Film developing while traveling in remote areas

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by flyfish, May 27, 2008.

  1. flyfish

    flyfish Member

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    I'm lucky enough to be able to take off in my pickup truck and small 17' travel trailer for a five month trip to Alaska, Yukon Territories and the Yukon Arctic. Then down to Nevada. Those old towns are very nice and the people are very friendly and interesting. With fuel prices as they are, I think this year will be the last hoorah for a trip of this sort. I'll be shooting 4x5 & 5x7. HP-4+ & Acros. I was wondering how others develop film while traveling without the benefit of a darkroom, running water, and electricity.
    I plan on taking a Harrison tent and a Jobo 3006 tank. I guess I could take the complet Jobo CPP for the time I would have electricity but it takes up a lot of volume.
    Any thoughts, idea's or suggestions would be appreciated. I'm leaving the end of the month.

    Regards, Richard
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Still shooting HP-4 :D You are lucky !!!! Welcome to APUG.

    I regularly travel with my dev tanks etc in the boot of the car, and process where I'm camping. It's quite easy and I've never run into any problems. I use my little camping stove to warm up any water, but generally as I don't camp when it's very cold its all quite simple.

    Ian
     
  3. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    Interesting.

    Ian, how do you dry your negatives when at a campsite?
     
  4. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    For 4X5 get an old Yankee tank and use a divided developer like Dianfine, 4 mints in A and 4 mints in B dont worry about the tempature. For drying negatives make a drying cabinet from a hanging plastic clothing storage unit, the kind that will hold several suits. Folks use them to store clothes in basements ect. Has a zipper and when not in use will fold flat. For 5X7 and larger use a set of trays.
     
  5. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    When I needed to dry film quickly I used to immerse it in alcohol. Denatured ethyl that comes in a can from the hardware store worked a little better than the drugstore isopropyl, because the latter has 30% water. I never had any trouble with water spotting. Dries fast!

    I don't know how this would affect the permanence but I can't see why it would. Anyway, you could rewash when you get home, if you feel the need.

    I'm practicing developing film in my truck camper in anticipation of coming excursions. I have the advantage of hot water, which is great. I'm not going to bother with sheet film, since I'm shooting 35mm and 120 6x9.

    Of course, you could make yourself a black tent like they used in the 1860's. If you shoot ortho film, you could even use a red window! Actually, I like that idea.

    Larry
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Uhner, I hang them up inside the tent over some newspaper to catch the water drips :D

    It's worked for 25 years for me, so far.

    Ian
     
  7. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    Many thanks. If need be I will consider this in the future.
     
  8. flyfish

    flyfish Member

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    I appreciate the great tips so far...Ian, Nice website...I really like the "wheel shed" photo. Paul, I've never used Dianfine...I'll do a bit of research about it. I do like the idea of temperature independence though.

    Thanks again, Richard
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Thanks for your comments Richard, they are appreciated.

    Ian
     
  10. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I was thinking split D-23 (like divided Dianfine) would be the ticket - kind of hard to screw it up - and the results are quite nice - although a little soft.
     
  11. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Please stay far away from a Yankee tank -- learned my lesson the hard way on that one.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Just use your normal developer of choice, you can't afford to experiment while out in the field.

    I haven't ever seen any even the slightest difference between images developed while camping and images developed in my darkroom, or elsewhere.

    Ian
     
  13. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I never did get the Yankee tank to work - go with JoBo

     
  14. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    My experience with a Yankee tank was something like 40 years ago, but I still remember the hideous uneven development I got with it. I do wonder though, whether if it were used with divided development as Paul suggested, it might actually work ok. It is the agitation that was the problem. In the A bath, agitation isn't critical as long as full saturation is achieved. In the B, without agitation, the crummy design of the tank wouldn't be of the same impact on the results, seems to me. What might be of issue, however, is the flow of the liquid when pouring in and out. I don't remember how that tank handles it. Fluid streaming across the film would certainly influence the result.
     
  15. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I would only use a Yankee tank with a divided developer. I have used my Yankee with Dianfine, (plus X rated at 200, it has been several years) on the road in motels or hotels , but not in a camper. If you start your development time as soon as the tank is full and give the negatives a full 4 mints, your drain time will not matter as the negative is saturated. But then again if you need trays for the larger negatives having a Yankee Tank will be of little help.
     
  16. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    My problem with the Yankee tank was hideously uneven development at the edges -- no matter what I tried by way of agitation, it existed. I even tried to lift the film in and out of the developer in a darkened room (negating the benefit of a daylight tank) and still the same results.

    It's awful. Use it for planting flowers or washing film sheets...anything, but developing your precious work.
     
  17. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Weegee had a darkroom in his trunk.

    "F/8 and be there." He also had a rare NY licensed police band radio to get to the action. He would develop his stuff, somehow, and avoided a trip to his home darkroom.
     
  18. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Try going on a dry run with your initial idea for a set-up, see how it works.

    I know that's not exciting advice, but it'll probably help you the most.