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Thread: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

  1. #1

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    Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    I've been looking at the Stearman or possibly the 20th Century reel for double sided 8x10 x-ray film. I'm aware a dip and dunk system would be best but I don't have a dark room. Thought you good folks might have some thoughts on a the best option.

  2. #2

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    Re: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    When I was shooting x-ray film, I didn't use much double-sided, but I've read that it can be problematic in something like the Jobo Expert Drums. Therefore, I'm thinking it would be best to allow solution to both sides of the film.

  3. #3

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    Re: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    The tubes of the Expert drums are barrel shaped, not cylinders, allowing liquids to reach both sides of the film.

  4. #4

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    Re: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    Anything that touches either side of the film is not a good idea with double-sided x-ray film unless you intend to strip one side of it anyway. So both the Stearman and the 20th Century systems will likely present big problems processing this kind of film.

    Frankly, due to the hassle it involves, I stopped experimenting with double-sided x-ray. Just too compromised in several ways to make it worthwhile for me. If it needs to be cost-effective, Fomapan is a much more straightforward choice.

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    Pere, often suggests using trays inside a Paper Safe used or new, https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/searc...rch=yes&sts=ma

    I don't recommend that, but it is an option

    X-Ray is very good for practice, learning development AND gentle handling of any film

    Took me some time to get the hang of 2X without scratching it when loading holders

    X-Ray is disappearing, practice with cheap film while you can
    sin eater

  6. #6

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    Re: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    The tubes of the Expert drums are barrel shaped, not cylinders, allowing liquids to reach both sides of the film.
    That's true, but my experience with double-sided x-ray film in these drums was not acceptable.

  7. #7

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    Re: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    Quote Originally Posted by koraks View Post
    Frankly, due to the hassle it involves, I stopped experimenting with double-sided x-ray. Just too compromised in several ways to make it worthwhile for me. If it needs to be cost-effective, Fomapan is a much more straightforward choice.
    Same here. I shoot quite a bit of 8x10 Fomapan 100 and like the results.

  8. #8

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    Re: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaqu View Post
    I've been looking at the Stearman or possibly the 20th Century reel for double sided 8x10 x-ray film. I'm aware a dip and dunk system would be best but I don't have a dark room. Thought you good folks might have some thoughts on a the best option.

    Hi! You are facing the same situation that I did a few months ago. Here's my thoughts.

    Processing Xray Film is Difficult
    It doesn't matter how you do it, the emulsion is extremely soft. The stearman press tank will mark the back emulsion slightly, but if you are extremely careful and diligent with your agitation, you can keep this marking down. Some folks have success stripping the second emulsion off. I have not tried this.

    Glass in the bottom of the tray?
    Some folks advocate putting a sheet of glass or another smooth surface into the bottom of the tray to prevent it from scratching the film. This works with an open tray as you are moving the film between trays that already contain fluid. This does not work with the stearman tray as you prewet the film before adding and taking chemistry out while leaving the film in the same tray. This means the film adheres to the glass as soon as it gets wet, preventing developer and fixer from reaching the back side of the emulsion. Ask me how I know.

    But Xray is cheaper
    For me, the time invested in shooting 810 is the biggest investment, and I found myself frequently frustrated with the response of the Xray film and the hurdles for processing it properly. After spending so much time setting up, composing, focusing, metering, etc, the frustration associated with saving a few dollars per sheet just didn't make sense. If you financial situation can't accommodate the cost of sheet film, then perhaps you will have an easier time accommodating the frustrating aspects of the medium. If you're looking specifically for an orthochromatic film, you might try one of the single sided emulsions offered by Arista which are also affordable. If ya really just want to shoot Xray, then enjoy the process and challenge!

    I ended up moving over to photographic emulsions and have been enjoying the practice way more. As mentioned above, Fomapan is a great film, and I have enjoyed the results I've been getting with Foma 400. I recently ordered a box of Shanghai GP3 from ebay and look forward to trying this as well.

    Send me a message and I can direct you to examples of xray and foma developed in the SP810 from my Instagram.

    Good luck on your adventure!

  9. #9
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    Same here. I shoot quite a bit of 8x10 Fomapan 100 and like the results.
    I've started doing that, too, although I'm using 200. X-ray can give very good results, but it is a bit of a hassle. X-ray was particularly terrific for ULF.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  10. #10

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    Re: Daylight processing tank for x-ray film

    I only shoot xray film and wouldn't try it without SS hangers.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

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