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Thread: Stearman developing Issue

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    Austin, TX
    Posts
    160

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    I've used both their 4x5 tanks and 8x10 trays and have run hundreds of sheets of film thru them without problems. I have used every possible way of developing film in the last 50 years and the Stearman system is the by the simplest and one the most eloquent system to use. If you have had problems I'd say the problem was with the user

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    At the high cost of film these days it is difficult for me to understand why people continue to use a somewhat questionable container, and unproven developers.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    985

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    Version 1 holders do not exhibit any problems that people describe because they are solid (no holes) the ribs sometimes show marks when the film is wet but not seen once dry. With experimental developers, maybe try one sheet first before you ruin a whole batch. I would also recommend a presoak to remove anti-halation dye first.

    Try the taco method in a patterson, jobo, 3reel stainless, or other similar round tank for experiments.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  3. #13
    Jeffery Dale Welker
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    461

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    I have four of the Stearman 4x5 tanks and, like Michael, I've developed hundreds of negatives through all four tanks without any issues. In my opinion, it is a wonderful system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Wellman View Post
    I've used both their 4x5 tanks and 8x10 trays and have run hundreds of sheets of film thru them without problems. I have used every possible way of developing film in the last 50 years and the Stearman system is the by the simplest and one the most eloquent system to use. If you have had problems I'd say the problem was with the user
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
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    200

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Salmo22 View Post
    I have four of the Stearman 4x5 tanks and, like Michael, I've developed hundreds of negatives through all four tanks without any issues. In my opinion, it is a wonderful system.
    Same here. It's solid and beats the pants off the awful old Yankee tank I had used previously. My 810 tray is arriving this week and I'm looking forward to it!

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    200

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
    It almost looks like it was loaded backwards, i.e. emulsion in, which would limit the amount of developer that had access to parts of the film.
    Now that you mention it, this is how it looks to me as well

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California
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    3,843

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Wellman View Post
    I've used both their 4x5 tanks and 8x10 trays and have run hundreds of sheets of film thru them without problems. I have used every possible way of developing film in the last 50 years and the Stearman system is the by the simplest and one the most eloquent system to use. If you have had problems I'd say the problem was with the user
    I have only had a darkroom since about 1938 and have used many systems, but not the Stearman. I am perfectly satisfied with several of the systems I currently have available.

  7. #17

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
    I've occasional issues where a tiny bit of anti-hlation dye doesn't wash out so there is a purple splotch left on the film. Fortunately, just holding the sheet under running water and with my thumb gently massaging the back of the sheet (the non-emulsion side) for a couple seconds generally clears it away. And aside for that happening a couple times, I too have had no issues. Today I'm more likely to use the 810 tray, but when defeloping color I use the 445 since its easier to keep it in a water bath to maintain temperture.

    Looking at the two samples both look like they didn't have enough developer since one end of the sheet is ragged. The second sheet--maybe the dye didn't clear, but it looks far worse than the splotches I've encountered. It almost looks like it was loaded backwards, i.e. emulsion in, which would limit the amount of developer that had access to parts of the film.
    Sounds about right. That could be possible. I wasnt the loader. Thanks everyone for your answers, I have a better understanding of what variables could have gone wrong.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    370

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    I used a Stearman for a while, and would occasionally have a sheet that needed to be refixed and rewashed when a little spot did not clear because it was touching the plastic of the holder (Version 2). I switched over to MOD54 inserts for Paterson tanks, which had a learning curve but which I really love now that I am over that. I kept the Stearman for a while to use for batches when I only had four sheets, but am now 100 percent MOD54.
    Bill Poole

    "Speak softly, but carry a big camera."

  9. #19

    Join Date
    May 2021
    Posts
    32

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    I had no problems with 5x4 FP4+ in Ilford DD-X, but definite dye remnants on the non-emulsion side with 510 pyro. As Abruzzi states, it can be cleared by gently massage with thumb/fingers under running water

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Aug 2022
    Posts
    1

    Re: Stearman developing Issue

    I've tried using this tank over the last there years as I slowly got involved with LF. I started with the Harmann Paper Positives, but had the shadows of the holder on the paper.. but as I had other problems like pre-flashing, film speed and duuhhh ..reversed images. in that "I could've had a V8 moment, I moved to film. The film I used was ADOX CHS II and while some were semi ok, almost all my negatives had traces of shadows in the light ( sky) areas. I wasted most of Adox honing my loading skills and taking care etc, that these were not user induced. Stearman offered the Ver 4 holders, which are quite different. Now using Fomopan, then new holder etc have not made any improvement. I suspect I will have to move on. But I did want to try and resolve why some of us are having these problems. With Fomopan, roll films I usually pre-soak to get rid the anti-halation backing. I then rinse the film clear, thae begin development usually D76 1:1 , Stop with water circa 1:00 min, and then fix for five, sometimes ten minutes.
    Since I've read a bit on Stearman site, saying don't pre-soak. I tried that . Another time I've kept agitation constant during the fix cycle with and without pre-soak. I really wanted this to work.. Love the design and economic chemical use. I'd like to hear from others.. what film/developed combos have worked. Not all anti-halatrion backings are colored? But color or not, is this the problem? The PH of the water? I have not conciously made a distilled water test as my (gallon) developer is now mixed with tap water. as is the 1 liter fixer. Film isn't cheap and will eventually try this later with ony distilled weter. Not yet ready to waste another four frames, buy new film and different chemicals.

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