5x7 development options
So I'm doing more research for my 5x7 kit, and am now trying to figure out how to develop the film. Stipulations:
-need a daylight system, so trays are out.
-tubes probably aren't an option, since I would need a light-tight space for swapping chemicals out. I don't have that now, and the only place I might be able to set it up would then require me to run back and forth while developing.
-hanger/tank systems seem to lead to uneven development quite often
-the jobo systems are awfully expensive. way more than I can afford.
So...I have heard about just nabbing an old Unicolor system with a rotary base. How would I load the film into that? Just drop it in there? Would I be able to fit more than 1 in there, then?
Any other suggestions?
You don't leave many options. Consider getting some dark. I hear that unicolor can work, depends on the developer because of streaking. I use Jobo drum ($200) but without their base. If you can swing the drum, I think it works well and you could use a manual base or roll it. This works well and is very even. Obviously trays or tubes in trays are the cheapest, but you need darkness.
Daylight Film Tubes
I made my own set of BTZS tubes with a bit of a twist. I put a ball valve in between the two tubes so that I would be able to change chemicals in daylight. These were made for 4x5 but they were simple and cheap to make.
Not making light of your situation, but it sounds to me that, at this time your cheapest way out, is to get an old graphlex 4 x 5 back and rig it to fit your 5 x 7, not a big deal, ...and shoot some 4 x 5 polaroid positive neg film...
no dark room needed.
not a bad little set up actually as the back also accepts the 6 x 6, 6 x7, 6 x9, and 6 x 12 roll film backs.
that is a great Idea!
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Dsve S. do you use a "liner" between the back of the film and the tube or just slip the film in and against the tube wall?
I use Jobo print tank on top of a motorbase. Same idea with the Unicolor. Difference being the Jobo is still sold so if you need parts or can't find a good used one you can buy it new. If you ever get a processor the tank will fit.
Downside it's basically two sheets at a time. If you can handle two sheets at time then look for the Jobo 2830. New it's $42. Used it shouldn't be more then 1/2 that.
You put the film in the tank and it fits between the ridges inside the tank. Same idea with 5x7 prints. The ridges hold the film/paper in place. The tank can hold 4 5x7 prints but you'll have to use a concentrated developer to run four sheets in it.
Dave S - that's a cool idea. I may have to try it. I have the same questions about liners and light tight ness, but if it's working for you now I guess it must be light tight. Cool.
Dave W - I can develop 4x5, actually, using the taco method. It's just that 5x7 doesn't fit in my current tanks...
Which means that Jay's suggestion of the Paterson tank is an intriguing idea. The question is how many sheets I can fit in that tank. I can do 2 4x5 sheets in my current daylight 35/120 tank. If I can do that in the Paterson, that would be pretty good.
The paterson method is especially intriguing since I can do more than 2 sheets at a time. I'll probably go that route. Thanks for the help finding an economical option - I realized I put some serious constraints on it.
The Unidrum and Uniroller work fine and are pretty cheap. You need the 8x10 PAPER drum. It will soup 2 5x7 (or up to 4 4x5) negatives at a time. Very easy to use, and pretty thrifty with the chemicals.
I'm a LF newbie, no liner. The film seems to slip in and out without any trouble but I have had some scatches.
Originally Posted by Dave Wooten