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  1. #1
    Matt5791's Avatar
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    Making your own sheet processing tank

    Ok, I haven't had much success tray processing my 5X7 sheet films, but I have acquired a load of 5X7 film processing frames. I was wondering how straight forward it would be to make my own tank to use these in - or is this crazy?

    The obvious difference to the trays I suppose would be, I'm guessing, an increase in required quantity of chemicals.

    Thanks for any help,
    Matt

  2. #2
    dphphoto's Avatar
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    Hi: the problem with frames is that you get poor agitation around where the frame holds the film. You usually use frames with conventional deep tanks, and they do use a lot of chemistry.
    You might be better off sticking with trays. I do 8X10 sheets without a problem. Use lots of chemistry, at least 48 oz in an 8X10 tray, and don't do more than maybe four at a time until you get used to them.
    There's all kinds of advise on the internet about how to tray develop. Also look at viewcamera.com. Dean
    dphphoto

  3. #3
    CBG
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    Dear Matt,

    If you end up sticking with tray processing, I would be interested in purchasing a few 5x7" film developing hangers - I presume that is what you refer to.

    Charlie

  4. #4
    Gatsby1923's Avatar
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    I started in LF with 4x5 developed in trays, scratched alot of negatives. Then I started using a daylight tank, with ok results, but then I started developing on hangers in tanks. That was the best way to go, for me any ways.
    I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.
    Carl Sandburg

  5. #5
    wildbill's Avatar
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    I made my tanks for 8x10 from 1/4" clear plexiglass cut on my table saw. You can get adhesives that'll bond the stuff together from a glass place but i used hot glue. Don't use aquarium sealer, i tried that and the tanks fell apart. One 2x4' sheet should make you four tanks for that size if you make them about 2" wide. The best would be opaque abs but it's very expensive. If you agitate properly you won't get poor agitation. go slow and don't pull the hanger all the way out of the developer.

    vinny

  6. #6
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    Making plexiglass tanks is a snap. The nice thing is that you can make one each for developer, stop, fix, wash, etc.. Cheaply. You can make them as large or as small as you like, according to how much chemistry you'd like to use. You can even make them slightly larger or smaller so they nest inside one another to take up less space.

    For example: a 7-3/4 long x 7 deep x 2-3/8 wide tank easlily handles 6 hangers and needs only 1750 ml to cover. Make that tank 4 inches wide, and you can easily handle 10 hangers which need only 2750 ml to cover. And... the developer won't oxidize anywhere near as fast as in a tray.

    Go to your local TAP plastics store for 1/4" acrylic, a small bottle of cement and an instruction sheet detailing how to make all sorts of things with plexiglass. They'll even cut it for you. If you cut it yourself, the best saw blade for acrylics is one with a Triple Chip tooth grind. Take a peek at all the Plexi equipment in my darkroom at: http://www.classicbwphoto.com/Darkroom.html

    I set up the tanks in a row with all chemistry in place, turn off the lights, and have at it. Like wildbill says, you need to learn how to properly agitate film when using hangers. (They've been around for a loooong time, and they work). Very well.

    Once you start, you can't stop...

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com

  7. #7
    Matt5791's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice,

    Matt

  8. #8

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    Reinhold, I'm impressed. I have a radial arm saw right outside the darkroom (opposite side from the door) that I've used to make a plexi tank or 2, and a rack and such, but your list and range of stuff is in another class.

  9. #9
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Matt - have you condidered converting a Paterson 10x8 Orbital Processor ?

    You would only get 2 sheets at a time done but thos who use them claim very even Development and low Chemcal usage

    Martin

  10. #10

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    While you are at it - consider making a print washer as well. It's easy just copy a picture of one.

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