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Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Black Dog, Nov 17, 2003.
Any tips about the best way to stand develop sheet film in trays?
Personally I don't like tray processing, Theirs to many possible mistakes lurking. With so many labs going digital or being forced out of business due to digital and schools with less chemistry based photo classes theirs lots of used dip tanks out their that with a little effort can be cleaned and modified to process sheet film. I found my 4 tanks and various hangers for $10.00. When I need more hangers I use a shirt hanger with miniature spring clamps (plastic tipped) to suspend the film in the tank. Thus eliminating my biggest problem of scratches on my precious film.
I don't know about the best way, but I plan on trying it with a film hanger and a paper safe. I would do it in a tank, but I don't trust it to being light tight.
I have had pretty lousy results with stand development of sheet film in tray development so I would recomend a tank, or perhaps you could also use a BTZS type tube and fill it to the top with developer and stand it on end.
Would the Nikor 4x5 tanks be suitable for stand development? I'm concerned by the close spacing in the reel causing problems.
I have gotten my best results with 120 film on steainless spiral reels and the spacing is pretty close there, though I have not seen the Nikor tanks so don't know how they compare. But my inclination is to believe that as long as there is any separtion at all there should be nor problem. At least no spacing caused by the distance of the separation!!!
Tanks sound like a good idea-I was thinking of building my own as I plan to move to 8x10. However Perhaps you could stick dividers in a tray to stop one sheet from getting on top of another?
I made some special large volume tubes to do stand development. My regular tubes for 4x5 were made from 1.5 inch ABS pipe. For the stand development I used 2 inch ABS. The caps were made from a section of pipe also. This way each tube will hold about 300 mL of liquid. It also works very well with highly dilute developers like Rodinal at 100:1 with intermittent agitation.
Tried stand development for the first time today...
I had some pre-mixed FX-2 sitting around from developing this weekend's worth of 5x7" film. I did half in Pyrocat-HD, half in FX-2 to see what the difference is.
I also had two 9x12cm films (EFKE PL100), which I felt wasn't enough to bother with JOBO tanks and reels. Also, they're on the small side for DBI. So I dug out an ancient Johnson Cutfilm Developing tank (a truly hopeless piece of equipment for normal processing).
Put the film in the tank, lid on, filled up with water. Had a cup of coffee. Drained off water, measured it to 890ml. Poured in 890ml FX-2. Had another coffee, a cigarette, went out to see if the mail was in yet, surfed the net etcetera. No agitation at all (the tank isn't made for it), hence the presoak.
After one hour I poured out the developer, did a qiuck water rinse, then fix (TF-4, 10 minutes without agitation).
Negatives are exellent! No sign at all of bromide drag or suchlike, good shadows, good highlights, good tonality...
I'll definitely try this again, since it lets me :Zzz:
With 24 hours a day of darkness in Norway I thought you had plenty of time to sleep
I'm well south of the Arctic Circle, so I only get about 20 hours of darkness. And I need that sleep to catch up, as the summer has 20 hours of daylight
A quick look at the negatives shows that FX-2 seems to give slightly better speed (more shadow separation), but poorer highlight separation. I will make some prints tomorrow, as the stain of Pyrocat-HD makes it very difficult to assess negatives visually. Both sets were developed by inspection to about the same visual density.
If the prints confirm these observations, I'll turn to FX-2 for "small" negatives and poor light, using Pyrocat-HD for larger negatives to be contact printed. The FX-2 (or as close to it as I could get) seems to be a very good choise for stand development, at least...
I followed the recipe in "The Film Development Cookbook" with the following modifications: Replaced crystalline potassium carbonate with anhydrous, reducing the amount by 20% as well as replacing 10% of the sodium sulfite by sodium bisulfite. This was because I don't have crystalline K2CO3, which is said to contain some bicarbonate giving a buffering effect. Using a bisulfite/sulfite mix gives the same effect.
In the tests that I've run with Pyrocat HD and stand development, I've seen about a 1/3 stop loss in speed. I get full film speed with standard development, but find that the shadows are lacking for stand dev when rated at the manufacturers speed.
I can't really say anything about that, as I haven't tried Pyrocat-HD with stand development yet. The films I did with FX-2 seems to indicate that this may be so in that case too, but the films were different (FP4+ and TMX vs. PL100), and the camera/lens were different too (shutter sped may be different). FX-2 with normal development seems to give a slight speed increase (about 2/3 to 1 stop), which is what I'd expect.
My belief is that if there is a loss of film speed with stand development with either FX-2 or Pyrocat-HD the reason is development time was not long enough for the dilution used. In this case it is merely a question of getting the right combination of dilution and time of development. So if you are getting reduced film speed with eithe of these developers I would recommend that you either make the dilution slightly more energetic or increase development times.
The more critical issue is evenenss of development. That is the thing I am always most concerned about with stand development.
Perhaps I'll try a longer time then. I have yet to encounter any fogging or infectious dev with one hour of development, so we'll see what a longer time yields.
I've just done some Delta 3200 (120) in PCAT this way-40 mins in paterson tank-negs look vg (just a few marks on one side)-rated at 1600.I agitated for 1 min at the beginning and 1 min halfway through. Should you just do one roll at a time in the same tank?