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Author Topic: 4x5 tray sheet dev & scanning  (Read 20991 times)
ivan muller
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« on: October 19, 2006, 01:17:50 AM »
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Hi
Can anyone help me with some info on 4x5 tray processing. Basically tray size, max. sheet number and exact procedure for agitation etc.Also on a good dev for Ilford FP4 sheet film. What I'm looking for is fine grain, sharpness and good shadow highlight control.I also dont shoot that much but a one shot developer will probably be better.
I scan my negs with a epson 4990. What type of neg scan's best? I usually process for a coldlight enlarger. Any thoughts ?!
thanks Ivan
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2006, 04:40:27 AM »
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Hi
Can anyone help me with some info on 4x5 tray processing. Basically tray size, max. sheet number and exact procedure for agitation etc.Also on a good dev for Ilford FP4 sheet film. What I'm looking for is fine grain, sharpness and good shadow highlight control.I also dont shoot that much but a one shot developer will probably be better.
I scan my negs with a epson 4990. What type of neg scan's best? I usually process for a coldlight enlarger. Any thoughts ?!
thanks Ivan
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my suggestion:  add [a href=\"http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/]http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/[/url]  to your daily routine.

Bob

I gave up tray processing in the 90's, but AA's book, "the negative" answers most of your questions.

N-1 is a good place to begin, scanners like slightly flat negatives. I use both HP5+ and FP4+ with Ilford DD-X with outstanding results. The LF forum will get you into pyro, be forwarned.

Bob
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howiesmith
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2006, 10:26:48 AM »
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Hi
Can anyone help me with some info on 4x5 tray processing. Basically tray size, max. sheet number and exact procedure for agitation etc.Also on a good dev for Ilford FP4 sheet film. What I'm looking for is fine grain, sharpness and good shadow highlight control.I also dont shoot that much but a one shot developer will probably be better.
I scan my negs with a epson 4990. What type of neg scan's best? I usually process for a coldlight enlarger. Any thoughts ?!
thanks Ivan
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=81121\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I prefer using a tank and film hangers (dip and dunk).  I feel I can get more consistant agitation and therefore results.  The more sheets I try in trays, the longer the time before I turn (shuffle) a piece again.  Hangers I can do all at once.

I always use one shot developers.  Always fresh.

I also find that soaking film in water prior to developing makes for smoother results.  The developer doesn't "attack" soaked film the same as dry film.  I have added this step (2 minutes of water first with minor agitation) and then compansated for standard developing times.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2006, 10:32:16 AM by howiesmith » Logged
bob mccarthy
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2006, 10:59:25 AM »
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I prefer using a tank and film hangers (dip and dunk).  I feel I can get more consistant agitation and therefore results.  The more sheets I try in trays, the longer the time before I turn (shuffle) a piece again.  Hangers I can do all at once.

I always use one shot developers.  Always fresh.

I also find that soaking film in water prior to developing makes for smoother results.  The developer doesn't "attack" soaked film the same as dry film.  I have added this step (2 minutes of water first with minor agitation) and then compansated for standard developing times.
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I use a more modern version of the old hanger system, the Combi tank. I don't use it as a daylight type tank, though it can be used as such. I use multiple tanks, each with the appropriate chemistry(dev-stop-fix). No scratches as I got in trays. I transfer the film holder from tank to tank. I do a modified stand development, (high dilution, full minutes between agitation) and get wonderful long scale negatives that scan beautifully.

Totally agree on one shot for consistant results.

In addition to the forum, there is the main LF site which has more info on LF that you can digest in any reasonable time frame.

[a href=\"http://www.largeformatphotography.info/]http://www.largeformatphotography.info/[/url]

Illford now has a wetting agent in the film and recommends no pre-soak, and I find that works as they recommend.

I find the biggest challenge with LF is having a good computer with plenty of storage/processor as the files are gigantic compared to digital capture.

Hope this helps.

Bob
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ivan muller
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2006, 11:26:04 AM »
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hi
Thanks for the info! I have tried hangers but I get inconsistant results with uneven developement, especially the part of the neg that sits in the hanger groove. sny suggestions?
Thanks Ivan
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2006, 11:35:12 AM »
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I agree with everything Howie suggests, except that I was never able to get even development using hangers and tanks. When I switched to trays (with a two-minute plain water soak with agitation first, as Howies suggests), I got cleaner results immediately. At first I developed no more than 4 sheets at a time so that each sheet would get agitated fairly frequently, but eventually, with care, I could manage up to a dozen sheets at the same time, with longish development times (quite dilute, one-shot developers.) Impatience always seemed the enemy of quality.

