View Full Version : ULF Sheet Film Processing: Edge Density

12-04-2008, 05:09 PM
Dear experienced ULF Hands-

How can I tray-process my 11x14" lith film to eliminate the density increase along the edges of the sheet film?

I believe this is caused by excessive agitation as the film glides around in the tray. So maybe pin the film to the tray's bottom? Make an insert that fits the tray ID and holds the film so it won't move?

You ideas and experiences are appreciated!


richard ide
12-04-2008, 05:50 PM
Are you processing in lith developer for high contrast or for continuous tone? I have never encountered this problem in over 30 years. About all I can think of is modifying your agitation technique. Try raising one side of your tray about an inch then do the same with all 4 sides gently and with a cycle of a lift every 5 seconds or so until your time is up. I used 16 x 20 trays for all sizes. Movement of smaller sizes in the tray did not seem to make a difference.

12-04-2008, 06:05 PM
You did not note the size of your tray, but usually this is caused by too small of a tray -- the waves of developer bouncing off the sides of the tray causes more local agitation along the edges. For 11x14, try 12x16 at a minimum, but bigger would be better (14x18 or 16x20).


Ian Grant
12-04-2008, 06:09 PM
As well as tray size volume of developer. To little will cause this too.


12-04-2008, 07:35 PM
You might try brush development. Alot of people swear by it. I personally use tubes on rotor base, and don't seem to have a problem with uneven development.

12-04-2008, 08:40 PM
I brush develop 8x20 and 12x20 negs in 16x20 trays. But it still has plenty of room down the long side of the negative. I have tried 8x10s in an 8x10 tray which didn't work very well because the agitation along the edges was to great, even with a brush. All the brush is really doing is agitating it never touches the negative. The brush moves the spent developer off the top of the neg., allowing fresh developer to replace it. This provides very even development provided there's room around the negative in the tray.

12-04-2008, 11:15 PM
I tray process everything from 4x5 to 20x24....I usually try to use the next size tray when possible. I use a lot of developer so the tray is almost full (I feel this helps me avoid scratches), which means I'm using 4-5 gallons for 20x24. (I use HC-110 and replenish, so no big deal)
I use the typical "slip out the bottom sheet and put it on top" agitation method.
How many sheets at once are you doing? What size tray? How much solution?

You might try doing a couple more or a couple less sheets at once. One or the other is likely to reduce/eliminate the problem.

12-11-2008, 05:18 PM
I develop for continuous tone. I place two 8x10 negs in an 11 x 14 tray and have been "rocking" the tray corner to corner.

The brush development sounds interesting- I've never heard of it before. Will try that this weekend with larger tray and more developer.

12-12-2008, 04:43 AM
Are you doing a water pre-soak before going into the developer? This helps a whole lot in minimizing the problems you describe.

12-12-2008, 04:49 AM
I use a 4" wide Hake brush. They're not expensive and work very well. I know some people that use the foam brushes from the hardware store with the same results. I've been using the same Hake brush for 4 years now. I always do a three minute pre-soak and just rock the corners slightly. I only use the brush in the developer.