Some simple questions about Single-Tray Processing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Steven Woody, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Steven Woody

    Ken Hart Guest

    I've seen pictures of those things, but never in real life...
    How do you drain them? Seems to me if you tried to drain from the sides (to
    follow the canoe analogy, from the gunwales), that it would go all over the
    place. And from the pictures, it seems as if the ends (the bow and the
    stern) have a lip that would prevent draining.
    Ken Hart, Feb 21, 2008
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  2. Steven Woody

    Steven Woody Guest

    Do you mean in this temperature range, I can develop a print for 2 or
    3 minutues and the result will be same? Acutally, I can control my
    darkroom temperature to 65-78F.
    Understood. Thank you.
    Steven Woody, Feb 21, 2008
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  3. Steven Woody

    Steven Woody Guest


    1, What's the dillution you used for developor and fixer?
    2, What is your workflow? ( i.e. how many fixing, how many rinses, I
    mean how you do the one-tray thing step by step )
    Steven Woody, Feb 21, 2008
  4. Well, "professionals" most probably don't use the single-tray but
    other more productive techniques (processors, etc ...).
    If your space is very limited, then instead of using a single-tray, I
    would use a drum or tube.
    You can keep the lights on during the processing and pouring in/out is
    just easier.
    You may also use a motor to rotate the drum which lets you do
    something else.
    Then, you may use the chemicals one-shot or re-use them.
    Of course, this setup does cost more than a single tray but IMO is
    more efficient and agreable.
    I don't see why the rinse after the Fix#2 should be acid ...
    And, after that rinse, I would definetely use a washaid before the
    final wash as it lets you reduce the wash time significantly (roughly
    by half).
    Keep in mind that very diluted developer requires a much longer
    development time and if not done properly may result in poor blacks.
    If you go the diluted route, then process a print with a normal
    strength developer to have a comparison point.
    If you use a washaid, the rinse is around 5' then the commonly
    accepted wash time is around half an hour but that may vary
    significantly depending on your washer, the hardness of the water, its
    temperature, if the prints stick together or not, etc ...
    So the good recommendation is to check your washing procedure with a
    hypo residual test (I should have the formula somewhere or others will
    give it to you) and then stick to your procedure whatever it is.

    If you don't use a washaid (which I can't recommend), then you can
    easily double these figures but I don't see the need for a rinse.
    The rinse is meant to remove the superficial fix before another bath,
    if there is no additional bath, then it is just part of the wash.
    Don't forget the wash is done with (slowly) running water or water
    baths replaced regularly.

    For RC paper, then all washing procedure is much simpler and quicker
    and the substrate does not absorb the fix, only the emulsion needs to
    be washed.
    Find below Ilford's procedure of processing films:
    And papers:

    You should be able to find similar documents on Kodak's site.

    Best regards,
    Claudio Bonavolta
    Claudio Bonavolta, Feb 21, 2008
  5. Steven Woody

    Steven Woody Guest

    Thanks for you advices. How much a print drum will cost? Do you have
    some suggested brands? Thanks again.

    Steven Woody, Feb 21, 2008
  6. Beseler/Unicolor. Used. Look on eBay; they're pretty cheap. (You need
    the drum and the motor base used to rotate it. Forget doing it by hand.)
    David Nebenzahl, Feb 21, 2008
  7. Steven Woody

    Ken Hart Guest

    With all due respect, you don't NEED a roller base. But now that I have one,
    no way am I giving it up!

    I have problems with the drum 'walking' to one side or the other as it
    rotates. I've tried adjusting the leveling screw, but can't seem to get it
    right. Any suggestions? My current solution is to just have it walk to one
    side and set a container there to stop it from going further.
    Ken Hart, Feb 21, 2008
  8. I've heard of some folks placing large rubber bands around both ends of the
    drum close to the rollers to keep the drum from drifting. Dunno myself - I
    do the manual rolling back and forth, varying the angle and duration of the
    Lawrence Akutagawa, Feb 21, 2008
  9. Steven Woody

    jch Guest

    Depending on the roller base design, i have used with success a very
    large diameter O-ring of 3 to 4 mm cross section on the drum. The drum
    will generally drift into the same direction. Place the O-ring such
    that the drum will stay approximately in the center once the ring nudges
    against one of the rollers. Test it with a normal water load to see if
    the whole thing remains stable for the duration of the longest process step.
    jch, Feb 21, 2008
  10. Steven Woody

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    My method is Very simple and direct; develop, fix.
    No stop bath and no rinses. Prints after the fix go into
    a hold and soak tray. I use non-woven polyester sheets
    to keep the prints separated. The same for the two
    following soaks. The last soak is overnight.

