How do you develop your film?

Discussion in 'Talk About Developing Film' started by Stephen Batey, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    I'm using CombiPlan daylight developing tanks because I can process at the kitchen sink. My darkroom doesn't have a sink or running water (at 5 feet by 7 feet floor area there wasn't space to have then installed and still have enough space for other things; and I grew up printing in my bedroom without sink or water so it didn't worry me). Without a sink, and even apart from damage to hands or negatives, I'm not comfortable with the idea of dish development. It's both working in the dark, and the practical point of not having an audible timer, that make it seem a complicated option. If I did go the "develop in the dark" route, I'd probably prefer either a dip and dunk tank or use my Nova slot processor.

    Other options would seem to be the MOD54 insert, a Paterson orbital processor, or a Jobo drum. I have two out of three (the first two). I don't like the idea of continuous agitation, but this is probably because I grew up using 35mm and hating grain and associate continuous agitation with various unwanted side effects (which probably don't show up in large format, to be honest).

    The downside of the CombiPlan is the slow load and fill, but I do risk life and limb (and peer ridicule :D) by taking the lid off to pour out the stop bath and replace with fixer (and have even taken the lid off to pour in the stop bath, relying on the time it takes for the fogged film to start developing being long enough for me to win the race).

    What methods do you use?
     
  2. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

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    I use the MOD54 in a Patterson 3 reel tank, its the 2nd incarnation of the MOD54, the first one was a bit iffy in that sometimes the Negs would come off the holders and stick to the side of the tank :-(, it did not inspire confidence when doing tank inversions, the mk2 version is better and no negs have come loose so far, I also have temp control heater and a tap that has temp control. I recently moved home to a smaller house and lack of space can be quit frustrating, hence no dark room at the moment so its the hybrid dev and scan at the moment.

    Martin
     
  3. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    I tried the MOD54 version one with spare (fogged) sheets as a dry run with my normal inversion (for a Paterson tank) and found a problem with sheets coming away - hence I never tried it with real sheets to develop. I do prefer the filling and emptying of the Paterson tanks - particularly the new Series 4 which are better than my original Paterson Major tanks from around 1960. I think my first tank was probably bought around 1958/59.
     
  4. Bob Mann

    Bob Mann New Member

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    I use film hangers and dip tanks for 4x5, for whole plate I use trays. I have a pair of infra red goggles that I use to watch the development progress.
     
  5. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    Infra red goggles. That's a new one on me, and could be interesting. It would help with loading my darkslides (when I'm at home - on holiday/away from home I use a changing tent).
     
  6. Bob Mann

    Bob Mann New Member

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    I use the Viper brand IR - never had a problem with fogging when loading or developing film. You can watch the image appear when developing, they are "cooked enough" when there is an image on both sides of a sheet. I find them really use full when loading and unloading film holders - it makes a huge difference when you can see what you are doing.
     
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  7. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that. It's very helpful.
     
  8. Carl Hall

    Carl Hall Member

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    I use the MOD54 in a Paterson tank. I've never had any issues with the sheets coming off so I assume that I've got the newer improved version. I think it's a great bit of kit and makes it really easy to develop in the kitchen. Only thing I don't like is loading the film to it, as I always manage to get the sheets in the wrong grooves and it takes a few minutes in the changing tent to sort it out. Now that I've had a bit of practice it's nowhere near as bad, and I find the whole process quite simple and easy now.
     
  9. Peter Lee

    Peter Lee New Member

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    I originally used a Jobo 2520 with 2509 inserts and although its stated capacity was 6 sheets , I found 4 sheets were better as there was always the chance of the middle sheet touching and I am aware that others have had this problem.This month I purchased a Jobo 3006 tank which holds 6 sheets and it extremely easy to load.I feel it gives much more even development than the Jobo 2520 especially at the edges and it uses the same amount of chemicals as the Jobo 2520. I process by hand on the Jobo rollers agitating constantly at the slow speed, reversing the direction every 30 secs.However , I acknowledge these tanks are not cheap but now that I have it , I have it for life
     
  10. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member

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    Hello, I use MOD 54 for 4x5 inch film with Berspeed, R09, Xtol 1+1, D76 and PMK pyro. I use Catlabs 810 (almost the same as MOD 54) for 8x10 inch .
     
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  11. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    That's another product I've not heard of before - many thanks.

    This thread has been highly educational for me.
     
  12. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member

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  13. Alan Clark

    Alan Clark New Member

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    For 5x4 and 5x7 sheet film I use a Paterson Orbital Processor, with 300mls of developer. I don't have the motor so I agitate continuously, and very gently, by hand.

    Alan
     
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  14. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    For those who use continuous agitation - any noticeable drawbacks? I assume you reduce the development time to compensate. Since I use Rodinal and like the acutance effect which depends on not continuously agitating, would I run into difficulties in terms of my preferred negatives if I switched?
     
  15. I have a Jobo CPE2 in the UK, which I used for a short while - a few months after buying that I moved overseas, and have just processed in trays since. I can't give advice on the drawbacks of continuous agitation with the Jobo setup as I'd only just started out in LF at the time. I think Jobo recommend a reduction in processing time of 10 or 15% to compensate. It's quite a nice machine to use, if you get a CPE2 try to get one with a lift.

    These days I'm using mammography film a lot, which allows development under inspection under a safelight - quite fun after groping around in the dark with a timer.
     
  16. Peter B

    Peter B New Member

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    I'm like Alan and use a Paterson Orbital, although I've got the motor as well. As I have only used this very occasionally over the past few years, developer has been (deep brown) Rodinal which goes on forever. I've taken to using larger quantities of it so as to make measuring more accurate, since using a syringe with tiny quantities has greater room for error.
     
  17. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

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    Wish could get my hands on a bottle of the original Rodinal, the replacements such as R09 don't last very long when opened
     
  18. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    I have several (smug grin). I stockpiled when the rumours about Agfa came up. I have heard that Adonal lasts longer than R09, despite both being "original formula". Might be worth trying.
     
  19. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

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    Ok I will buy one of you ;-)
     
  20. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    I've just checked and I only have four unopened left... I'd rather sell my (unopened) bottle of MacAllan 1963 :D
     

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