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Thread: Stearman Press SP-810

  1. #1
    B&W LF
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    May 2015
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    Stearman Press SP-810

    I noticed that Freestyle Photographic has the new Stearman Press SP-810 daylight film processing tray.
    The feature list is quite impressive, especially the film format flexibility and economy of chemistry w/o considering a Jobo rotary processor.
    • Simplicity: No holders to fumble with in the dark. Just take the lid off and drop in your film. No seals, O rings or complicated mechanical contraptions.
    • Economical: It requires only 500 ml of chemistry.
    • Flexibility: It will handle anything 8x10 (1), 5x7 (2), 4x10 (2), 4x5 (4), and 9x12cm (4)
    • Proven: Tray processing has been around since the first days of photography.
    • No Darkroom: Daylight safe tray processes outside a darkroom or dark bag
    • Fills and drains fast


    https://www.freestylephoto.biz/44581...d-4x5-Dividers

    Just curious if anyone else has any experience or thoughts on it, especially compared to other "by hand" processors (alternative to Jobo).

  2. #2

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    Re: Stearman Press SP-810

    I am anxiously awaiting user reviews, especially from folks processing 8x10. I tray processed all my LF film for many years using the shuffle method, but could never get even development when processing a single sheet and tipping the tray. I know many others have processed their film successfully with the “tipping method”, but I just couldn’t make it work for me. That said, I’d be very interested in the SP-810 for pyro development and minimal agitation techniques. I may just buy one and see how it works out.

  3. #3
    Foamer
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    Re: Stearman Press SP-810

    I got mine a few days ago. It's built really well. I guess I could use it to process the 4x5 sheets I shot yesterday but I'm waiting on getting my 8x10 Kodak 2D. Could shoot some 5x7 today too I guess. It's bigger than th sp-445. I'm thinking I'll keep the 445 since it's small and travels well. The 810 does look simple to use.


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

  4. #4

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    Houston
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    Re: Stearman Press SP-810

    So far, it is exactly what I was hoping it would be. I wanted something that would allow me to quickly process a single sheet of 8x10 film, without having to set up my Jobo or working from trays in the dark.

    It is a snap to pull a sheet of 8x10 from a holder and drop it in the tray. Inserting the divider and separator tabs for 4x5 takes only a few seconds.

    I have only developed a couple sheets of 8x10 x-ray film, and two 4 sheet batches of Foma 100 4x5 just to try it out. I goofed up the first time I developed the 4x5 sheets. One of the sheets slipped under the separator tabs and glued itself to the sheet in the adjoining section. Here is what I saw after fixing the film and popping the tray top.

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    I think it was a case of my not being mindful of how I grasped the tray while dumping the contents out. The second time, I was more careful about grasping it in the exact middle, and perhaps being a bit more gentle when dumping the liquid from the tray. No problems on the second try with 4x5 sheets.

    I normally use the Stearman Press SP-445 to develop 4x5 sheets when I don't want to set the Jobo up. While I have enjoyed the SP-445 and like it very much, I will probably use this tray instead in the future. In the dark, it is much easier and much quicker for me to pull the sheets from my holders and lay them in the tray rather than trying to pull them and then slide them into the SP-445 holders. The SP-445 is not difficult, the tray is just easier.

    And the opening of the tray is very easy and quick to pour in 500ml of solution into without making a mess. It is also easy to tip it and dump it out. I have a small workbench in the middle of my hobby room that I use. I just set an inexpensive dishpan to the side to dump the tray into, and place my graduates of chemicals on the other side and it couldn't be simpler to setup and use.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just like the SP-445, it is easy to pull the light baffles out and clean the tank when you are done with it. The baffles are molded with the text of which position they are intended to be placed back into, which is also helpful. Another positive point is that it has little feet molded on the bottom that make it very easy to rock the tray back and forth.

    I haven't tried the J Lane dry plates yet and I am hoping I can process the dry plates in this tray. I know that special dry plate holders are available for the SP-445 tank, but perhaps I won't need them now?

  5. #5

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    Re: Stearman Press SP-810

    are those bench holes for dogs ?
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  6. #6

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    Re: Stearman Press SP-810

    I received mine just before New Year’s Day.
    Processed some 5x7 sheets in it. It works really good.
    You can pour the liquid in and out very fast.
    Feels sturdy.
    So far I’m happy with it.
    Best regards

    Hans

  7. #7
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Stearman Press SP-810

    If you want to see results of developing 8x10, the color photos I last posted in the media section were developed in the SP-810 initial production tank that I tested for them. That include Ektar, Adox CHS II (black and white of course), and Aerochrome. Worked great.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

  8. #8
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Stearman Press SP-810

    Quote Originally Posted by Nodda Duma View Post
    If you want to see results of developing 8x10, the color photos I last posted in the media section were developed in the SP-810 initial production tank that I tested for them. That include Ektar, Adox CHS II (black and white of course), and Aerochrome. Worked great.
    Can't find them, any chance you could post a link?

    Roger

  9. #9

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    Re: Stearman Press SP-810

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred L View Post
    are those bench holes for dogs ?
    No, that bench has had a half a dozen different reloading presses and cast bullet lubri-sizers mounted to it over the years. After I bought a larger bench for my presses, I moved this one to the center of the room to use as a work bench. I have been meaning to cover it with a sheet of stainless steel, but haven't got to it yet.

  10. #10

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    Re: Stearman Press SP-810

    I really want one. I think my 445 from them is the best thing I've ever used for 4x5 development (for my needs that is, I know there are a lot of Jobo fans especially with color). I don't do TONS of 8x10 and would love to be able to do it in daylight and not wait for nighttime to do it in my bathroom with all the lights out outside the bathroom.

    I emailed them and I said "but darn, I would need a huge changing tent do this in daylight hours" and he sent me a link he did for a DIY cardboard changing box. I do love it but I think I'll spring for a large one. I really only do like 2 and at MOST 4 sheets. But typically I'll just do 1 holder of 8x10.
    --

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