5x7 black and white daytime developing

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I am having a difficult time locating a daylight solution to developing 5x7 black and white sheet film. I was up at Glazer's in Seattle and they had a couple of 4x5 daylight tanks. one by Yankee and another marketed through HP marketing.

any 5x7 suggestions?

thank you ...

-- Daniel Taylor (aviator@agalis.net), November 22, 1999


Daniel, I'm sure you will get more personal satisfaction, not to mention dark green fingernails, to develop one sheet at a time in trays, in the Bathroom, at 2 AM. Mitch

-- Bill Mitchell (bmitch@home.com), November 22, 1999.

You can developsheet film of any size in the daylight drums from Beseler or Unicolor that were originally designed to process color prints in the home darkroom. You'll need a motor base, or you could agiatate by hand. ANother solution are the BTZS tubes sold by Darkroom Innovations. Or you could make your own out of an opaque material or paint or coat PVC tubes of appropraite diameter with an opaque paint or liquid rubber coating. See other posts in the archive for more info.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), November 22, 1999.

is it possible I read the information on the BTZS tubes incorrectly? it read as if this was really a darkroom process for the most part, in the dark, except for developing duration when the tubes were capped. chemical exchange, stop bathing, initial fixing was all to be done in the dark. I presently load 35mm in a changing bag, and use a daylight Patterson tank. without a dedicated darkroom, a similar solution for 5x7 is needed.

-- Daniel Taylor (aviator@agalis.net), November 22, 1999.

Try the Jobo 3006 expert tank. Load in the dark as normal & all else can be done in room light, including rotating it by hand in a bucket or container of water at processing temperature.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), November 22, 1999.

Mr. Taylor,

Dan Smith's suggestions would apply to the Beseler and Unicolor drums as well. Yes, the BTZS tubes must be loaded and filled and drained in the dark. You must also load the Beseler and Unicolor and Jobo in the dark. If you can manage the loading in a changing bag, my hat's off to you.

All you really need is a bathroom without windows or a closet. You can light proof it by turning out the lights in the adjoining area(s) and hanging a heavy blanket on the inside of the door frame, filling the crack between floor and door with a towel.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), November 23, 1999.


I'll second the recommendation for the BTZS tubes. I use them in 4x5 and 8x10, not 5x7.

Sean is correct, you have to first load the film into the tubes in complete darkness. A darkbag is good, or the old motel towel under the windowless bathroom door trick will also work. (If you want to develop on the road, always look for motels with windowless bathrooms!)

The initial developing step (assuming you don't do a water pre-wash) also has to be done in the dark. The tube's spare cap, with the developer already poured into it, is exchanged for the cap already on the loaded BTZS tube. This cap exchange has to be done in complete darkness as well. I suppose, in a pinch, you could also do this inside a darkbag, but the windowless BR works better.

The manufacturers of the BTZS tubes state that the steps following developing can be performed in "very dim room light". Their developing instructions claim that the stop bath and fixer solutions can be safely introduced into the tubes, when exchanging the spare caps with these solutions, without fogging the film, when done quickly in a dimly lit room. I consider a dimly lit room to be just light enough for me to see what I'm doing.

I did not quite believe this, so I tested it myself. I compared one sheet of 4x5 B&W film developed in the tubes in complete darkness with one done as recommended in a dimly lit room. I was surprised to discover that I could see no difference in the two sheets; I could determine no fogging with the dimly lit room.

The definitive test would be to develop two unexposed sheets, and compare them for any fogging density with a densitometer. But, I'm too lazy for that.

Hope this helps. Good luck, Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (s.ortega@worldnet.att.net), November 23, 1999.

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