Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

  1. #1
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    819

    Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Hi folks,

    I've been thinking about processing my own 4x5 B&W sheet film again. The last time I did this was in the mid-80s, tray development in a darkroom. I don't have a darkroom any longer so I'm not interested in tray development. Any suggestions for what sort of daylight processor works well with sheet film? HP Combi, Jobo processor, etc? TIA.

    Gary

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Jobo 3010 Expert Drum. It's the easiest way I've found that is near fool-proof (though stupidity is never to be underestimated, I guess, so someone has probably screwed it up) and does 10 sheets at one time. Can usually be found $175-300 used on eBay.

    You can use it on a Jobo base or save space and put it on a rotating base. I would suggest filling it through a funnel and tube while it's already rotating if you're going to use a rotating base as I've had uneven film density issues filling it on end and then putting it on to rotate.

  3. #3
    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,431
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    17

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Jeremy's right on the drum.
    I did a Beseler Roto Base.
    Load the film and fill the tank with distiller water with a few drops of Edwal LFN or any other wetting agent. Rotate for about 2 minutes. This removes the antihalation backing.
    Dump and start your development.
    The film is now soft and you get very even density.
    Shooter

  4. #4
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Never used a Jobo tank, never liked them, some folks love them, some don't. From what I've read, some folks have experienced uneven development using them. I have no idea how that could be the tank's fault.

    Back when ... I use a couple of diff daylight dev tanks. One is a common, square, el-cheapo Yankee tank that holds about 10 sheets of film in a plastic frame -- very easy to load in the dark. Wet and messy, but never had a problem developing with it. Just be sure you do the developing in/over a sink.



    The other, my favorite, is a stainless steel tank, looks like a regular old 35-mm film development tank on steroids. It's just bigger. And the stainless steel reel/holder thingy that goes inside holds 10 or 12 sheets of 4x5, they slide in from diff points around the side of the holder and kind of spiral toward the center. Put the ss cap on and agitate just like any other ss developing tank, no spilling, no mess -- except that it is heavier. I think it is made by Nikor.

    About Edwal LFN wetting agent -- never used it. Never worried about removing the film backing either -- it's gonna come off with or without a wetting agent. I always pre-soak the film with water for a minute or so before developing, gets the emulation prepped for the developer. Also removes the backing from film. Using a wetting agent before drying film is a very good idea -- don't even think about skipping it.

    I am a huge fan of sodium thiosulfate based fixers for film and paper. No need for a stop bath or hypo-clear, vastly reduced wash time to achieve archival quality clearing. They also remove the magenta stain from Kodak Tmax films faster and better(?). Make your own TF-3 fixer, or buy TF-4 from Photographers Formulary.

    http://www.photoformulary.com/Deskto...yID=3&langID=0

  5. #5
    Senior Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,306
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    I use an HP Combi, XTOL, and TF-4. The local Calumet sells both XTOL and TF-4. The Jobo expert drums are easier to load; I have one as well but like the Combi better for manual use. The expert is nicer on a rolling base, but I generally don't bother with setting that up unless I do roll film. For roll film I fill it halfway with water and set it on the roller for a while to completely clear the base of any tint. With Combi I fill it with water and let it sit under a slow running faucet. I'd also recommend getting a tray and putting some filtered water (Brita works fine) with a tsp of rinsing agent and giving each sheet a quick dip before hanging it to dry.

