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Thread: 8x20 daylight processing tank

  1. #1

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    8x20 daylight processing tank

    I'm a 4x5 man, but this is a neat solution worthy of sharing. From Tim Layton and Steaman Press.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwnL1tU4fhw
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  2. #2

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    Re: 8x20 daylight processing tank

    That is pretty neat. Without any sort of Polaroid the various Stearman tanks would be great for field use. As Layton mentioned even hotel rooms. Darn cool device.

  3. #3

    Re: 8x20 daylight processing tank

    With the inherent price of ULF sheet film that is through the roof there is no way in hell I would want to experiment with this system when for under $5 you can purchase 22" of 4" ID black plastic tubing a hard plastic base cap and a rubber top cap and with a RAD development process you are assured of perfectly even development every time. The other "go to" option is simply tray development but they are money processes bar none. I understand the desire of some photographers that do not have the option for a darkroom per se using this option for 4x5, 5x7 and even 8x10. But if you are shooting ULF as the Irish would say, that is a horse of a different color IMHO. Artifact free perfectly developed 8x20 negatives can easily be the exception rather than the rule and at $15 + a sheet the pain of anything less than perfect really bites. Just my $0.02.

  4. #4
    multi format
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    Re: 8x20 daylight processing tank

    Ethan Moses made a self contained daylight tank for giant sheets of paper too
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktXiezv6aGY
    uses it for making peroxide reversals al fresco

  5. #5

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    Re: 8x20 daylight processing tank

    Like! (we need a like button) - could be good solution for 4x10, 5x12, 7x17 as well if the film can be stabilized in the tank. I reached out to see if they could make a shorter one for my 5x12 needs. I calculate I would only need 800ml - 1L of developer solutions vs the 1800ml I need now in a 5 reel tank. And it likely is more friendly than PVC Tubes and cap since it has built in light baffles.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  6. #6

    Re: 8x20 daylight processing tank

    I venture to say that anyone that has ventured into ULF (ie formats other than the standards) falls into a category of what is called personal overachievement. Concurrently they are introduced bluntly into the category of the challenges that come along for the ride if they have any experience in this arena. From light leaks at the flap end of wooden holders (if injection moulded holders are not an option) to underexposure from unintentionally not remembering that you are experiencing macro conditions (the larger the format the more challenging this becomes), etc. Then you get to the price of admission with sheet film which just flat out sucks. From my personal experience my least concern is how much developer a reliable development process requires. And I am not talking about 90-95% reliability because that does not work in this domain. I am talking 100% reliability. There is nothing more discerning IMHO than in the back of your mind having to burn a second sheet of $15+ ULF film on a "special" scene because you do not have the absolute confidence that your negative processing regime will not fail you and praying that one of the negatives comes out as you desire. The stakes are simply too high. From my perspective these daylight tray film developing options are wonderful for the smaller format photographers that are constrained in the inability to have a darkroom within which to work which justifies the risk profile with them. If they are not "perfect" that is an acceptable premise because a darkroom is not in the cards so they are willing, ready and able to take that operational risk and work through it. The reality is the size of the ULF sheets, the dynamics of the flow patterns over such a large surface area and more critically the stronger dilutions necessary to use such smaller volume of developer all factually conspire to create a host of risk factors that I know will be totally unacceptable to the desire of the ULF photographer in the results he or she is in pursuit of. Put this into perspective. In 8x20 you have 160 square inches of continuous film which is in need of perfectly uniform chemistry / film surface interaction. That is the equivalent of 8 4x5 sheets of film in the tray in the form of one sheet in one run. Massive quantities of diluted chemistry is the direction this conversation should be going not the other way around. I understand the pursuit of the optimal scenario in this instance and I am not wanting to rain on anyone's parade. I am just attempting to be the voice of sensible reason in this instance and pointing readers with ambitions with ULF to stay in your lane with processes that are in fact 100% reliable as there is no need to try to cut corners in this instance because of the inherent risk. If someone has in fact shown that these alternatives are in fact completely reliable in smaller sizes and through 8x20 I will be more than happy to tip my hat in amazement. Until that time I would recommend the time tested options even if they use far more chemistry or are more cumbersome. After all at the end of a day the finished print cannot sing until the negative is capable of telling it what key the song is in.

