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  1. #11
    Denis R's Avatar
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    flat bottom troubles

    the problem with flat bottom trays is the tendency for paper to stick to the bottom

    which makes for not fun trying to push the paper to get it unstuck
    Kodak Duaflex II with kodet lens
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    Only a photographer knows the true value of infinity

  2. #12
    nick mulder's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    If you are tray developing film watch out for the dimpled part - something to do with the plastic moulding process - it will scratch your 8x10 negs when you agitate ('click clack') nicely over an area approx 3x4" area :rolleyes: (emulsion side is worse, but base isn't immune)

    I sanded mine down flat with the rest of the tray - no more probs, did wonder however why this problem hadn't been mentioned anywhere that I could find up to that point ...
    Cleared the bowel problem, working on the consonants...

  3. #13
    Jesper's Avatar
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    In the developing process it is OK with trays with ridges or canals.
    Avoid flat ones and the ones with small cupolas since the papers will cling to the bottom.
    The maker is usually unimportant. If the quality feels right it will work ok.

    If you plan to tone your prints, avoid the ones with ridges. If the print isn't flat the chemicals may deposit unevenly and you will end up with striped prints.
    You can use flat bottomed trays for toning if you want to be on the safe side, but the ones with canals works well for all purposes in my experience.

    These are just my experinces, hopefully they can be helpful to others.

  4. #14

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    Dear Ted,

    I love Paterson trays. I love them so much that when I use the MAMA darkroom in Chicago (shameless plug) I drag mine with when printing 11x14 (the one size they don't have in Paterson trays).

    Neal Wydra

  5. #15

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    I find ridged-base trays don't work so well on the warming plate I use for lith developing because very little surface area is in contact. Something else to bear in mind.

    Ian

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Garden City, Michigan
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    I have 13 of the Arista trays in various sizes and they work very well. I believe they are rebranded Paterson trays as they look the same at a lesser cost.

  7. #17
    Reinhold's Avatar
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    They're only TRAYS, for cryin' out loud...

    Get on Craig's list and go scrounging.
    Get whatever you can find.
    Cheap.
    Lot's of 'em these days
    Get a mongrel mix in any size you'll need now & in the future.
    Some will work better for specific tasks than others, but you'll find that out as you go...

    Darkroom life is more than Designer Brand trays.

    Sheesh.

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com

  8. #18

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    Sep 2009
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    I agree with the mongrel mix. I just finished JB Welding and re-enameling four 11X14 trays from probably 40 years ago. They were free, in good shape except some enamel nicks and one rust hole, and it took me about 10.00 in supplies to repair them and make them safe for photo chemistry again. Before that, I was using cat litter pans I picked up at the drug store.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinhold View Post
    They're only TRAYS, for cryin' out loud...

    Get on Craig's list and go scrounging.
    Get whatever you can find.
    Cheap.
    Lot's of 'em these days
    Get a mongrel mix in any size you'll need now & in the future.
    Some will work better for specific tasks than others, but you'll find that out as you go...

    Darkroom life is more than Designer Brand trays.

    Sheesh.
    The whole bloody point of asking for opinions is to learn from the experience of others, so as to not needlessly flush $$ down the drain; something like 'measure twice and cut once'. Sheesh indeed.
    Ted

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Oregon and Austria
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    Paterson (or the knock-offs). They are deep, oversized so that the prints aren't crowded and have wide grooves to get fingers/tongs under. For film developing they are my only choice; smooth bottoms for no scratches!

    Yes, you can get other trays that work just fine, but if you are buying your first batch, just get the best. There is a big difference in trays. I've had some would barely fit the size paper they were intended for. The Paterson (and Cesco dimple-bottomed) trays are generous in dimension. And, at Freestyle's prices you don't even have to try to snag used ones on auction sites.

    Best

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com

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