Tray processing - how do you do semi-stand?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jeff Bannow, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    OK, so I'm considering trying tray processing with a slosher insert. However, how do you do semi-stand? Since the negatives are uncovered, I guess I would have to sit in the dark for 30-60 minutes? Or can you cover the tray somehow that would be light tight?
     
  2. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    How about using a paper safe like the ones shown here, instead of traditional trays? They are watertight on their bottoms and can be left out in the light indefinitely.

    Ken
     
  3. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Interesting idea ... I think I have one somewhere in the darkroom ...
     
  4. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    I made a simple wood box to set over the tray then draped a piece of blk cloth over that worked great.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i use FR tanks to stand process sheets of film ...
    i never got the itch to buy slosher inserts, and my
    paper safe is full of shards of glass ...
     
  6. Steve Sherman

    Steve Sherman Subscriber

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    I've done quite a lot of SS processing, always in a vertical orientation with very good results. Early on in the learning curve I tried the same dilution and technique in a tray and the results were disastrous.

    I never pursued the horizontal approach any further, I have heard of those who say the latter is possible, however, of the scores of photogs I know of using this process successfully all process in a vertical orientation.

    Cheers
     
  7. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Thanks everyone. I found some Arkay SS 4x5 tanks in my darkroom - I think they might be light tight! They hold 16 kodak hangers each.
     
  8. Steve Sherman

    Steve Sherman Subscriber

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    Caution!!! Be extremely careful of the SS hangers as there are holes which will allow uneven amounts of chemistry to wash over the film during agitation in disproportionate amounts which will almost assuredly cause significant streaking.

    The single biggest hurdle in my experience was taming the agitation technique.

    2 cents
     
  9. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Do you have a recommended agitation method?
     
  10. Steve Sherman

    Steve Sherman Subscriber

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    I was forced to tired many forms of agitation during the learning curve while processing only one sheet at time.

    I settled on a rod with a 1"-2" disc on the end and used in up and down stroke resembling a washing machine which perfected the agitation for me. Because I was early in the learning curve of this technique many very knowledgeable LF photogs sought my advice and as far as I know continue to use this same regime without short fall.

    I always pre soak 3 ish minutes in water and then quickly introduce the diluted developer and agitate vigorously for the first 1.5 - 2.5 minutes depending on desire contrast followed by a Stand period of anywhere from 4 minutes to 40 minutes. The first agitation is gentle and in an up and down motion which ranges from 15 - 25 secs (again depending on desired contrast & being careful not to scratch the film) another Stand period and a second agitation just as the first and then a third Stand cycle and then quick to a diluted stop bath.

    Very basically, the initial agitation needs to be vigorous and constant for enough time to allow the emulsion to absorb chemistry in a uniform fashion while the second agitation does not need to be as vigorous rather just constant and repeatable IMO.

    Cheers!
     
  11. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I have had the edge problem (holes in the hangers) that Steve mentions using hangers for SS. I never resolved it. I also have always thought that in a tray, it might take too long for agitation to stop completely (the liquid moves more easily), which might be a problem too, plus only one sheet at a time. I've always assumed tubes were the best way to go for this. Especially since you can make them yourself.
     
  12. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Thanks everyone. Lots of testing is in order now.
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Trays have worked well for me. When I do it, I just sit in the dark. Some music helps pass the time. The developer I use is either D-23 1:7 or Rodinal 1:100. The Rodinal gives a higher film speed, but the D-23 kills the contrast a lot more than the Rodinal. I overexpose by two stops from my decided-upon exposure when using the D-23. I use enough developer to cover the film twice as much as normal, since the corners coming out of the solution is my biggest fear. A slosher is the way to go. It takes up a ton of time doing a sheet at a time, and the time I experimented with multiple sheets in the same tray, most of the negs were ruined. I have considered using double-sided tape to hold the film down to the bottom of the tray, so I can use less developer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2011
  14. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    In one of A Adams books he shows a sample of horizontal reduced agitation.

    Mottle and uneven and totally useless.

    But if you wish to reinvent the wheel,
     
  15. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Also, Jeff, whatever you come up with, when you get close to your time and temp recipe, shoot a set of negatives at a blank surface, out of focus (no distracting detail), and expose to place the value on about Zone 7. Process them all together and contact them, together if you can, on about a grade 3. It will reveal differences between negs, uneven development (which you might not see with busy images), and surge defects. I thought I had a good combo once with testing, then took a trip to New England, shooting in the fall near the sea, lots of open sand and sky. Many of the negs had uneven skies, etc, which did not show in testing images of my back yard. It's kind of an acid test, IMO.
     
  16. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    The easiest way is to use tubes. Load the film, pour in the presoak, dump the presoak, fill with developer, roll vigorously on a flat surface for one minute. Then begin your stands (with the tube oriented vertically). You get even development and will be spending most of your development time with the lights on.