What do you think about the BTZS tubes for film Dev???

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What do you think about the BTZS tubes for film Dev??? I am thinking of trying this. What about opening the tubes under dim safe light as explained in the directons for use? Is this really safe? I don't want to risk even the tiniest of fogging!


-- Paul van der Hoof (paul.vanderhoof@losangeles.af.mil), December 05, 2001


They are ok, and I also did the opening undir dim light after stop wash, it does work with no problem. OTH If I was in your place I would get the Jobo expert drum, a Beseler motor base and go from there.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (jorgegm58@prodigy.net.mx), December 05, 2001.

I use them for all of my 4x5 and 8x10 sheet development. I process under normal room lighting and have never experienced any fogging by quickly placing tubes in stop bath, then fix , wash hypo etc... under normal lighting. If you are concerned about fogging, then process two identical sheets under both conditions... then enlarge and print etc.. This is the poor man's Jobo imho. The flexibility of processing multiple sheets with differing development times at the same time is a real plus. Good luck

-- Chet Kwapisinski (chandck@attglobal.net), December 05, 2001.

Paul, I use the tubes for 4x5, 5x7, and on those rare times when I use my 8x10. I love the tubes. Even development and its great to have the lights on for much of the process. Once the development is over, I turn off the lights and place the tubes in water to stop development, then transfer the film to trays for the fix. So for about 10 minutes I sit in the dark and wait. I have never had any type of light on after I have finished rolling the tubes. They are also great for using different tubes for different developing times. I must say that I've never used any other method for developing sheet film.


-- Brett M. Thomas (thomasphotograph@aol.com), December 05, 2001.

Thanks for your responses. My response/follow-up are:

For the Jobo / motor base -- this has worked for me, but longer developement is subject to temperature change and that temp change is hard to measure for the purpose of compensation. I am not certain of the completely random agitation and all negs have to be developed to the same time. I am thinking though, after seeing the BTZS method, I could just float the Jobo in a water bath to solve the temp issue and get a more random agitation.

About the BTZS: My concern would be about the time delay in stopping several tubes if they all had the same or fairly similar dev time. I can see it tricky to get one tube dealt with and then get to the next without losing time accuracy. Will it be too much fiddling around in the dark? I am also concerned about the problems I have heard of getting all the anti-halation on the back side removed. Some one suggested clearing using, what was it, sodium bichromate???? Is it really better to buy the BTZS or make your own as some have done? I am going to learn to use Pyro at some point -- any positive/negative about BTZS and Pyro?



-- Paul van der Hoof (paul.vanderhoof@losangeles.af.mil)), December 05, 2001.

I use Jobo ATL2 at home and BZTS tubes in motel rooms. I would think, but do not know, that a Jobo on a rolling base would not be very temperature-controled. It isn't all that possible to roll a Jobo drum in water, but the tubes are designed for this. I stagger tubes if they have similar developing times. I number them and start #1, wait thirty seconds, start #2, etc. If their times vary greatly I start all at the same time, having #1 the shortest up to the last being the longest. Then I remove as they become ready, and wash and into a deep fixing tray with some rolling. Once all are in the tray I cap them all again and roll for an appropriate time. It CAN be hectic none-the-less but a great system, especially for processing on the road (don't ever fly with them screwed closed). Removing the backing has never been a problem at all. I remove from the tubes when almost entirely fixed, dunk in final fresh fix, then water baths, then hypo clear and final wash in a basket in my archival film washer. This clears the film entirely...even TMX100.

-- Rob Tucher (rtphotodoc@hotmail.com), December 05, 2001.

I second what Rob says about staggering the times. It makes it quite easy to work with multiple tubes that have film requiring the same dev time. I start removing the cap 15 seconds before the dev time is up, and by the time I'm done, I'm pretty much dead on the time.

When removing the caps after development I work with a safelight. I Don't remove the film from the tubes until I've stopped/fixed. Since I use homemade tubes, I'm usually left with a small bit of the anti- halation backing, but that goes away after a second fix in a tray.

I've never had a problem with fogging, at least that I can tell.

Since I develop four films at once, I use four small trays for fixing at the end. This way, there's no chance of the negs dinging each other. Rinse, hypo-clear, and wash, followed by a few drops of a wetting agent, and their ready to hang up.

I was going to buy a set of BTZS tubes, but my homemade ones work pretty well, so I'm not going to bother. They work well with Pyrocat- HD as well, with 75ml of solution.


-- Ken Miller (andawyr@hotmail.com), December 05, 2001.

I use a Radio Shack talking timer. It announces minutes on the way down, ten second intervals in the last minute, one second intervals for the last 10 seconds, and minutes of time over. My process is to stagger the start times such that my tubes end 1 minute apart. This way I do all the thinking before I start and just listen to the timer to finish each tube. I do most of the work in the light but I do go to a dim safelight to remove the developed film. The talking timer works great in dim light!

-- jeff schraeder (jeff@circlesofclarity.com), December 05, 2001.

I've been using the BTZS tubes for about six years now and like them very much. Never had a fog problem, the close timing among several tubes is dealt with as others have suggested. For small volume users people who typically develop say 12 or fewer sheets in one session, I like them much better than Jobo because if you have say six different development times you can do all six in one run, whereas with Jobo you have to do six separate runs. Jobo is better with large volumes I think, where you are doing a bunch of negatives at one time, a bunch at another time, a bunch at a third time, etc. but my typical situation is developing six negatives at a time, often all six having different times or maybe two with the same time and three with another time, and the sixth with another time. In that kind of situation I think the tubes are preferable to Jobo and of course cost much less, take up much less space, and use a much smaller quantity of chemicals. I'd highly recommend them.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), December 07, 2001.

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