Develop any sheet film, 8x10 or smaller in daylight!

by Timothy Gilbert

Timothy Gilbert wants some feedback on this project. What do you like? What could be better? Anything missing?

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    1. Missing avatar

      GORAN 2 days ago

      I`m in too.
      Goran

    2. Missing avatar

      Siegfried Schaumberger on

      1 +++++ super Sache bin dabei 8x10-5x7-und 4x5 +glasplatten

    3. Missing avatar

      Peter Kinchington on

      Hi Tim,
      I would actually prefer the system to use 1000ml of chemistry. This is because I use very dilute rodinal and stand development for all my films (sheet and roll) and the actual amount of concentrated rodinal used affects the total development. In this case for 8x10in black and white film I would be using a concentration of 1:250 (4ml of concentrated rodinal in 1000ml of water).
      Cheers Peter Kinchington
      www.peterk.2ya.com

    4. Missing avatar

      Peter Sutherland on

      Although I still shoot some 8x10 and a lot of 4x5 (already have the Stillman tank for that, I truly interested in a 5x7 option. Please either reissue your insert for the 4x5 tank or create an insert for your new, 8x10 tank system. Great thanks...

    5. Craig Dinsdale on

      Been hoping you would do this for a long time.

    6. mark killmer on

      I’d be interested in developing a palette that can hold double sided X-ray film. I have managed this for rotary, so I expect this could be done here as well.

    7. mark killmer on

      I’d be interested in developing a palette that can hold double sided X-ray film. I have managed this for rotary, so I expect this could be done here as well.

    8. piraterie on

      I'm in :)
      And I'll be interested to have the different pallet size in option, as I work in 4X5, 5X7, and 8X10 inch size, I still use 18x24 cm size too ^^

    9. Missing avatar

      George Day on

      Kodak states each film (120 or 36exp 135) requires a minimum of 250ml of undiluted developer for acceptable results however 350ml is recommended for consistent quality. One film = 1 sheet of 10 x 8.
      Stock D76 is therefore 350ml per film but used at 1 + 1 dilution requires 700ml of the solution.
      Developers such as HC-110 @ B solution of 1 + 31 must be used at same rate ie. 350ml for each film.

    10. Missing avatar

      Alessio Lojk on

      OK for me!

    11. Missing avatar

      Gary Inglese on

      Given the tray size, have you accounted for developer exhaustion with more than one sheet at a time? I do not know capacity. This set up is reminicient of the "slosher" insert for tray development from several years back. Interesting idea. I like it.

    12. David Aimone on

      I currently only shoot up to 5x7, and I've pretty much got that covered. I'd consider a step up to 8x10 with this on occasion, but it would have to be two sheets at a time for me and a reasonable price point. Have the lens I need, just have to find an old beater 8x10 for the studio.

    13. Missing avatar

      David Weaver on

      Make a two-for option...MAybe 2 for $200?

    14. Timothy Gilbert 6-time creator on

      Here's a video address some of the comments:
      https://youtu.be/EDVwCxHhExA

    15. Missing avatar

      George Day on

      Seems very similar to paterson orbital daylight developing tray for prints which I use for 10x8 and 5x7 negatives very successfully the only mod I needed to do was glue glass beads to base to improve chemical flow. I think your version should work well especially if 2 10x8 sheets are possible also if your light seal is as good as Paterson’s, you may want to look at their design. I only have to use about 450ml of chemicals.

    16. Missing avatar

      Alex Coleman on

      The lid needs a locking device of some kind, watching the video you can see its not sitting tight on the base.

    17. Missing avatar

      Alex Coleman on

      The lid needs a locking device of some kind, watching the video you can see its not sitting tight on the base.

    18. Timothy Gilbert 6-time creator on

      Not a bad idea! Though we haven't tested it for "super long term" light-tightness; we only test for 2 hours with an 80 watt light.

    19. Missing avatar

      Dean Lastoria on

      If I want to appear frugal ... can I also use it as a paper-safe when I'm not shooting 8X10?

    20. Missing avatar

      David Pattinson on

      I’m thinking most users will want to process a number of sheets in a session. That’ll mean they will want a separate washing unit - so you might consider a sheet film washer. Also many people are likely going to want to load in a change bag - so the unit will need to be easy to dry.

    21. Missing avatar

      George Schakaraschwili on

      I'm in.

