First home-developed large format shots!


TPF Noob!
May 9, 2013
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Iowa City, IA
Can others edit my Photos
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I've done a little large format before on a lark, but borrowed a friend's camera and he developed them for me. But now I got myself a Shen Hao and some 4x5 Ilford 100 and set up my own bathroom dark room. Best shots from the first run of a dozen or so sheets in my first couple runs. Last one is kinda messed up, but otherwise, surprisingly not ruined:


This is a lot easier than I expected it to be. Need to stop down a lot more in the future with my old old lens.

And yes I know the horizon is slightly tilted in a couple of them. Just posting more or less straight out of dark room.
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Looks like you have wayyyy too much soap in your "Photo Flo" solution!

Cool beans though, Gavjenks!
Hm, I actually used legit wetting agent, and followed the instructions drop for drop with measured ounces of water.

I think it has more to do with my usage of plumbing pipe/DZTC style tubes. Developer seems to be getting trapped behind the negatives on the walls and not flushing out correctly, or something. Maybe I need to pre-wet them before loading, or load them submerged in water or something. I'll try less wetting agent than is recommended too, though.
Yeah...the dilution instructions on wetting agents are pie-in-the-sky....almost always wayyyy to concentrated, and they leave residue. I think it's a matter of needing to, some day, sell that customer his or her "second bottle of product". My normal practice is to mix it up as stated...THEN, pour at least 50% more new water into the wetting agent tank, allowing the stuff to just overflow. Also, it "seems" that wetting agent is less prone to leaving residue after a full day of sitting after mixing.

What kind of tank are you developing in? I'm not following...
I cut a piece of PVC pipe (1.25" diameter, which has an internal circumference of just over 4") to a little over 10" then I roll up two sheets of film and jam them in either end emulsion side inward, put a PVC endcap on one side, fill with chemicals, cap other end. Then invert to agitate. PVC is slightly transluscent, but a wrapping of black duct tape around the outside of everything solved that, making a 7.5 watt light in the corner of the room safe to use once the pipes are capped.

Some fluids seem to occasionally get trapped between the film and the wall of the tube. But I have been loading them dry, so loading them with some water will probably fill that space with plain water and keep out any significant amount of chemicals from getting in between during processing.
Don't use photo-flo. Use distilled water asyour final water spots.

You pay the shipping and I'll send you a tank and some hangers.
Well distilled water, although cheap, is very heavy, and I only have a bike, so it's a lot more annoying than photo flo is. I'll grab a gallon though next time I'm at the store to try out, though.

You really think a tank is that much better? I'm not using tubes because I'm poor. I'm using them because that's what seemed to have the best reviews from word of mouth on large format photography forum (at least when not dealing with large volumes of negatives). Most people seemed to think tanks were too fiddly and cause uneven top-bottom development a lot of the time.

I think I'll try the "loading while wet" thing for a couple runs for now, but I will keep your generous offer in mind!

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