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Thread: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

  1. #11

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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    for stand with dilute developers I would imagine a filled closed tube would be easier since you do not need to agitate often and can spend time with lights on between chem changes. Stearman Press also is now making an 8x10 sealed tray with light traps so you can process in the light.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  2. #12
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    and some do stand development for very long times

    DIY tubes are also possible

    make one
    Tin Can

  3. #13

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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    8x10 in an 8x10 tray. I do single sheets. I don't do enough shooting. I just "giggle" it every 30 seconds. Sometimes i just tilt the tray back and forth like in a rocking fashion.

    Oh also, I use 1 liter of developer. And I'll just do a few sheets one by one. I'm in no rush to process 3 or 4 or 5 8x10's. I'd rather not reduce contact and scratches than save time at that point. Once you develop the neg, there ain't no going back, it's done.

    It's like baking bread, once you stick it in the oven, there's no more kneading or proofing, its too late.
    --

  4. #14

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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    I know this is an old thread, but I hope some of you will still see this. I'm having trouble tray processing 8x10 sheets.

    I've processed this 8x10 sheet ( along with two others) in an 11x14 paterson tray with grooved bottom in 4 litres of rodinal at 1:100 dilution. Developing time was around 10 minutes with continuous shuffling, going through the stack every 30 sec, rotating 180 degrees every 2 - 3 mins. Pre soaked for around 5 - 10 minutes shuffling constantly.

    I exposed the wall for zone 6-7 but I applied some digital burning to the scan to bring out the artifacts a little more. I process with IR goggles so I can see what I'm doing , but clearly something is wrong.

    I shuffled 3 sheets of fp4 emulsion side facing up, tray in vertical orientation, long side of the film against the short side of the tray.

    I believe top left and bottom right corners is where I pick up the sheet from the bottom of the stack. ( see image below )

    Multiple things have gone wrong and this is not the first time, I've been having problems with it for a while with similar results from hc110 and pyrocat hd. Brush development gave some nice results, but even with that I can't get big areas of clear skies evenly developed ( at least most of the times not ). Anyways, I want to get my shuffling right as it's more time efficient and hake brushes go stiff and start scatching the negs after only 5-10 sheets processed.

    So these are the things I thing I can see:

    - parallel vertical lines all over the image - I get this problem very often with large areas with no or very little detail that fall on zone 6-7. Under agitation ? I go at a constant pace at one sheet every 10sec ( have a metronome helping me ) shuffling 3 sheets. Is it initial agitation problem? Do I need to shuffle faster or something at the beginning ?

    - darker areas from bottom left to top right corner plus additional darkening near the other two corners. I guess this is me pushing down the sheets. This is done by my left hand ( I'm lefty) plus I help with one or two fingers of my right hand that's keeping the stack together. I push the film down gently and it stays relatively flat while going down (I'm pushing straight down). How do you do this without leaving these areas underdeveloped ?

    - then there's this rectangle in the middle, maybe from me pushing the neg down ? Puzzled

    I understand I have a lot of questions, and appreciate any help.

    Also, thanks for reading.

    Balazs

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    I do shuffle method in dimple-bottomed stainless trays (themselves within a temp controlled oversized water jacket), and have no interest in just "standing around" waiting forever.

  6. #16

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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    Balazs, Are you sure you have not tried using a Mirror lens to photograph a Vampire? ;-)

    Back to reality. Try doing one sheet only and see how it looks. Keep the film in the middle of the tray, not against any sides. Don't use the grooved tray, just a flat bottom one.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  7. #17

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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    Balazs, Are you sure you have not tried using a Mirror lens to photograph a Vampire? ;-)

    Back to reality. Try doing one sheet only and see how it looks. Keep the film in the middle of the tray, not against any sides. Don't use the grooved tray, just a flat bottom one.
    I wish it was a vampire hahaha ��

    The thing is, if I do brush development, it is somewhat better, but it still isn't completely evenly developed in the areas like the white wall shot. Whe shuffling the negs, keeping them in the middle leaves you very little space for handling.

