Developing 4x5 Sheet Film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by H. G. Hart, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. H. G. Hart

    H. G. Hart Member

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    I am considering purchasing some equipment to do my own sheet film processing. I have been using a JOBO Expert Drum to process my film at school. I like the "daylight" processing aspect of the drum, and I have had good results. The downside is that they are really expensive. I am interested in the BTZS tubes, because of their price. And also, though I do not use the zone system or grade paper, I think it would be nice to have the ability to do individual development times if I decide to go that route later.

    I guess the real question is what have your experiences with either or both of these products been? What would your reccomendation be? I don't have much space to use for the BTZS and trays, but I think I could do it. What do you all think?

    Thanks in advance,
    H. G.
     
  2. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Buy a used Jobo 2551 or bigger tank. Without too much luck should be around $30. Add a motorbase. Say a unicolor base. $10 -20. Then finally add at least one 2509n film reel. New the reel is close to $30. Best thing might be to look for a used reel and loader base. If you throw in a timer [Gralab 300 is great for this] then you've got a semi-automated system. All you need to do is add/drain the chemicals.
     
  3. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member

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    I use a Unicolor drum and roller. They go quite cheaply on Ebay. You can see my article on 4x5 development on Tuan's Large Format website for further details.

    Kind Regards,
     
  4. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I agree - I don't use the motor base with PMK or developers that are cheap or replenishable. In many cases you need 1.25L of chemistry to fully develop 4 sheets or more and often you will get greater accutance by hand agitation and stand processing. I have done color in mine also - The Jobo with a motor base can easily do 6 sheets with less than 500ml of chemical with certain developers. - With the motor base be careful to flip the drum over frequently (15 to 30 sec) to avoid uneven development from the motion patterns of the developer on the film. Some developers may require an additive to do this. (EDTA) This is a great system - I won't even try any others because it has been so good - especially after all my failures with square tanks. - Frank
     
  5. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Have you done color with the motorbase? How well does the tank hold it's temperture? I did a half assed test once and it seemed it would be okay but I'm wondering how well it works out in reality.
     
  6. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Yes I did. Only 4x5 though. I preheated the tank with 105F water for a few minutes. I had the 500ml of fresh C-41 in a basin at 102F along with all the other chemistry. I then poured off the preheat water and added the developer. The tank only needs to stay at temp for 3 minutes and 15 seconds (longer for reused developer) I flipped the tank to rotate in the opposite direction every 15 seconds. And then when ready added the next preheaded chemistry. I estimate that if the air and rollers are at 70F - then the tank and chemistry will go from 102 to 98 in 3 1/2 minutes on the rollers. The developer is the most critical for temp - evan still - all my chems remain within a few degrees during the process and I had no trouble. I had good success with this method.
     
  7. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Sounds simple enough. When I did my test I filled a cold tank with water. After close to 10 minutes it had barely dropped any in temp. I figure what little it had dropped was the water heating the tank up. Preheating the tank makes sense.
     
  8. sanking

    sanking Member

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  9. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    Well if you ever find yourself in this position, plese accept and let me know and I will take it off your hands :smile:

    - Mike
     
  10. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Hey!! I was going to write that!!

    Tell you what - If Mike doesn't take it, I will - and I'll throw in a couple of "incentives" while I'm at it.... :whistle: