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Thread: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

  1. #1

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    Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    For developing sheet film, which do you prefer and why? Trays with smooth bottom or the ones with the grooves in the bottom or the dimple bottomed ones?

    5x7' size big enough for 4x5 sheet film or go with 8x10?

    11x14 too big for 8x10? They do make 10x12 inch size trays.

    thanks,

    Robert N.

  2. #2

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    Re: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    Dimples for me. 8x10 for 4x5, 11x14 for 8x10. If I ever start LF again, I'll try a "slosher."
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  3. #3
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    I like the raised "X" on the bottom. With a smooth bottom, the film can stick to the bottom of the tray, and can be hard to lift with gloves on in the dark.

  4. #4

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    Re: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    I wouldn't use a tray with a smooth bottom, for the reason David mentioned. I used Patterson trays (I think that was the brand) that have wide grooves running the length of the tray. The grooves made it very easy to get under the film and lift it up and out of the tray.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5

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    Re: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    I would suggest using 8x10 trays for processing 4x5 film. As for configuration, any tray with ridges, grooves or dimples will work well. Patterson made a tray that works well, as did Arkay, Richard and Ace, the latter being a hard rubber tray. For processing 8x10 film, a tray of that dimension will work, as will an 11x14 tray.

  6. #6

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    Re: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    I have been using the same flat bottom trays since 1972. I prefer them. On the contrary I found the sheets did not stick when I was using (gentle)continious agitation. The flat bottom always seemed to keep enough underneath to let sheet move freely. I now use hangers and semistand. Do NOT use 5x7 trays for 4x5. Action of agitation will cause overdevelopment on the edges from wave reflection on the side of the tray.

  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Berry View Post
    I have been using the same flat bottom trays since 1972. I prefer them. On the contrary I found the sheets did not stick when I was using (gentle)continious agitation. The flat bottom always seemed to keep enough underneath to let sheet move freely. I now use hangers and semistand. Do NOT use 5x7 trays for 4x5. Action of agitation will cause overdevelopment on the edges from wave reflection on the side of the tray.
    A little OT, but since you mentioned this, you probably have more experience that I with this. I have been doing a single 8x10 sheet in an 8x10 tray. I agitate continuously and I get overdevelopment on the edges. For the next negatives I was going to try a) More vigorous agitation (to get the center of the image better developed) b) Less vigorous agitation (10 seconds each minute) or d) larger tray.

    Any suggestions?

  8. #8

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    Re: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    Use a larger tray...you're getting a turbulence factor on the edges.

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    Now it makes sense, I'll try my 14x17 trays next time.

  10. #10

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    Re: Which type tray bottoms for film developing?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Berry View Post
    I have been using the same flat bottom trays since 1972. I prefer them. On the contrary I found the sheets did not stick when I was using (gentle)continious agitation. The flat bottom always seemed to keep enough underneath to let sheet move freely. I now use hangers and semistand. Do NOT use 5x7 trays for 4x5. Action of agitation will cause overdevelopment on the edges from wave reflection on the side of the tray.
    I never had that problem.

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