developing 4x5 sheet film

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by MarcoGiardini, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. MarcoGiardini

    MarcoGiardini Subscriber

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    i'm new to LF and i use at the moment a jobo tank/ reel to develop the films. The reel can keep up to 6 sheets and the tanks need 1.5 liter to develop (never mind if inside is one sheet or 6 sheets).
    I'm wandering if there is the possibility to develop using less solution. Most of the time I do not have 6 sheets to develop but only 2 or 4 and 1500 cc is really a lot.
    Thanks for your help

    marco
     
  2. kauffman v36

    kauffman v36 Member

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    not exactly sure how the jobo tanks work but every tank ive seen you need to fill it to capacity to evenly deelop the film, regardless of the amount of film. If you only have 1 or 2 sheets to develop maybe try tray processing.

    The point of the tank being full is that the 1 or 2 sheets you have in the tank need to be covered with developer at all times or else youll get very uneven development.
     
  3. thicktheo

    thicktheo Subscriber

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    If you have the typical 25xx Jobo tank with the 2509 reel, you can do manual rolling and only use ~300ml of developer. However, this would require you to keep rolling the tank for as long as the development process takes place.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My Jobo 2000 tanks only need 1 litre per 6 sheet reel, I use Pyrocat HD which works out very economic even with that volume of dev.

    However you might be better off using a replenished developer, Xtol would be ideal as uniquely you replenish with fresh developer. There one or two recent threads on replenishing Xtol and it's what I did for about 20 years, very economic and consistent and the volume you need in the tank us unimportant (as long as the film is covered).

    Ian
     
  5. MarcoGiardini

    MarcoGiardini Subscriber

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    Exactly. the quantity is regardless the amount of film and it's a lot.
    I'd like to use less chemical as possible (to save money). Is quite strange nobody has developed a way to process at light the films in a closed tray that can be agitated as well.
    The classical tray processing need to be operated in total dark. I love light....

    marco
     
  6. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Have a look for a Paterson Orbital tray - With these, you can develop up to four sheets of 5x4 film with less than 100ml of chemicals (although I prefer to use 150-200ml).

    The Paterson Orbital had the option of a manual or a motorised base, but unfortunately, it is no longer in production.
     
  7. MarcoGiardini

    MarcoGiardini Subscriber

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    as far as i know is out of production. i'll try on Ebay.....
    thanks!!
     
  8. kauffman v36

    kauffman v36 Member

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    the bzts (sp?) tubes look like they use the least amount of dev. per sheet but i could be wrong. AND you can do a lot of the development in the daylight.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I'm with Ian, Xtol replenished will solve the cost problem.

    17.5 ml per 4x5 sheet is what I plan on.

    I develop my 4x5 in a Nikor tank that can do 12 sheets and needs a full liter of developer to cover, still it's just 17.5ml per sheet that's "lost" the rest goes back into storage.
     
  10. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Ciao Marco,

    I second the idea of tray developing. You will need total darkness and it does take a little practice, but once mastered, it is simple, low-tech, reliable and more flexible than any other technique. I can set up to develop 1 to as many sheets as I want, in batches of 6-8 and use as little as 250ml of chemistry at at time.

    There is a lot of information on this and other forums about tray developing. Give it a try.

    Best and good luck
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I have heard of people using paper safes for tray processing of sheet film in the light, but the replenishment method will give you the economy you're looking for with stuff you already own.
     
  12. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

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    I don't remember the exact amount, but I've developed 4x5 in 5x7 trays that were just under half full. I've done as many as 8 sheets at a time with no problem other than it taking forever because I do one at a time to avoid scratches. I recently got a tank that can hold 12 sheets. I plan on using that because the extra chemicals are worth it to save the time, to have less to clean up, and to have better control of the temperature.
     
  13. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    .
    Has anyone ever done 24 sheets back to back in a 12 sheet tank.
    I've been considering that option for when I go to Montana next year.

    And would the development time need to be increased ?


    Ron
    .
     
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  15. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    If you're not into zone system adjustments, try a gallon of Diafine. You just keep reusing the same developer over and over for several years, so filling up with 1.5L to develop two sheets isn't an issue.
     
