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 TubesSubscribe to my free Darkroom Newsletter and never miss another article or update.

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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.  

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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. 

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