    22. Missing avatar

      Guy Lejeune on

      Thanks for the update Tim!
      I will back the project IF the DIY and/or at least a (twin?) 5x7 tray is also available.
      I must agree that doubling the capacity is tempting, but on the other hand I personally would rather appreciate less chemistry.
      As you know from my previous mail, the DIY would answer my need for a 5x8 (Chamonix) format.
      Looking forward to the launch of the project!

    23. Missing avatar

      Guy Lejeune on

      Thanks for the update Tim!
      I will back the project IF the DIY and/or at least a (twin?) 5x7 tray is also available.
      I must agree that doubling the capacity is tempting, but on the other hand I personally would rather appreciate less chemistry.
      As you know from my previous mail, the DIY would answer my need for a 5x8 (Chamonix) format.
      Looking forward to the launch of the project!

    24. Missing avatar

      Mike Vogt on

      I too would love to see a video of the whole process. It's a very interesting concept and could push me into more negative 8x10 work rather than the paper negative route I've been doing. I have faith in you, as I do love my SP-445 units!

    25. Missing avatar

      charles eliason
      Superbacker
      on

      From having experienced many unexpected ‘accidents’ an unsecured lid is a concern for me. I do developer 8 x10 in trays, in the darkroom. That process is extremely simple and easy. Using this system has several extra steps, increasing the possibility of the lid falling off unexpectedly, especially during pouring the chemicals from the tank. Also, why is the palette necessary? If just to keep the film from moving to the top of the chemistry there should be a simpler way than loading and using the palette.

    26. Missing avatar

      Robert Adams on

      I will certainly back this. If it ends up doing 2 sheets of 8x10 that will be a bonus but not essential.

    27. Michael Diblicek on

      Excellent news Tim.
      First of all i'm in.
      As you know from previous emails i've sent you i really am looking for a solution for 10x8 film develpment. I was a backer of the last 10x8 Campaign. I'm surprised to see you have dropped the "taco" 10x8 tank, that looked like a really great design and solution.
      The tray and pallet solution looks good too, although i'm not sure how this is going to work efffectively with adding and emptying chemicals, maybe another video demo using water to see how it all work in the real world. ??
      i totally agree with your statement in your description "Feedback from pre-announcement partners indicates that it isn't a really big deal. Most of them only process one sheet at a time anyway. The SP-8x10+ will be perfect for photographers that take one shot at N-1 exposure and the next at N+1. However, it would be a time saver for many and we'll investigate it seriously." And for my part i will only be developing 1 film at a time, isnt this the main reason for shooting large format film in having absolute control over a single exposure AND development, correct exposures for highlights or shadows. Sometimes i don't believe newbies to large format understand the complete process. N-1 , N+1 etc.
      As for the price range it's cool for me.
      Agitatation looks easy enough, as in the darkroom with print development, isnt that part of the fun?? of film development. If not Something along the lines of a Paterson orbital for those that need do other things. Bref. Excellent news, and look forward to the launch. Good luck.

    28. Missing avatar

      scott paxton on

      I would buy it if it did 2 sheets 8x10. I would not buy it if it only did 1 sheet.

    29. Missing avatar

      Vickers on

      Will support this, because I want to encourage all efforts to make easier the process of film development in homes and apartments without a dedicated darkroom. I am an apartment dweller and for large format I use a changing bag and the SP-445 for 4x5 and the Catlabs CL81 for 8x10. In each case, getting the exposed film into the development tank is the most challenging part of the development process.

      With this proposed system, it seems that getting the film onto the pallets and the pallets into the tray will be reasonably easy in a changing bag. And the ability to process different sizes of film and other materials in the same system is a big plus.

      That said, as someone else has mentioned, it is not clear how easy it will be to manipulate the tray (a fair handful at 10" by 15" by 2-1/2") to pour chemistry into and out of the tray system. It appears that you will need to hold the tray at a ninety degree angle to pour the chemistry in. This will require holding the tray steady with one hand while pouring with the other. Similarly, when pouring reusable chemistry out, you will need one hand to steady the receptacle and the other to invert the tray to a 90 degree angle above the opening of the receptacle. Of course you can use two hands for this latter step if you are confident that the receptacle will remain steady. In any event, until these steps can be viewed it is difficult to know just how much of an improvement in ease of use the system will provide.

      No matter, I will support and give it a try when it is ready.

