New to 4x5 - Development Tips?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Rui.Cardoso, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Rui.Cardoso

    Rui.Cardoso Member

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    Hello All,

    I finally decided to try 4x5 and borrowed a camera from a friend. I've been using mostly 120mm film for some time and do my own hand developing using a Jobo 1500 series film tank.

    I've been reading about jobo's 2500 series tanks, but the jobo site says that these tanks are only supposed to be used with Jobo Processors.

    Does anyone know if there's any problem using these manually? Also, besides tray development and using Jobo tanks, is there any other way to develop 4x5 film? (I'm still in the trial phase so, I'd rather keep the costs low if possible).

    Thanks All,

    -Rui Cardoso
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The 2500s can be used inversion. They use LOTS of chemicals but it's possible. They can also be used on a motorbase. No idea how hard it would be to find one in Europe. Or I think some people just roll them around the table.

    The Jobo Expert tanks. Even more money.


    Then a few things that people mostly curse at.
     
  3. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Tray development is about the least expensive development process there is. Three 5x7 plastic trays (or a comparable size tray from a non-photographic source) plus chems is all you need. There are plenty of discussions on the process here (use the search function), and you can start off developing just a sheet or two at a time till you get comfortable with the process. As to Jobo stuff....I know nothing about it.
     
  4. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    I use a 2500 series jobo for my 4x5 processing and agitate by inversion, works perfectly well. As nick says it takes more chemistry that way 1.4l but i get even and well developed negatives.
    Good luck.

    jan
     
  5. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Rui,

    Jovo's suggestion is right on track: Search for "4 x 5 Processing" or "Unicolor" or "deep tank" or "drum" or "tube" or "Paterson Orbital Processor" or "hanger" or "Chromega" or "Nikkor tank" or "dip and dunk" or . . .

    Konical
     
  6. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Rui, I have a Jobo 2000 series tank and it's designed for inversion agitation, uses a liter of dev per 6 5x4's. Actually I have 2 but the first has been in constant use for 30 years, and the others a continent away.

    The newer 2500 Jobo tanks are designed to fit their rotary processors, so they (Jobo) DON'T admit they can also be used with inversion agitation.

    If you use a developer like Pyrocat HD or Rodinal they are very economic, if you use ID11 (D76), Xtol etc then replenishment is your best route.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2007
  8. nicolai

    nicolai Member

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  9. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Didn't read the mentioned threads and I'm sure they mention this somewhere but...

    A processor is certainly not required. I've always turned mine by hand. I use 400ml of chemistry and rotate either on a towel laid out on the counter top or, better...I fill the kitchen sink with cool water (20 degrees C) and spin the floating tank by hand.
     
  10. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Member

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    Hello Rui,

    If you decide to go the tray processing route--which is the least expensive--then I'd highly recommend one tray size larger than the film you intend to process; 8x10 for 4x5 film, 11x14 for 8x10 film, etc. This little "trick" is something I learned from Fred Picker over 25 years, ago, and it really helps to minimize scratching and, possibly, might contribute to more even development. I always did pretty well with trays, but when I moved to the Jobo CPP-2 with expert drums I became painfully aware of the issues with my tray processed negs. The Expert Drums, in my experience, provide absolutely even development and are, quite simply, a joy to use. I've never pined for the "old days" since getting the Jobo. Not trying to convince you to go this way...rather just something to think about. :wink:

    Good luck!
     
  11. Rui.Cardoso

    Rui.Cardoso Member

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    Thanks all for the help... I think I'll try tray development 1'st to see how I do (I already have trays so the investment is zero in that front), in the meanwhile I'll try to get a Jobo 2500 tank, but as someone mentioned they seam really difficult to find in Europe. If someone has a link for an euro-zone internet dealer selling them, I'd appreciate the info!

