Sheet film developing- capacities and pre-soak
I feel like a bit of a dummy, but I can't seem to find developer capacities for sheet film. Is there a chart somewhere? I want to know how many ml of developer (Ilfosol S) is needed per sheet of 5x7 film (FP4+).
Unrelated, but I thought I'd ask: On the Ilford site, it states in the FP4+ data sheet not to pre-soak, as it can cause uneven development. I thought you were supposed to always pre-soak sheet film in water for a minute or two before developing. Does it depend on the film?
IIRC if they give numbers for 36 exposure 35mm that's equal to one sheet of 8x10. 2 5x7 or 4 4x5.
Ilford has never supported the practice of presoaking film (sheet or roll). Other manufacturers (and experienced photographers) have. My sense is that this merely reinforces the notion that it ain't rocket science, and there is room for variations in practice.
I've always done a presoak and I have never noticed a problem with uneven development.
I'm with Louie here - with sheet film (I only use Ilford films) I always do a presoak and have never had problems using either trays or hangers.
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You can get lucky, alot, NOT presoaking sheet film 2 to 4 to 5 minutes (me), but why take the chance. Presoak is free insurance.
Tim, have you downloaded this document?
Originally Posted by timbo10ca
Ilfosol S is a concentrated developer that can be diluted either 1+ 9 OR 1+14
Ilford intends the diluted (working) developer to be used as a one-shot. The amount of developer required depends upon the developing method you use. I like to use a sufficient volume of developer to insure that my film will always be completely covered by developer. In my 8x10 slosher tray (with 4 sheets of 8x10 film), that comes out to about 1.5 liter of working developer (in my case Pyrocat-MC).
BTW, I presoak for 5 minutes in tempered Deionized Water.
Everything is analog - even digital :D
I haven't pre-soaked any film or paper for about 20 years, prior to that I did pre-soak. I had problems with chemicals that had been added to the water by the water authorities during a drought.
Agfa's senior technician diagnosed my problems almost immediately whilst talking on the telephone to him. He suggested I drop the pre-soak, I did, my problem went away and I haven't experienced any problems since.
That is not to say pre-soaking is bad, just that I think it's your call.
I have yet to see a commercial processing lab anywhere, doing a pre-soak for film, they just don't, yet they can and do produce, consistent results day in and day out.
I rotary process 35mm, 120 and 4x5 film without any pre-soak.
Most developers are designed to do so much square area of film per litre. One of the few written solution capacities I have seen came with my Durst Printo roller transport paper developer.
"Chemistry suppliers quote an approximate processing capacity of 1m square, per litre of developer"
Remember this is for paper, not film.
With film, the Agfa E6 kits which have used, Agfa stipulated that the capacity of 1 litre of developer solution, is every 8 rolls of film. I think, but cannot be sure, Kodak may have had the same capacity per litre in their E6 kit
This would then mean 1 litre would safely develop 8, 8x10 sheets or 32, 4x5 sheets of film.
Remember that this is E6 colour developer, but it's the only time I have seen the capacity of a developer for film.
It could be an indicator of film developer capacity in general, I don't know.
Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
Tom- I've read over it a couple times, but it doesn't say how many sheets of film a certain volume in the tray will develop.
Originally Posted by Mick Fagan
In one of the Kodak colour process documents they'll give numbers for the various formats. They go so far to give different numbers if the film has sprocket holes or not. I guess it matters if you're running a large commerical lab.