Agitation for single sheet of 8x10 in trays

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by bascom49, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. bascom49

    bascom49 Subscriber

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    This weekend I am planning on shooting 8x10 HP5 in my new 8x10 camera.

    Just to get started I want to process a single sheet of film at a time in trays.
    I'm not ready for shuffling multiple sheets.

    Is there a particular method of agitation that anyone could suggest ?
    Or do I just rock the tray perhaps ?

    Thanks,
    Charles
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    What kind of developer?

    You have the choice of continuous or intermittent agitation. In either case, the idea is to keep it as random as possible. A fairly common way of doing this is to lift and drop a different corner of the tray at a time. You can also alternate this with lifting and dropping the side/edge of the tray, but that seems to work better when the tray is larger than the size of the film (example a 11x14 tray for 8x10 film). I prefer using the corners of the tray.
     
  3. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I agree with Michael. Using a tray larger than the size of the negative is essential for even development.

    I develop two sheets at a time, one up and one down. Every minute I pull them out of the developer, turn them over and put them back in, quickly. I believe this helps in completely changing the developer on all areas of the negative. I handle them in a different spot each time and do my best to keep them in the center of the tray.

    Good luck!

    Addition: Michael also makes a good point about choosing continuous or intermittent agitation. When I used Pyrocat HD I agitated continuously, now that I'm using Rodinal I agitate every 30 seconds.

    Plus, if you start shuffling multiple sheets keep in mind your times should change as the emulsion will be against the back of another sheet for part of the time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2013
  4. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I'm also a newbie at 8X10 processing and have used an 11X14 tray. Agitate about every 20 seconds or so, by lifting the corner and releasing it which moves the film to the side, then to the front and then back. If I don't hear it hitting the side of the tray, I figure it isn't getting agitated. I process emulsion side up. My trays have a corner designed for pouring which is also a great handle for placing my finger under to lift the tray. Read the directions for tray processing your film as it will tell you to reduce the processing time. I've been using Delta 100 and have no complaints with the results. Yes, I'm a one sheet at a time kind of guy at this point. Oh, I'm using Ilford DD-X developer. Bill Barber
     
  5. bascom49

    bascom49 Subscriber

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    I'm planning on using Xtol. I do have rodinal, dd-x HC-110 on hand. If there is another developer that I should start with please suggest and why.

    Thanks,
    Charles
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    XTOL is fine (as are the other developers you listed). I was just asking because some developer like Pyro often require more frequent agitation, so I didn't want to recommend anything without more info. Lots of flexibility with any of the developers you listed so you're good.
     
  7. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    All good info and I'd add a piece of advice that hasn't been asked for: Make sure you're using enough developer to cover the film comfortably.
     
  8. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Yes that is good advice. More volume = better.
     
  9. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    There would be more controlled agitation and less handling of the sheet of film (if you are not just tilting the tray) by using a slosher. That is to say, a simple frame or support for the film-sheet. When I developed a sheet on it's own I would often find the edges were more developed than the centre - as though the developer next to the surface of the film in the centre was less refreshed than that slooshing around the edges.

    I do agitation with the slosher by lifting each of the sides in turn, so that much of the film is momentarily out of the developer. Anything should work providing that it is even and consistent, of course.
     
  10. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    When developing a single sheet you may want to use the "brush method". You can use a foam brush. Very even development.

    Jon