Tray Developing 5x4

Discussion in 'Talk About Developing Film' started by Ian-Barber, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Admin Staff Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Doncaster (Yorkshire)
    Home Page:
    I am using an SP-445 tank at the moment but for some reason I am seeing a lot of the negatives with marks on the bottom edge, some are pretty bad, like chunks of the emulsion has come away. This is not really an issue when scanning because I can use the magic brush to fill them in with Photoshop but I am wanting to do some contact prints so I need clean negatives.

    How difficult is it to tray develop single sheets without getting uneven development. Any tips ?
     
  2. joe monteiro

    joe monteiro Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2018
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    assonet ma us
    I don't do this any longer but when i did as with prints it's drop it in face down not slide it in then immediately push it down into the developer. Jobo now works for me.
    j
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    677
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Midlands
    Home Page:
    You don't say what films, Foma emulsions are softer than Ilford more prone to issues.

    Tray developing single sheets is easy gently agitation, over agitation can give uneven edges. It's possible to develop a single 5x4 sheet in a Paterson without a spiral, just the centre column, that would be fine with the replenished Xtol you use.

    Ian
     
  4. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Admin Staff Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Doncaster (Yorkshire)
    Home Page:
    Would you bend it over like a Taco or just drop it it
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    677
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Midlands
    Home Page:
    It has to bend (like a Taco) to fit the tank diameter, because you use replenished Xtol excess volume to ensure the sheet is covered makes it easy.

    Ian
     
  6. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Admin Staff Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Doncaster (Yorkshire)
    Home Page:
    Thanks, I shall give that a try today
     
  7. Monsta

    Monsta Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SE London
    I love my Paterson Orbital for this. You can do 4 5x4 in 350ml of dev too. Gentle agitation once a minute and all is well.
     
  8. David M

    David M Well-Known Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    88
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South London
    Tray development is easy, but you do need proper darkness. Joe says put the film in emulsion down, (and I'm sure it works for him) but I suggest that the bottom of the tray is more likely to cause scratches than the liquid above. With a single sheet, I've had bubbles trapped underneath when I tried emulsion down but this was with 10x8 film. Both Kodak and AA suggest emulsion up.
    As Ian says, rocking the tray can give over-developed edges but an alternative is to flip the film over and back again, every thirty seconds. (Or whatever your agitation scheme requires.) Most agitation patterns ask for 30 seconds of agitation at the beginning. Opinion is divided on using a pre-soak. I use one.
    It's not difficult to process six sheets in a tray, but you need a little practice with some spoiled film to get used to the technique and rhythm of it. I find that more than six sheets feels hurried but other photographers are more dextrous. There's nothing to fear.
    If you are knocking bits off the emulsion, you are doing something seriously wrong. Can you give us an account of how you go about it, from before you unload the dark slides onward? Has anybody else had this problem with the Stearman tank?
     
  9. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Admin Staff Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Doncaster (Yorkshire)
    Home Page:
    From looking at the worse negatives, it appears that the bad marks are aligning up with the tabs on the SP-445 holders. There is also another tab just like you see here in the middle at the bottom of the holder.

    The worse films affected appear to be from FomaPan 200. The last batch of FP4 appear to be fine.

    FilmHolderCrop-2.jpg
     
  10. Alan Clark

    Alan Clark Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ryedale North Yorkshire
    Another vote from me for the Paterson Orbital. Works a treat. Not sure about your gentle agitation once a minute though Monsta. When I tried agitating at 30 second intervals I got very uneven development. Tide marks! I use continuous gentle agitation and have no problems. Emulsion up.

    Alan
     
  11. David M

    David M Well-Known Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    88
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South London
    I have the earlier, Kickstarter tank with the solid-backed holders and I haven't had this problem. Perhaps some fine emery, folded and pushed under the tabs would remove any rough edges. Or you could peel off a sliver with a new scalpel blade. Or both. You may be suffering from residual flash from the moulding process. I had understood that they had widened the slots, but I haven't handled the later ones.
    Presumably, the difference between films is caused by differences in emulsion hardness.
    The Paterson Orbital is a good alternative. Many users modify them slightly before using them for sheet film and this is well documented elsewhere on the web. You don't use the base, either manual of motorised, with film and the quantities are different.
     