    Regards,

    -Rui
     
  12. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Hi Rui, you might also take a look at 4x5 in black plastic development tubes. I used 6" long plastic drain line (household plumbing materials) to make simple tubes. You can do all of the processing in them and only need to have lights off during the actual pouring in and out of the chemistry. Is there such a thing as a 40mm black plastic drain line where you live? It is used under sinks in the U.S for drain lines under ground. Some glue and a saw is all you need, along with some simple fittings (6" tube, cap, screw type plug, some plastic window screen to make it easier to remove the film when it is done). tim
     
  13. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Might want to watch Ebay. Used tanks if they don't leak work just fine and are much cheaper. Then buy a new 2509N reel for the tank.


    http://www.fotoimpex.de/catalogus_novus_impexi_germanus.pdf

    With the strong Euro you might consider B&H. Even with VAT and shipping it might end up cheaper :surprised:
     
  14. Peter Williams

    Peter Williams Member

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    I also use the Jobo 2553 tank with the six sheet holder and develop by inversion. I use Pyrocat HD or Rodinal and I don't mind the larger quantities of chemicals. You can certainly develop in trays and I did for a while, but I always seemed to scratch the negatives. I know - it's my problem, not a problem with the method - but I really like the convenience of the daylight tanks. I don't know what classified ad venues there are in Europe, but I bought mine used for a reasonable price.
     
  15. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    Rui

    You may find it easier to find a Paterson Orbital - there are usually a few on the ebay UK site. If you don't want to go the ebay route, Retrophotographic in the UK usually have some (a bit more expensive, but at least you'll know all the bits are there).

    I used to develop my 9x12cm and 4x5 in a 120 tank (one or two at a time), but have recently obtained an Orbital. Dead easy to load and uses so little chemistry it almost doesn't feel right. It does four 4x5 sheets at a time.

    Good luck
     
  16. jedrek

    jedrek Member

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    I picked up a 2500 series tank (too lazy to check exactly which one right this second) from b&h for $60 bucks with the reel, it sailed by Polish customs which usually redflags all my photo gear.
     
  17. drpsilver

    drpsilver Subscriber

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    18 Aug 2007

    Rui:

    I develop all my 4x5 using a Jobo 2500 tank and a motorbase. The advantage over inversion is that you use much less chemistry. Your development times will be much shorter with constant agitation, so some experimentation will be in order. I have found this method to be very easy to control once one has some experience.

    The motorbase I use was made by Besler for processing color prints, but any base cane be used. A couple of hints if you follow this path:

    1. Make sure that you periodically (every minute or so) reverse the rotation of the tank.

    2. Make sure that when you reverse the rotation of the tank that you also mix the chemistry along the axis of the tank.

    Good luck with LF

    Regards,
    Darwin
     
  18. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

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  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I've tray, tank and hanger, and daylight tank developed.
    If memory serves me I put hundreds of sheets through
    using a Yankee daylight tank. Yankee daylight? Dan
     
  20. Rui.Cardoso

    Rui.Cardoso Member

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    Thanks all!

    It seams I've lots of reading to do...

    In the meanwhile I'll try to do my first shots this week just to start learning how to use the camera, I'll use tray development first even if just to get a feel of it.

    In the meanwhile I'll probably try to get a Jobo Tank, as I'm used to using these in other formats, I already have the washing system for them, and from your posts it seams that after all there are some possibilities for getting them in Europe.

    Regards,

    -Rui
     
  21. edebill

    edebill Member

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    I've recently switched to Jobo (with motor base/lift) from using an HP combi-plan T for 4x5 development.

    The combi-plan worked great. Yes, it leaked slightly, but I just loaded an extra 50mL of chemistry to compensate. Yes, if you weren't careful loading film it could jump the tracks and touch the other sheets.

    Loading the HP combi-plan film holder was much easier than loading the 2509 reels for the Jobo (I don't have the loader base - those are really expensive).

    On the other hand, the Jobo uses barely more than 1/4 the chemistry that the combi-plan did.

    So far I've ruined exactly one batch of negatives with the combi-plan (out of 20-30) and 2 with the Jobo (out of 5-10). Hopefully that's just learning curve on the Jobo side of things, not inherent flaws.

    The Jobo also gives uneven development where the reel holds the film. I have to crop a little more off the edges than I did on the combi-plan.

    I'm still not going to switch back, because the motorized agitation and easy chemistry changes using the lift make developing much less onerous. There's no point shooting film if I never get around to developing it.