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Thread: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?


    After some research I've decided to jump to 8x10. The order for a Svedovsky is on the way. I probably only have a faint idea of what I'm getting into, but I decided to start of with just doing contact prints, and - if I really get into it - try to build an enlarger from a camera.
    Now...I have been developing my own film since a year and a half or so, using a dark bag for 35mm and 6x6 and some jobo containers, but from what I've read so far it seems these are the options for 8x10:

    - Tray development; Question: In complete darkness? Seems a bit daunting.
    - Daylight dev; using Paterson Orbital Color print processor (ebay)
    - Daylight dev: Jobo Expert sheet drum (700USD for a plastic bottle, jikes)
    - Daylight dev: SP 2810 ; or
    - Daylight dev: Combiplan: https://www.firstcall-photographic.c...-10-inch/p7256

    Maybe there are other small scale options.
    What do you use? Can you briefly describe you process? What do you recommend for a beginner as myself.



  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

    I use both the Orbital and the Stearman 810 the same way with 500ml solution and agitate 10 seconds per minute. The Orbital is much smaller in case you are using a changing bag instead of a tent. Overall I prefer the Orbital but if you are using smaller formats the Stearman dividers work very well.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Newbury, Vermont

    Re: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

    If you already have some 8x10 print developing trays...maybe see if you can find some free (or cheap) outdated 8x10 film and do some tray-processing practice runs, with plain water in the trays, with the lights on at first...then with a very dim light (or safelight), then with lights off. I do understand that the prospect of tray processing can seem intimidating at first...but all it takes is a bit of practice. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    South Dakota

    Re: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

    The easiest and most foolproof way is to use the new SP810. Perfect result everytime starting with the first try. A 5 y/o could do it. Load in the dark, do the rest at your kitchen sink.

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

  5. #5
    Corran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    North GA Mountains

    Re: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  6. #6
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    San Francisco, CA, Flagstaff AZ

    Re: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

    +1, been using BTZS tube since 2000, here a link for another source that has some good YouTube videos.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 1999

    Re: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

    Tray processing. Once you get used to it, it’s fine. As someone else suggested, practice with some dummy sheets. You must be in total darkness, of course, but that’s never bothered me. It’s a zen experience. With 8x10 I would sometimes just process one sheet at a time.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

    Over the years, I've used just about every technique for processing 8x10 film, but, currently, I use both a Jobo Expert Drum on a CPP-2 processor or the Stearman SP-8x10. Which I use, generally, depends on number of sheets needing processing and, if I'm wanting to employ a specific development technique. For example, if I need to run many sheets using something like HC-1110, I'll use the Jobo; if I want to process via a minimal agitation technique with Pyrocat-HD, I'll use the Stearman tank.

    There are many methods for developing 8x10, but, as a beginner, I'd highly recommend starting with trays if you want to process more than one sheet at a time, or the Stearman tank for single sheets. As others have already said, if you decide on the tray route, practice with a few sheets in the light until you get the hang of shuffling the stack; then, turn off the lights and practice some more to get the feel of working in the dark. I did tray processing for all my LF film for the first 15 years I used LF. It's not hard...

    Good luck and have fun!

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Re: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

    I process all my 8x10 film in print trays and it has always worked out fine. Although it is possible to process more than one sheet at a time (use a 10x12 or 11x14 tray, ideally, so that you can slide each sheet over and under the others so that you are cycling them through the dev.without the possibility of scratching the emulsion: even St. Ansel did this. Good practice for this is to make tests on 10x8 paper. RC is ideal because it has some of the same physical properties of sheet film and will also provide you with a paper negative that can be contact printed. Iso of paper is about 5-10 ASA but it is a good and inexpensive way of testing cameras, film holders and lenses especially if you suspect you may have signs of light leaks and don't want to waste film (which for 10x8 is very expensive). Testing in this way (which can be done with a safelight) is an excellent method for improving technique prior to doing it for real in complete darkness once you do start to use film for real. Good luck!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Sydney, 34 degrees south

    Re: 8x10 film dev - what do you use as a process?

    BTZS tubes that I made myself, with press-on end caps and minimum developer. At the end of development I fix in a tray with the lights on.

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