Developing tray question

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joe7

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i just receive my first enlarger from my friend,so i'm looking for the rest of the darkroom equipment.
i would like to order developing tray from Freestyle Photo,most of my prints will be on 8x10 or maybe smaller mostly,is it ok for me to buy 12x16 tray instead of 8x10 tray?will the larger tray will help me in processing my prints?
can i use it to develop the smaller print like 5x7 inch print with the same tray?
how many tray do i need to buy,3pcs?do i really need the 4th tray,as some people is using set of 4 tray..

the item that i would like to purchase is here:-
http://www.freestylephoto.biz/01201...ommodates-12x16-inch-prints-White?cat_id=1603

thanks
 

wiltw

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Using a 'too large' tray simply means you end up using chemicals faster, since it takes a larger volume of liquid to provide sufficient depth that your emulsion all gets covered relatively swiftly.
 

dancqu

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Two Trays Will Do

...how many trays do i need to buy,...thanks

I process using one tray and a second for a hold/rinse.
Processing so makes greater the little space available.

The chemistry is used one-shot. Minimal solution volumes
more dilute than usual makes for it's good use. Develop -
fix - hold.

As for trays, I use Cesco's the same size as the print.
They have flat bottoms so require less solution
volume and the least amount of space. Dan
 
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Dan...not quite following your description & worried about your fixer dilution & fixing time. Or maybe you develop a batch, throw them in the stop, then fix them all as a batch?

As you might guess, Joe, three trays is the standard setup, although the stop bath could be a sink. Extra trays are always useful especially if you get into toning or if you do fiber prints in two fixer baths. Size of trays isn't that important, as long as the paper is immersed fully without being too wasteful.
 

Denis R

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develop
stop
fix
wash

I have processed A8 5x7 and 8x10 in 11x14 trays at school with fluid level from just barely enough to well over 1/2 full

will be trying the tray from banquet tv dinner swedish meatball for 3.5x5
banquetspaghetti.jpg

yes, I know the image is for spaghetti and meatballs, but the tray is the same
 

Bob-D659

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You can use cardboard boxes lines with food wrapping film. All it has to do is hold the liquid.

Check out the local dollar store for food storage containers if you want small trays. Kitty litter pans work for larger ones.
 
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joe7

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Using a 'too large' tray simply means you end up using chemicals faster, since it takes a larger volume of liquid to provide sufficient depth that your emulsion all gets covered relatively swiftly.
thanks for the reply..i think,i just buy the 8x10 tray,as this is the size that i will print mostly ,and 12x16 is too large i think,it's gonna use large quantity of chemical.
 
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joe7

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As you might guess, Joe, three trays is the standard setup, although the stop bath could be a sink. Extra trays are always useful especially if you get into toning or if you do fiber prints in two fixer baths. Size of trays isn't that important, as long as the paper is immersed fully without being too wasteful.
i'm still a beginner in printing,right now i just want to print directly from the enlarger without any toning,but would like to try it in the future,but is set of 4 tray is enough to do toning in printing?
 
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joe7

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Kitty litter pans work for larger ones.
actually,i'm also thinking of using the kitty litter box,the size is just perfect if i would like to print more than 8x10.
i just wondering,is there any different for the developing tray that having a flat bottom than the tray that having the unflat bottom?
what is the purpose of the tray design that having unflat bottom?
 
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A little easier to slip your finger under the print to pull it out. Also with ultra large trays, a little structural rigidity.

Kitty litter trays would be fine. Also, if you do end up needing a larger print than your tray accommodates, if you can rotate 90 degrees and see-saw it through the developer & fixer, that works. Gets old fast, though.
 

polyglot

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I would recommend using trays one size larger than the paper you're using, otherwise it's difficult to grab the corners of the print to move it to the next tray. You want about an inch of space space per dimension at least. Anything larger than that and you're maybe wasting chemicals.

I find I can use only 1L of developer (which is 65mL of Ilford Multigrade Concentrate, about $1 worth) in a 12x16" tray. It's only a few mm deep but quite OK for printing up to 12x16" and certainly fine for smaller formats. I usually use the same 1L in 11x14" trays for developing 8x10". Anything larger than a 12x16" tray and you'll want to use more than 1L of solutions or it will be too shallow in the tray.

Given that I typically print to $10-30 worth of paper per session, using $1 of developer is not an issue. Fixer gets reused obviously - I keep mine in a pair of 700mL screwtop whiskey bottles so I have 1.4L in the trays.

If you have a cold darkroom (<15C) then you'll probably want to get one much larger tray to fill with water at 30C and keep your developer warm longer. I do this anyway just as a means of getting my developer up to temperature (tap water <20C); if room temp is over 20C then it will stay OK once warmed. If you have a warm (always >20C) darkroom, there's no need for the extra tray as long as you keep a big (10L or more) bottle of water at room temperature and use that to make up developer, stop and fixer solutions.