Do check out AA's "The Negative."

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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mikeseb
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2006, 11:55:45 AM »
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Hi
Can anyone help me with some info on 4x5 tray processing. Basically tray size, max. sheet number and exact procedure for agitation etc.Also on a good dev for Ilford FP4 sheet film. What I'm looking for is fine grain, sharpness and good shadow highlight control.I also dont shoot that much but a one shot developer will probably be better.
I scan my negs with a epson 4990. What type of neg scan's best? I usually process for a coldlight enlarger. Any thoughts ?!
thanks Ivan
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=81121\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I use Xtol or its homebrewed cousin Mytol at various dilutions for nearly all of my B&W film, with stellar results, including a lot of FP-4. 1+2 might be a good dilution to start with, but 1+3 could work well for such a large negative and slow film. Of course straight Xtol would give maximum sharpness but I doubt it'll make much difference with 20 square inches of image space to work with. The FP-4/Xtol combination is gorgeous. I've also used 510 Pyro with good results.

Add me to the one-shot club for all developers, all the time. Anything else is false economy. Err on the side of generous exposure (shadows) and stingy development for the best scanning results. Prepare to sacrifice a few sheets of film to nail this down.

I use a Jobo rotary processor for my B&W film now--I used those those damnable Kodak hard rubber tanks and hangers for years though. The Jobo is much easier and more consistent although the reel is harder to load. Jobo recommends a prewet, mainly I think to improve temperature stability, and I do this even though as was said, Ilford recommends against it.
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michael sebastian
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2006, 01:04:20 PM »
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hehe, this is great, everyone has a different approach, but all get acceptable results. Presoaking works with tray developing to prevent welding. Plopping one at a time into the tray without the development processing beginning is an appropriate rational. I had minor surging with ss holders and tried the plastic rack that was part of the combi system. I didn't like the tank system, but found the rack to be a real improvement over the Kodak holders. So I bought 3 and now have 2 backup racks. Clever loading system.

I have never been a fan of constant agitation. I shoot mostly western outdoors (LL) and like the compensating effect of dilute (1 to 9 DD-X) with minimal adgitation. Plenty of exposure for the shadows, compensating effect for the highlights.

I know most people po-po the danger of pyro, but thats them. I've been wanting to try X-Tol, like the idea of a vitamin C developer (enviornmentaly friendly), but if its not broken why mess with it.

Enjoy your large format experience.

bob
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howiesmith
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2006, 01:24:09 PM »
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No scratches as I got in trays.

Totally agree on one shot for consistant results.

Illford now has a wetting agent in the film and recommends no pre-soak, and I find that works as they recommend.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=81169\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And I thought it was just me that scratched film in trays.

I still use T-max 100.  Got a bunch in the freezer.  But I will watch for the changes.

Thanks
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2006, 01:47:44 PM »
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hi
Thanks for the info! I have tried hangers but I get inconsistant results with uneven developement, especially the part of the neg that sits in the hanger groove. sny suggestions?
Thanks Ivan
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You might examine your agitation method. Lift as a group, tilt left 45deg to drain (3-5 seconds), reimmerse, lift tilt right 45 deg. drain, reimmerse.

Repeat every minute.

How does that compare to your method?

bob
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ivan muller
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2006, 02:14:51 AM »
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hi
Sounds about the same. I have also tried scrubbing the hangers to no avail.

On another note, has anyone tried technical pan on 4x5?

Thanks Ivan
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2006, 08:40:19 AM »
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hi
Sounds about the same. I have also tried scrubbing the hangers to no avail.


Thanks Ivan
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The only thing that omes to mind is the hanger you are using. My LF friends who use hangers are insistant that only the Kodak SS are acceptable. Might be urban legend. I think it's a model 4A that they recommend.

bob
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2006, 08:52:42 AM »
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And I thought it was just me that scratched film in trays.

I still use T-max 100. Got a bunch in the freezer. But I will watch for the changes.

Thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=81199\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually, I'd like to meet the person who doesn't occasionally scratch a negative tray processing.

T-Max and XTol is very popular, sharp and grainless and incredible in a controlled lighting enviornment.  I tried Bergger, but ended up using Illford. Kodak is shutting down all film in the next year so so, no matter what there marketing dept says.  Insider friend is (was) in film development (scientist) at Kodak. He left and told me the writing is on the wall. It's over.

I was a Tri-X user since late 60's (school).

