4x5 processing method: practical?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Dean Taylor, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor Member

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    hello--



    A photographer has posted a YT video explaining a method of 4x5 processing.

    In it, he takes the exposed 4x5 film and curls it, longways--emulsion in, of course--and secures it with a type of rubber band. The ends of the curl do not touch, allowing chemical bath to reach the emulsion. He may then place 4 of these...'curls' into a Paterson System 4 tank for agitation.



    My admittedly inexperienced analysis wants to conclude that for 4x5 film, it is, indeed, superior to tray processing--avoiding scratches, splashes and spills, etc. But what do you pros think? Is it, in fact, a trade off (something lost/something gained)?



    Thank you!

    Dean
     
  2. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    I've not used this method, but to help with your research, search for "taco method." That's how people refer to what you're describing.
     
  3. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    It seems to work well for some people.
    I tried it a couple of times and got very uneven development; for the tiny amount of 4x5 I do, I get better results from tray processing.
     
  4. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I have used the taco method with great success. But I went have to tray processing.
     
  5. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    Is this the video where he uses fabric covered hair bands so water can soak through and remove the anti halation coating?

    I think its a nice idea but I'm not convinced that you would get guaranteed even development. I'm a bit paranoid about even development at the moment having dumped my MOD54 insert because it was causing banding on the negs. I am now starting with a Paterson Orbital tray, which seems to me the best daylight tank solution for 4x5 although 4 negs a one time is limiting sometimes. But I think if I weren't so fed up with a series of ruined negs I would probably try the rubber band method, but for now I want the safest method possible.

    Steve
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    This sounds like an excellent idea. I would use it and thanks for the post. It also makes me wonder if you could do the same but curl it sideways to get 4 in a double tank?
     
  7. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    I've never done taco method, but the Unicolor Drum method and the BTZS tubes are both stupid easy.
     
  8. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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    My experiments with this led to uneven development. They antihalation dye didn't rinse out where the elastic was, even with the fabric ones. I also had a couple bands come loose and damage 2 sheets. With my tray development, I get even development and nice control of the values.
     
  9. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor Member

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    a Visqueen darkroom...

    thank you, APUG community, for sharing your expertise! Much to consider here, food for thought...

    At any rate--and, while I am assimilating this, I came up with another idea (however--and, as there is nothing new under the sun--chances are that the 'theory' has been applied by someone else.). And, that is: a 'darkroom' in the apartment.

    Several photographers (here and at photo.net and Large Format) wrote of tray processing for 4x5. It occurred to me that using a change bag arrangement to load the Riteways is quite...constricting, to say the least. Also, to utilize trays would necessitate a bona fide darkroom--I am fairly certain that getting my apartment pitch black would be difficult at best, what with the site lighting on all night at the property, etc.

    I thought it might be appropriate to buy a camper's tent and put every thing inside--a small table, trays, Riteways, 4x5 film, chemicals, etc.--and, then cover it with a darker material. But, (and, following Ockham), why not, I mused, then delete the camper's tent and just purchase a roll of Visqueen*, cut off a 12x12 foot piece and hang it from a swag hook on the ceiling ('pinch off' a handful at the center and hang).

    I know for a fact that it would enable a pitch-black environment within (without hassling with window covering, etc.), with plenty of room to work inside--whether loading Riteways, tray processing, etc.

    Has anyone tried this--it's inexpensive, collapsible (I can fold it and stow it away in a kitchen drawer), lightproof, as roomy as I need it to be.

    Best,

    Dean

    *Visqueen: heavy black plastic used at construction sites for covering material, etc


    (addendum: apartments here designed with meager bathroom space)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2013
  10. kbrede

    kbrede Member

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    Or, if you have a bathroom or other room without a window, hang a blanket over the door. That's what I do.
     
  11. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    The taco method works for me. :smile:

    [​IMG]
    Setup for loading

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/digi-film/sets/72157627864733730/

    The key is that the "pointed" edge where the film ends come together should abut the outer edge of the tank, otherwise when you put the lid on it can sometimes cause one of the edges to fold over.
     
  12. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I've been using the taco method for years and haven't had any problems. I can process up to six sheets of 4x5 at a time in an Arista tank.
     
  13. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    I'm a happy user of HP CombiPlan tank. Does 6 sheets in 1l of solution. Depending where you live, you can still pick them up new (UK), though they are out of production.
     
  14. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Thanks for the Flickr link Tony. I usually process one sheet at a time in a Paterson tank, with the film curved around the inner wall. I started to try taco once but I could feel the funnel pushing on the top edge of the film and was worried it might damage it so I abandoned that attempt. I can see that your way of positioning the film should avoid that problem. You can't beat a clear photo tutorial. I'll give this a try next time I have a few sheets to process.

    To the OP - the black plastic tent might be light proof but I would be concerned about air flow. You might be sitting in there breathing stale air and chemical fumes.
     
  15. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor Member

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    hi APUG pros!

    And, thank you all for weighing in!

    Q: is there an issue with the back (non-emulsion) side of the film being bound by the rubber band? ("The antihalation dye didn't rinse out where the elastic was, even with the fabric ones.")? Does the back of the 4x5 negative need unhindered contact with chemicals too?

    Best,

    Dean
     
  16. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Just place the sheets in a tray of fixer for a couple of minutes prior to washing and they will disappear.
     
  17. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

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    I've tried the blackout cloth method of improvised darkroom before. Two problems, ventilation and dust. I don't recommend it. You can do a lot in a tiny bathroom if you think vertically. Buy or make a rack that will allow you to stack your trays vertically with access space between them, and you have tray development with a small footprint. Or, use combi plan tanks as open dip and dunk tanks if you can find some. You really need to buy only one to get the rack. Use 1.5 liter rectangular juice jugs (refrigerator jugs) for the remaining tanks. Just find a plastic jug that the rack will fit in. A dip and dunk system like this will take up very little space.

    Or use a Jobo 4x5 tank. No need for dark.

    But I highly recommend even a very small bathroom over a dusty tent. Run the shower a few minutes before you start and the humidity will assure you will have zero dust.

    Bathrooms are usually much easier to make light tight.

    Good luck!
     
  18. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    I use the taco method with black hairbands and haven't encountered any problems. Yes, Michael, you can feel the funnel pressing down on the sheets a little, but it's just fine I assure you. I can process 4 sheets in a tank. I've tried crowding 6 in the tank, but ended up with development issues with that many.

    Soon I'm going to try Unicolor roller development.
     
  19. dodphotography

    dodphotography Member

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    Sorry to bring back an old thread but I had major issues with evenness of the developer. Shot nothing serious, just testing my LF abilities in my home studio but I need to figure out a better way to process my own work


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Well, I first tried tray development but despite care got scratches. Then I tried a Combi-Plan tank and that works fine for me.
     
  21. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I so wanted the taco method to work for me, but it gave me scratches and I had film pop out if the bands before as well. I ended up settling on just tray development, I got slowly and constantly rotate the sheets throughout the stack bottom to top. The most i have done at once with good results are 8 sheets. I also have a 12 sheet Yankee daylight tank but I haven't had a chance to use it yet since it uses so much chemistry at once.