  7. #7
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 8x20 daylight processing tank

    Yes, use dilute developer and all chems in volume

    But NEVER test with X-Ray





    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    I venture to say that anyone that has ventured into ULF (ie formats other than the standards) falls into a category of what is called personal overachievement. Concurrently they are introduced bluntly into the category of the challenges that come along for the ride if they have any experience in this arena. From light leaks at the flap end of wooden holders (if injection moulded holders are not an option) to underexposure from unintentionally not remembering that you are experiencing macro conditions (the larger the format the more challenging this becomes), etc. Then you get to the price of admission with sheet film which just flat out sucks. From my personal experience my least concern is how much developer a reliable development process requires. And I am not talking about 90-95% reliability because that does not work in this domain. I am talking 100% reliability. There is nothing more discerning IMHO than in the back of your mind having to burn a second sheet of $15+ ULF film on a "special" scene because you do not have the absolute confidence that your negative processing regime will not fail you and praying that one of the negatives comes out as you desire. The stakes are simply too high. From my perspective these daylight tray film developing options are wonderful for the smaller format photographers that are constrained in the inability to have a darkroom within which to work which justifies the risk profile with them. If they are not "perfect" that is an acceptable premise because a darkroom is not in the cards so they are willing, ready and able to take that operational risk and work through it. The reality is the size of the ULF sheets, the dynamics of the flow patterns over such a large surface area and more critically the stronger dilutions necessary to use such smaller volume of developer all factually conspire to create a host of risk factors that I know will be totally unacceptable to the desire of the ULF photographer in the results he or she is in pursuit of. Put this into perspective. In 8x20 you have 160 square inches of continuous film which is in need of perfectly uniform chemistry / film surface interaction. That is the equivalent of 8 4x5 sheets of film in the tray in the form of one sheet in one run. Massive quantities of diluted chemistry is the direction this conversation should be going not the other way around. I understand the pursuit of the optimal scenario in this instance and I am not wanting to rain on anyone's parade. I am just attempting to be the voice of sensible reason in this instance and pointing readers with ambitions with ULF to stay in your lane with processes that are in fact 100% reliable as there is no need to try to cut corners in this instance because of the inherent risk. If someone has in fact shown that these alternatives are in fact completely reliable in smaller sizes and through 8x20 I will be more than happy to tip my hat in amazement. Until that time I would recommend the time tested options even if they use far more chemistry or are more cumbersome. After all at the end of a day the finished print cannot sing until the negative is capable of telling it what key the song is in.
    Tin Can

  8. #8

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    Re: 8x20 daylight processing tank

    Have to agree. The larger the film, the more difficult it is in general to get uniform development, and tray rocking single sheets produces poor uniformity for any size of sheet film. But, everyone has different requirements and perceptions when it comes to uniformity of development, and of course the busier the picture, the more non-uniformity you can get away with. Therefore some may find this Stearman tray acceptable given the benefits of portability and daylight use. It’s a compromise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    I venture to say that anyone that has ventured into ULF (ie formats other than the standards) falls into a category of what is called personal overachievement. Concurrently they are introduced bluntly into the category of the challenges that come along for the ride if they have any experience in this arena. From light leaks at the flap end of wooden holders (if injection moulded holders are not an option) to underexposure from unintentionally not remembering that you are experiencing macro conditions (the larger the format the more challenging this becomes), etc. Then you get to the price of admission with sheet film which just flat out sucks. From my personal experience my least concern is how much developer a reliable development process requires. And I am not talking about 90-95% reliability because that does not work in this domain. I am talking 100% reliability. There is nothing more discerning IMHO than in the back of your mind having to burn a second sheet of $15+ ULF film on a "special" scene because you do not have the absolute confidence that your negative processing regime will not fail you and praying that one of the negatives comes out as you desire. The stakes are simply too high. From my perspective these daylight tray film developing options are wonderful for the smaller format photographers that are constrained in the inability to have a darkroom within which to work which justifies the risk profile with them. If they are not "perfect" that is an acceptable premise because a darkroom is not in the cards so they are willing, ready and able to take that operational risk and work through it. The reality is the size of the ULF sheets, the dynamics of the flow patterns over such a large surface area and more critically the stronger dilutions necessary to use such smaller volume of developer all factually conspire to create a host of risk factors that I know will be totally unacceptable to the desire of the ULF photographer in the results he or she is in pursuit of. Put this into perspective. In 8x20 you have 160 square inches of continuous film which is in need of perfectly uniform chemistry / film surface interaction. That is the equivalent of 8 4x5 sheets of film in the tray in the form of one sheet in one run. Massive quantities of diluted chemistry is the direction this conversation should be going not the other way around. I understand the pursuit of the optimal scenario in this instance and I am not wanting to rain on anyone's parade. I am just attempting to be the voice of sensible reason in this instance and pointing readers with ambitions with ULF to stay in your lane with processes that are in fact 100% reliable as there is no need to try to cut corners in this instance because of the inherent risk. If someone has in fact shown that these alternatives are in fact completely reliable in smaller sizes and through 8x20 I will be more than happy to tip my hat in amazement. Until that time I would recommend the time tested options even if they use far more chemistry or are more cumbersome. After all at the end of a day the finished print cannot sing until the negative is capable of telling it what key the song is in.

  9. #9

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    Oct 2022
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    Re: 8x20 daylight processing tank

    Though for developing prints it does have some ok to it.

  10. #10

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    Oct 2015
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    Re: 8x20 daylight processing tank

    Just got a newsletter from Tim this morning referencing Tim Layton and that Stearman is going to accept custom orders for this tray soon. But, the price is for the "fat of wallet" crowd.

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