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Thread: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

  1. #1

    Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    Anyone else have this issue? If you look carefully, you will notice three overdeveloped vertical bands. I think that the plastic tabs on the lid of the tray cause channels to develop, leading to this problem.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35702178@N00/50397303811/

  2. #2
    Bertha DeCool Bertha DeCool's Avatar
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    Re: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    I've had good results w/ 5x7s. How are you agitating?
    I agitate by tilting, alternating side-to-side and front-to-back and I'm barely lifting, less than an inch.
    I'm guessing you might be a little aggressive agitating and/or only going one direction?
    I'm really happy with the SP tray; I'd like to be able to develop more than 2 sheets at a whack but it's not happening in my house right now so the SP is perfect.

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    Another possibility: Way back when I first started tray developing 8x10s, I would leave a freshly fixed negative in a tray of water in an 8x10 Patterson tray (emulsion up, long time, with no aggitation while I developed more film) -- I got similar marks on my film that matched the channels on the tray bottom on the backside of the negative. My guess was uneven removal of the anti-halation layer that I could not get to even out with more soaking. There was slightly more density on the negatives where the film was not over the channels...creating lighter areas such as on your prints.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4

    Re: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertha DeCool View Post
    I've had good results w/ 5x7s. How are you agitating?
    I agitate by tilting, alternating side-to-side and front-to-back and I'm barely lifting, less than an inch.
    I'm guessing you might be a little aggressive agitating and/or only going one direction?
    I'm really happy with the SP tray; I'd like to be able to develop more than 2 sheets at a whack but it's not happening in my house right now so the SP is perfect.
    Gentle "panning for gold" agitation technique for the first thirty seconds and then for about ten seconds each minute. I believe that the total development time for the picture that I linked to was 8 minutes.

    The problem seems to occur randomly. I developed this one, and it came out relatively evenly:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35702178@N00/50585203731/

    There was a similar sheet developed with it which came out with the same wavy development problem as the first picture!

  5. #5

    Re: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Another possibility: Way back when I first started tray developing 8x10s, I would leave a freshly fixed negative in a tray of water in an 8x10 Patterson tray (emulsion up, long time, with no aggitation while I developed more film) -- I got similar marks on my film that matched the channels on the tray bottom on the backside of the negative. My guess was uneven removal of the anti-halation layer that I could not get to even out with more soaking. There was slightly more density on the negatives where the film was not over the channels...creating lighter areas such as on your prints.
    Intriguing idea. In this case, the channels I'm referring to are on the emulsion side. "Channels" was probably not the best term. I should have said that the plastic hold-down tabs cause currents to develop.

  6. #6
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    I was talking to Tim once about this topic and I think he has determined that development issues in the tank have consistently come from too gentle of agitation.

    Personally I pick the tank up and rock it around when I agitate. I haven’t seen uneven development issues. (B&W, E-6, C-41, etc)
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  7. #7
    Bertha DeCool Bertha DeCool's Avatar
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    Re: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherMarv View Post
    Gentle "panning for gold" agitation technique for the first thirty seconds and then for about ten seconds each minute. I believe that the total development time for the picture that I linked to was 8 minutes.

    The problem seems to occur randomly. I developed this one, and it came out relatively evenly:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35702178@N00/50585203731/

    There was a similar sheet developed with it which came out with the same wavy development problem as the first picture!
    I'm curious if the issue has been with both sheets or if it's been with the sheet near the fill/pour end or the "back" end and if that that's been consistent.
    I never panned for gold but I would think the channels would cause the effect from the developer running length-wise, which corresponds with the direction of the streaks.
    Interesting comment from Nodda as that seems counter-intuitive to me (tho' at 62, there's a LOT that seems that way...). I would shoot a grey card and experiment with more/less agitation and chemical flow direction/agitation.
    That image of the reservoir is gorgeous, btw; we see things in a similar way.

  8. #8
    Exploring Large Format Exploring Large Format's Avatar
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    Re: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    In Tim's latest video (a new beginner's guide) on the SP-445, he discusses infrequent issues caused by what he thinks is inadequate washing out of the anti-halation dye causing film to stick. Suggests it's due to water supply with water softener. Solution is extra washing. This is about 26:30 into the video.

    https://youtu.be/Uojra1s1HrI

    Not sure whether this necessarily relates to your issue. Different tank, etc.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  9. #9

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    Re: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherMarv View Post
    Gentle "panning for gold" agitation technique for the first thirty seconds and then for about ten seconds each minute. I believe that the total development time for the picture that I linked to was 8 minutes.

    The problem seems to occur randomly. I developed this one, and it came out relatively evenly:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35702178@N00/50585203731/

    There was a similar sheet developed with it which came out with the same wavy development problem as the first picture!
    Thinking about it, "panning for gold" is probably an inaccurate description. The actual gold panners I've seen tend to setup a rhythmic pattern, which works for finding gold but we want a more random pattern. I'll pickup the tray, and "swish" it one direction (say clockwise) for a few seconds and then side to side etc. The more random the better. The next cycle I'll start the swish the other direction.

    A lot of people just pick up one side of the tray and then lower it.

    You want to be particularly random during the first 30 seconds; that's when most of your development takes place.

    Tim

  10. #10

    Re: Uneven Development -- 5X7's in Stearman Press 8X10 Tray

    Thanks, everyone. After a horrific experience with B's 5X7 reel, I decided to give the SP-810 another try. I developed two sheets in 1020ml of Rodinal (1:50) and used a semi-random agitating technique, lifting the tray from the surface at each of the four sides and each of the four corners (while holding down the opposite corner). Total development time was 13 minutes, agitating for the first 30 seconds and then every minute for 10 to 15 seconds. Both of the negatives came out of the tank with even development.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35702178@N00/50660626512/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/35702178@N00/50658349276/

    Unfortunately, I changed several variables at once (agitation technique, developer, developer amount and development time), so I'm not sure which ones make the difference. My feeling right now is that the SP-810 is a good daylight option.

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