Newbie success with 4x5

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by cluttered, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. cluttered

    cluttered Member

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    Just thought I'd share some success. I've now successfully exposed & developed sheet film for the first time yesterday.

    Most of my photography is 35mm and some 6x7, but I've recently bought a 4x5 Crown Graphic so that I can try LF. I spent some "quality time" reading up on loading the dark slides and how to develop the film, including some good videos on YouTube.

    I had previously bought a CombiPlan daylight tank for sheet film, but I then realised that it takes 1.2 litres which is more than my beakers & opaque bottles will hold, so I decided to use tray developing this time.

    The results turned out good, MUCH better than I'd hoped for given that it was my first attempt. However I found the process of tray developing a bit hit-and-miss, hard to keep the sheets in order and quite prone to scratching. I'll get some bigger beakers & bottles and try the CombiPlan soon, that might be more practical for me.

    I love the way the negatives look, I'll contact print them tomorrow night, and I'll try to enlarge them next time I have access to a suitable enlarger.

    Anyway, just thought I'd share some newbie good news :smile:
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    And a hearty pat on the back to you. Have you tried the "taco" method of developing? I use a plastic 2 reel tank and gently fold the sheet (no crease)until the edges just touch and place a rubber band around to hold. I can fit four sheets in my tank at a time. Make sure the black center assembly is in the tank before loading, or you will get light fogging. There are a few threads here about the method.
    Oh-- welcome to Apug!
     
  3. cluttered

    cluttered Member

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    No, I haven't heard of that one before. I'll do some searching and reading about it, thanks for the suggestion. Do you mean the usual (eg Paterson) plastic tanks which hold 2 35mm rolls, or some different tank?
     
  4. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Never heard of the Taco method before, but it sounds like a great idea.
    I use mostly tray processing (with a lot of trays to prevent scratching). My Combiplan works with 9x12cm but is slightly too big for 4x5" so they usually manage to escape the holder.
    I will give the Taco method a try.

    Thanks

    Jesper
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I use an AP brand tank which is the same as the Arista brand sold by Freestyle. I have a Peterson Super System 2 reel tank, but the AP works better, and is less money.
     
  6. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Welcome to APUG, and as for scratched negatives and having to use trays it is your first time out, did your first roll of film come out perfect? You have passed the hurdle of actually developing a negative, now it's time to refine the process.
     
  7. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Congrats! May you have more great results. My first try in processing 4x5 in a tray was a disaster. Scratched up my film. :sad:

    I use an old Yankee Agitank and that works well for me. What I don't like is that it takes a 1/2 liter of chemicals to process 4x5.
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    cluttered, welcome to APUG!

    Steve
     
  9. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Yeah, welcome to APUG from Melbourne. I think you'll find the Combi-Plan helps get rid of those annoying little scratches. I'm also new to 4 x 5 film, and I'm really loving the Combi-Plan.
     
  10. cluttered

    cluttered Member

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    Yep, that's the way I'm looking at it. I felt like there was quite a learning curve getting into 4x5 compared with 35mm & 120, but now I'm a lot more confident, and those big negatives make it all worthwhile.

    My negatives aren't noticeably scratched, there's just a couple of very small marks which should be able to be spotted once I get them printed.
     
  11. cluttered

    cluttered Member

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    That's something I hadn't realised until I was about to start with the CombiPlan tank.

    I've read that if you use one of those Paterson Orbital processors then you don't need much chemistry, but that would mean buying another gadget which is something I can do without.

    As long as the trays are small enough, you don't need much chemistry when doing tray development
     
  12. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Just don't agitate your combi-plan perpendicular to the film. Found that out the hard way myself.