    30. Missing avatar

      Anthony on

      You have my support with either one or two sheets at a time. I love the 4x5 tank and am looking forward to upgrading.

    31. Missing avatar

      Peter de Groot on

      I love it. And with 2 sheets of 8x10 it will be interesting. With one sheet at a time I might stick with my current way of processing. But I like the idea that you guys are still thinking about l hope the kickstarter will be a huge succes!

    32. Missing avatar

      Mark Albertin on

      I am definitely in. I am shooting 5x7 and this would make life so much easier. It could also be a gateway drug to a larger format like 8x10!

    33. Missing avatar

      Jaime Vocho Rodriguez on

      I'm in as well

    34. Missing avatar

      Fidel Villa on

      Up to 2 8x10 at a time? If so, I'm in.

    35. Missing avatar

      Richard Urmonas on

      Sounds good, though being able to do more than 1 sheet at a time would help. As I see it I would have to stuff this into a dark bag, load it, remove it, develop a sheet, then wash and dry it before I can do the next sheet. I doubt I would get more than 2 sheets done in a day. Being able to do 2 sheets at once would double the throughput. Extra pallets would help as at least I would be sliding a sheet into a dry channel so no issues with sticking due to wetness.

      Also depending on the final idea, having a backing option with both 8x10 and 5x7 (I shoot both) would be nice.

    36. Missing avatar

      Ian Kasnoff on

      This is an elegant solution. A closer look at the pallet would be nice, to see what potential issues there could be as with the early SP-445 holders. I will back as I am doing much more 8x10 and really don’t enjoy standing around in the dark...
      Thank you for your efforts...

      Ian

    37. Chris Stolpe on

      I'm in. +1 for 5x7 as well.

    38. Missing avatar

      Sandy Rothberg on

      You had me at 8X10, if it also does whole plate (61/2 X 81/2) I'm in for two.
      Please proceed!

    39. Missing avatar

      Simon Benton on

      Great idea. Hope it can handle 4 X 10 and 6 1/2 X 8 1/2.
      2 sheets at a time would be nice but 1 will be sufficient.

    40. Danny Chau on

      Great idea , I think a L grove slot (a simple slide in and push lock the lid to the tray) would help.

    41. Missing avatar

      Scott Lynn Riley on

      Interested in processing 5x7. And what about 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 ?

    42. Missing avatar

      Peter Volkmar on

      If one can only develop a single sheet of film in it, I prefer to stay with the tray. With two films I'll take part again!

    43. Missing avatar

      Mariette Kapitein on

      How about double sided x-ray film? Have you done any tests? Will it scratch? I will probably back.

    44. Missing avatar

      Philippe SOUBIROUS on

      I follow you Tim.
      Don’t forget in your next movie to explain the whole process of developing film by this way.
      Dark time, daylight time... how many trays...
      How does the filling work.
      Best regards
      Philippe

    45. Andrew Bartram on

      You have my backing - well you will do

    46. Missing avatar

      Steve
      Superbacker
      on

      I'll be in. One question though - do you think this would be suitable for paper processing? Not such a big deal as is, but would be pretty cool with the agitator...

    47. Bill Gimbel
      Superbacker
      on

      Love it!

      I will also want to process 4x10 film, ideally two on one pallet.

    48. Dominic Leung on

      Hell yes, more than happy to support it!

    49. Missing avatar

      Ian Fleming on

      Brilliant, I’m in,

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About

SP-8x10+ Sheet Film Processing System

Since launching the SP-445 Film Tank, we've received a constant (well, not maybe not constant but at least very consistent) stream of requests of a larger version.  We've tried a lot of different ideas and have finally settled on a tray based system. Why?

  • Tray processing has been the main-stay of photography since the beginning. It's simple and reliable.
  • Easily accommodates multiple formats: anything 8x10 or smaller.
  • Rugged: no seals, moving parts or complicated latches.

But does it work?

A very reasonable question. This is truly a case where a "picture is worth a thousand words." Here's our toughest test case: gray door in the sunlight. 

Gray Door, test shot; click for high res version on Flickr.
Gray Door, test shot; click for high res version on Flickr.

While that proves it works, it is rather boring. Here's an example that's more interesting:

Three Trees, Anthem Colorado. Fomapan 400, SP-110EC.
Three Trees, Anthem Colorado. Fomapan 400, SP-110EC.

