Need help with T-MAX film developing - drum processing : LUSENET : Black_and_White_Photography : One Thread

I've been out of the darkroom for 10 years. I really miss it. Now, I'm not up on the latest technology. I've shot about 20 rolls of T-MAX and want to develop the film. I have several questions: The datasheet with the film talks about small tank processing and drum processing. A semi-knowledgeable person told me T-MAX could be developed in a drum - like color paper. Is this true - can you develop T-MAX in a drum, like color paper? I already have an electric Unicolor roller and I've seen the expandable film drum. Is this a recommended way to develop T-MAX? If this an acceptable method to develop T-MAX, what is the proper agitation? Do I just let the electric roller continuosly roll the tank? What about bubbles? Does the tank need to be 100% full so that the film in the reels does not pass through a bubble in the top of the drum? I would assume that I use the development times for drum processing if I went to this method - right? Will this give me any difference in quality if I drum-process my T-MAX film?

On the T-MAX developer: Is it meant to be used only once, then thrown away, or can it be used multiple times? What is the story on the replenisher? If you use a replenisher, how do you "manage" the chemical?

This drum processing of film is new to me, but has lots of appeal.

I was really disapointed that the Kodak web site mentioned, but gave not details on drum processing of T-MAX film. Any help would be really apreciated to get me back up to speed. If you have any other advice, let me know. This is a great site, Scott Dalgleish

-- Anonymous, May 27, 1997


Scott, The T-Max films work very well with drum processors. John Sexton does ads for Jobo, using TMax sheet film & he wouldn't do it if it didn't work well. Your roller tanks should work well as long as the reels don't turn inside the drums. The chemistry has to keep active & the clockwise/counterclockwise rotation is useless unless the reel is going in & out of it. You might pick up a Jobo drum & a couple of reels as they are good & designed for the film processing from the ground up. They will even work on a lot of other roller machines, tho Jobo processors with the water bath for temp control helps a lot. Bubbles aren't a problem as the film moves fast enough to keep them from adhering to the film. NO, you don't fill the tank all the way. Half of a bit less, just so the chemistry comvers the film with the drum laying down. The Jobo drums have the chemistry volumes on the side. I use the developer one shot (use & dump), and process my stuff with Ilford ID11 at 1:3(TMax 100 in 4x5) and dump. Then the stop, very weak & dump. Then 2 min in first fix and 3 min in second fix. I don't dump them, but use & rotate per various user/manufacturor recommendations. See "A few ideas on using Kodak T-Max Films Successfully" by John Sexton-1988 for more on this. Also "Myths of Black & White Rotary Film Processing" by paul Scharanz in Darkroom & Creative Camera Techniques(now Photo Techniques) May/June 1997. I think if you try this type of developing you won't go back. It is very consistent, repeatable, & with a Jobo & lift, very clean, dry and easy to use. Check the Jobo web site & the Darkroom mags & good luck.

-- Anonymous, May 28, 1997

response to:Need help with T-MAX film developing - drum processing

Hi Scott ! Dan gave you some great tips, I use the same setup that you are thinking about. As an amateur, I can not afford a Jobo processor (I'm looking for a good used one). I've use Tmax a lot and still do, but settled on Agfa. To compensate for not having a water bath, IWet the film first, this gets the drum and film at the same temp then the developer. With constant agitation, you can expect higher contrast. I've cut the dev time from 8mn to 7mn. Also I've started fixing for 8 to 10 minutes to avoid the tendency to get ping film base on Tmax. Good luck with the system, it works very well. Let me know what kind of results you're getting. denis

-- Anonymous, May 29, 1997

Moderation questions? read the FAQ