Tray development times

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Cheryl Jacobs, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    I've just shot some Tri-X 320 4x5 that I'd like to develop this afternoon. I've only shot large format a few times, so am still clumsy with tray developing and development times.

    On hand, I have Tmax developer, Rodinal, and FG-7. I'm too clumsy for the "shuffling" technique, so I use gentle continuous agitation (rocking the tray) instead. Can anyone help me out with some dilutions and times for any of these developers?

    I typically use the massive dev chart, but 1) there's no sheet film data for these developers, and 2) I'm not sure what kind of agitation they're assuming in the times they do provide.

    Hoping to get these developed this afternoon so I can print this evening. Anyone?

    Thanks in advance.

    - CJ
     
  2. John_Brewer

    John_Brewer Member

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    This may help (scroll down a bit - loads of stuff on this page)

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f9/f9.jhtml

    Personally I don't like total dark/have the patience for/scared i'll damage the film etc with tray development so I use a Patterson orbital processor designed for developing colour paper. They are cheap (try E-bay) and are economical with chemistry if you don't have loads to dev, and it's just like using a regular 35mm film tank.
     
  3. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Cheryl
    Generally, the development times listed for roll film are good places to start for sheet film too.

    Rodinal 1:50 is an excellent combo to start with using Tri-X. I think my time was about 11 minutes but you should double check that-I might be remembering something different.
     
  4. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Cheryl,

    John has the right idea. Drum (tube) processing is about the simplest way to go. My favorite drum is the Chomega (8 x 10 size for four sheets of 4 x 5 film), but the Unicolor drum apparently works well also. Some like a reversing motor base, but I find no problem with lifting and reversing the drum at regular intervals.

    Konical
     
  5. mikeb_z5

    mikeb_z5 Member

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    Cheryl,
    For some reason the tri-x data sheet says Tmax developer is not recommended for the sheet film. I'm guessing because the development times get pretty short. I've never tried this combination before(I've been using xtol for the tri-x sheet film).

    Mike
     
  6. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Thanks, all. If I start shooting 4x5 on a more regular basis, I'll look into drum processing. For now, I really don't mind trays in the dark. Kinda peaceful in there. :wink:

    Mike, yeah, that was my concern. If I started at the recommended Tri-X 320 times for roll film in tmax (7.25 min) it would certainly not be too fast -- so that implies to me that the tray time would be significantly different. Hmmmmm.

    I'll give the Rodinal a try and see how it goes.

    - CJ
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi cheryl - -

    if you eventually decide to use tmax developer with your sheet film, make sure it is '''rs" ... otherwise you may have trouble with a green metalic stain called dichrilic fog.

    - good luck!
    - john
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Short times can be advantageous with open trays or deep tanks and hangers. There's no issue with fill time, as with a daylight tank, and longer times will increase the risk of fog if you have any small light leaks in the darkroom. If your times are really short (less than 5 minutes, say), you might use a presoak to be on the safe side.
     
  9. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    I like the base. I just take the timer back with me and monkey around on the computer while it does the work.
     
  10. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Cheryl,

    In regard to John's comment above about T-Max RS: I have processed various kinds of film in the regular T-Max without ever encountering stains of any kind. This happened somewhat accidentally for me; by chance, I noticed the "for roll films only" notice on the bottle only after I had blundered along for years using the stuff for sheet film. Perhaps the problem John cites is due to variations in local water supplies.

    Konical
     
  11. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Sjixxxy,

    I wasn't clear. I use a motor base to rotate the drum, but mine is one-directional so I turn the drum 180 degrees every 30 seconds although I suspect it probably wouldn't make much difference if I just put it on the rollers and let it go in one direction for the entire development time.

    Konical
     
  12. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I, too, really enjoy tray development for 4x5 Tri-X 320. I use ID11 (essentially the same as D76) diluted 1 to 1 (giving each sheet about 100ml of diluted developer) for 9 minutes with very satisfactory results. It's taken a good deal of time to learn to handle the film without scratching it, but I seem to have accomplished that task at last. Don't make assumptions about your clumsiness/dexterity...practice on some throwaways til you're proficient...it's just not that difficult. Have some wine, listen to some good music and give it a go....I can't imagine you not doing it well sooner than later.
     