Design Goals:

  • Process any sheet film, 8x10 and smaller: 1 - 8x10;  2 - 5x7 or 4 - 4x5 or equivalent.
  • Max of 1 liter of chemistry
  • Daylight safe (obviously, you'll have load in it the dark)
  • Fast to fill/drain (prototypes fill in around 10 seconds.)
  • Easy to use.

The Tray

The current prototype is about 275mm x 380mm x 60mm. The production units will be close.  We actually spent too much time designing a latch mechanism for the lid. After playing with the alpha model, we realized we don't need one. 

The unit fills/drains through three light baffles on the one end. Current times around 10 seconds for 1 liter.

We hope to reduce the chemistry requirement but frankly, we aren't too worried about it. Let's just be blunt: if you're worried about 700 ml vs 1000 ml of solution, maybe you shouldn't be shooting 8x10. 

Film Pallets

Obviously, our current design for the pallet is close relative of existing film holders for the camera. Note that we're still experimenting with landscape vs portrait orientation.  Right now we're planning on separate pallets for the different sizes (5x7 vs 8x10) but that could change.

We're also planning a DIY kit as a post-Kickstarter option. This would include a blank pallet and an assortment of film guides. You'd just glue the guides down in whatever configuration you needed. It would probably include guides for glass plates as well. Before you ask: yes, we considered adding this as a "stretch goal" but decided not to:

  • First, it will complicate the development process: it means another mold, more testing etc. We want to focus on getting the fundamentals right; then worry about the bells and whistles. 
  • We know that a lot people want an 8x10 pallet, and a bunch want a 5x7 pallet. But after that? We're just guessing. We have no idea regarding the market size.
  • To be honest, it's not that hard to build your own. A piece of plastic and a few hours in your shop and you'll have any size you need. Of course, if you have a decent 3D printer...

On the subject of glass plates, you might get away with dropping one glass plate in the tray, as long as you don't tilt the tray too steeply when draining it. Add more than one and they'll probably crash into each other during agitation and you'll have glass shards everywhere.  

(Editor's note: we're calling them "pallets" to avoid the confusion we've run into with the SP-445: are you talking about the film holder in your camera or the film holder for the tank?)

Double Stack

We are researching the possibility of stacking two film pallets. This would allow you to process two sheets of 8x10 (or equivalent) at a time. 

Disclaimers: 

  • Initial testing indicates that this won't be trivial. It's going to take some magic or really innovative engineering, (same thing). 
  • Feedback from pre-announcement partners indicates that it isn't a really big deal. Most of them only process one sheet at a time anyway. The SP-8x10+ will be perfect for photographers that take one shot at N-1 exposure and the next at N+1. However, it would be a time saver for many and we'll investigate it seriously.

FAQ

Here's a short video addressing the most common comments so far:

Change is expected.

Don't ever forget that this is a development project (ignore the pun). We're expecting things to change as we move forward with more testing, gather feedback from backers and refine the design.  (Take a look where the SP-445 started and where it ended!)

Also, note that legally speaking, you're not purchasing a product (hence no sales tax, at least not in the US); you're funding a research/development project. While we believe the latest prototype is really close to the production version, things could change.

Risks and challenges

Frankly, there isn't anything that new here and we don't foresee any major risks. (A dangerous thing to say!)

That said, we do have some minor concerns:
1. Optimizing the film pallets.
2. Perfecting the agitation procedure. It's one thing for it to work fine in our lab but another challenge to get it working perfectly with every combination of film, chemistry and photographer!
3. We REALLY want to process two sheets at a time but we don't know how much effort it will take to perfect the process. It might have to wait for a future upgrade.

Another issue will be shipping. The SP-8x10+ is lightweight but bulky. This makes shipping more expensive (we'll get hit with "dimensional weight" charges.

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Environmental commitments

Visit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.

Long-lasting design

This is basically a modernized tray system and should outlast the photographer using it!

Reusability and recyclability

It will be molded out of ABS plastic and is recyclable.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $123 or more About $123

    SP-8x10+ system with 8x10 pallet.

    Complete SP-8x10+ system with an 8x10 pallet.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $123 or more About $123

    Copy of SP-8x10+ system with 5x7 pallet.

    Complete SP-8x10+ system with a 5x7 pallet. Process two sheet of 5x7 at a time.

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