Shallow vs Deep Developing trays

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by jeddy-3, May 29, 2012.

  1. jeddy-3

    jeddy-3 Subscriber

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    Hello Everyone, I'm still working on getting my first closet-darkroom prepared. I have 3 small trays that my father gave me from his old rig, and I'd like something bigger. It seems that the deeper 5" trays would be less likely to spill, especially when I make trips to the sink in the adjacent room. Are the deeper trays more difficult to work with for any reason when developing paper? Is there any advantage to the more shallow 3" trays? Thanks so much. I know it's a very basic question, but I have absolutely no darkroom experience and no one to ask. Thanks most kindly for your patience.
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    How big is the tray? For 8x10 size, the depth doesn't matter that much. I use shallow ones and it's been working fine for me. Why don't you fill it with water and see if you can manage it? I fill 8x10 with 600cc or so. (2 1/2 cups)

    For anything larger, you may want deeper so it's more rigid.
     
  3. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    As someone who works in small spaces and carries the trays around like you are planning.... I recommend getting the deepest trays you can find in whatever size you use. It definitely helps with spilling while carrying them but also gives you extra room to rock the trays around while developing / fixing and such.

    Good luck!
    Shawn
     
  4. jeddy-3

    jeddy-3 Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone. I don't know why this was posted twice, but the thank you goes for everyone who responded int he duplicate post. I am sorry for my mistake. My hope is to be able to work with somewhat larger prints, or at least to have the ability to do so. Shawn, I appreciate your sympathy with makeshift spaces. I will take your advice, especially at the end of the chain for the tray that will be transported across my bedroom/through the living room, and finally into the bathroom.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    You shouldn't be carrying trays around that are filled with liquid. Just a bad idea.
     
  6. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Yet sometimes it is the only option. Beats the hell out of not working! =)

     
  7. jeddy-3

    jeddy-3 Subscriber

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    Haha, Sean...that's exactly what I was thinking. Don't worry Gerald, I am fully capable of mopping my own floor. One of the members emailed with a good suggestion (several good suggestions). He reminded me that I really don't need to take a print from the darkroom to the wash area in a pan of water at all. I can simply pull it from fixer or hypo clear, let most fluid drain off, then transport it to the next room or outside for final wash. Silly huh? As I told him, it's little suggestions like this that help a lot. Stupid little things that a beginner might not fully realize as he is making preparations based on perceived need versus actual need.

    So far I've read The Darkroom Cookbook and will soon be on Ansel Adams' third book The Print, but the books don't seem to cover these little trivial concerns. Once again, thank you all for your advice...even those of you who simply tell me that it's not worth risking a wet floor :wink: Your concern is still appreciated.
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    When I was tray-developing 4x5 negs in 5x7 trays, I would put two 5x7 trays of developer in an 11x14 tray -- I could rock one tray instead of two, and no worry about spilling developer out of the 5x7 tray onto the counter.

    Vaughn

    PS...you might wish to have an extra empty tray for transporting wet prints from room to room -- stray drops do happen!
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    What's your maximum print size you plan to make? You could buy or build a vertical slot processor (basically a lucite box divided into chambers that would let you dip-n-dunk your prints) that would take less space than a single tray the size of the biggest print you want to make. Then you'd just need a drip tray to carry your print between the processing area and the wash area.
     
  10. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    Yes, a larger empty tray underneath the tray you are transporting is key! Once people find out you are working in silver, darkroom equipment (especially trays) begins to be given to you in plenty. At least that's how it worked for me. =)
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I'm going to just recommend start working with what you have. While each of us have our own method and workaround for our less than ideal environment, you are the best judge of what works for you and what doesn't.

    Once you start printing, you'll notice your time in darkroom is spent more on contemplating than producing. My darkroom is not that different from yours. It's setup in a spare bedroom and bathroom is outside the door. My washing station is in the garage.

    For test prints and quick RC washing, I do it in bathroom. For archival washing, I take it to my garage. It's not bad at all... I can't really judge anything until the prints are dry anyway, so it's not that much of time lost to having have to make these trips.

    If you are afraid of spilling, you can keep your trays inside a larger tub. I used to use storage containers that were originally made to fit under beds. Then scope liquid into cups for trips to the bathroom. (to dispose) I don't do that anymore since I kind of got the hang of this process.