    When I do one sheet alone, I still have the streaking, the rest is mich better, but the streaking is still very annoying.

    Does a flat bottom tray offer cleaner negs ? I've tried one and my results were not very different.

    Not sure what it is.

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    Streaking is a symptom of uneven development. Flat bottom trays are NOT better. You want your emulsion UP. But having dimples (not grooves) on the bottom of the tray allows more even circulation of chemicals overall. Otherwise, there is a distinct technique to shuffle development. You want an oversize tray with ample solution volume. What I do is after each shuffle cycle, rotate the film stack 90 degrees each time, so that the film is being swished through the developer by holding a different side of the film each time, greatly improving evenness. And do just enough sheets at a time so that you're neither in a rush nor just let them sit too long without shuffling. I'll typically do 6 to 8 sheets of 4X5 at a time per each 30 second interval, or 3 to 5 sheets of 8x10. I get more even results that way than the single-sheet method.

  9. #19

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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    Overdevelopment at the edges is the result of pushing the film down to vigorously into the developer, causing a surge along the edge. Two things: You say you use four liters of solution in a 11x14 tray, which seems like an awful lot to me. In any case the solution will be rather deep and pushing film quickly all the way down from the surface to the bottom of the tray is almost bound to cause surge marks. Try two liters (heck, I use two liters of solution in 12x16 trays just fine). Also, use the tips of your (gloved) fingers to kind of rock the film gently down to the bottom to avoid surge. I then "tickle" the center of the film with fingertips to agitate the center a bit before pulling the next sheet from the bottom.

    A lot of unevenness can be caused be not agitating enough initially. If your shuffle interval is 10 seconds, try submerging a sheet and agitating it by lifting corners and otherwise moving it around for 10 seconds before adding the next sheet. This means you'll have to keep track of sheets and introduce them into the stop bath in the right order and at the same interval (approximately - a few seconds difference in a long development time is negligible). This will help get the initial absorption of the developer more even and complete. Just tossing in a stack and agitating from there is asking for trouble.

    FWIW, I turn my sheets 180 with each shuffle. That randomizes things a bit more. Some turn the film 90 each shuffle, but I find working with the stack in different orientations risks more scratching.

    Hope this helps,

    Doremus

  10. #20

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    Re: How to do tray processing - both regular and stand?

    Thank you both for your input, a lot of helpful tips from both sides, really.

    Drew

    I have nice big trays but with grooves instead of dimples, however it seems I need to rotate more frequently and the 90 degrees swishing the stack through the developer sounds interesting, I'll definitely give it a try. Also moving the neg around immediately after adding it to the developer sounds like a great idea.
    I don't intend to overdo it with too many sheets at once, I would be more than happy with 3 or 4 at a time to shorten the time spent in the darkroom.


    Doremus,

    I used 4 litres of soup to give myself room get the bottom sheet out from the stack, but it may have been an overkill and a waste of chemistry. I bought my paterson trays as 11x14 but they're actually 12x16 ( or so it's written at the bottom ) and naturally they even bigger to accomodate bigger film. Might need smaller trays.. My thought was that the grooves of the tray eat up quite a bit of volume, reducing the useful depth to spearate the bottom sheet, although the grooves themselves do help. At the same time having to push through more volume means I have to do it quicker to keep up the pace and so increases the chance of surges, as you say. Is half an inch depth an overkill ?

    I will try 2 litres and play around a bit with some already fixed and wasted film, trying to push film down with the very tips of my hands, and do the tickling bit in the middle. When you say rocking you mean you move the film slightly front-back left-right while pushing it down?

    From now on I'll give the sheets a turn every time I shuffle through the stack.

    Once again, thank you so much for the tips, I will report back with my findings.

    Balazs

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