Developing 8X10 without a full darkroom : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hey guys...

I just started using an 8X10 camera and wonder about developing my own film. I have been using Jobo 2500 tanks for 4x5 sheets (which have been PERFECT, by the way) and Patterson tanks for rollfilm (also perfect because of the wide funnel that allows chemicals to be changed in seconds).

I use a changing dome and the kitchen sink. What's the best light-tight system for 8X10?

Oh, and while I have you, now that I am using an 8x10 I am going to start using Bergger. What start times should I consider for both PMK and Xtol?

Thanks for the help. This is an awesome forum!

dgh -- David G Hall (, February 17, 2002

-- David G Hall (, February 17, 2002


Jobo used to make a 3000 series drum, I believe the number was 3025, which developed two sheets of 8x10 in one of their bigger processors. The current 3005 drum is reputed to be excellent, but I can't say as I haven't got one. The 3025, when you find one, is likely to be relatively cheap - I picked up mine for just over $100. It's just slow. You can also use the larger print drums - I'm currently developing 8x10 in a 3063 drum intended for 20x24 prints. It holds 6 sheets and uses just about the same amount of chemicals as the 3025 uses for two. I picked up a couple used ones quite cheap indeed, compared with the 3005.

OTOH, if you're hand-processing in the Jobo drum, I can't help you.


-- Anthony J. Kohler (, February 17, 2002.

For several years I did all my darkroom work in a full-time bathroom/part-time darkroom. Every time I wanted to do anything, I had to black out the windows, assemble a makeshift table top on my bathtub, etc, etc, etc. My print washer sat on top on a clothes hamper. I had trays on the floor and constant fixer stains on the walls. Keep in mind that this was in a very small one bathroom house. I guess my point is that you make do with whatcha got.

-- Chad Jarvis (, February 17, 2002.

Round up a Unicolor 8x10 print drum; it'll work fine for 8x10. You can use it either on a reversing motor base or roll it back and forth on a tabletop. You can do one film in an 8x10 drum or two in an 11x14 drum.

A couple of caveats; these things usually leak a little and since it's long-discontinued new gaskets can be hard to find so if you can test a drum for leaks before you buy. A dribble is normal while a flood isn't. Also, you may need to smooth the mouth edges with an emery board to avoid scratching the film's base side.

Other drums may _not_ work if they have smooth walls; smooth walls can prevent solutions getting around to the base side of the film to decolorize antihalation dyes etc.

-- John Hicks (, February 18, 2002.

I use the Jobo 3005 drum with a Beseler base, and it works wonderfully. Can't recoment it enough. I have used it with Xtol with no problem, though I have now shifted to Rondinal.

-- Eric Boutilier-Brown (, February 18, 2002.

I hand process Bergger 8x10 in open trays in PMK. I rate the film at ASA 100 and normal development in PMK is about 11 minutes for regular silver paper, about 12.5 minutes for Azo. Maybe it's just me, but I could swear that the edges on Bergger film are a little sharper or the surface of the film is softer, but early on I experienced more scratching with this film than with others during processing. Since you're not doing processing in trays, this shouldn't be as much of an issue, but it's something to keep in mind.

-- David Munson (, February 18, 2002.

A Paterson Orbital processor will do 8x10 in about 55ml of solution and can be found really cheap with a bit of hunting around s/h. If they appear on ebay they tend to cost 20-30ukp but phot clearance outfits will sell them for < 5ukp in the UK. Get a motorized base.


-- David Tolcher (, February 18, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