through the same process. I started with a Paterson Orbital which seemed to work OK except for Ektascan X-ray film where I was getting small dots and swirl marks. I tried all sorts of agitation variables and developer volume but nothing worked with that film and think it is still variable with other films.

    Then I remebered I had a print drum for my Jobo CPE2 and at first this seemed to work as long as pre-wetted but then I sometimes got streak marks and marks from the internal ribs on the non-emulsion side; I was doing this hand rolling. I scored some sheets of E6 and works well on the Jobo. It is cumbersome to use though because of the length of it.

    Then I came across a Paterson Autotherm, designed for paper processing, with handle roller. This has a bath with chemical bottles and a drum for 8x10. The inside of the drum is smooth. This produced good results, has the advantage that you can pour in the chemicals whilst rotating but is a bit fiddly to handle removing it from the machine to drain and fill.

    Finally, I came across an 8x10 Ilford Processing drum, very cheap so tried this hand rolling on a Jobo base. This has proven the best, no streaks, no rib marks, compact so easy to drain and fill and easy to load.

    Richard

  10. #10

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    Re: 8x10 processing options

    I had it verified that the CatLabs CL81 only works with the JOBO 2550, so I think I am down to a cibachrome print processing drum and 1 sheet at a time, which is fine for my volume.

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