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  1. #1
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    Processing techniques for 7x17

    Hi:

    Well, now that I've taken the plunge into 7x17 I could use some suggestions on how to process the film. I will be shooting EFKE PL100. The only thing I have now are 16x20 trays and a JOBO but I don't have a drum that big.

    Can anyone give me suggestions on how to process the film? I am planning on using Pyrocat HD. Ideas on stand or minimal agitation techniques would be interesting. But if you're willing to share how you process your ULF film, I'd be interested.

    Thanks.

    -Mike

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhi
    Hi:

    Well, now that I've taken the plunge into 7x17 I could use some suggestions on how to process the film. I will be shooting EFKE PL100. The only thing I have now are 16x20 trays and a JOBO but I don't have a drum that big.

    Can anyone give me suggestions on how to process the film? I am planning on using Pyrocat HD. Ideas on stand or minimal agitation techniques would be interesting. But if you're willing to share how you process your ULF film, I'd be interested.

    Thanks.

    -Mike
    Mike,

    I also use the 7X17 format. Depending on subject matter I develop the film in one of two ways, in ABS tubes standing on end for stand development, or with rotary processing in Beseler or Unicolor drums used on Uniroller motor bases . The second method will give the most even development of any method of processing, but the first gives more edge relief.

    If you want to go the rotary route pick up a 16X20 Beseler or Unicolor print drum of the kind used for processing color prints. This often come up on ebay for a pittance. The Unicolor drum has built-in dividers that will allow developing two sheets at a time but for the Beseler drums you need to make sure that the unit has the three divider tubes that originally came with the unit. You can position the dividers to process two sheets of 7X17 at a time. I actually have two each of the tubes and motor bases which allow me to develop four sheets of film at a time. For processing with Pyrocat-HD do this.

    1. Put the film(s) in the drum, close the lid and turn on the lights. add a liter of water at the processing temperature and rotate on the motor base for 5 minutes.

    2. Use one liter of developer per sheet of film. I now recommend dilutions of either 1.5:1:100 or 3:2:100 for rotary processing to keep general stain as low as possible.

    3. Agitate for the required time by just allowing the drum to rotate on the base, but every minute or so lift it off the base and give it vigorous sidewise action to break the laminar flow.

    4. Pour out the developer and pour in the stop bath. I recommend a 12 normal strength solution.

    5. Pour out the stop bath and add the fixer.

    6. Remove the film from the drum and wash one sheet at a time in a tray.

    Using this method of development will give you very even development and is very safe in that you will not scratch the film. I also like it because after you put the film in the drum the rest of the operations can be performed in room light. With Pyrocat-HD you will also get very low B+F or general stain.

    For stand or semi-stand develoment read the article by Steve Sherman in one of the numbers of View Camera that came out early this year. It will answer many of your questions about this method of develoment.

    You can also just develop in trays but I personally just loathe staniding around in the dark developing film so I tend to avoid this method. Also, I get a lot of scratches and gouges developing in trays, though some people can do it well.


    Sandy

  3. #3
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    That's a lot of help, Sandy. I'll keep an eye out for a motor and drum on eBay. I wonder if there is a Jobo drum that would have the dividers?

    I went to the Jobo for the same reasons you loathe tray development.

    -Mike

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    I developed mine with brush development until now. I have gotten a Jobo 3063 but do not have the insert that goes with it. I plan on using fiberglass screen in between the drum and the negative. Or you can make one like Jobo used to make, Donald Hutton sent me this pic of one that was made by a friend of his.

    Good luck..

  5. #5

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    More ways to skin a cat here: tray development allows for inspecting the film during development and a careful technique gets away from scratched film (even Efke). Inspecting the film allows individual tailoring of each negative. Very cool indeed, but Sandy is right that standing in the dark is not exciting, it is, though, a link in the chain of events that are part of ULF photography. Developing probably isn't very exciting regardless of how it's accomplished.

