Developing LF film WHILE overlanding?

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Ta2Doc

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Any fellow Luddites out there shooting / developing large format film while on-the-go? My dream / goal / mission is a long solo jaunt between my current job and whatever's next, up to 24 months to see as much of North America as I can cover, dispersed camping as much as possible... I dislike the thought of hanging up my field camera during the trip, as that's what it was designed for.
Anyone else doing development (or evening printing?!) on the fly??
~doc
 

JimInBC

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A thought. Check in at some colleges along the way with photography programs. Or check with some photo clubs. What you are talking about makes me think back to the way images of canvas tents of old and a civil war battle field. I know it is not the exact answer to your question.
 
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Ta2Doc

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That's a great idea--one I hadn't considered! Monochrome film is forgiving enough to develop off the back of the rig. Color would definitely need better temperature control than I can manage off the jeep.
 

JimInBC

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That's a great idea--one I hadn't considered! Monochrome film is forgiving enough to develop off the back of the rig. Color would definitely need better temperature control than I can manage off the jeep.
Temp control was the big thing I was thinking, and enough water to do a good wash. Now a purpose built trailer might even allow you to print. Pre heat water with roof passive solar heater then heat the rest of the way with on demand propane heater, or drop the temp with a cold water mix. Contact printing removes need for enlarger. Could turn the trailer into a large pinhole camera even. :)
 

Ekaphoto

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It has been years since I messed with large foremat and only very limited. A pro photographer friend of mine back in the film days used to develop large photos in PVC pipe. He had large PVC pipe he glued caps on then cut out the ends so that he could pour in the chemicles and a plug to let the chemicles out. He put it up against an electric motor to spin it. He did this under a red light since he had a jobo set up for his negatives and E-6 processing.

You might be able to set something similar up for field use the hard part being a black bag to load your film into your set up and then also temp control. Like you said temp control being the key. It sounds like a fun project good luck and keep us posted.
 
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Baipin

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I develop 4x5 and 120 out of the back of my Subaru on occasion. I shoot professionally, so I demand good results, and I get them. Everything I use can fit in a laundry tub from the dollar store.

1566528903411.png

My C-41 process is as follow:

- Heat up water to 120F-ish, pour into laundry tub.
- Put dev and blix chemical bottles into the tub, wait until they get to temp (102F).
- In the meantime, load film with a changing bag. I use hair elastics, roll the film so that the emulsion is INSIDE and not touching the elastics (Google: "taco developing for 4x5").
- Heat up more water, as close to 102F as you can get it
- Place film in the dev tank. I use a small Rokunar tank that just barely fits 4x5 film, 1 roll of 120, 2 rolls of 35mm.
- Remove dev and blix bottles once they're at temp. Dump water and replace with water at 102F. Do this quickly, within a minute.
- Pour any extra water at 102F into the dev tank. Shake it a bit, let the film get up to temp and the anti-halation layer wear off.
- If you manage to heat up more water to 102F or slightly warmer, pour it into the tank and shake it vigorously. Do your best to get rid of that anti-halation layer.
- Develop as normal, 3.5 min dev; 6 min. blix, 3 min rinse at 95-110F, stabilizer.
- Done!
- Bonus: Convince curious others are aren't making meth out of the back of your rig... :laughing:

If you're doing B/W you can skip a bunch of steps. I've even had good luck using unfiltered stream water!
 

Ta2Doc

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That's AWESOME!!! Love the compact dev kit! On your website, on the Vehicle page, photos 10 and 13 resonate for me. #10 looks like urban decay and #13 makes me think about getting out on thr road. #1's lit interior also gets my brain asking questions... Lighting the interior of the car was a fantastic idea. Great stuff!
I actually have an earlier model Filmomat that I'm figuring out how to "robustify" for installation in a small camping trailer (like a casita).
https://www.filmomat.eu/ It gives great results, but being electronic, carries with it the fragility that I don't have to worry about with my Horseman, Chamonix and 1956 Leica IIIf.
 
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Baipin

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That's AWESOME!!! Love the compact dev kit! On your website, on the Vehicle page, photos 10 and 13 resonate for me. #10 looks like urban decay and #13 makes me think about getting out on thr road. #1's lit interior also gets my brain asking questions... Lighting the interior of the car was a fantastic idea. Great stuff!
I actually have an earlier model Filmomat that I'm figuring out how to "robustify" for installation in a small camping trailer (like a casita).
https://www.filmomat.eu/ It gives great results, but being electronic, carries with it the fragility that I don't have to worry about with my Horseman, Chamonix and 1956 Leica IIIf.
Hey, thanks for the kind words about my photos. #10 (if by that you mean the shot with the white pipes and caution tape) was shot in a US Navy cruiser (?) undergoing restoration as a museum piece. I think it was in Michigan. In any case, they let me explore below deck - really cool experience!

Sounds like you've got all the goodies! I used to have a Leica iiic, but traded it for $100 cash and a "broken" Linhof Tech V. It actually just had some corrosion on the magnesium alloy frame, which I was able to clean up. A few adjustments here and there, and it's my main shooter now. Also looked at those Chamonix cameras. Love the design and craftsmanship. I looked at Horseman VH-R mini field cameras a while back, but couldn't pass up a good deal on a Linhof 70. I ended up 3D printing some parts for that and even ground my own ragefinder cams! It's an amazing and rare piece of engineering - one worth fixing, I figure.