I have (via a shared darkroom) "proper" developing trays, but there's nothing special about them. Any plastic food or dry-storage container would do as long as it has the right dimensions and (this is important) there are no protrusions on the bottom that could scratch your paper emulsion. You want trays with perfectly smooth bottoms, not that flat is necessary or even good. Indentations are useful because they mean you can get tongs under the paper.
 

MattKing

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The Arista set you linked to would provide you with a very usable set of trays. They appear to be sufficiently durable to last, they have convenient contours on the bottom and they are likely to be rigid enough to make it easy to pick up and move a nearly full tray. They will also stack for storage.

As they are big enough for 12x16, they will work with fairly large prints. They will be most convenient, however, if they are used with moderately large amounts of chemistry.

You may wish to get some smaller trays as well. As long as each dimension is at least one inch (2.5 cm) larger than the associated dimension of your prints (minimum 9 x 11 tray for an 8 x 10 print) they will work reasonably well. Slanted sides are better than straight sides, because they splash less, and will stack for storage. Household plastic trays are more practical for smaller sizes, because their rigidity is of less importance. It can be harder to find household plastic trays with contoured bottoms, and they often aren't designed in sizes that match the sizes used in photography.

If you get matched trays that stack, they store in a smaller space. This can be really useful if your darkroom space is temporary.

If you are printing using RC paper, 3 trays plus either a 4th tray or some facility for quick washes is what you require. If you are printing using fibre paper, and have the space, an extra tray for an extra fixing bath is a really good idea.

For things like toning, you have the advantage that your process is done in room light. The conveniences inherent in special purpose trays are therefore less important. You can get away therefore with less convenient trays. If they don't match your other trays, they may not store as easily.

Avoid metal trays - plastic is less likely to react with the chemistry. Glass trays will work, but they are heavy and vulnerable to breakage.

If you know others who have darkroom equipment, consider asking them if they have extra trays. They may very well have small ones that they don't use any more.

In my area of the world (south west coast of Canada) there is a fair amount of used darkroom equipment available through Craigslist and other resources. Darkroom trays are often available that way.

I have Kitty litter trays that I use from time to time (for 11x14 or when I have a large volume of smaller prints to process at one time), but they are slightly less convenient than the dedicated darkroom trays I have for other sizes.

Hope this helps, and be sure to have fun.

Matt
 

dancqu

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The Method I Think a Gas

Dan...not quite following your description & worried
about your fixer dilution & fixing time. Or maybe
you develop a batch, throw them in the stop,
then fix them all as a batch?

SOP: Develop - Fix, one at a time. No stop.
The concentration of the solutions is determined
by testing. Currently I've pegged times in each
solutions at four minutes.

Variations: Some papers are slower to develop than
others and they can vary considerably in the amount
of fixer needed. For variations the solution is
a change in time and/or concentration.

Batch processing is possible. Each solution is dumped
after one use. Prints after fix are held in the second
hold/rinse tray.

The two trays are used alternately for washing. Print
separators are used; the still water diffusion method
of washing. Very little water is used and changes
only two. The relatively clean very dilute fix
helps in that regard. Dan
 

mwdake

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I use the Paterson 12x16 trays because I mainly print 11x14.
However, when I do print 8x10 I often do 2 at a time in these trays. I put the 2 prints in side ways and keep them separate by resting my tongs in 1 of the grooves.

As others have said get at least 1 size larger than you intend to print.
 

mooseontheloose

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Joe,

I also agree that getting one size larger than you want to print is better. That being said, it's very difficult to find 9.5x12 trays anywhere. I've got some, but I got them used in Europe where it's a more common size. Even 11x14 trays are not that common. I usually develop 9.5x12 paper in 12x16 trays -- they're a little big for what I want, but since I do a lot of lith printing, are useful for the large volumes of chemistry I use (or as a water bath).

As for the number of trays you need, that depends on your own printing needs and space available in your darkroom. If you are just starting out, then three should be good -- developer, stop, fix OR developer, fix, water bath. However, you may find, as I did, that having more trays can be a lot more convenient, especially when printing on fiber paper or doing alternative techniques. My normal set up is in 5 trays -- developer, stop, fix 1, fix 2, water bath. If I had a sixth tray I would use it for a water bath between the fixes. I also plan on buying a few more as dedicated toner trays. I'm not recommending starting out with a lot of trays, but don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting more.

As you are in Malaysia, I would really recommend seeing what you can find locally that will work -- kitty litter trays, food trays, baking trays, etc (glass or plastic). Or maybe post an ad -- I'm sure there are former darkroom users who are looking to get rid of darkroom equipment that might have exactly what you need.
 

Martin Aislabie

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You can never have enough trays.

My darkroom doesn't have running water, so I use extra trays as washes and a holding bath.

When I have a reasonable number of prints sitting in the holding bath, I take yet another tray and carry my prints up to my archival washer.

Note – move wet prints around your house in an empty tray – trying to move a tray of water round the house can cause severe sense of humour failure in your better half.

I then empty and refill the first wash water tray, move all the others up one and the newly refilled tray becomes my holding bath - repeated ad infinitum

So, in summary, how many trays you need depends on your personal circumstances but more trays just makes life easier.

Martin
 
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