5x7 development options

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kaiyen, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Hi all,
    So I'm doing more research for my 5x7 kit, and am now trying to figure out how to develop the film. Stipulations:

    -need a daylight system, so trays are out.

    -tubes probably aren't an option, since I would need a light-tight space for swapping chemicals out. I don't have that now, and the only place I might be able to set it up would then require me to run back and forth while developing.

    -hanger/tank systems seem to lead to uneven development quite often

    -the jobo systems are awfully expensive. way more than I can afford.

    So...I have heard about just nabbing an old Unicolor system with a rotary base. How would I load the film into that? Just drop it in there? Would I be able to fit more than 1 in there, then?

    Any other suggestions?

    allan
     
  2. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    You don't leave many options. Consider getting some dark. I hear that unicolor can work, depends on the developer because of streaking. I use Jobo drum ($200) but without their base. If you can swing the drum, I think it works well and you could use a manual base or roll it. This works well and is very even. Obviously trays or tubes in trays are the cheapest, but you need darkness.
     
  3. dschneller

    dschneller Member

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    Daylight Film Tubes

    I made my own set of BTZS tubes with a bit of a twist. I put a ball valve in between the two tubes so that I would be able to change chemicals in daylight. These were made for 4x5 but they were simple and cheap to make.

    Dave
     

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  4. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Not making light of your situation, but it sounds to me that, at this time your cheapest way out, is to get an old graphlex 4 x 5 back and rig it to fit your 5 x 7, not a big deal, ...and shoot some 4 x 5 polaroid positive neg film...

    no dark room needed.


    not a bad little set up actually as the back also accepts the 6 x 6, 6 x7, 6 x9, and 6 x 12 roll film backs.
     
  5. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Schneller,

    that is a great Idea!
     
  6. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Dsve S. do you use a "liner" between the back of the film and the tube or just slip the film in and against the tube wall?
     
  7. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I use Jobo print tank on top of a motorbase. Same idea with the Unicolor. Difference being the Jobo is still sold so if you need parts or can't find a good used one you can buy it new. If you ever get a processor the tank will fit.

    Downside it's basically two sheets at a time. If you can handle two sheets at time then look for the Jobo 2830. New it's $42. Used it shouldn't be more then 1/2 that.

    You put the film in the tank and it fits between the ridges inside the tank. Same idea with 5x7 prints. The ridges hold the film/paper in place. The tank can hold 4 5x7 prints but you'll have to use a concentrated developer to run four sheets in it.
     
  8. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Dave S - that's a cool idea. I may have to try it. I have the same questions about liners and light tight ness, but if it's working for you now I guess it must be light tight. Cool.

    Dave W - I can develop 4x5, actually, using the taco method. It's just that 5x7 doesn't fit in my current tanks...

    Which means that Jay's suggestion of the Paterson tank is an intriguing idea. The question is how many sheets I can fit in that tank. I can do 2 4x5 sheets in my current daylight 35/120 tank. If I can do that in the Paterson, that would be pretty good.

    The paterson method is especially intriguing since I can do more than 2 sheets at a time. I'll probably go that route. Thanks for the help finding an economical option - I realized I put some serious constraints on it.

    allan
     
  9. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    The Unidrum and Uniroller work fine and are pretty cheap. You need the 8x10 PAPER drum. It will soup 2 5x7 (or up to 4 4x5) negatives at a time. Very easy to use, and pretty thrifty with the chemicals.

    Nathan
     
  10. dschneller

    dschneller Member

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    I'm a LF newbie, no liner. The film seems to slip in and out without any trouble but I have had some scatches.
     
  11. dschneller

    dschneller Member

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    Jay/Allen, the tubes are light tight although you have to remember to close the valve and remove the right end when changing chems. I use the tubes like a reel tank, fill to completely cover the sheet film and agitate via inversion. It takes about 200ml per tube to completely cover the film.
     
  12. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    I use the Jobo CPP and 3010 drum for 4x5 and its great. Very easy. If you want to develop at room temperature 24C you dont really need much of a bath. All you need is a motorized base.

    If you are only doing B+W I would probably look for one of the cheaper Jobo units like a CPA or CPE with a lift, as long as the 5x7 drum will fit. I have seen the CPE at times for cheap. Also the lift makes it really easy.

