Sexton Method to Develop Sheet Film : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Some time ago in this forum, a thread described a method developed by J. Sexton (according to the author) to develop sheet film on a piece of plastic. As I understood it, four sheets could be developed on a 1/8 inch (or so) piece of plastic somewhat larger than 8x10, and that each film sheet was held in place by pegs (?) that were attached to the plastic.

Do I have this correctly? I want to try tray developing sheet film, and this seemed like a good approach to achieve even development.

It was also mentioned that removing the anti-halide backing might require additional processing, since the film backing would not necessarily be accessible to the developer. As to my second question, what additional processing would this require?

Since my memory is hazy (usually), any comments or guidence regarding this method of development would be appreciated.

-- neil poulsen (, December 19, 2000


You are speaking of the method John uses to develope film that needs extreme contrast reduction. The device he uses is called a slosher. It is hard to describe it but it is essentially a tray with holes in the bottom. this way the developer can get at the back and remove the antihalation layer. He may send you a sketch if you email him. I have one but it is his device so I don't feel I should divulge it without his consent. james

-- lumberjack (, December 19, 2000.


-- Peter Ashmore (, December 19, 2000.

I built the Phil Bard tray described in detail on his web site. These things really work great. I develop HP5+ with PMK and the negatives are always consistant...streak free...scratch free! I would recommend these to anyone who tray develops 4x5.

-- Don Sparks (, December 19, 2000.

Summitek is producing a commercial version of the "slosher" for 4x5, with 5x7 possibly on the horizon.


-- Wayne DeWitt (, December 20, 2000.

One way to do this ,is to glue some plastic knobs on the bottom of the tray to separate the films. I would suggest to use a 5x7 tray with 3 to 4 stoppers in the middle. With this it's possible to develope only two sheets a time, but there's no danger of turbulance that could cause uneven results. Rock the tray gently in direction of the knobs. Tray processing, specially one a time, gives possibility to absolute even developing to any degree and developer. And you don't have to soak your fingers for more than when taking the films away to the stop bath. I use very diluted HC-110, developing mostly to N-1 or N-2, using the same soup many times. After finding the simple tray processing, I can't imaging going back to all the messy with drums or other items.

-- Jan Eerala (, December 20, 2000.

I saw Phil Bard use his slosher and it worked really well. Nice even developing. James

-- lumberjack (, December 20, 2000.

Here is the Summitek version mentioned above. The Slosher!

-- Jeff White (, December 20, 2000.

I have a device which has worked very well for me. I didn't know the "slosher" was a commercially available product so I don't think I violated any patents. I took a piece of white styrene (Evergreen brand from the hobby store) and drilled holes at the perimeter of the film sheet to acccept a 1/8 inch diameter styrene rod. There are 8 of these rods, 4 at each corner, positioned to hold the film precisely. 6 of them are only about 3/8 inch tall while two of them at the corners are about 3 inches tall. The tall ones allow the film to be agitated and moved to the next tray wtihout getting your hands in the soup. In the are where the film rests I drilled 1/8 inch holes on a 1/2 inch matrix pattern to allow solution to flow freely. The difference I see between my gadget and the Bard gadget is that I don't make any attempt to hold the film up off the plastic carrier. This helps to keep a minimum solution in the tray (200 ml in a 5x7 tray works fine). I have not seen any problems caused by flow over the back of the films.

I develop a single sheet at a time in 5x7 trays. The film is put into the gadget while it is dry and then the whole thing set in the tray. Agitation is accomplished by lifting and rocking the little gadget with the tall rod handles. It has worked very well. I built this when I couldn't seem to avoid scratches on the back of the negative caused by the bottom of the tray even when doing one sheet at a time. I have also made a larger version that holds 4 negs in an 8 x 10 tray but hardly ever use it. One at a time gives more control over each negative.

-- Dave Schneider (, December 21, 2000.

Correction to above, 2 rods at each corner.

-- Dave Schneider (, December 21, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