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Thread: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

  1. #1

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    Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Hello,

    I have been developing 8x10's in btzs tubes for a while and have started running in to an issue. For xray film, this doesnt persist, but for the Berger 400 I've been shooting, it appears as though the notched end of the film gets more development than the rest. I will post an image when I get home, but it looks as though there is a light leak in my film holders even though there isnt one...

    I dont know if the Berger is just bad, or my technique is off, or what. What are some troubleshooting tips for working with these tubes?

  2. #2

    Re: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Eliminate risk variables one at a time. First, isolate the issue to ensure that your film holder is not leaking. Develop a sheet directly from the box and go on down the line. In holder then in holder and in camera / exposure. Same holder shooting both films?

    Then be very certain that there are no other light leaks.

  3. #3

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    Re: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    Eliminate risk variables one at a time. First, isolate the issue to ensure that your film holder is not leaking. Develop a sheet directly from the box and go on down the line. In holder then in holder and in camera / exposure. Same holder shooting both films?

    Then be very certain that there are no other light leaks.
    So, I recently did a test with 3 brand new holders and got similar results with both xray film and bergger... It appears to be a development problem as these holders were tested and shown light tight. Am I missing something with these tubes? I went ahead and ordered a unicolor drum to test out that process just in case it solves my problem, but this is very perplexing...

  4. #4
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    Re: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Is the rubber gasket still on the end of the tube?

    Years ago when I bought my first 8x10 tube, it didn't have a gasket. Then I bought a few more and noticed they had them. I never had a problem with light leaks, but I noticed those gaskets seem pretty loose, and wondered if I had been lucky not to have a light leak around the edge from less than perfect light-tight seals.

    Just a thought. I've never had any problems like you describe developing 8x10 films in tubes, though I've never used Bergger (and x-ray scratches too much so I also don't use them for that).
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  5. #5

    Re: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyno214 View Post
    So, I recently did a test with 3 brand new holders and got similar results with both xray film and bergger... It appears to be a development problem as these holders were tested and shown light tight. Am I missing something with these tubes? I went ahead and ordered a unicolor drum to test out that process just in case it solves my problem, but this is very perplexing...
    I have processed film in tubes with screw on caps and 3" plastic tubes with rubber end caps on one end and glued hard plastic end caps installed and never ever had a light leak. The odds are that the space you are processing your film has been light compromised when you transfer the film from the holders to the tubes. Please clarify how you have determined your film holders have been tested.

  6. #6

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    Re: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Finally getting back to you after more trials. I am now certain I am doing something wrong with the tubes. In order to eliminate them as a variable, I purchased a unicolor print drum to develop. After using the exact same film, film holders, and technique, all of the images coming from the print drum are perfect. i'll attach some images just to show what I've been seeing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This image was developed with the tubes. You can see an overdeveloped section in the top right (that I even tried to mitigate some in post).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This image was taken with the exact same camera, lens, film, and film holder as the previous but developed in the print drum. As you can see, there was absolutely no issue.

    What I can surmise is that I am not distributing the developer evenly during the process. I have changed my technique a few times but am doing it spot on as the video shows... To be honest, the print drum is so much more convenient so I'll probably just get rid of the tubes. Anyone want any? XD

  7. #7

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    Re: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Do you open the tubes in a lit darkroom the way Fred shows in his videos? I've processed hundreds of 8x10 sheets in BTZS tubes for 25 years, but I always handle open tubes in total darkness. Once the film is in fixer for a few mins, I'll turn on the lights.

  8. #8

    Re: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyno214 View Post
    Finally getting back to you after more trials. I am now certain I am doing something wrong with the tubes. In order to eliminate them as a variable, I purchased a unicolor print drum to develop. After using the exact same film, film holders, and technique, all of the images coming from the print drum are perfect. i'll attach some images just to show what I've been seeing.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	img356_small.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	21.0 KB 
ID:	195976
    This image was developed with the tubes. You can see an overdeveloped section in the top right (that I even tried to mitigate some in post).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	img370_jpg.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	35.8 KB 
ID:	195977
    This image was taken with the exact same camera, lens, film, and film holder as the previous but developed in the print drum. As you can see, there was absolutely no issue.

    What I can surmise is that I am not distributing the developer evenly during the process. I have changed my technique a few times but am doing it spot on as the video shows... To be honest, the print drum is so much more convenient so I'll probably just get rid of the tubes. Anyone want any? XD
    I have used processing tubes in 4x5 through 12x20 and processing "issues" that happened years ago when I started using this technique I felt fell into several categories. First is ensuring the film has sufficient chemistry to cover the film throughout the entire developing process. In this regard I am not a big fan of BTZS tubes because the limited chemistry that sits in the cap needs constant agitation (rolling) and a simple thing as an uneven base for rolling can accumulate developer on one end of the tube. I like tubes fully filled with chemistry and scheduled timed agitation. Second is ensuring the film is inserted to the bottom of the tube and stays there during the development process. Lastly are light leaks at some point of the process. I use an external IR light source and a Gen 1 IR monocle and that takes the external light source concerns out of play. I also use the IR monocle to fill the tube with the lights out. If you found a technique that works consistently, then go with it.

  9. #9

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    Re: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    In this regard I am not a big fan of BTZS tubes because the limited chemistry that sits in the cap needs constant agitation (rolling) and a simple thing as an uneven base for rolling can accumulate developer on one end of the tube.
    Perhaps this is why you've never seen Fred Newman (seller of these tubes) using a roller base? I think the general recommendation is to roll the tubes in a tub of water, whereby the tubes bob as they roll. One of the things you need to be careful of with BTZS tubes is that you're using enough concentrated developer to sufficiently process the total area of film. For example, I cannot develop 8x10 Tri-X in BTZS tubes, using my standard dil H (1:63), because I need 6ml of HC-110 concentrate per 80 sq inches of film. Mixing this dilution even at the minimum 6ml required gives me 384ml of working solution; nearly 13 ozs which won't fit in the cap.

  10. #10

    Re: Btzs tubes: 8x10 issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    Perhaps this is why you've never seen Fred Newman (seller of these tubes) using a roller base? I think the general recommendation is to roll the tubes in a tub of water, whereby the tubes bob as they roll. One of the things you need to be careful of with BTZS tubes is that you're using enough concentrated developer to sufficiently process the total area of film. For example, I cannot develop 8x10 Tri-X in BTZS tubes, using my standard dil H (1:63), because I need 6ml of HC-110 concentrate per 80 sq inches of film. Mixing this dilution even at the minimum 6ml required gives me 384ml of working solution; nearly 13 ozs which won't fit in the cap.
    I saw the older videos from Fred and had a set of the 4x5 tubes a while back. Your comments point to my personal avoidance of concentrated developers. I opt for more dilute developers that afford me a longer developing time particularly when I have negatives with even skies. Filling the entire tube with developer over the height of the inserted sheet film lets me go the route of reduced agitation development with P Cat HD or standard development either rolling or inversion. I also deploy tray development as well as gaseous burst. Just tools in the tool chest. Go with what works for you.

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