Bob
« Last Edit: October 20, 2006, 09:09:46 AM by bob mccarthy » Logged
bob mccarthy
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2006, 09:05:25 AM »
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On another note, has anyone tried technical pan on 4x5?

Thanks Ivan
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Tech pan is for small negatives printed optically. It was available for 4x5 and may still be some around but it's out of production. 4x5 film is esentially grainless when printing up to any reasonable size. There is no grain in 16x20 HP5+  unless you crawl into the print to find it.

Tech pan is slow, short scale, and you will unlikely find any difference between Tech Pan and HP5+ when a scanner at 1200 dpi or 2400 dpi is introduced into the equation. The only reason I can see using Tech Pan is the extended red sensitivity.

Use FP4+ if you want grainless negatives. Ultimate sharpness can be had with a non-sulfite developer. Then again if your scanning, the scanner is scrubbing some of the sharpness off to be repaired with pk sharpner, or your software of choice.

Bob
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2006, 09:24:27 AM »
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Actually, I'd like to meet the person who doesn't occasionally scratch a negative tray processing.
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It's the corner of one sheet poking the surface of the one below that causes scratches. If you keep that in mind (and do some practice runs with discardable film) and don't try to rush, you should get no scratches. I got occasional scratches the first couple of months that I did tray processing, but then maybe once in the next thirty-plus years. It's easy to slip the bottom sheet out so that it doesn't scratch the one above it; and then you *gently* lay it down *flat* directly on top of the top sheet, pressing down at the midpoint of the long edges (hold two corners of one end up with two fingers while you slide the rest of the film into the developer, and then let the corners drop into the liquid.)

It's easier to do than to describe, but if you think about scratches while doing it, the fear of damage should inspire adequate care.

But I'll have to admit that I haven't gotten a single scratch on a digital negative!    

Eric
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2006, 09:40:21 AM »
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It's easier to do than to describe, but if you think about scratches while doing it, the fear of damage should inspire adequate care.

But I'll have to admit that I haven't gotten a single scratch on a digital negative!   

Eric
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I'm a little ham fisted in the dark I guess. Metol sensitivity has me wearing gloves, Even though DD-X doesn't have metol. I was a D23 guy for years.

One thing for sure, spotting and repairing scratches is sooo easy with photoshop. vs. the old way with a brush and tone'.

bob
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Rob C
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2006, 09:50:00 AM »
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I'm a little ham fisted in the dark I guess. Metol sensitivity has me wearing gloves, Even though DD-X doesn't have metol. I was a D23 guy for years.

One thing for sure, spotting and repairing scratches is sooo easy with photoshop. vs. the old way with a brush and tone'.

bob
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=81348\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bob

Used Kodak tanks to process 4x5 for many years in my early industrial photographic life and didn't find any problems with streaking etc. After that, when I went independent, it was always TXP in 120 and FP3/4 or HP3/4 in 35mm. It was also D76 1+1 for everything. As has been said, in 4x5 there isn't going to be any visible grain from anything unless you do something really dumb such as over-expose and over-develop.

By the way, pre-soaking is intended to prevent uneven development densities by making it easier for the developer to cover the entire surface quickly, also to prevent the occurrence of air bubbles. Film with built-in wetting agent? Bit of hype, I think.

Kept in well sealed dark bottles, D76 stock solution lasts for ages; Ilford's ID11 is the same poison, if Kodak drop out of the game.

Can't comment usefully on LF scanning, neither have I got the spare bread for a dedicated roll-film scanner, much as I'd like to have had some years ago when still running 120 gear.

But that's life - it moves on whether you are ready or not.

Ciao - Rob C
« Last Edit: October 21, 2006, 09:54:17 AM by Rob C » Logged

ivan muller
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2006, 03:09:48 AM »
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hi
thanks for all the contributions. Glad to see there are still some die hards out there.

Scratched negs are a lot easier to fix in photoshop than uneven developement etc.

 I have bought myself a mamiya zd for commercial work. As good as this camera is a well scanned 4x5 B&W neg , I think, still has the edge. Of course where 4x5 really has the edge is in movements and especially scheimphlug. Also one can stop down to f90 and still get an acceptable neg(on my 240 apo artar)! So I suppose until scanning backs improve a lot, traditional 4x5 film and cameras will still have the upperhand. Another thing that worries me about the new digital cameras with movements is the relatively small focussing screen. My 50mm shift lens for my ZD goes very dark when I apply some shift and I have to focus wide open and with no shifts first. With digital I also find that I shoot a lot more than with film, but I dont really get more useable files.
thanks Ivan
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