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Developing Sheet Film in a Paterson Orbital Processor
Trevor Crone
21st February 2011
I use a Paterson Orbital for processing 5x7 and 8x10 film and if I only need to process one or two sheets of 4x5. I have two processors, one with the fins still in place and one where Iíve removed them and all I can say is film processed in either are identical, very evenly developed. However some...
  #30  
By GoodOldNorm on 15th February 2020, 05:57 PM
Default Paterson orbital for 4x5 sheet film what developer?

What films/developers are you using in your Paterson Orbital processor? Starting times/temps., agitation routines, amount of developer used, tips and suggestions for your favourite film/developer combinations PLEASE.
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  #31  
By mpirie on 16th February 2020, 06:59 AM
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For me Norm, i float my Orbital in a tray of water at about 22 ˚C, (it's a cold darkroom) using 300ml of each chemical, i develop FP4+ in Pyrocat HD at 2+2+100 for 8 minutes (N). A water stop is used for 1 minute, Hypam fix for 10 minutes, wash for 10 minutes and wetting agent for 2 minutes.

I have small rubber bump-stops in the base to avoid the film sticking to the base and making sure the AH layer is fully removed.

My timer gives me 30sec beeps, so my agitation sequence is 2 full rocks fore and back, then 2 full rocks left to right.

Mike
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  #32  
By GoodOldNorm on 16th February 2020, 10:38 AM
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Thank you for that Mike, do you pre_soak the film for 5mins and do you add 1-2 drops of wetting agent to the developer?
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  #33  
By mpirie on 16th February 2020, 11:18 AM
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I used to pre-soak, but was experiencing strange marks on the film-base which disappeared when i stopped pre-soaking.

Ilford do not recommend pre-soaking FP4, so i stopped.

No need for wetting agent in the developer.

Mike
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  #34  
By Alan Clark on 16th February 2020, 12:18 PM
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Norm, what film are you planning to develop in your Paterson Orbital? If you already use this film in 35mm or 120 format, just develop it the same way in the Orbital. Same developer, same time. One difference I would recommend. I don't know what magic Mike evokes when he does intermittent agitation, but whenever I have tried this I got uneven development. So I agitate continuously, BUT VERY GENTLY. This doesn't seem to require a reduction in development time. For Foma 400, for e.g. , for N-1, I develop in ID11 diluted 1:2 for 14 minutes, same time as I use for the same film in 120 or 35mm.

Alan
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  #35  
By GoodOldNorm on 16th February 2020, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Clark View Post
Norm, what film are you planning to develop in your Paterson Orbital? If you already use this film in 35mm or 120 format, just develop it the same way in the Orbital. Same developer, same time. One difference I would recommend. I don't know what magic Mike evokes when he does intermittent agitation, but whenever I have tried this I got uneven development. So I agitate continuously, BUT VERY GENTLY. This doesn't seem to require a reduction in development time. For Foma 400, for e.g. , for N-1, I develop in ID11 diluted 1:2 for 14 minutes, same time as I use for the same film in 120 or 35mm.

Alan
Foma 200 just because it is good value for the money, 4x5 is very new to me so I am expecting a fair amount of blunders on my behalf to begin with. Ilford films are my first choice in any format. Is alternating the rocking essential, backwards and forwards then left to right, forward and back, right to left?
Last edited by GoodOldNorm; 16th February 2020 at 01:16 PM..
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  #36  
By mpirie on 16th February 2020, 02:53 PM
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You're right Alan; by the time i've rocked the orbital twice slowly from left to right on the minute; and then twice slowly front to back on the thirty second beeps, it's almost like continuous agitation.

I started out with a pre-soak because i was getting uneven development, but the markings on the film base forced me to think again.....so i refined my agitation technique and dropped the pre-soak.

I have to say i've seen a huge improvement in the neg quality since taking this approach. YMMV though!

Norm - I'd suggest the mixed agitation direction.....left/right and forwards/backwards is essential to avoid bromide streaks from doing it in one direction only.

Mixing the rocking direction emulates the motorised base.

Mike
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  #37  
By Alan Clark on 16th February 2020, 02:58 PM
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Norm, like you I also prefer Ilford films but the high price of their sheet films caused me to switch to Foma. I have used quite a bit of 5x4 Foma 200. For N-1 development I have found 7.5 minutes in Fomadon RO9 at 1:50 works well. The developer seems to suit the film. I get almost identical but slightly sharper results with ID111 at 1:2. Film rated at 100.
Agitation...you need to become a random rocker. Lift one corner up about half an inch. No more. Lower it then immediately lift another corner. Choose randomly. No pattern.

Alan
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  #38  
By GoodOldNorm on 16th February 2020, 04:33 PM
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Just need it to stop raining and blowing, can't wait to get out and make some photographs, Thank you for all the advice and tips gentlemen.
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