How do you use the Cibachrome developing tube for b&w paper developing, exactly?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by zeitguy, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. zeitguy

    zeitguy Member

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    I want to process some 16 x 20 prints, and don't really have the room for my 20 x 24 trays where I work now. I picked up a Cibachrome 16 x 20 tube cheap and am interested in experimenting with it, but thought I would ask for some informed advice first. My main concern is how the overlapping part of the print will get even development. Is that not an issue? And it indicates which end is up, but that is all. How do you pour the chemicals in and out, exactly, and can you reuse them?

    Really appreciate some experienced guidance. Thanks.
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    the paper should not be over lapping , you pour the chemicals into the capped end with the liquid cup and rotate the tub as one would for color.

    pour out the chemistry from the same end.

    you will need to test how many prints you can use with a "shot " of chemistry as it isn't a huge amount.
     
  3. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Actually, the Ciba tubes I have have a cup under the liquid in funnel end, and a light baffle plate in the other end, over the drain plate which has about 4 holes in it. The cup holds about 250-300mL on the 11x14 and 8x10 tubes I own. The tube capacity is the limit of how much liquid the tube holds before it gets high enogh to start leaking over the drian holes.

    I would consider 250ml of developer a one shot use for a 16x20 print, but experimentation may prove that more prints can be wrung out of it.

    Pour the chems in the cup end, tip the tube over, start your timer, and commence rolling.
     
  4. williamtheis

    williamtheis Member

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    one thing you might try, especially for larger print sizes, is to just go to the hardware store and get black PVC tubing (in plumbing) large enuff in diameter so print would not overlap. You can cap the ends with standard caps (with a hole above the level of the chemistry when it lies on its side for aggitation) --OR-- leave them open and find a tray long enough (like the ones for wallpaper)!to roll them partially submerged in the chemistry! beats having large trays and is very cheap to pull off! heard about this in Shutterbug long ago and it works (I do it)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2010
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If it is truly a 16x20 tube, I think it has a 5+ inch diameter, and 20+ inch length.

    There are tubes with the same diameter as the 8x10 and 11x14 tubes, and a 16 inch length, but I think those are designed to be used with 2 8x10 prints at the same time.

    You can reuse the chemistry - you just need a fairly wide mouthed container to drain the used chemistry into.
     
  6. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    The tube itself is 6.25" in outside diameter, from the one sitting in the Ilford Cibachrome 16x20 inch box I have here. ")
     
  7. zeitguy

    zeitguy Member

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    Thanks and results

    Well it has taken a long time, obviously, to finally use this set up. I successfully developed my first b&w 16x20 last evening, and it went as outlined with only one signficant lesson learned.

    First, the amount of chem needed is about 300 mL, and one print exhausts my 200:1 stop solution fresh mixed. I can't test the developer, but I mixed it 1:1 from stock, too, so I figured that 150 mL and toss is affodable. I am using Dektol on Ilford paper, and before you wince be assured I am happy with the results. I used the hypo check on the fix, and it stayed clear but I will check each time.

    Second, the pouring is through the end with the cup, and the draining is through the opposite end. It takes a minimum of care to tip the solution slowly onto the machine to avoid sloshing out. I didn't the first time, and learned fast.

    The main lesson learned is that the machine must be absolutely level when running! This might seem obvious, and it even occurred to me at one point in devising the set-up, but I forgot that detail when I was in the thick of measuring, pouring etc and when the machine ran for a minute the whole tube walked toward one end, and almost tipped everything onto the floor.

    Other than that, it worked perfectly. It had the advantage of forcing me to take great care with my test strips etc in setting up the exposure, as I didn't want to have to walk the tube up and down the stairs between dry darkroom and basement bathroom more times than necessary. For the record, my dry darkroom has a small table for 5x7 trays so I can inspect the test strips without a lot of travel. I don't think I have ever been quite so careful with test strips, and I never had the first full print come off quite so close to ideal...there is something to be said for doing things the hard way at times.