Subjective experience with 5 x 7 processing

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by richard_ilomaki, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. Hello

    I am starting to shoot 5 x 7 B&W and would like some input on
    experience with different processing methods- tray, Jobo,
    tank/hangers etc.

    I have tried rollers and trays but would appreciate some real

    Thanks & Cheers
  2. For about a year, I tried processing 5X7 FP4+ on hangers in half-gallon tanks with both Xtol and HC110 Dil F. Regardless of how careful I was, I seemed to get uneven skies, etc. due, I belive, to surging around the hangers

    I switched to tray processing with much better results.

    Then I sold my 5X7 gear.
  3. Richard,

    I'm really happy with my Unicolor processor. It handles it all---4x5, 5x7, even 8x10! Its a lot of bang for the buck.
  4. With tray development, if you're really careful, you won't get many scratches, stuck negatives, etc.

    With a tank like a Jobo, unless you're physically challenged, you won't get any scratches at all.
  5. The cheapest is an 11x14 tray, one sheet at a time. Lift the edges 1 inch and really shosh it around, left to right, top to bottom each agitation cycle. Never a scratch. even density.

    Surge marks from hangars are from raising or lowering to fast. They work fine. I just ordered a hanger rack for 8 4x5 hangars. you need the Arkay tanks sized for it though and the set up is very expensive. I just got most of it free and just had to suppliment with two components. No more rubber tanks for me. Arkay still has stock!

    I just processed 25 sheets of color neg in a Jobo expert drum in a CPA2 processor today. Perfect.

    It comes down to how much money you are willing to invest and/or how fast you need work done. All the classic systems work if done properly.

    BTW, I really mean a 11x14 tray for 5x7 so it really moves around in a random pattern. Use a full liter of developer too. HC 110 keeps well at working strength so it won`t cost a fortune.

    Some swear by Combi Plan tanks but move the film from one tank to another using the holder. Do not use as a daylight tank.
  6. For the safest and most even development of sheet film look into the brush method.
  7. While I don't shoot 5X7, I do 4X5 and 8X10. I have found that BTZS type tubes work very nicely for me.
  8. I've always used trays for sheet film, at least one size larger than the film (i.e., 8x10 trays for 4x5 and 5x7; 11x14 trays for 8x10).

    I do the "shuffle" with the films, as described in A. Adams and Fred Picker books. Never had a problem.
  9. Tried them all. For convenience and perfect negs you simply cannot beat the Jobo Expert drums. The 3010 which is made for 10 4X5's does 5 5X7's at a time.
  10. All of the methods listed above will and have worked well for someone, and all have their pros and cons. My preferred method of dvelopment for sheet films is one sheet at a time, in same-size trays (8x10 trays for 8x10 film, etc.), with brush agitation. The pros of this method are perfectly even development without scratches or other handling imperfections, the ability to DBI, and conservation of developer. The downside is that it is slow, and must be done in total darkness.
  11. I shoot 5X7 B&W, and so far I have used 8X10 trays with good results, but I still on occasion get a few scratches but not nearly as much as I did the first 2 or 3 times I tried it.

    From all that I have heard if you have the space and funds (around $1000 used) for a Jobo CPA2 or a CPP2 with the 3006 Expert drum (6-4X5 or 6-5X7) you will get great results all the time and the development will be even.

    I just recently purchased a "slosher" from Summitec in Utah which is a plastic insert with open compartments (very well made) that you insert into a 16X20 tray of developer which is suppose to allow very even development with no scratches along with intermittent agitation rather than continious. I purchased this because I will be experimenting with Pyro and it is suppose to perform much better with intermittent agitation. It holds 6 sheets at a time.

    Good luck - 5X7 is really a neat format!

  12. To use a Jobo tank, you don't have to have the machine. They also make a small devide which you put on a counter tip, and it holds the tank steady, while you roll it manually. I use that. Works fine.

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