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  1. #31

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    I've done tray processing, CombiPlan, Jobo 2509 and Jobo 3006/3010 over the last 20 years or so. They all work and will give you good results if you are careful, but the most convenient one is the 3000 series by far.
    If you have a nice stable temperature in between 68F and 75F in your darkroom/workplace you can use a roller base and spin the drum yourself. (I built one from a piece of hardwood and 4 cheap small furniture wheels.) The 2509 works best when rotated too.
    The BTZS tubes can be made at home too. They are quite easy to use and are perfect for adapting individual processing times for different sheets of film (while still processing e.g. 6 sheets at a time).
    There is plenty of info and threads on the CombiPlan both here and over at lfphoto.info. I still use mine from time to time when doing special development. I do like it, but the Jobos are better and takes much less chemistry.

    So, a lot to choose from, but take it in your own pace.

    //Bj÷rn

  2. #32

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Southern California
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    Remember the Yankee Tank?

    There's always the venerable old Yankee 4X5 Daylight Tank for under $40.00 although the Jobo CPP-2 with the 3000 drum would be my first choice.

    check the Yankee-
    http://www.adorama.com/DKTY45.html
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  3. #33

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    Feb 2006
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    Thanks for the continuing comments, guys. My first attempt at 4x5 developing was done over the weekend, and I used the tray method (all I had on hand).

    Keith, I had thought to use latex gloves but at the last minute decided bare fingers would do me better for the first try, and boy am I glad I did.
    I had no idea developer was so slippery - out of all the other angst I thought I had mentally prepared for, this caught me off guard. Thank goodness I was only chasing after 2 pieces!

    8x10 trays were lined up only a few inches from each other, so my blind transferring dips went fine. I ended up with very nice development - film was FP4, developed in Rodinal 1+25. Box called for 9 minutes but my thermometer advised me to pull out sooner since I was closer to 72 degrees in there, and I had very nice, even development throughout.

    For all my chasing and white-knuckled edge-gripping, I only had one small tear in one corner, which was great since during development, I was convinced I'd end up with hugely slashed ruins.

    I'm sure this method would only get easier with practice...but I am leaning towards eventually dropping the bucks to gain some convenience.

    The images were taken at a nearby hiking trail; the detail of the individual trees is so sharp you get the feeling you could just step into the negative. Wow!

    LF rocks! I'm hooked! I'm smitten! I'm doomed!

  4. #34

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Welcome to the Club! Your place in the Asylum is ready!

  5. #35
    David William White's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    Good going! Just like paper, you drop the sheet in and give it a slosh once in a while, then fish it out by the edges. You get a rhythm going and soon everything is done, with "equipment" you already have.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Welcome to the Club! Your place in the Asylum is ready!
    Why thankee, suh....I've always relied on the kindness of strangers...

  7. #37
    Shmoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terri View Post
    Guys: I am brand new to LF and could use some suggestions about 4x5 development.

    I've been shooting MF and 35 for a number of years and have a home darkroom. When I bought an enlarger, I was thinking to stick with what I used in class (the good old reliable Beseler 23 C) but my forward-thinking husband advised me to "think LF" and I ended up with an Omega D5 XL that I picked up for a song from a pro lab that was scaling back. It's done the job for smaller formats. At Christmas, I was shocked to open a Tachihara which I'd been saying was probably the one for me (being somewhat of a girlie-girl, weight has been a major concern). And yes, my husband rules!

    Weather has finally cooperated enough for me to go shoot some tests and I am starting out with tray development, since it's what I have at the ready. But I would like to explore other developing options. I've done some lurking and searching on here and there seems to be high praise for the Jobo 3000 series. I guess my questions are basic: does the apparent ease of use make the price worthwhile? Are there comparable setups that are a bit less expensive? I'm not rich, but price isn't too big an obstacle since the aim is to get consistency in development. I'm a big fumble-fingers at the moment, but I'm pretty smitten with the camera and will use it a lot.

    Could use some feedback! Thanks in advance.
    Yes, your husband rocks! I finally got a Tachihara and it's a huge difference in weight from my Sinar F2 set up. Lucky you!

    I use a Beseler roller with the 2551 Jobo tank (the one with the cap, not the cog. The cog versions end in the number 3). There's also a film loader that goes with the 2509 reels...definitely easier to load film that way. A really big changing bag or a tent helps loading (I use the Harrison tent...never had a problem with it and it sets up like a mini-backpacking tent). Also, my roller is one-directional, so I flip the tank once a minute.

    Have fun!
    Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

  8. #38
    keith1phx's Avatar
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    Terri, I too was able to successfully develop 6 sheets this weekend. I didn't use gloves either this time, I may try it at a nother time. I got a few tiny scratches on the corners but I belive that was due to my plunking them down in the water bath and not paying attention and then tried to straighten them up...... Live and learn.
    Someone once said to me; There are two ways to make photographs, your way and the wrong way. Therefore I make photographs that plese me and if someone else finds them pleasing, super.

  9. #39
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanrockwood View Post
    Depending on how much you want to spend, you might want to find a Phototherm (Photo-therm) on ebay. If the item includes a 4x5 reel (which holds four 4x5 films), so much the better. Otherwise you could by a 4x5 reel directly from Phototherm.

    A Phototherm is a much higher quality piece of equipment that a CP-series Jobo, is more automated, and is easier to use. The down side is that Phototherms are somewhat less flexible in the development programs you can run. This is a consequence of the fact that Photo-therms are automated, but the CP-series Jobos are not.

    Auction prices for Phototherms range widely. I have two. One cost me ~$75. The other was ~$300 as I recall. Sometimes they sell for well over $1000.

    There are three basic series. The oldest is FP-1. The next is Sidekick. The most recent is Super Sidekick. The mainframes come in two sizes. One can handle tanks that hold up to four rolls of 35mm (or 4 sheets of 4x5). The other can handle tanks that hold up to eight rolls of 35mm. Although I can't swear to it, I think the 8-roll phototherms would also handle up to 8 sheets of 4x5 film. All the Photo-therms are table-top units.
    Let me second the Phototherm suggestion. I have several, although some are junkers for parts. They work great, and they were designed from the beginning for professional use, not hobby use. You cannot process paper in them like some of the Jobo solutions. They compete head to head with the Jobo Professional Lab series, not the CPx series.

    The "best" way to segregate the Phototherm lines is whether they have the rotary selector valve or the linear selector valve on the back. The linear valve is older and slightly more problematic, but my linear valves work great after a bit of lubrication using the factory instructions.

    The 4x5 adapter is hard to come by in fleabay auctions, and it is pretty expensive from Phototherm. But it works fantastically if you spring for one directly from Phototherm or get one secondhand.

    I have also done some experiments with the Phototherm 4x5 adapter in a Paterson 3-reel tank. It works fine and allows you to easily process 4 sheets using a method that may be more familiar than getting an abandon Phototherm working. It's quite a bit cleaner in a Paterson than the "taco" method, but obviously the adapter costs more than a rubber band. You can see something here: http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/00RMar

    If you do happen to have a Phototherm eight reel tank (used with the Super SideKick 8 series), you *CAN* process eight 4x5 sheets if you also happen to have two of the sheet film adapters. They will both fit in the large tank easily, and the chemical volume is quite sufficient to process them. That does work.

    MB
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  10. #40

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by terri View Post
    No sir; I'm in Atlanta. "Real camera stores" are few & far between. (sigh)
    KEH is in Atlanta but I don't recall ever seeing anything about darkroom stuff on their site. Camera stuff on the other hand...........
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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