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Thread: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    15

    First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    Hello everybody,
    I've tried last week my Sinar F2 for the first time, with four sheets. And I've finished with four failures!
    3 of the failures come from exposure errors due to, probably:
    • failure in "reprocity failure" compensation. My sheets are Arista EDU 100 and I've used a table found for fomapan 100. Meter gave 2s and I exposed 5s. Sure not enough.
    • forgotten the bellow extension. Hard to be a beginner and to think to everything. Reaching Large Format Heaven is a hard path ...

    These 3 failures provide almost dark negatives, without details.

    For development I've used (unfortunately) Taco method. I was sure it was an easy method for developing sheets in tanks. But after failing and reading LF forum, it seems this is not an easy method for beginners.
    • First, I've forgotten to check if tacos were well disposed in tanks. Unfortunately 2 tacos were nested.
    • Next, following what I've read in forum, it is suitable to use a bigger tank because sheets can move during process, and it is advised to block them. I've used the tank for 2 120mm reels. Probably the 3 120mm reels should be better.

    My interogatons are about this 4th sheet. I've used a flash oriented toward ceiling. The right part of sheet is (relatively) well exposed and developed. But in the middle there is a white mark on the sheet. And below and around this mark, negative is pure transparent, we can see my finger place behind the negative.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    So, my questions are:
    • What is this white mark? Is it related to the other nested sheet during process? Does it come from elastic used for taco?
    • What is the reason of the lack of exposition in the middle of the sheet, leading to transparent place? I can understand the black parts of the negative, due probably to lack of development during process (nested tacos). But not the transparency part.


    I've decided to try, next time, developing sheets one by one in tray, preventing accumulating errors (installation in holder, exposure, development)

    I hope I was clear in my explanations.
    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,947

    Re: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    Bellows extension is easy to forget. I suggest making one of these: http://www.salzgeber.at/disc/ . As for processing, make your life easy and get a Stearman SP-445. I got one a year ago and use it regularly. I never before processed my own sheets but with the SP-445 I've never had a bad outcome starting with my very first batch.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3
    Exploring Large Format Exploring Large Format's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    61

    Re: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    I am also super new, about ten sheets developed so far. Using the SP-445; it is really easy, even for me. No experience with any other method, but seems particularly beginner friendly. I have goofed several (ugly) times, but not yet in development. Keep us posted.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    37

    Re: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    Oh how I relate to this! Striving to take the path to LF heaven is not easy so I empathise with you. I've been using LF for about a year now with what seems to be success and failures (operator mistakes) in equal measure. Today has been a perfect example of failures. When you try to push yourself when the temperature is 40degree CENTIGRADE and beyond what was I thinking? 2 wasted B&W sheets and some confusion about a couple of colour sheets and a couple of underexposed sheets, does not inspire one with confidence. However, I'm trying to put this down to learning...you need to burn sheets to gain experience...it's a learning curve. On a positive note, I use a Spearman for 4x5 after trying a friend's taco tank setup. Not for me. I have developing success every time...my errors seem to be at the camera/exposure/operator confusion stage. Hang in there. This is a great photographic experience if it suits you. Your next experience may be 4 put of 4 success rate. We'll be very pleased to hear about it. Stay with it and we'll stay tuned.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    556

    Re: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    As a newbie - make yourself a check list or an exposure note card. It is easy to forget to stop down the lens or set the speed. Filter and bellows factors become adjustments, and reciprocity can be handled with a simple chart for the films you use. I still use these tools to record my exposures and they usually remind me to account for variables and let me think ahead for what development changes will be needed: field-exposure-and-printing-notes/, ev-exposure-chart/
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    4,885

    Re: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    Not 4 failures, but 4 learning opportunities and hope for improvement!

    Try simplifying... shoot something “normal” with a “normal” exposure and “normal” development. Succeed and grow from there. Perhaps too many techniques and variables in that attempt. Enjoy!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    California
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    Re: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Not 4 failures, but 4 learning opportunities and hope for improvement!

    Try simplifying... shoot something “normal” with a “normal” exposure and “normal” development. Succeed and grow from there. Perhaps too many techniques and variables in that attempt. Enjoy!
    This is the best suggestion you have had so far.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    15

    Re: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    Many thanks for your encouragements. I absolutely won't give up LF. And I will try again.

    I will definitively give a look at the Spearman SP-445.
    Do you have advices on MOD54 used in Paterson tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Not 4 failures, but 4 learning opportunities and hope for improvement!

    Try simplifying... shoot something “normal” with a “normal” exposure and “normal” development. Succeed and grow from there. Perhaps too many techniques and variables in that attempt. Enjoy!
    This will be my leitmotif for my next tries.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    141

    Re: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    Also label your holders and write a note of the exposure and what the picture was. This is helpful if you have a light leak because you will know which holder and which side is the culprit.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    135

    Re: First 4x5 sheets and first failures :-( Need Help on one sheet

    I'd suggest thinking about the simplicity of tray-development (or dip-and-dunk) in a darkened room, compared with fiddling around with gadgets that you cannot completely understand until you have already successfully developed sheets of film. A piece of hardboard with pipe-insulation round the edge is easy to push in to a window-frame, or masking-tape and black polysheet from a garden-centre, and everything is easier to blackout if you develop at night of course.

    Go for the simplest possible method to start with.

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