  6. #6
    Senior Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,306
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Oh, and use a WHITE tray for the final rinse, that way it's obvious if the film wasn't properly washed and still has a strong tint, if it needs refixing, or has other obvious problems that you might want to correct.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    While not as easy/elegant as a 3010 Jobo (which seemed to be running $300 used when I bought mine a few months ago), they also make smaller drum units which are loaded onto reels and then processed on a roller (Uniroller or other). Jobo made kits of drum, reel and film loader guide- may still find some around or used.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    819

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Rick View Post
    While not as easy/elegant as a 3010 Jobo (which seemed to be running $300 used when I bought mine a few months ago), they also make smaller drum units which are loaded onto reels and then processed on a roller (Uniroller or other). Jobo made kits of drum, reel and film loader guide- may still find some around or used.
    Do you mean the Jobo 2500 series tanks and reels? I've been thinking about those instead of the 3010 etc. Looks similar to what I've used for 120 roll film in the past.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Gary,

    yes, that's it. Here's a link to the complete kit:

    https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/..._detail&p=1818

    I think you could also put the reels in a larger 2500 series tank, to do 2 or more- developer capacity/volume might start to enter in. If you call Jeff at Badger, I'm sure he could give some good advice.

    A good project for those long winter nights

    Rick

  10. #10
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,416
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    819

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Thanks Rick. While I was looking at the Jobo kit on the Badger site I noticed the BTZS 4x5 film tube kit. Anyone have experience using one of these?

    Gary

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    From what I read while looking at that option (vs. Jobo), some loved 'em and others didn't. There was a you-tube demo video done by Fred from The View Camera Store- I'm sure you can find it somewhere. As I recall, you'd need a darkroom-type setup for at least part of the process- not just a dark place to load reels.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Do you mean the Jobo 2500 series tanks and reels? I've been thinking about those instead of the 3010 etc. Looks similar to what I've used for 120 roll film in the past.

    Gary
    These things are the spawn of the devil. I don't know of anyone who has used them who likes them, honestly. Those that are "okay" with them usually haven't used something else.

    It just feels like you're fighting with them to load them.

    The 3010 is much more straightforward.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Thanks Rick. While I was looking at the Jobo kit on the Badger site I noticed the BTZS 4x5 film tube kit. Anyone have experience using one of these?

    Gary
    The BTZS tubes are very simple and work wonderfully, but like tray processing require much more lab monkey work and a darkroom (though there are some workarounds there).

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Gary,

    while this is focused on color developing, it is very informative, and has about 5-6 videos showing the processing, loading reels, etc. Don't know if you know Tim and his website- some very nice work, plus some interesting reads!

    http://www.timparkin.co.uk/blog/jobo-film-developing

    Rick

  15. #15
    Member jeffvk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    San Luis Obispo
    Posts
    63
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    There are lots of ways to do it. I have used both Jobo systems and they work fine. The system (2500)above at Badger works great, and you can roll or invert. My experience with the Yankee type is it leaks.
    Do yourself a favor and take two sheet of film. Practice three times with your eyes open. Then do it three times with your eyes closed. After that you won't have a problem loading film. If you do, close your eyes in the darkroom. I've taught photography for a number of years and this helps everyone who has trouble.
    Good luck.

  16. #16
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffvk View Post

    ... My experience with the Yankee type is it leaks.
    Yankee tanks don't leak -- they're made with holes in them.

    As I mentioned above, Yankee tanks are cheap and easy to use, and work very well, but you MUST dev in/over a sink because they are messy! Also, only agitate side to side, not front to back because of the orientation of the film sheets inside. And don't even think about inverting the tank. I was always worried about the top floating off when filling the tank so I took a couple strips of sheet metal from a hold lawn chair and bent them into spring clips that hold the top on securely.

    Still, the best 4x5 dev tank I have used it the stainless steel reel and tank made by Nikor. Looks like a regular old 120 roll film dev tank on steroids. Can be inverted.

  17. #17
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,530
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Recommendations for processing B&W sheet film....

    Hmm, searching for the Nikor (Nikkor?) tanks, I find only people complaining about them. Most seem to end up either with the Jobo drums or something like the Yankee tanks.

    Thinking about what I want to do and how I want to do it, I think I will personally try the Jobo drums first. I want to spend my time with the photography, and have a simple development routine. I am not (at this time) looking to try special agitation patterns in search of edge effects, and so on.
    Carsten - Website

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •