Washing of 8x10 film.

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I process 8x10 negatives in trays and get great results that I don't get when I use hangers in 3 1/2 gallon tanks. There must be a better way of washing such large negatives than by transferring them to hangers while wet? I've been doing 4x5 for years, and made a nifty washer out of plexiglass with slots, not that much unlike a print washer but without the dividers. My fear is that the larger film is not as ridgid as 4x5 and the turbulence of the water will make the 8x10's pop out of the slots and possibly scratch one another. I seem to have problems with photoflo drying on 8x10 negatives and not doing what it is supposed to do. I have tried diluting it more and it still dries to a mess. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

-- Greg Landrum (greglandrum@colorassociates.com), August 29, 1998


In my humble opinion, the solution to washing large format sheet film is also the solution to repeatibility with processing. Particularly in larger sizes such as 8 x 10 the answer is with a JOBO CPP2 rotary processor. It is very efficient and uses nominal amounts of water. The downside is that they are expensive new and are sparse on the used markets. With an 8 x 10 drum and a lift, cost can run $1,800 - $1,900 new and about $1,200 - $1,400 used. Those who get one hold on to it till they leave photography.

Before I could afford to order one recently, I modified an inexpensive (under $200) but efficient print washer from Versalab to accomodate my needs. Because of the tendency of large 8 x 10 negatives to buckle, I found I needed the stability provided by metal film holders. I cut a plastic coat hanger along the bottom to have a cross support to hang the film into a seperate slot in the washer. I do not have to worry about boyancy and film sticking together because of the weight of the sheet film holder and each film being in a seperate "print" slot. The movement of the water within each slot seems very good at creating effective movement as long as you keep the flow at necessary rates.

Don't feel bad about joining the ranks of large format photographers counting the days till they can own a JOBO. It is a common occurance.

-- Michael Kadillak (kadillak@rmi.net), August 30, 1998.

With regard to the last answer, those considering a Jobo processor might want to take advantage of the current promotion, $250 in free goods for the purchase of a CPA-2 or CPP-2. In particular, this means that the Jobo lift or the 8 x 10 expert drum is free. Unfortunately, the promotion expires today! But there's still a few hours. See the Jobo homepage (www.jobo-usa.com).

-- Stewart Ethier (ethier@math.utah.edu), August 31, 1998.

I can't understand the preoccupation people on this Forum have with Jobo processors. Are they company reps or something? Maybe just tech-head gadget freaks? Seriously, the simplest method is usually the best. Processing in trays is excellent, at least for b&w, where temp control is not a problem. It was good enough for Ansel, Edward, Wynn and Minor. And it's good enough for me. (How's that for 8x10 Fundamentalsm?!) As for washing, an 8x10 tray with a few holes drilled in one end works fine. Shuffle the sheets every once in while. (I use Perma Wash to speed things up.) I have never scratched a sheet of film in the wash, though, I do admit, I harden my negs.

-- Peter Hughes (leonine@redshift.com), September 01, 1998.

If trays work for you, thats great. During an earlier time in my photographic development, I to had the same approach towards the more "traditional" methods.

Then I had a friend who went to a seminar with John Sexton, who I am sure perfected the tray approach while an Adams assistant but uses a JOBO (in addition to representing the company). He opened up my eyes to the fact that trying something new can produce better efficiency and/or consistency.

And by the way, I am not a JOBO rep. But given a chance, I surely would be.

-- Michael Kadillak (kadillak@rmi.net), September 01, 1998.

Walking a middle road...

I too wanted a JOBO, but couldn't afford it. Ken Hough gave me an idea.....Why not use those daylight color tanks that Besseler & Unicolor, et.al. used to sell as part of home color printing kits? Buy a Besseler or other brand motor base- second hand $25 - 35.00 and the tanks range between $5.00 at a yard sale and 15.00 - 20.00 at a good 2nd hand photo store. Granted, you don't get the temperature control, one of JOBOS big advantages in my book, and you have to pour and empty yourself, but for the last 4 years it has worked for me, no streaking, very very even development, no scratches. Other downside - unless you get the bigger drums 11 X 14, or 16 X 20, you can only do one sheet at a time - but, how much 8 X 10 do you shoot in a day? And how many negs do you really want to process at once? Incidentally the 16 X 20 drum has allowed me to process 16 X 20 prints in B& W, something I can't do in the very restricted space of my cedar closet darkroom. I think Adorama or B&H sell a poor man's JOBO called the Dev Tech or some such - $250.00 or so when you buy all the components. Don't know how good they are & I haven't seen one used either.

As a compromise - simple and straight forward, cheap and "modern" this seems a good way to go. I wash the film while it's still in the tank after a bath of Perma Wash or equivalent, and so far, no probs.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), September 23, 1998.

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