Processing on the go : Aluminium trays?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Alex.the.KoNE, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Alex.the.KoNE

    Alex.the.KoNE Member

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    Hi,

    I'm currently on vacation in Edmonton and soon Vancouver shooting 4x5. I left pretty quickly and though I'd figure how to process my film later... Now I'm stuck with a growing stack of exposed mags I'd like to reload.

    I'm about to go get some D-76 I plan to dilute to working solution directly from the powder as I need it, but would rather not carry plastic trays in my backpack (the big trekker's kind). Has anyone tried processing film in those disposable aluminum trays you use to cook things in the oven? I know I'll definitely need to cover the trays so I don't scratch my film, but they would fold very nicely!

    Will the aluminum react with D-76?

    Ideas, thoughts, experiences all very welcome!
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    NEVER NEVER NEVER use aluminum with photo solutions. The alkali will dissolve the aluminum and release hydrogen gas. Never use it with fixer, the fixer will corrode it and leak all over the place.

    Aluminum is a NO NO NO NO.

    PE
     
  3. brofkand

    brofkand Member

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    PE would certainly know.

    I DO Know what happens to Aluminum when you put some of it in a 2-liter bottle of exhausted fix. Eventually you don't have any more aluminum :smile:
     
  4. fotch

    fotch Member

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    You will have to cover the trays with plastic wrap. You could cardboard then as long as you used plastic wrap. Good Luck.
     
  5. PeteZ8

    PeteZ8 Member

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    Danger Will Robinson! Aluminum is very corrosion resistant, but alkali's are it's weakness!

    There is a very good reason photo processing equipment is made out of either plastic or stainless!

    Perhaps some cheap dollar store tupperware? Real equipment is made from plastics that will not absorb chemicals, but for a quick fix the long term contamination shouldn't matter, especially if you dedicate them to one chemical (dev/stop/fix).

    Buy it and toss it before you leave. Not the most environmentally friendly soloution but it will get you through your bind.
     
  6. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    If you mean mixing a partial bag of D-76 powder, isn't this also a "no-no" as the chemicals may not be evenly distributed in the bag?

    May I ask why not? The trays would nest and take up very little room. And add very little weight.
     
  7. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    If you want to mix as needed, the way to do it is with bulk ingredients. The formula for D-76 is well known.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Go to a Dollar store and buy a few cheap plastic holders of the size appropriate for sandwiches. They shouldn't cost more than $2.00 a piece, and will probably nest nicely.

    As for chemistry, if you cannot carry small quantities of liquid chemistry like HC110, Jim's suggestion makes a lot of sense.

    Matt
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Aluminum is a no no. That's for sure. Small plastic trays are probably your best bet. Just label them and use them consistently to be on the safe side. As far as developer choice is concerned, I'd probably want to go with HC-110 if I were in your shoes. It's quick and easy to mix up, very consistent, and fast working - all highly desirable qualities for tray processing on the go.
     
  10. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    I would go with the HC-110 or even Blatzinol skip the stop bath and either mix fix from scratch, or more likely if I could carry some Ilford fix. they give 1:4 for film, but 1:9 would probably work on a one-shot basis with a 10 minute time. (test before you go).

    JD photochem http://www.jdphotochem.com/ is in Montreal area and they can sell you dry chemicals to mix from scratch, In that case you would want to pre measure in plastic bags. and have a bunch of "kits" that have each chemical for say a liter of developer in a separate bag. D76/ID11 is only 5 parts. DON'T break up a prepacked powder, as you can never be sure if it has settled.
     
  11. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    If you prepackage your own bulk chemicals, keep the chemicals separate even if pre-measured. Without adding sequestering agents, metol will be very problematic to dissolve. However, if you keep the ingredients separate you can mix the metol in first and then the other ingredients (Metol dissolves with great difficulty into a solution of sodium sulfite, and there is a lot of sulfite in many developers.)
     
  12. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    You could probably develop sheet film 1 sheet at a time or two sheets back to back in zip-lock bags if you're in the dark. I haven't tried it, and would suggest some experiments in the light to set up a procedure for putting first some developer in the bag while holding it open with one hand, inserting the film, and zipping up the bag. At worst, you can make fun of my idea. At best, you can have fun trying it.
     
  13. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    P.S.: If you are looking for a way to minimize carrying space for developer, try 1/8 teaspoon Metol powder, 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid powder, and 1 teaspoon sodium carbonate such as pH-Plus in a liter of water. Developing times will be about the same as D-76: 8 minutes at 20 C. The quality will surprise you.
    As you see, small containers of Metol, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and sodium carbonate will do many sheets or rolls of film.