  12. David M

    David M Well-Known Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,029
    Likes Received:
    88
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South London
    Just lifting one side about half an inch and putting it down, twice every thirty seconds seems to work well. A different side each time. Too much agitation and the sharp inside corners create turbulence.
     
  13. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    58
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Ian, I've had the same problem with the holders in my SP-445; more so with Foma film, not so much with others. Years ago, when I try developed both 5x4 and 10x8 I followed this sequence:

    1. Place each sheet of film, emulsion up, one at a time into a pre-soak water bath; use fingers to push the film under the water (more important with 10x8 than 5x4.)

    2. Shuffle the film by pulling the lower sheet out and placing it on top, being careful when you do the pull to avoid the corners of the upper film; again, use fingers to push under. Pre-soak for about 3 - 5 mins. I never found the time here to be critical.

    3. When ready to move to the developer tray, grab the entire stack, carefully lift out of water, and drain for a few seconds. Drop into developer tray and proceed as above. My sequence/timing was to be handling only the total number of sheets that I could shuffle through in 30 secs. I'd go through the stack twice, then turn 90 degrees, shuffle twice, turn 90 degrees, etc.

    4. When development complete, move on to stop and fix.

    Once you practice a bit, the process will become fluid and easy. I never damaged a negative. I will warn you, though, that in my experience totally even development is/was a pipe dream. For most negatives I processed at the time, slight mottling or slightly higher edge density didn't matter due to the content of the image. However, skies was another matter. Like Joe, I eventually got a Jobo with Expert Drums and never looked back; until recently when I've started experimenting with different development techniques using Pyrocat-HD. ;)

    You may want to look at the B&W King tank available via eBay. It's not cheap, but, overall, I've been fairly happy with mine. And, it doesn't put holes/scrapes/etc in your emulsion!
     
  14. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Admin Staff Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Doncaster (Yorkshire)
    Home Page:
    Thanks Alan. Interesting that the Foma film suffers the worse, it has to be the thickness of the emulsion. FP4 doesn't seem to give me any issues from what I can see.

    Shuffling multiple sheets of film in darkness at the moment seems daunting so I shall try a single sheet first to see how it goes. I will also try the taco method with Fomapan as well
     
  15. Alan Clark

    Alan Clark Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ryedale North Yorkshire
    Ian, I'm not sure if I have already mentioned this but you could use a 10 x 8 developing dish with rawlplugs araldited to the bottom so they stick up like fence posts and divide the dish into four quarters. This allows you to develop up to 4 sheets at a time, each confined to its own quarter, and therefore safe from having its emulsion scratched by another sheet sliding over it.
    I wrote an article about this over on the FADU forum, but can give you more details here if you wish.
    Saves the expense of buying a Paterson Orbital, but you have to do it in complete darkness.

    Alan
     
  16. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Admin Staff Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Doncaster (Yorkshire)
    Home Page:
    I saw your article pop up on a Google search but for some reason FADU has been offline all day for me. If you still have the article, feel free to put it in the Resource section
     
  17. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    58
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Ian, I think Foma suffers the most damage because of its "softer than usual" emulsion. I've never had these issues with Ilford films, though I have had "marks" (density differences) where the tabs are. FWIW, I tried single sheet development, but experienced much more uneven development vs the shuffle method. Never tried the taco method.

    I forgot to mention, if you decide to try the shuffle method it's useful to use a tray one size larger than the film; that is, 10x8 trays for 5x4. I found that the larger trays resulted in more even development, and made the whole process easier to do.

    A couple of other thoughts... There used to be a thing made called the "slosher" that held 4 sheets of 5x4 and was placed into a tray. You might also wish to check out: http://www.bounetphoto.com/bs-film-shop/. No experience with his stuff, but it looks interesting.
     
  18. Alan Clark

    Alan Clark Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ryedale North Yorkshire
    Ian, I don't unfortunately. If you can't read it on FADU I can describe it here.

    Alan
     
  19. Bill Martindale

    Bill Martindale Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired Naval Architect
    Location:
    Furness Peninsula
    Interesting Ian as it has been off all day for me as well and I am a Moderator. I have been in touch with Barry Wilkinson an Administrator and a member here and he says it is OK for him. Glad, in a way, that others are having problems as well.

    Bill
     
  20. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Admin Staff Member Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,135
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Doncaster (Yorkshire)
    Home Page:
    I am wondering if Barry is seeing it from his cache. I have tried several browsers and nothing is showing
     

Share This Page