1 liter enough juice for an 8-reel Paterson on a roller?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by tbeaman, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. tbeaman

    tbeaman Subscriber

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    I've been using a 5-reel Paterson tank successfully, but I recently found an 8-reel tank in someone's moving day garbage. I tend to do large developing runs, so a bigger tank is always welcome. I just wonder if 1 liter is enough chemistry to cover the film when run on a Uniroller base.

    I did a quick test, loading the center core with one reel and covering the top with saran wrap. 1 liter of water seemed to come up just to the bottom of the center core. That seems a little close for comfort, but I thought I'd call on your collective wisdom before I risk it on anything. Searches didn't turn up any useful information.

    I don't mind having to use 2 liters, as the rotary is only for C-41 and I reuse that forever anyway, but I'd rather stick with the smaller quantities.
     
  2. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Why don't you do a single test roll, 1L in the tank, all spirals present but only one with film loaded. If the level comes to the centre core it should be fine as long as you have enough developer present for the film area in the tank and the tank is level.
     
  3. tbeaman

    tbeaman Subscriber

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    That's my thinking too. I'll give that a go tomorrow. The addition of the reels and film will displace more of the liquid anyway, but I'm also looking to use this to do 4x5 sheets taco style. It'll hold 12 sheets divided into three levels (essentially a wedding cake of tacos). I was just hoping someone might have some experience with it before I waste any film testing it.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    1) Fill the tank to the brim;
    2) measure the volume;
    3) divide by two.

    The resulting quantity should work fine - assuming that there is enough developing agent to develop the area of film involved.

    This works, of course, only with rotary processing.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    1) Fill the tank to the brim;
    2) measure the volume;
    3) divide by two.

    The resulting quantity should work fine - assuming that there is enough developing agent to develop the area of film involved.

    This works, of course, only with rotary processing.
     
  6. tbeaman

    tbeaman Subscriber

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    Ah ha, so there is a rule of thumb. Thanks, Matt.

    With nothing else in it, 3 liters filled the tank completely, so it looks like 1 liter is not enough based on that rule. I can't imagine the core, reels and film would displace enough to make up the difference, but I might try some test film in it anyway, just to completely satisfy my curiosity.

    Oh, and since it's been mentioned, there's no problem with developer capacity. My 1 liter C-41 press kit has a stated capacity of eight rolls (same as the tank can hold), and I've processed as many as three times that in the past.
     
  7. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Don't forget that some will be trapped in the lid!

    If it an old system 4 it isn't so much. But if it is the new ones with the swell funnel lid it is a lot.
     
  8. tbeaman

    tbeaman Subscriber

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    Thanks, yeah, I should have mentioned it's one of the old plain-jane System 4 tanks. Sure made sealing the top with saran wrap and checking the water level a lot easier than when I did the same thing with my newer Super System 5-reel tank and had to keep the funnel/lid on it.

    On a side note, I was surprised to find that the pour in and out with the old tank is almost as fast and easy as the newer one.
     
  9. tbeaman

    tbeaman Subscriber

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    Just an update in case anyone ever comes looking. I didn't try the 8-reel tank with 1 liter. It just seemed too dicey, so I went ahead and got what I needed to do 2 liters, and then promptly found that the tank was a piece of shit. There was a small crack near the top, it leaked like a sieve (with or without the aid of the crack), the cap kept trying to pop off, and the time it took to fill it with rinse water was simply not acceptable for doing color work without stop.

    Negatives look fine, and I didn't lose too much chemistry, but this thing's going back in the garbage. Some things are too good to be true. :tongue:
     
  10. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    I had uneven development when I attempted rotary processing of black and white with a five reel Paterson tank. The reason may have been that the reels weren't turning with the tank, since they're not really attached to one another. I did use lots of developer.
     
  11. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    tbeaman : How much juice do you use in your 5 reel?
     
  12. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    This is a good point that I never thought about when I was scheming to try it myself.

    One interesting thing is that Unicolor did make an adjustable reel tank for use on a roller base. It couldn't use Paterson reels however. You had to use special Unicolor reels. One would expect it would work properly.

    I ended up with one in an eBay auction bidding on an 8x10 tank to use for sheet film. Took a few minutes to figure out how it works, but I never actually tried it. It's stuck in a corner somewhere.