New method of developing sheet film needed.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by chrisf, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    I have been using Pyrocat Hd in tubes with Fp4+, the drawback is I can develop only 3 sheets at a time.

    After returning from a trip where I exposed 400 sheets of film I need a way to do more than 3 sheets at a time.

    I was thinking of using tubes with no end caps, vertically in a bucket. I figure I could bundle 9 tubes together and agitate vertically.

    Is there anyone here using this method who can offer some guidance? Are there problems inherent with this type of agitation? What agitation schedule do you use?

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  2. AOCo

    AOCo Member

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    400 sheets ?! Oh my, you're in trouble. Good luck !
     
  3. degruyl

    degruyl Member

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    I assume you have a darkroom. Otherwise, this is going to be very difficult.

    To answer your actual question, lifting the bundle of tubes out and replacing them back in about 3 times every 30 seconds would be consistent with my agitation in tanks. I'd suggest running some tests, especially since you have so much film to process.

    Have you considered tanks and hangers? With 1 gallon tanks and 4x5 film you can easily develop 24 sheets at a time.
     
  4. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    I do have hangers but I'm concerned about surge marks at the edges. The hangers I have fit one sheet inside a frame.
     
  5. degruyl

    degruyl Member

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    I use 4-up hangers for 4x5 film (it is an 8x10, 1 gallon set of tanks). I don't have issues with surge marks, but I have heard of them. I may be slow or downright ponderous about moving the hangers, though. It generally takes me 2-3 seconds to do a single agitation.

    If I had 400 sheets to process at once, I'd even consider using 3 1/2 gallon tanks, but I only have a couple of those.
     
  6. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    You could look at Alister's nitrogen burst systems. He's an advertiser here. Of course, that's expensive.
    For hangers in tanks, look at the threads on minimal agitation schemes. Less agitation, less chance for surge marks.
    You could also learn to develop multiple sheets in trays. A lot of people handle 10-12 sheets of 8x10 in trays, though 6 is the most I've managed.
    juan
     
  7. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Tray shuffling would be the most efficient in terms of the number of sheets you can do at one time, although this is a technique that requires testing and practice. Another alternative if you have 16x20 trays is to make yourself a "slosher" which should be able to accomodate 6-8 sheets of 4x5 film. It is a relatively easy, flexible way to get nice, even development, and eliminates some of the risks associated with hand shuffling (eg scratches). The downside of course is it is not a daylight process.
     
  8. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    It is not that difficult to learn to handle 20-25 sheets of 4x5 in a 16x20 tray. You will need that big a tray in order to have adequate developer for that many w/o exhausting the developer. Start with 10 -12 and work your way up.
     
  9. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Holy cow, shuffling 20 sheets??? Impressive! :smile:
     
  10. chrisf

    chrisf Member

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    I should have mentioned they are 5x7 sheets.

    I'm aware of the nitrogen burst method and might consider that since the learning curve doesn't seem so daunting as shuffeling sheets in a tray.

    I have used minimal agitation with 5 sheets in hangers. It's too unpredictable. I try to agitate slowly, doing three up and down movements in ten seconds but still have problems.

    Thanks for the replies
    Chris
     
  11. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I'd look at your drying capacity (numbers of sheets, time before you could start to dry the next batch) first. That governs your throughput (ignoring minor details like sleep...). Fixing does not need to be in tubes. From that you can decide your maximum development rate, and look at solutions to suit.