PVC Tubes for Print developing

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Anyone know if is possible to develop large prints in homemade tubes with screw caps emulsion side in and to circumference measuring the width of paper? Rather than rolling them have thought about curling and dipping print in attached to clothes pins and pulling out and dipping in stop etc...seems cheaper than Nova Slot processor(by way over 1000%) and can put in bucket with aquarium heater. Any further ideas on subject...anyone try?

-- kirk kennelly (kirk@ioa.com), April 05, 2000


Get some trays, and save yourself a lot of trouble. Pat

-- pat j. krentz (krentz@cci-29palms.com), April 05, 2000.

Got em. Problem is space and developer exhaustion due to oxidation.

-- kirk kennelly (kirk@ioa.com), April 05, 2000.

If quantity of chemicals is a problem, try painting on the chems with a paint brush. You can use tubes but the exhaustion rate is the same. Chems are not that expensive. The quatity of developer you would use in a tube would neccesitate you using the developer almost as a one shot use only anyway. James

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), April 06, 2000.

The method works fine. I developed 60 cm x 100 cm prints in such a "tank". It's not really any "trouble". Just seal one end, and provide a whole for pouring the chemistry in and out in the cap at the other end. From your post, it seems you are thinking about having one tube for each step of the processing. That is not necessary. Use the tube in the dark like you would use any daylight tank, i.e. pour in the developer, roll and wait, drain, pour in stop, asf. Like that about one litre of chemistry is more than enough for a 60x100 print. In principle, you could even build your own daylight tank, but this is a bit tricky. The primitive non-daylight version works fine in the darkroom, so why bother?

-- Thomas Wollstein (thomas_wollstein@web.de), April 06, 2000.

That is very usual procedure with color chemistry, RA4 or Ilfochrome. Various types of tubes are available (Ilford, Jobo, etc). There is no reason why it shouldn't work with B&W as well, and homemade tubes should work fine.

However, tubes are used mostly because color paper cannot be handled with (most) safelights, and tray processing in total darkness is uncomfortable. With B&W, why bother?

Very large prints are most easily processed in troughs (or whatever they are called) used for flowers and plants, I mean plastic ones measuring about 6x6x40 inches. Holding both sides of the print and pulling it back and forth in the soup is quite easy, and the necessary amount of chemistry is reasonable.

I've actually made little tubes for sheet film, but not tried a tube for so large prints.


-- Sakari Makela (sakari.makela@koulut.vantaa.fi), April 06, 2000.

I know a fellow who makes 40"x40" prints using a very large tube processor which he turns by hand. I plan to make a similar but smaller processor for 16x20 prints, as my darkroom is not large enough for all the 16x20 trays I would need. This is a viable technique for making large prints while conserving space and chemicals.

-- (edbuffaloe@unblinkingeye.com), April 07, 2000.

How about using an open tube and rolling it in a tray? The tray could be a lot narrower than conventional trays, and would save a lot of space and make big paper handling easier.

-- Jan Eerala (jan.eerala@itameri.net), April 11, 2000.

I think one of the most important things about developing in something like Jobo - you can maintain requested and constant temperature. How do you do it in the trays?

-- Boris Krivoruk (boris_krivoruk@ams.com), May 09, 2000.

Let me add a few things here. Over the past few months I have been working on some prints between 20 X 30 inches and 30 X 40 inches on fiber paper. I'm lucky enough to have a darkroom large enough to take 4 30 X 40 inch trays, so I can work the prints by hand. I can't imagine trying to process prints this size or down to say 16 X 20 in a tube. Rotary tubes should work find when using RC based papers, but fiber papers ( as you all know) become limp during processing and are difficult enough to work with in a tray without damaging the print.And the larger the paper size the easier it is to damage. I'm trying to picture trying to drag a wet, limp sheet of 20X24 inch paper or larger out of a tube without damaging the print. I would suggest that if you are planning this that you insure that you have twice as much paper as you would normally use on hand to compensate for the lost prints.

-- mvjim (mvjim@interport.net), May 09, 2000.

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