  13. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Tri-X 320 in 4x5 sheets done in Rodinal is certainly a good combination. I've done it quite a few times in daylight tanks, but I see no reason for a problem if you are using trays. I used the times for Tri-X 400 roll fim as a starting point and make some minor adjustments from there, mostly to compensate for different lighting conditions. The base time for Tri-X 400 with Rodinal at 1+50 given on "The Massive Dev Chart" (13 min @ 20 deg C.) works pretty well as it is.
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    konical -
    you are pretty lucky!
    the first time i used tmax developer with sheet film i got "the stain" ... and when i contacted kodak they said it was because i didn't use the "rs" :sad:
    -john
     
  15. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    John, take a look at the Kodak MSDS sheets for these two developers. They are very similar - the basic difference between them is that the rs version chemistry was designed to be replenished. This is a bit tricky since the chemistry uses an organic form of sulfite and an organic alkali (HC-110 heritage?).

    However, I don't see any obvious reason why either version of the developer, used as a one-shot, would plate out silver and cause dichroic fog.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi tom:

    not sure why the fog gave me a problem ... maybe it is the water here in rhode island as konical suggested - i figured they made narragansett beer from the same water, it couldn't be all that bad - :smile:

    in any case the good folks at ol'yeller were the ones that told me the fog was due to using normal tmax developer, instead of the RS for processing sheet film. i am pretty much clueless as to how or why or what caused the problem, and know that farmers reducer + fixer will help get rid of it :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2005
  17. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Cheryl

    I process 4 sheets at a time (Hp5 mostly) in D76 1+1 for 13 min. turning the sheets every min. followed by a rocking the tray (8x10 tray). I have not invested in tubes because the tray works fine for me. A little practice and no scratches and all or developed evenly. I also have used Rodinal and I am starting to prefer it to D76. It has a unique look.

    Incidently, I used my 4x5 on exactly one portrait session and over new year Holiday I saw my print framed next to others I have shot of the same child and it stood out! I made a New years resolution to not limit 4x5 to landscapes and fine art photography!
     
  18. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    There are divider trays you can make or buy that will fit into a 8x10 tray. This way you can do 4 sheets at once with them sperated, and not worry about the shuffling thing. Other than that, there are some used Jobo tanks that can be had on ebay that will do 6 sheets at a time. I have besides the jobo, a nikor tank that does 12. If you want, and I will not promise it right away. I will pull out my tools and make you a divider tray for your 8x10 tray. I'll do it in stainless steel wire, that I dip into that plastic handle stuff so it will not scratch your negatives.
     
  19. mark

    mark Member

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    don't the negatives float up in those things? Something I have always wondered about.
     
  20. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    time

    Cheryl-I develop in trays with xtol 1:1. For 4x5 tri-x rate at 320 and develop 4-6 sheets in the tray for 8 to 8:45 minutes. I shuffle the 4 sheets in under 30 seconds and then wait 30 seconds for the next shuffle. Makes for beautiful negatives. Trays are low tech and can be taken anywhere. I won't dispute other methods as I never used them for sheet film. And yes-there is a ZEN thing going on during that time in the darkroom.
    Regards Peter
     
  21. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Here is a simple way to make a 10 x 8 divider tray to take 4 sheets of 5x4 film. You need 8 plastic rawlplugs - the things that are normally used to fix screws in a wall. Epoxy them to the bottom of the tray so they stick up like mini fence posts that will keep each sheet of film in its own quarter but not interupt the flow of chemicals. I have used this system for over twenty years and have never had film damage.
    An added bonus is that liquids can be poured out of the tray without removing the film. Suction causes the film to stick to the bottom of the tray, even when the tray is in a vertical position. So the entire dev. fix,& wash process can be done in one tray without removing the film. This also helps to prevent scratching the film.
    I have recently made myself a light-tight wooden cover that goeg over the tray, so I can do most of the job with the light on. I have to say that thid is far better than standing around in the dark.

    Alan Clark
     
  22. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Member

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    I agree with you. Although drum or tube processing is always tempting, I like the state of mind that develops (arrgh, no pun intended, really) while sitting in the total darkness for 10 to 15 min. I use the standard Kodak recommended method of shuffling for 4x5 in trays. At first I had lots of scratches, but with practice I must have gotten it figured out, because I don't get them anymore.