Tray developing 8X10 sheet film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by nsurit, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I'm ready to develop my first 4 sheets of 8X10 sheet film. I'm thinking 11X14 trays. Four questions. Can I produce decent results running all four sheets through the same developer? If so, how much developer should I use in 11X14 trays? Does anyone have any suggestions in the wash cycle? I'm thinking using a large tray with a Kodak siphon type washer. Should I wash each sheet separately? Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    May I suggest practicing shuffling 4 sheets with scrap film if it's your first time. You want to get your agitation method solid to ensure development uniformity, reduce the chance of scratching the film etc.

    Alternatively, if you only have four sheets to develop, I humbly suggest doing one at a time. It will take longer of course, but doing a single sheet in a tray is about the best way to get really good, uniform development, and you eliminate manual handling of the film during development, which is always a plus. You can also use intermittent agitation. Lifting and dropping the corners and/or sides of the tray on a rotating basis provides excellent agitation.

    Regarding developer volume, usually the manufacturer will quote a minimum amount of stock solution to develop 80sq inches of film, or a single roll of 35mm (or 120). This is equal to one 8x10 sheet. So to do 4 sheets (either together or individually), make sure you have at least 4x that amount of stock.

    So using a developer like XTOL for an illustrative example, generally you need 100ml of stock per 80sq inches. So you'd technically need 400ml to do 4 sheets. If you were diluting 1+1, you'd need 800ml total solution (still containing 400ml stock). However more is usually better. And in the case of tray developing in an 8x10 tray you'd probably want around a liter of solution - even at stock strength. For an 11x14 tray you'd obviously want significantly more volume.
     
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  3. mjs

    mjs Member

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    How much developer depends on the developer you're using. I use D76 straight and plan on four 8x10 sheets per quart, or 16 sheets per gallon. For 4 sheets I'd use a quart of D76 in an 8x10 tray with continuous agitation (shuffling through the sheets at the rate of about one pass through the stack every 30 seconds,) but if this is your first time I would process them one at a time to avoid scratches. It's important, I think, to see what can be done before you start trying to improve the process.

    It is important to have enough depth of solution to lubricate the sheets well enough to help avoid scratches. I wouldn't use less than a quart of solution in an 8x10 tray, or perhaps three quarts in an 11x14 tray, if I were shuffling through a stack of negatives. I also pre-soak my 8x10 negs in water for a few minutes if I'm processing more than one, so they won't stick together in the developer.

    Washing one at a time in a tray with a siphon will do fine. If you want to wash more than one get an 8x10 washer: you're just asking for scratches otherwise.

    Mike
     
  4. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I have no scrap film and I do plan to run them through one at a time in an attempt to kept from making some scrap film. I'm thinking a liter or more. Thanks for the tip on making sure I have at least the minimum recommended by the maufacturer. I've heard folks talk about shuffling a bunch of sheets at one time and all that has done has made me crazy thinking about doing it without scratching the emulsion.
     
  5. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    When you say an 8X10 washer, are you talking about a print washer? If so, I have one. I figured it would be difficult to get them out of the washer and that there might be little bits of paper in there that would get stuck in the emulsion.
     
  6. mjs

    mjs Member

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    I use my 8x10 print washer for film as well. I clean it thoroughly after use for either paper or film and have never seen bits of paper in the washer or stuck to film.

    Mike
     
  7. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Film processed

    For the first time, I tray processed my four sheets of 8X10 film. Exposures made with my DIY pinhole camera of some Tri-X 320 that was is a couple of holders I bought 2 or 3 years ago. No idea how old it was. Processed in D-76 that I would estimate was 10-15 years old. three of the four negatives were OK (printable) and the forth is questionable. That having to do with exposure rather than materials. I will get them printed either tonight or Monday and post them in the gallery. Bill Barber