LF Tube Developing Revisited
As you would expect, JandC has delivered a couple of the tubes for sheet film developing very fast...Thanks John.
Now for the question, I shot a couple of sheets of 5x7 this weekend in order to have something to work with when the tubes arrived.The film looked good EXCEPT it appears that the film was not covered completely..there is a line, complete with bubbles, where it appears that the film came above the liquid level into the cap - some development occurred, but not like the entire sheet.
The following is a step by step of how the film(s) were processed.
Gave them a good bath and mixed some Rodinal 1+100 (1400 ml) and placed it into the tube - almost to the top. Lights out, film into a water bath for a couple of minutes (Efke 100 - water turns a nice blue), then into the tube and cap on. Held the tube in each hand and inverted for 30 sec, the sat it on end for 15 min, inversion for 15 sec, on end for another 15 min. another inversion for 15 sec and one more 15 min on end. Total dev. time was 45 min. So far so good, lights out again, empty the contents of the dev., water for stop..invert, then fix to the bottom thread of the cap and into the tube for 4 min. (Ilford Rapid fix 1+4), this time tube on it's side and rolled back and forth. Fix removed and tube filled with water again, and film removed.
What the heck did I do wrong...should I not go end to end, is that what caused the film to come loss? I thought maybe I should place the tube on the other end, so developed a 2nd sheet, but the results were the same. So I know I have missed something, love the tubes but darn if I can figure out what I did - unless it was the end to end inversion, rather than rolling on the side. But if you don't have little problems like these at first, figure they will come up later.....still beats pixels anyday...
Most likely the film slided into the cap and you had a region with no developer while you had it standing. You are supposed to roll the tubes..
Yes - it does sound like the sheet has moved in the tube (I've also experienced this).
A couple of things to note that may help:
The inside of the tubes are actually oval in shape. I've found that orienting the film so the ends sit to the widest part of the tubes will help to keep them in place.
You may notice the exterior of the flat sides are marked differently with an indented rectangle. This can be useful to indicate which side the film is laying against (esp when the tubes are moving around a water tray).
It sounds like you may be doing semi aggitated stand development(?) As Jorge mentioned, perhaps try keeping the tubes flat on their sides. Then just invert to aggitate the developer, and lay fat again.
I have never done stand development with these tubes but when I was experimenting with them (extensively) prior to my introducing them to APUG and later JandC I did notice a slight movement going on with the film inside. As I said I just roll them in the water tub so I really wasn't concerned. I did consider those doing stand development and came up with a remedy I think will solve your problem...
After your inversions simply hold the tube vertically (cap towards top) and sharply (not to hard) rap the bottom with the palm of your left hand as you sort of lob the tube down with your right. Basically create a downward movement and stop it abruptly and that should do it. Try it with a scrap piece of film or lousy neg and then open the tube up and see where it is. I don't think they float up as I believe it's in the agitation no matter how gentle.
I hope this helps.
"EVERY film and paper is good .......... for something"
One thing, which helps make extraction of the film easier after processing, is to use a piece of fiberglass window screen as a "carrier" for the film. It helps keep the film in place in the tube and allows solution to circulate on the back side of the film. Cut it to size to be the same as the film, but leave a tab sticking out at the center of one end. Place the sheet of film on the screen, then roll it into a tube shape (enough to insert into the mouth of the tube). The small tab or flap acts as a handle to remove the film once processing is done. Film needs to go in with the emulsion side facing the center of the tube.
My biggest problem has been the large reduction in time with tube development when, compared with trays. I've had to change times quite a bit. Development is extremely even and shorter times show no signs of too little development or uneven spots. Film is very uniform. tim
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Thanks Guys...yeah, yeah Jorge..I know rolled not shaken. Just thought I would try, but seems to be a bad idea. Will give it another try this weekend.
Tim, had been considering the screen anyway..figure it will be a good way to remove the films after development...but you may be correct, this may help keep the films from moving.
One other comment, the film areas that were in contact throughout the development cycle look to be very nice, will have to contact just to verify (for some reason I can not always see uneven development on a negative - but say open sky really seems to show it). besides the bubbles make a nice look on the side...one thing for sure, it sure beats stand/semi-stand developement in a tray, in the dark for 45 minutes.
I think that standing the tube upright is correct if you are using semi-stand. With pyrocat-hd I find that if I don't roll the tubes for more than 15-20 seconds I can get lines on the negs, especially if there is sky/light areas. I roll them about every 5-10 seconds. With prescysol the problem is rather worse. With semi-stand, I fill the bottom part of the tube completely (rather than the cap) and then stand them up after the initial rolling. (I apologize if this sounds obvious, but it took me awhile to figure it out.) I suppose you could get a big tub of pyrocat-hd and wear gloves and close up the tube with the entire thing in the developer which would fill the tube and the cap. Have to make sure there are no air bubbles though.
I'm using BTZS tubes (4x5).
"I am an anarchist." - HCB
"I wanna be anarchist." - JR