I just put two sheets at a time in a 2x 120 size steel tank and go that way. I gave up trays as my technique sucks and I hated being hunched over in my bathtub as I don't have a darkroom.
I do the same thing, but I have a wire that zig-zags across the tank, this keeps the sheets from overlapping.
Originally Posted by snay1345
Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.
I'm working on a 5x7 solution that uses a 5-35mm Paterson tank and a piece of plastic to keep things separated. The 5x7 has to be taco'd length-wise instead of width-wise so the taller tank is needed. I just need to get my hands on a tank, which I'm going to do soon. For 4x5, I just taco them up in the little stainless steel I have with plastic, length-wise again, 3 to the tank. I can't wait to get my hands on a Mod54.
Originally Posted by darinwc
No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.
Here's a nice (and reusable) variation of the "taco" option I came up with that guarantees removal of anti-halation dyes because the back sides of the sheets never touch. I used this method until I was able to get my hands on a Nikor 12-sheet stainless cut film tank, then later a 4-tank water-jacketed set of 1-gallon Arkay deep tanks.
From post #42 (2nd post on page 5) in the September 2010 thread Your favorite "Improvised" darkroom equipment.
(Photos attached, but for some reason they only show if you visit the original thread. Also, the links are now dead and I can't fix them...)
Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 11-25-2012 at 02:30 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Photos/links explanation...
"Some photographers are the poets of purple mountains' majesty. Some are the poets of the placid suburbs. Weegee is the poet of small-timers who died face down on a city pavement at 3 a.m. in a pool of their own blood."
— Richard Lacayo, Photography: Dames! Stiffs! Mugs!, Time Magazine, January 12, 1998
Holy crap you guys are right, this camera could get very addictive. I took some test shots and managed to produce a few decent looking negatives. I also managed to load film backwards the first time, double expose one frame the second time AND ruined two frames because my light meter (which I never use) is apparently off by about a dozen stops.
Focusing with a loupe on the ground glass is pretty much the greatest thing ever.
Tray processing seemed to work OK but I'm definitely keen for something more efficient and doesn't involve me sloshing around in the chemicals with my fingers. .
Thanks everyone for all the really good suggestions and links.
That drum technique is a definitely possibility, I will check what different color drums I have downstairs. I know some are Cibachrome and some are Unicolor and I have the agitating machine so that could be one possibility.
That MOD 54 gadget looks like a pretty simple solution, and I like doing stuff in tanks. I'm not sure if I have the correct Patterson tank I have a bunch of plastic ones that I don't use at all so I will have to check.
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I use a MOD54 insert in a Paterson tank and it makes processing 4x5 very easy, particularly if you want to use techniques like stand development. The whole thing is no more complicated than processing a 35mm film, although I tend to limit myself to four sheets at a time, not six. A slightly more gentle agitation is required but I haven't had a film jump out of its slot yet.
If I want to process more than six sheets then I have a Yankee developing tank and filling it with 1600ml of developer becomes more economical. Despite the bad press some people give it I can't find fault with this tank, except for the volumes required. It is very easy to load and following the instructions of swishing from side to side in the correct direction I get evenly developed negatives. But, because of the slow filling and draining of the tank I do make sure to use it with slow developers.
I found using my Patterson tank less reliable than doing it in trays. I use my wife's old Glad trays, which handle a 5x7 perfectly, so they're just right for 4x5. For difficult negatives, you can inspect them during development that way. I also like being in the pitch dark with only the timer sound.
With some more practice, being able to do multiple shots is possible.
I liked the Mod54 a lot, very well thought out and simple design. However I sold it due to the fact that the super thin base of Rollei IR 400 makes the film jump out of the slots no matter what I did.
So I now use a Jobo 3010 drum and plan on getting a second...it is that good, even on a simple roller base which it sounds like you have. Just cut out the BS, buy a clean Jobo 3010 drum, use it on your roller base and prepare to see the finest negs you have ever set eyes on. The results from the 3010 drum blows away everything, even what you get from a Mod54.
With film being $1-2 per exposure, cut to the chase and get it right the first time...
I'm going to add my two-cents worth and advocate tray processing.
Tray processing requires little expenditure and equipment and is easy to get started with. The downside is that it takes a bit of skill. I recommend sacrificing a couple of sheets and using them to practice agitation with. I also recommend using 5x7 trays for 4x5 film if you have them, and agitating by shuffling the film along the short axis. This is a lot easier to deal with than sheets in an 8x10 tray.
The danger, of course, is scratching the negatives. Try to keep the stack aligned and to pull the bottom sheet straight out (not up) and return it to the solution flat so that a corner can't dig into the negative below. You'll figure it out in no time.
Practice with the lights on till you are comfortable, then close your eyes and practice some more. When you feel confident, go take a few shots and try things for real. I agitate once through the stack every 30 seconds. Start with two or three sheets (one flip every 10 or 15 seconds respectively) till you get comfortable, then up the numbers in the batch. I can agitate up to 8 sheets at a time, but prefer to keep batches to 6 or less.
Do pre-soak when using tray processing. If you trip up, take your time; it's less damaging to slowly figure out what's going on instead of trying to keep the agitation scheme going. It's no big deal if you miss a couple of cycles.
Large format is just abound with opportunities to screw up images, including:
Originally Posted by adelorenzo
- Double exposure (as you found);
- No exposure;
- Over-exposure as forgot to stop down to shooting aperture;
- "Dark slide" timed exposure as forgot to close the shutter after composition and focus;
- Underexposure due to incorrect filter or bellows factor;
- And that is without getting into a discussion of roll film backs...
Being systematic in your routine will reduce some of the errors, but unless you put your 4x5 kit in the closet and leave it there, you may not otherwise eliminate them.
Congratulations on your plunge into the start of the deep-end of photography and enjoy the water. We are more likely to regret what we did not do, rather than what we do.
Looks like you are off to a great start...