The film hangers are simply channeled frames
suspended below a bar. The bar is long enough to reach
across the tank and allow the frame to hang below the
surface of the solutions. The frame has channel pieces
on the bottom and both sides and a hinged channel
across its top. Each hanger holds from one to four films.
The hangers accommodate standard film sizes, such as
4x5, 8x10, and so forth. After the films are loaded into
the hangers, they may be carried through the entire
process without being touched by the hands.
The darkroom should be checked using the steps
common to all film processing, as explained earlier in
this chapter. After you check the solutions and their
arrangement, check the temperature of the solutions,
and check the safelights. Then arrange an adequate
supply of clean, dry, empty film hangers on a rack, and
an empty rack to hold the loaded film hangers (fig.
10-l1). If the darkroom is not equipped with racks to
hold the film hangers, clean, dry tanks can be used to
hold both unloaded and loaded hangers. Set the timer,
place the exposed film holders between the empty film
hangers and the rack or tank that is used to hold the
loaded hangers, and turn out the lights.
To load a sheet film hanger, remove one of the sheet
films from its holder. Take a hanger in one hand and
place the thumb at one end of the hinged channel. Bush
the hinged channel up and back with the thumb until the
film can be slid along the inside of the end channels to
the bottom of the frame. HANDLE THE FILM BY THE
EDGES ONLY. Make sure the film is seated properly in
the three channels of the hanger. When the film is seated
properly in the side and bottom channels, bring the top
channel forward and down over its top edge (fig. 10-12).
This encloses all four sides of the film in the channeled
frame. The hanger should be given a slight shake to
ensure that the film is in place. Set the loaded hanger on
the rack or in the empty tank to hold it.
The film should be loaded onto the hangers with the
emulsion side facing you. This prevents the top channel
from scratching the emulsion as the film is slid into the
frame. Load the other film to be developed in the same
manner. However, do not load more hangers than can be
handled conveniently in the tanks at one time.
When the hangers are loaded, lift all of them by their
crossbars and lower them into the predevelopment water
rinse, if one is being used. They should be lowered into
the tank until the hanger crossbars rest on top of the tank
The predevelopment water rinse is optional when using
the tank method of development, but the water rinse has
the following advantages:
Figure 10-12.Loading a sheet film holder.