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TomJP 17th January 2020 12:45 AM

Hello from Tokyo...
Was fortunate enough to take a photography class in high school (in the 1970s), continued with the college photo club/darkroom, alongside engineering studies. Lost interest with the loss of a darkroom. Two years ago went to the photo show in Yokohama meaning to choose a digital camera, but on the way in, I stopped off at a showing of analog photos from the 40ís and 50ís. What I saw there and how I felt, was completely different from the marketing tornado of digital at the commercial photo equipment show. Iíll use digital to record things, memories, snaps, but I want to make photographs like the vintage ones in the gallery. Two different worlds for me.

I bought a used 6x9 manual rangefinder (Convertible Horseman) but am not warming up to it. Recently I found a Burke & James 5x7 circa 1922 box camera, fixed focus with a 24mm (135 equivalent) lens. Took some paper negative photos, developing them in my bathroom. Next bought some Foma 100 sheet film and developed six negatives in trays. I have yet to make my first contact sheets. Now this is fun.

I need to find better ways to develop sheet film. Tray processing isnít for me. Iím going to try 20th Century Cameraís 5x7 reel next.

Thanks for having me as a member. Looking forward to the conversations.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

GoodOldNorm 17th January 2020 06:37 AM


MartyNL 17th January 2020 06:59 AM

Hi Tom, welcome to Fadu.

Processing sheet film can be a challenge. I was fortunate enough to pick up Jobo 1510 tanks and roller motor bases while in abundance and before prices went silly.

For my 8x10 film I use paper drums, primarily Durst without a hitch. These are more readily available and low cost.

Rotation agitation is convenient but not how they did it in the 40’s and 50’s! :)

Bob 17th January 2020 07:06 AM

Welcome aboard Tom.

I cannibalised a very dead old folder for its uncoated 3-element lens to use on my 4x5 and was disappointed at how good the lens was!

If you are going for that look, perhaps investigate using Ortho film - you can get it in 4x5. Not sure about 5x7, but Ilford do a special run of the more obscure sizes of LF film every year and possibly they can be persuaded to add their Ortho Plus to the run in 5x7.

Old photo magazines from the 40's and 50's (and I guess online searches these days) are a good source of old photographs - there is definitely a different aesthetic involved compared to the modern way of composing shots - more "romantic" I guess.

Have fun, Bob.

mono 17th January 2020 07:34 AM

Welcome to FADU, Tom!

B&W Neil 17th January 2020 07:51 AM

Hi Tom,

Welcome to FADU and I look forward to hearing more on your new adaventure - enjoy.


Mike O'Pray 17th January 2020 11:07 AM

Welcome Tom. Your approach demonstrates the power and satisfaction in trying new things. Frankly if all my "prints" were instantly available to me as is the case these days with non analogue photos instead of having to make them all I am not sure I'd still be bothering


Richard Gould 17th January 2020 04:39 PM

Hi To and welcome to Fadu

Martin Aislabie 17th January 2020 04:42 PM

Hello Tom

Welcome to FADU - I hope you find us friendly and helpful.

Reading your opening post you are finding 5x7 film development in a tray real a pain.

Someone has just brought out a new commercial slosher tray for sheet film - see here -

They are caller slosher trays as after loading the film in them - developer is sloshed about (ie the tray is rocked from side to side and front to back to make the developer spread reasonably evenly across the film)

Alternative DIY solutions are discussed on the FADU forum - just put "slosher" in to the forum search function.


CambsIan 17th January 2020 06:27 PM

Hi Tom,

Welcome to the forum, hope you enjoy your time here, we're a pretty friendly bunch.


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