    If I were to use D-72 I would make up one liter of
    working strength by diluting the full strength 1:7. That
    would be 125ml of stock plus 875ml of water. Use 1/3 of
    that liter of working strength for each 8x10. Allow 4 minutes
    of constant agitation for development. Turn the print over
    upon itself now and then to insure a thorough mixing
    of the fresh but very dilute solution
    Let me know which fixer you use so that I can suggest
    a dilution. I use sodium thiosulfate pure and simple. It is
    a dry concentrate which will keep for many years. I mix
    fresh fixer just prior to use.
    BTW, if you are testing using 5x7 use 140ml of that
    dilute D-72. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Feb 22, 2008
  11. Steven Woody

    Guest Guest

    Guest, Feb 22, 2008
  12. Steven Woody

    Guest Guest

    Not in the USA. Professional B&W custom printers use trays.
    Guest, Feb 22, 2008
  13. Steven Woody

    Guest Guest

    \>>> Keep your eyes open for those 'canoe' or rocking stainless trays once
    They have a hole on one side near the top, so all you do is tip it in that
    direction to empty. You would be right that it would be difficult otherwise
    because the ends are rounded to contain sloshing chemicals. They also have a
    nice detent to hold film/paper in place so it does not slosh about loose in
    the chemicals. If I can find the instructions I will post a scan on a
    Guest, Feb 22, 2008
  14. Steven Woody

    Ken Hart Guest

    If I'm printing a lot of B&W prints, then I'll get out the old stabilization
    processor, fill it with Polymax in both racks, and run the prints thru three
    times. But if I'm making some custom B&W's it's nice to use the trays so
    that I can gently rub an area that needs just a wee bit more developement,
    or even blot an area with a cotton ball dipped in straight developer.
    For final wash and dry, I feed the prints into the wash racks of the color
    Ken Hart, Feb 22, 2008
  15. Steven Woody

    Steven Woody Guest

    Thank you very much for your information.
    I interested what you said pure hypo fixer and like to use it if
    possible. Here are two questions about it:

    1, How to mix it? ( in what temperature and what dillution )
    2, It looks like Adams's plain fixer. What's the difference between

    And, because I still have one or two bottle of Ilford's rapid fixer.
    If i want to use it, can you suggest a usage for me? Thanks.
    Steven Woody, Feb 22, 2008
  16. Steven Woody

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    The processor I have uses a motor driven arm that goves back-and-forth as
    well as the circular motion. In this way, it gets the chemicals moving from
    end to end in the drum as well as circulating the picture.

    Also, the drum attaches to the arm via a magnet, so hook ups are quick, so
    your timings stay consistent.

    It's a great system.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Feb 23, 2008
  17. Steven Woody

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Feb 23, 2008
  18. Steven Woody

    Guest Guest

    Try placing a flat rubber band around the cylinder, to the inside of one
    wheel and outside of the other (if there is room on the outside) so that
    there is about 1/8" to 1/4" room for movement.

    Mine walks, then walks back.
    Guest, Feb 23, 2008
  19. Steven Woody

    ____ Guest

    Its a Jobo :)
    ____, Feb 23, 2008
  20. Steven Woody

    dan.c.quinn Guest

    If I were to mix enough fix for 3 8x10s I would dissolve 18
    grams of sodium thiosulfate anhydrous to make 1 liter. Then
    use 1/3 of that liter for each 8x10. That strength of fix will fix
    Kentmere Bromide paper; a paper which takes more fix
    than a few other papers I've tested.
    I use fresh fixer prepared at time of use so have no need
    for preservative; the sulfite Adams added to his Plain Fixers.
    My print sessions are short. If yours are protracted then a
    little sulfite may be a good idea.
    To make a liter good for 3 8x10s include 30ml of the
    concentrate. Plain or Rapid fix allow 4 minutes with
    constant agitation. Now and then turn the print over
    upon itself back to front and right to left. Both
    developer and fixer are very dilute.
    A second fix is superfuless. A single use of a very dilute
    fix does not build up any harmful amount of dissolved silver.
    In fact silver levels are well within archival levels.
    Further more the amount of very dilute developer carried
    into the fixer is too little to be of any bother. Skip the stop.
    Any more questions?
    I don't recommend my method for all darkroom work. If
    you've a small darkroom and the work volume is modest
    it's a very good way to go. Like I've said, single-tray use
    is similar to single tube processing, one-shot or save
    for the next print. I though have enough dark area for
    tray processing and seeing what is happening. Dan
    dan.c.quinn, Feb 24, 2008
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