    I use a Harrison 8x10 changing tent.
     
  13. lee

    lee Member

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    Allan,

    At some point ou are gonna have to have darkness, total darkness. Troy gives a good a solution with a Harrison Tent. But to load film into ANY tank you need darkness and to load film the holders from the box also requires darkness. You can use the Unicolor drum as I do and use the motor base also. you will be able to do 2 pieces of 5x7 film at one time. However, if I could afford a JOBO CPP-2 I would buy one.

    lee\c
     
  14. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Lee,
    I apologize - I didn't mean that I load film in the daylight or anything. But wouldn't changing chemicals while using a tube in a changing tent be a bit tough?

    I use a regular changing bag for now for working in complete darkness. I just don't see myself having the kind of room to maneuver in there, even in the tent ones. But if you think that's doable...

    allan
     
  15. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    I will but in with some Jobo info.

    The Jobo tanks are light tight. Also IR proof if you shoot IR film.

    The nice part about that system is the lift arm option. Well worth it. You dont have to touch the drum after you start even to fill and empty it. Lift the arm and the tank empties, drop it down and pour the new chems in the chute and it runs down into the tank, while it is turning.
     
  16. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Allen -

    I have a changing bag, but I generally load the Unidrum in the bathroom with a towel stuffed under the door. I wait until dark, just to be sure but I don't know if it matters.
    Like the Jobo, and some of the nicer tubes, the Unidrum has a light trap so once you've got the film in the tank you don't need to open it again until the film is developed.

    If you Google for 'Unidrum 4x5' you'll find some directions on using this outfit, the only difference is that you'll get 2 sheets of 5x7 instead of 4.

    Nathan
     
  17. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Allan, once the film(s) are in the tank, you don't have to open it to open it to pour chemicals in/out of the tank..if that is your concern. Once the film is in the tank, all you do is add your chems via some type of spout on the end of the tank (light side) and the chems are passed into the tank, tank is rotated to cover the film(s) with chemistry and then turned on end to remove the chems when time. Next goes in the stop, then fixer same way...I don't open mine until time for the wash. It really is a nice simple process, just handles a few films at a time. Of course if you purchase larger tanks (in some systems) then you get to add more films.

    Good Luck...check out the line above..it might help.
     
  18. argus

    argus Member

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    Could you tell me some more about this method? Never heard of it.

    G
     
  19. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    One more vote for the Unicolor. Check the Large Format Photography Home Page for a good article on it's use.
     
  20. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Nathan is right, the Unidrum works just fine. If you get an 11X14 Unidrum, you can run 4 sheets of 5X7 at once.
     
  21. mark

    mark Member

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    I use an 11x14 unicolor tube for four 5x7 sheets a time. I load it in a changeing tent. The only issue I have had is uneven development when I do not start rolling the drum right away. I mean right away. Dump chemicals and roll immediately is the only way I have found to avoid this. I have been considering the jobo tube (I have been told this is not an issue with it) because It will grow as I do. The unicolor won't because it is not made anymore. BUt you can't beat the price.

    I do not have total dark and have not needed it. I print on POP so no need for a darkroom either.
     
  22. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The Jobo print drum has a cup. The cup holds the chemicals until you turn the drum on it's side. That's the positive. The negative is the cup only holds so much. 500ml? I think.
     
  23. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    I have been developing 4x5,5x7 and 8x10 Color, transparency and black and white with hangers and tanks for over fifty years, and am still looking for the streaks and uneven development. Following the great yellow God in Rochesters simple instructions, this does not happen.

    Any one getting streaks or uneven developing with hangers and tanks is simply not doing it correctly!

    This a "bum rap" for tanks and hangers, and is perpetuated by folks who can't follow simple instructions, and don't want to learn how to do it correctly, then they choose to blame the system rather than accept responsibility for their mistakes.
     
  24. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Thanks Charles, I just happend to pick up a dozen 5 x 7 hangers and am looking forward to using them as I have also obtained a 5 x 7 back for my 7 x 17. Are there some directions I could find on line for the process....I seems to me like it would be a very efficient way to go.

    Thanks again and in advance
    Dave in Vegas