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  1. #1
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Best development technique for 14x17

    I just bought a 14x17 (it will be arriving by the weekend). I'm wondering what is the best technique for developing the film. My options are trays or Jobo 3063 drum. I prefer Pyrocat HD as my developer of choice because I do almost exclusively alt-process printing. I remember seeing discussions in the past about potential issues with using sheet film in the big print drums if the film was to be used for alt process (uv-based) printing. Can anyone refresh my memory and or enlighten me on best techniques? Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    I am shooting 12x20 until I bought it, I used drum processing exclusively, mostly with Pyrocat-HD (I prefer drum processing). With 8x10 and smaller I had no problems with uneven development or streaking, but with the big negs I did. Tried it several times with different amounts of developer, never did get it exactly right. Ended up buying some concrete mixing trays and use them exclusively for 12x20. Considering the cost of film that size, I went with something I know would work.

    Personally I don't have any confidence in myself when it comes to shuffling big sheets of wet film around, so I develop one sheet at a time, less chance I will destroy something that way. I havent tried d76 or any other developer besides for ULF (I want dual usage negs), but I have heard it doesn't have the same streaking problems, etc, that Pyrocat is prone to.

    Hope it helps.

    Gary
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for hours.
    Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

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  3. #3
    Rick Olson's Avatar
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    Hello Scott ... congratulations on your 14x17. I shoot 8 x 20 and had a similar problem when developing in a large drum on a motorized base with Pyrocat-HD. After some experimentation, I ditched the motorized base and got a manual roller base (drum rolled by hand) and slowed the rotation to about 15-20 revolutions per minute. I also use a forward/reverse and side-to-side agitation that is very effective at keeping the developer moving in all directions to avoid getting streaks. This is easier done at slow manual rotation and produces very even processing. So, as an example for the first 60 seconds of processing, I roll the drum 7-10 rotations forward and side-to-side for 30 seconds, then reverse direction and side-to-side for the next 30 seconds. This is repeated for the balance of each minute of processing time. With the expense of TMY film, it is a pleasure to pull an evenly processed negative from the drum.

  4. #4
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    Hi Theflyingcamera - Yes streaking is a major problem for ULF film - it's called bromide drag and I had that problem many years ago before my back said you can't do cameras that are that heavy. All of the streaks that were easily seen were in the lighter areas of the print but if you looked really hard you could see the streaks in the shadows. One of the developers that worked and was used at the Mammoth Camera Workshop at Sandy Utah (Tillman Crane ran the workshop) was D-76. All the film was processed in Jobo film and paper drums. The students at the school ran the Jobo CPP-2 processors all day long and the negatives were clean and even. The students at the school that had volunteered to process the negatives had worked really hard processed hundreds of negatives. For some reason D-76 seemed to produce streak free (no bromide drag) negatives. You might look for the 16x20 Jobo print drum (#2850). There are ribs inside the drum to hold the paper/film in place. On the inside on one side is one rib and on the other side are 3 ribs. It takes some practice but you place the film in the 2850 drum and curl it on the 14" side emulsion in (just like the BTZS tubes) and you place the film on the outside of the 3 ribs. These drums were designed for all different size papers 5x7, 8x10 and larger up to 16x20. To process a sheet of 14x17 film you would need at least 24 oz of developer per sheet and you can only develop one negative at a time, but for the results it is worth it. It takes a little practice, you might cut a sheet of paper to 14x17 and practice. Like you when I was shooting 12x20 I have a collection of streaked negatives. I was glad to find that D-76 worked until my back had other ideas. Hope this helped.

    Fred Newman

  5. #5
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    I develop two sheets at a time in a tray.
    The film is pre-soaked.
    I put the two pieces back to back and agitate by turning over the pair every 30 seconds. This provides plenty of agitation because the size of the film moves the chemistry effectively as it is removed and returned to the developer. I am able to turn the film by either long edges or short edges.
    I have no problems with bromide drag or over oxidation of the developer.
    My most common developer is Pyrocat HD.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  6. #6
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Scott, I took up monobath just to combat some difficulties I had with 11x14. I haven't had time to do a comparative study but when I do, I will report here. The main benefit that I see of monobath is that it is rather insensitive to agitation, because the dev take place so quickly. So alleges Haist!
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  7. #7
    John Jarosz's Avatar
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    I do my 8x20 one sheet at a time in a tray. Uniformity is good with no streaks. Low contrast alt process (like carbon) that require high contrast negs will show more uniformity problems than silver. My opinion, anyway.

    John

  8. #8
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    The problem I'm trying to avoid is having "invisible" lines showing up in alt-process prints that are caused by the areas where negatives are in contact with the ribs inside the print drums. I've heard that this can be caused by the ribs in most print drums that are meant to help locate the paper. If the best solution to this is doing single sheets in trays, that's fine. I won't do more than one sheet at a time in a tray, as I have proven myself incapable of not scratching sheets during tray development. I'd rather not use D-76 - as I said, I want multi-purpose negatives. I'm going to look into making my own sleeve for the inside of the Jobo 3063 so I can use it to soup the film. I'm not crazy about tray development period - I don't enjoy standing around in the dark with my (gloved) hands in chemistry for 30 minutes at a shot.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    I just bought a 14x17 (it will be arriving by the weekend). I'm wondering what is the best technique for developing the film. My options are trays or Jobo 3063 drum. I prefer Pyrocat HD as my developer of choice because I do almost exclusively alt-process printing. I remember seeing discussions in the past about potential issues with using sheet film in the big print drums if the film was to be used for alt process (uv-based) printing. Can anyone refresh my memory and or enlighten me on best techniques? Many thanks in advance!
    Scott,

    I believe Jobo used to make inserts for their paper drums for ulf film. These were supposed to eliminate streaking caused by the internal ridges if memory serves me correctly. This link shows how to make one yourself if you end up using the 3063 drum with a pyro developer:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum187/...sert-7x17.html

    Pete

  10. #10
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    IF I soup in the 3063, how much chemistry do I need to use for a 14x17 sheet?

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