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Christopher Walrath

First 4x5 processing, Combiplan Daytank and other thoughts

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by , 05-14-2010 at 09:00 PM (1756 Views)
Well, I have finally gotten around to processing my first 4x5 negatives. I had pourchased a Combiplan Daytank in February in anticipation of doing this. Just took longer to get around to it than I had expected.

The film used is Ilford Delta 100 4x5 sheets. Three of the sheets were rated at EI50 and one that I included was rated at box speed. However, I concluded that I wanted the negative rated at 100 to be less dense as I had exposed important shadows at zone II 1/2. I had intended to process one sheet of two duplicates at N and one at N-1. So I took the opportunity to do so at this time.

I used HC110 (1 litre dil 1:49), Kodak Indicator Stop Bath (1:63) and Kodafix (1:3). I loaded the holder with four sheets of various subjects. Loading was a breeze. I then filled the tank with the developer solution. I agitated continuously for the first minute and then for 15 seconds of every minute for up to six minutes total. I then drained the developer and filled the tank with the stop. I agitated for fifteen seconds and let it sit the remainder of the one minute duration. I then drained the stop and filled with fix. I agitated and kept the duration identical to that of the developer. After draining the fix I filled the open tank with water and then plunged the holder up and down vigorously fifty times. I then emptied and refilled and plunged one hundred times. I then repeated this step for a third rinse. My own variant on the 5-10-20 method of negative rinsing.

(Edit: All of the following are negative scans with reversal and slight adjustments. These are for illustrative purposes only. These are not SILVER GELATIN PRINTS. Yet.)

And the negatives are sweet. I love them. They came out very well. Thie first negative is of Griffith's Chapel in Williamsville, Delaware. It was rated at an EI of 50 and exposed with my B&J 4x5 camera and a 127mm Kodak Ektar lens with a Portra +2 lens for a wider angle. Exposure was set at f/11 for 1/50th of a second. No bellows extension or filter used. Pretty straightforward. I did employ a font standard rise of about 3/4" to combat parallax.

Griffith's Chapel, Williamsville, Delaware - 2010



The second negative is of the Trail's End, a private fishing vessel that is kept in Downtown Milford on the Mispillion River. The film was rated at box speed and given N-1 processing as the other sheets in this batch were rated at an EI of 50 and were given normal development. It was exposed with the B&J and Ektar setup and with a Telek +4 for magnification. Exposure was set to f/16 at 1/100th of a second. No extension, movements or filters.

Trail's End, Milford, Delaware - 2010



The third negative is of a tax ditch located along the Black Farm Trail in the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge east of Milton, Delaware. The film was rated at an EI of 50. This sheet was exposed using a homemade 4x5 view camera with a 140mm lens mounted. Exposure was set to f/8 @ 1/250th of a second. No extension, movements or filters.

Trailside, Black Farm Trail, Prime Hook NWR, Milton, Delaware - 2009



The fourth negative was made from the same location as negative number three. Same camera and lens setup as neg number three. The film was rated the same and exposed at f/8 for 1/60th of a second. No extension, movements or filters.

Roots and Reflection, Black Farm Trail, Prime Hook NWR, Milton, Delaware - 2009



In regards to using the Daytank. It performed well for the technical aspects of the process. It was very sloppy. Which would not have been an issue were I in a well equipped and spaced out darkroom. As I was in a sink alcove that measures 2'x2' (that's an overestimation I'm sure) it was not usable as it was way to sloppy for the confined space I have there and as I am not likely to process anywhere else anytime soon, I have unceremonially dumped it into the trash. I will tray process from here on out.
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Comments

  1. keithwms's Avatar
    The best way to use combiplans, in my opinion, is with multiple tanks... at least two tanks. Then you just move the neg carrier from one tank into the next. So you prepare the two or three tanks with light son and just go from there. I never got along with a single tank, too messy.

    Good job! Really nice images.

    P.S. If you really want to keep things simple and streamlined, you might consider monobath. I think if I had such severely limited space, I'd definitely consider that route. That'd be really easy in a single combiplan tank.... or single tray, for that matter.
  2. jp498's Avatar
    You could sell it for good money here. Plenty of us like to use them. I have two combiplan tanks so I can process lots of film at once. (I'm not in the market for more though)
  3. Christopher Walrath's Avatar
    Nah, I'm kind of reactionary. Not so much emotionally but in action. I saw no need for it. It's already gone. Could have sold it but then I would have had to clean it and store it and wait for money. That kind of thing. I did not deem it worth the effort. Already had an offer for film in trade. Oh well. That's what I get. No regrets, though. It is gone and the waste of the original purchase has passed.


 

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