  6. #6
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    I do mine 2 sheets at a time in a JOBO 2850 drum. Perfect every time. PyroCat HD and Jobo CPA rotary machine.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhi
    That's a lot of help, Sandy. I'll keep an eye out for a motor and drum on eBay. I wonder if there is a Jobo drum that would have the dividers?

    I went to the Jobo for the same reasons you loathe tray development.

    -Mike
    I don't know. If you want to go Jobo all the way, with both motor base and tube, there are obvious convenience advantages. But the unit takes up a lot of space, which is why I prefer the Beseler/Unicolor motor bases and drums. Also, if you use a real Jobo you will probably need to slow down the rotation, at least with high speed and thick emulsion films.

    Sandy

  8. #8
    clay's Avatar
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    My path on developing 7x17 has gone full circle. I first tried tray development, and I scratched the snot out of the negatives. I move to a Jobo, and have had reasonably successful results using one of the print drums. But even with all the care I take (pulling the drum off and sloshing it back and forth every minute) I still would occasionally get hot streaks in my negatives. It always seemed to happen with the negatives that were the best images and ones where I did not make a backup shot. I also would occasionally pick up more base + fog than I wanted.

    So I bit the bullet and went back to trays. I still scratched them at first. But the more I did it, the better I got. The key is to be SUPER gentle when rotating through the stack, and make sure that you always keep one gloved hand in the tray to keep the sheets of film aligned . The culprits on the scratching problem are the corners. So if you keep all the corners aligned, your problems will diminish greatly. I suggest making quite a few mundane forgettable photos at first, and develop them as practice until you can do it time and again. Once you have it down, you will always have it down. FWIW, 7x17 is harder than any other format in my opinion. I think 12x20 is a breeze by comparison. I think it has something to do with the long skinny film in wide fat trays. I suggest biting the bullet and using trays. It's cheap and effective.

    Clay

    check out some example work on http://www.desantosgallery.com/artis...mon/harmon.htm

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by clay
    I move to a Jobo, and have had reasonably successful results using one of the print drums. But even with all the care I take (pulling the drum off and sloshing it back and forth every minute) I still would occasionally get hot streaks in my negatives. It always seemed to happen with the negatives that were the best images and ones where I did not make a backup shot. I also would occasionally pick up more base + fog than I wanted.
    I have never used Jobo so can not comment on the problems that one might experience with it.

    However, I can say this. In developing sheet film of 7X17 and 12X20 in the Beseler and Unicolor drums I have never scratched a single piece of film, nor, to the best of my knowledge, experienced any uneven development or hot spots from this type of processing.

    In contrast to Clay's experience with Jobo, I have not seen similar problems with prints developed in print drums on motor bases. I think the explanation for the difference in our experiences might lie in the fact that my procedure with the drums is to never let them move in one orientation for more than 20-30 seconds. In other words, I don't just ocassionally lift them from the base, but do so on a regular basis, i.e. every 30-45 seconds. In fact, I probably spend more time agitating with the drum than if the films were in a tray. But I do all of this with the room light on, which is a great blessing for me,

    Sandy

  10. #10

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    I have just been doing some experimentation with developing 7X17 and 12X20 on a Jobo. Jobo USA is closing it's doors within the next two weeks and the employee who made the "jobo" inserts for ULF film has already left (I am trying to track him down... I live in the same state so a little detective work may be successful).

    Another option is to make one's own inserts. The founder of Lotus cameras developed some inserts - I have some Jpegs of them but have not yet tried manufacturing them. This past weekend, I shot a 7X17 and a 12X20 shot of even blue sky and developed them in a Jobo 3063 drum with no insert (the drums have ridges which hold all sorts of different sized pieces of film/paper). I used a 5 minute prewash in Pyrocat HD and removed the drum from the unit every 90 seconds for vigorous sideways agitation as recommended by Sandy. Both sheets were perfectly developed with no hot streaks of any sort. While the "one sheet at a time limitation" is a little tedious, I don't foresee myself shooting vast quantities of 12x20 film at a time so for now, this will be my standard development practice. I am still going to try my hand at manufacturing some "Kriegland" inserts though...

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