How to develop roll film in trays


Timi Hall shows us how he processes roll film in tray. He does include the following words in the description.

Timi Hall:

“About a year ago I was asked to clarify how I processed 120 roll film in trays. I wrote in the comments how I did it, but it occurred to me that a demonstration would be better. So I made this video this morning in an attempt to share what I learned from an old friend… Noubar, who started Oscar’s Photo Lab in SF… still in business on Brannan Street. My main problem with processing roll films in reels was the unevenness of the development, especially in the sky where minute differences in density were very distracting. This technique works, but like everything else (if done correctly) it doesn’t take a little more effort; it takes a lot. I should mention that I always use a couple of sheets of 4×5 film (waste film) that has been exposed to light and I place it into the tray of freshly mixed developer and I process it for about 4 minutes and then discard it. This is necessary to “season” the developer. When I skip this step the very first sheet that I process is not developed evenly corner to corner So I always do this whenever I process film and I keep any old, outdated films for this purpose. It only takes a half sheet of 8×10 film to season a quart of developer. I mention a “dip and dunk” processor in the video and never finish my sentence. A dip and dunk processor is a film processor that lifts film up and slowly lowers it into the chemistry. Nothing touches the film except chemistry and so it never causes any scratches on your film. The roller transport processor may cause minute scratches if any of the rollers are “dead,” that is, if any one gear is not engaged for a particular roller. Then the film is dragged along and that one roller will cause scratches on your film… hence a dip and dunk is considered the “rolls royce” of processors, but a roller transport by far processes more evenly. Lastly I mention utilization of the chemistry. What I mean is how much film can you process with a given amount of chemistry? With one quart of freshly mixed developer I only process 3 sheets of 8×10 (or the equivalent) before I add 50% fresh chemistry into the tray for the 4th sheet. And I stop at 6th sheet and never use a tray of chemistry for more than that. On top of that I add at least 10% more time for each successive sheet to make up for the diminished activity of the developer. I do mention that in the video.”

Let us know if you try it!


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