Update on my DIY Film Development Tubes

April 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

DIY Large Format Sheet Film Development TubesDIY Large Format Sheet Film Development TubesYou may also enjoy my free darkroom photography newsletter and my magazine, The Darkroom Underground, devoted exclusively to analog photography covering a balance of technical and creative topics. In a previous article, I share my motivations and reasons why I am building PVC development tubes to use in my film development processes.  

After having tested several different scenarios, I have refined my approach to building and using the PVC tubes for my semi-stand development process.  

First, I should mention that you should use gray electrical schedule 40 or 80 pipe or black ABS pipe because these materials are fully light safe.  By using one of these two materials, it makes things easier for you.  

Regular white PVC schedule 40 that is used in plumbing is not light safe and when working in normal room light, many people have reported their films are getting fogged.  One solution that I tested that seems to have resolved this issue is to paint the white PVC with a marine paint called Plasti Dip. Technically this is a rubber coating inside of an aerosol can that provides an opaque coating on the white PVC.  An added benefit is that it provides a nice tactile surface that helps when handling the tubes during processing.  

In the beginning, I was not able to find gray end caps or male/female adaptors for my tubes, so I purchased white caps and painted them with the Plasti Dip and I haven't had any issues with film fogging.  Refer to the photo at the top of this article.  

I will continue to build and test a variety of tube designs and I will be sharing my final conclusions and recommendations in the July edition of Darkroom Underground.  I have found variables during the use of my different designs that I am learning that either impacts the development process or in some cases, I simply don't like the way it handles.  Share a comment below, or ask a question, and I am happy to help in any way that I can. 

-Tim Layton 

The Darkroom Underground is your analog photography magazine produced on a quarterly basis serving photographers, artists, collectors, and readers around the world.  The Darkroom Underground publishes a balance of technical and creative articles in every issue along with featured photographers and their portfolios. We are pleased to offer editorial from internationally recognized photographers and writers and also publish articles and portfolios from our readers. 

If you like this type of article then you will probably enjoy my free darkroom newsletter and my darkroom and large format video-based workshops

Tim Layton
B&W Fine Art Analog Photography
Darkroom Underground Magazine: www.darkroomunderground.com
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved



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