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Thread: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

  1. #1
    norly's Avatar
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    Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    Hello.
    I work professional with 4x5 since many years and do maybe anywhere between 50-300 sheets a month. Color negatives C41 (only kodak 160).

    Now I am about to move to a city that where the last pro lab closed down a few years ago. So far Ive always used a professional lab for developing the film. But now I will have to rely on sending the exposed film to another city. And that's just to slow, expensive and especially unsafe.

    However I do have space in my new studio for a darkroom and I am contemplating if I should start doing my own developing. Not that I want to but out of desperation.

    Can anyone give a advice how to do that. I would prefer to have a automatic developer for 4x5s. Maybe a drying cabinet. Price is not really a issue. I just want something easy, efficient and safe...

    So tips on machines, equipment, and how to manage the fluids. What would the costs be vs a professional lab and so... Any advice is appreciated.


    ******
    And no, digital is not a option. I already have a full Phase one, linhof techno setup, and I don't enjoy it at all. Totally wrong for me. Rather not be a photographer then.
    ******

    Thanks
    -----------------
    4x5 and 6x6 stuff

  2. #2

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    Re: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    Quote Originally Posted by norly View Post
    Hello.
    I work professional with 4x5 since many years and do maybe anywhere between 50-300 sheets a month. Color negatives C41 (only kodak 160).

    ******
    And no, digital is not a option. I already have a full Phase one, linhof techno setup, and I don't enjoy it at all. Totally wrong for me. Rather not be a photographer then.
    ******
    Thanks
    First, congratulations, if you are in that workflow I guess you are using the most impressive resources in the profession, no debate.


    This weekend I'm to install an ATL 2500 while assembling a RA-4 capable LF optic darkroom with a mate.

    It makes all cycle unatended, so for 300 sheets/month it would be nice, but it's an automatic machine that may require a technical service or being DIY able to solve possible issues, or (if bad service) making a new cycle controller with a PLC, that can be made by a PLC workshop to just open/close valves at the right time, leaving temp, motor switch and dose for manual procedures.

    If you only make 50 sheets per month then peharps a manual cycle would be more effective than an automated one.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 3-Oct-2019 at 05:26. Reason: Shorter

  3. #3

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    Re: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    Developing 4x5 films at home is easy, actually easier than black &white.
    What I currently do:
    - Paterson Tank with Mod54 film spiral (I know that Jobo as a similar solution)
    - C-41 Development Kit (I use Bellini, but other brands are available)
    - A sous-vide cooker to maintain the temperature at 30 C or higher (it depends on the kit)
    - A simple rack for drying the films

    I’ll give more details if you are interested.

  4. #4

    Re: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    Applications like these are one of the reasons I'm currently working through designing a new automatic film developing machine, unfortunately it's a ways of being ready for sale yet: http://midtonemachines.com

    In the mean time I've processed B&W, C41 and E6 4x5 film by hand dozens of times using an SP-445 tank, it only does 4 sheets at a time (which is plenty for me) but it does a great job. The whole process really isn't any different to 35mm or any other film, using a sous vide machine and a water bath to maintain correct temperature for colour film really helps as well.

  5. #5

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    Re: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewBurns View Post
    Nice project, congratulations !

  6. #6
    norly's Avatar
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    Re: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    Thanks for the advice. Maybe a manual process is better.. I guess the JOBO systems would work.

    Does anyone have a price estimate for the fluids when doing home development vs in a lab? Would be interesting to have a price per negativ.

    Whats is the main concerns when developing myself.. Any risk of failures?
    -----------------
    4x5 and 6x6 stuff

  7. #7
    norly's Avatar
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    Re: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    Looks like the JOBO CPE 2 or 3 is a quite standard solution for home processing. Not very expensive.
    -----------------
    4x5 and 6x6 stuff

  8. #8
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    For 4x5, you're gong to want to use the 10 sheet Expert Drum. If memory serves, that rules out the CPE. You'll want a CPP 2 or 3. If a CPP2, you'd want the version 3 motor.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  9. #9

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    Re: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    Another automatic processor: https://www.filmomat.eu/?lang=en

  10. #10

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    Re: Professional Home film processing 4x5 neg

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    For 4x5, you're gong to want to use the 10 sheet Expert Drum. If memory serves, that rules out the CPE. You'll want a CPP 2 or 3. If a CPP2, you'd want the version 3 motor.
    Or the 3006 expert drum for six sheets


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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