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Thread: 8x10 film processing

  1. #1

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    8x10 film processing

    What would you recommend for processing 8x10 BW film negatives in terms of tanks and drums? Im only set up for medium format thus far and looking for options. Thanks for the suggestions.
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  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 film processing

    Tanks will take a lot of chemistry. There was a member here making small 2-sheet tanks but I think he stopped making those. Most of the metal tanks I've seen / have are massive capacity and not good for individual sheets or small batch processing unless you keep the chemicals and replenish, or possibly use extreme methods with very little developer.

    Personally I would suggest getting the BTZS 8x10 tubes. I haven't used "drums" like the Jobo myself but the BTZS tubes for individual 8x10 sheets work great and are fairly cheap to get into. I think I bought my set of 6 for about $20 each. 8oz of chemistry per sheet.

    Or just use 8x10 trays for the classic experience. It's not that bad - I resisted for years doing tray, but it works great. I only do 1 sheet at a time though as I don't trust myself not to scratch film otherwise.
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    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 film processing

    Start with trays, as Bryan says. It's cheap and can give great results. Regarding BTZS tubes, I liked them for 4x5, but I didn't as much for 8x10. At least my DIY versions weren't much fun to use, being really bulky. For the last 20 years, I used a Jobo CPP-2 and an 8x10 expert drum. It's great for small amounts of film, but today's model is very pricey.
    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.
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    Re: 8x10 film processing

    Trays: reliable, consistent results, easily replicated process every time.

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    Re: 8x10 film processing

    Start with trays, preferably one size up, so 11x14" ones.
    I got really bad results at first, bought a Jobo CPA, results didn't improve. Then I discovered that Foma film was to blame, duh. Since then I shoot Adox and Ilford film, but now I'm spoiled with the Jobo

  6. #6
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    Re: 8x10 film processing

    There is a new product coming in 2 weeks from Stearman Press. It's the follow up to their highly successful sp-445 and is called the sp-810. Very easy to use and takes minimal chemistry. Also does 45x7 and maybe 4x5. I have one coming. It looks to be the best option for small volume.


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  7. #7

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    Re: 8x10 film processing

    Quote Originally Posted by radu_c View Post
    What would you recommend for processing 8x10 BW film negatives in terms of tanks and drums?.
    Best way to start is tray processing, IMHO. Develop inside a Paper Safe used as a tray. Close lights to move the sheet to the stop bath, then open lights after 30s and do the rest lights open, while you fix you can develop next sheet.

    Trays allows agitation control, reduced agitation may help to preserve highlights in scenes with high dynamic range, as the development can be made compensating. This can only be made in trays, contiuous rotary agitation won't do that, and it would be risky when sheets are developed vertical in a tank because gravity helps bromide drags.

    Rotary allows a low chem volume usage, but with trays you won't waste much chem in one shot, if you dilute it a bit (xtol 1:1 for example)

  8. #8
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 film processing

    We cut time from rotary processing to pull highlights. For some, "constant" agitation is a benefit, not a drawback, as it is consistent. If using tubes I usually cut 25% from the development time to start with to compensate for the difference in agitation, then calculate N- development.

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  9. #9

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    Re: 8x10 film processing

    Cutting time from a rotary processing is not the same than compensating. By cutting time the development in all the tonal range is equally affected.

    Instead, in compensation the development is slowed in the highlights much more than in the mids or shadows. In tray development continuous agitation is also possible, but reduced agitation is not possible in rotary.

    If scanning later this has not much importance, because tonal curve is easily edited, but if wanting to print optically then we may want to have lower densities in the highlights (relative to the mids) to print easier those highlights, and this is obtained by a compensation.

    Contrary to what is told around, compensation is not obtained by developer exhaustion in the most exposed areas, what slows reaction is a higher concetration of free Bromide byproduct which works as a restrainer, selectively concetrated in the denser areas if not removed from the emulsion by agitation.

  10. #10
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 film processing

    Pere, you know perfectly well what Bryan meant.
    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

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