  16. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    I second the Paterson Oribital - sadly only available on the used market. Once load in complete darkness the rest can be carried out in ordinary room lighting. Continuous agitation is required and as said 1 to 4 sheets of 4x5, 2 sheets 5x7 or 1 sheet of 8x10 can be processed in a small amount of chemistry.
     
  17. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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  18. jbbooks

    jbbooks Member

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    You do not say what tank you are using.. The JOBO Expert 3010 will hold up to 10 sheets of 4x5 and can be used by rolling it manually across a level surface. The advantage of the JOBO tanks is that they will allow small one-shot quantities of chemical which can be used and thrown away without loss relative to the capacity of the developer. The Expert 3010 has a minimum fluid requirement of 210ml for complete coverage of the film. Practically, this means that you use the quantity of developer required for the film area, not some larger amount to fill the tank.

    For small numbers of sheets look for what is called a "slosher". Googling "film slosher" will bring it up. This, however, requires more chemical and a darkroom.
     
  19. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    You don't mention the tank. If it is the 2521 tank w/ 1 6-sheet reel then it only needs 270 ml of developer.

    Jobo tanks are made to be used horizontally. If you don't have a Jobo processor then you can either roll the tank back and forth on the the table or use a motor base. However, a 2521 tank is too short for comfortable use on a motor base -- two fixes are: attach another tank to the bottom of the 2521 using the magnets on both bases; or slide the tank into a longer length of PVC drain pipe, the tank can roll around inside the larger pipe so it doesn't need to be any sort of tight fit.

    If you are only doing 2 sheets then use a 4x5 or 5x7 tray.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2010
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No, some JOBO tanks were never made for horizontal use, the 2000 series for instance. These are inversion tanks

    Ian

     
  21. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I had a Jobo 2509n reel and 2500 series tank back when I was doing 4X5. I found that the best results I got were when I floated the tank in a tempered water bath and rotated it by hand. I never had a jobo machine, but I found that normal motor bases tended to cause very uneven development while the randomness of hand rotation floating in water resulted in perfect evenness.
     
  22. djacobox372

    djacobox372 Member

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    I use a unicolor 8x10 photo-paper drum and unicolor roller, lets me develop 4 4x5 sheets at a time in around 300ml of chemistry.

    The constant agitation creates some very high contrast negatives, but I like my photos that way.

    Here's some info: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/unicolor/
     
  23. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    Another solution would be to try a two bath developer such as Thorntons two bath. 1500ml will happily develop 49 sheets before expiry. Also it is very inexpensive to make up and is easy to use. The formula is on the public domain so I am giving it here: -

    Solution A

    Water 1000ml
    Metol 9.5g
    Sodium Sulphite (anhydrous) 126g
    Water to 1500ml

    Solution B

    Water 1000ml
    Sodium Metaborate 18g
    Water to 1500ml

    Try 5 minutes in each solution with no rinse between solutions.
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I use replenished XTOL in the Jobo 3010 Expert Tank on a Jobo CPP 2 for up to 10 sheets at a time. Low chemistry cost and consistantly great results.

    Steve
     
  25. Doc W

    Doc W Subscriber

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    Marco, I use a Jobo tank and reel for 4x5 but I use it horizontally on a Jobo processor. This requires a minimum of 270mm of developer. I don't think that this can used properly without the processor. I develop 8x10 sheet film in an Expert Drum which can be easily rolled horizontally by hand and doesn't require a processor (I roll it in my darkroom sink).

    You can find second-hand Jobo CPE-2 processors for not much money and they are very economical to use, with regard to chemistry. If you can't find or can't afford one, tray development is also economical. I have NEVER been any good at tray development, however. I always scratch at least one negative. Some guys swear by it but they are obviously more careful than I.

    A slosher is probably the next economical way to go and when my CPE-2 dies, I will probably be looking into that.

    Good luck.
     
  26. MarcoGiardini

    MarcoGiardini Subscriber

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    bzts (sp) i have no clue what they are. As well as slosher, ....what is a slosher? Sorry but' I'm italian :-(
    As far as i understand the tray should be the more economical way to develop but at daylight.
    Paterson orbital is hard to find here.
    I guess i have to tray with tray....thanks anyway

    marco