My own method of minimal agitation is similar to what Donald and Francesco describe. I use a 1:1:150 dilution of Pyrocat-HD and process in tubes. I agitate four times during a development period, for about 1.5 minutes at the beginning of development, and then for about 10 seconds at the beginning of the second, third, and final development period.
Originally Posted by mark
I basically use two system, depending on size of film. For very large film, 7X17" and 12X20" I develop in individual ABS plastic tubes, with a sealed cap on the bottom and a removable cap on the top. The tube is long enough so that the developer will cover the top edge of the film by about 1". I first pre-soak the film in separate tray, and then insert it directly into the tube with the developer already in, put on the cap and process with agitation. I remove the film from the tube for stop bath, fixing and final washing.
The other system is for 5X7" film, but you could just as easily use it for 4X5 or 8X10" film with appropriate size tubes. I process this size film in open ended PVC plastic tubes which are placed in a 11X14" Beseler drum. I presoak the film and then place it inside the tubes, then when all are ready I plop them into the drum, which already contains the necessary amount of developer. I agitate by moving the tubes up and down in the solution, rapping them on the bottom from time to time to dislodge air bubbles. Then I place the top on the drum and turn on the lights until the second agitation period. When development is complete I remove the tubes and place them in a tray filled with 1/2 strength stop bath. I can process up to 7-8 5X7" sheets at a time with this method and drum size, or up to 9-10 4X5" sheets, though I use 4X5" film only for testing purposes.
With both systems described above the tubes are standing on end, i.e. in vertical orientation, during develpment so that the film is at all times completely immersed in the developing solution.
I have not tried the slosher method of development but it sounds like it would work fine, but given the smaller amount of chemistry in use it makes sense to use the stronger 2:2:100 dilution, as Tom indicates he does.
I definitely do not recommend either extreme minimal or stand agitation in trays. Every time I have tried this type of development in trays it has resulted in very uneven development from streaking and bromide drag.
Last edited by sanking; 11-20-2004 at 10:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.