4x5 daylight development tank

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by marcelwu, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. marcelwu

    marcelwu Member

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    Hi, I am going to buy a 4x5 daylight development tank. Should you have any recommendation? Yankee?

    Also, can i load filem in dark cloth(i ment it is not too large)?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Everyone I know who has tried it says the Yankee tank is a disaster. Don't do it.

    The HP Combi-Plan tank has its admirers, and Jobo is another option in current production. I use an older Nikor stainless steel tank, which is no longer made. Each one of these options seems to work for some people and not for others and has some inherent advantages and disadvantages. Any of them can be loaded in a changing bag or tent of sufficient size.
     
  3. Jeanne

    Jeanne Subscriber

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    Hi Marcel,
    I've used the HP Combi-plan tanks a fair amount. They're fairly easy to load in a changing bag once you get the hang of it. They're also good and tight. Each one holds 6 sheets of film, but I think it's best to start out doing four at a time until you get the hang of how the film goes into the holder.

    One thing I would recommend is putting the film into an already filled tank, rather than pouring the chemicals in after the film is loaded. Much less chance of streaking this way.

    I started out with two tanks. I'd take the loaded film holder (inside the changing bag) into a dark room and put it into a water-filled tank for pre-soak, then go dark again for the minute or two it took to switch the holder into the tank filled with developer. Then, by the time the film was ready for fixing, I'd shut out the lights again and switch the holder into the tank full of fixer.

    Never had any trouble with uneven development using this method, and I wasn't confined at all while doing it.

    Now that I have a darkroom, I still use them unless I'm stand processing, and for that I use an ancient (monster) Morse unit that's six or eight tanks in a water bath.

    Good Luck!
    Jeanne

    http://www.jeannewells.com
     
  4. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I've never had a problem with the Combi-Plan or the Jobo tank. The Combi-Plan is nice in that the times an results are about the same as using roll film in a small hand tank. The Jobo tanks are nice because you can run both roll and sheet film at the same time.

    I also use the valves on the Combi-Plan with no problems which allows for true daylight development.
     
  5. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    I'll second the responce about the Yankee tank. It sucks. However, if you do get one, Use a couple of rubber bands to hold the lid on. I lost several batches of film this way. The combi plan is nicer. However, neither of these is easy to fill and drain. I finally broke down and bought a Jobo with an expert drum. My negatives promptly began looking better. I believe that this is mostly due to my ability to now control the process with more precision. If you look around on eBay you can find nice Jobos for a few hundred bucks.
     
  6. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I used a yankee tank for about a year with mixed results. If the scene has no clear sky areas, you won't really have problems. Once you examine a clear sky closely, there seems to be an inherent problem with uneven development which I was never able to solve. It shows up as a mottled look, where you know there was nothing but plain sky.

    This was with PMK developer, but I think it would have happened with any developer. I'm using tray development now and use one sheet at a time if it is an important negative.
     
  7. Seele

    Seele Member

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    The Jobo works beautifully with the 2509 sheet film rack in a processing machine such as the CPE2, uses very little solution, and ensures very even development, but I found that by using the the supplied retainer plate there is a chance for the short edges to be underdeveloped.

    If you do not like the idea of using a processing machine, you can also track down a "Color by Beseler" 8" X 10" paper drum. This particular one is different from the others as it has a removeable divider arrangement which allows four sheets of film/paper to be loaded, once done, you pour the solutions into the drum via a large spout, as soon as you start rolling it, the solution is dumped over the interior surface. For developing a few sheet of film I tend to use the Beseler rather than rolling out the Jobo.

    With the film support side pressed against the inside wall, the anti-halation backing tends not to come off. But a bath in hypo-clearing agent can take it off altogether.
     
  8. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    If you're going to get a Jobo then look for a CPA2 or CPP2. These both allow you to use the Jobo expert drums. If you take a look at both drums you'll realize that the expert drums are much easier to load.
     
  9. marcelwu

    marcelwu Member

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    David,

    As I see Nikor tank with reasonable price available in ebay. Should you have any neg. experience with this tank?
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like the Nikor 4x5" tank, but some people I know have been frustrated with it. I think the key is to be sure the reel is properly adjusted and straight and to be sure to use enough solution to avoid uneven development (around 1100-1200 ml). Be sure it has the metal band that goes around the reel (though some people use a rubber band if they are missing the band).

    I have successfully developed up to 12 sheets at a time in the Nikor tank.
     
  11. BobF

    BobF Member

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    I agree with David as I have also had good luck with the Nikor. When I started using it I knew of many who absolutely hated it so I tracked down as many users as I could and found a number of old timers that have used it for decades. I think it is much like steel vs. plastic reels for 35mm. There are many that never seem to get comfortable with steel that love the plastic reels and then there are others like me that love steel reels as being easier. Search the photo.net archives for several good threads on "Nikor 4x5".

    All that being said I wouldn't pay the $100.00 or so that I have seen them going for. BTW I use a rubber band as I never got the steel band so don't worry if it is missing.

    The Beseler tank sounds good but the tried and true cheap tank is the Unicolor with motor base. Greywolf wrote up a great how-to of this method but I can't offhand remember where it is posted. I would recommend the Unicolor tanks also and sometimes still use it.

    Bob
     
  12. marcelwu

    marcelwu Member

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    Hi,
    Thanks for your kind suggestions.

    I still have question about the Nikor tank. Should I dry the the film hanging in the reel? Does it become curled?

    HP Combi tank seems easier loading and keep films straight. But I see comments that the chemical draining is too slow.
     
  13. brimc76

    brimc76 Member

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    I have been using the Unicolor tank for processing as described by Greywolf (it's on the largeformatphotography web page) and have had great success with it. The plus side is that it takes a minimal amount of chemicals(I use 250ml. of each) where my Yankee Dev. Tank takes (I think) 1600ml.
     
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  15. BobF

    BobF Member

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    I have never tried to dry on the nikor as there are so many cracks and crevices to hold fluid that it is almost assured to cause drips and spots on the film. But I haven't dried 35mm on stainless reels for the same reason and some do it all the time.

    Bob
     
  16. marcelwu

    marcelwu Member

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    Hi BobF,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Should you explain how to dry the film? Use Kodak film hanger? It seems impossible to use clip as with 35mm film.
     
  17. lee

    lee Member

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    Should you explain how to dry the film? Use Kodak film hanger? It seems impossible to use clip as with 35mm film.
    Marcel,
    I dry sheet film all the time with wooden clothes pins and let them air dry over night. Just hang them by one corner and use very little of the surface.

    lee\c
     
  18. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Hey Lee, is there something else that people use? I thought that clothes pins were mandatory in the darkroom - Ok, do have some of them new plastic ones, but got the old wood ones too! (grin!)
     
  19. lee

    lee Member

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    there used to be some metal hooks but I am not sure if they are still available. Arlington Camera may have something else. I don't know. Many people tend to over think things like this. It ain't "rocket medicine". :smile:

    lee\c
     
  20. BobF

    BobF Member

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    I use plastic clothes pins on a line, very high tech. Actually I have sanded the tips to a finer edge and put holes through the end so I guess you could call them custom made poly clips. :cool: Same way I hang RC prints to dry.

    Bob
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use Ansel's clothespin trick. Take a regular wooden clothespin with a spring and turn the two wooden pieces around so that they clasp at the handle end rather than at the traditional clasp end. The handle end already has a finer edge than the regular end, so less surface to contact the film, but still quite secure.
     
  22. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I use plastic clothspins hanging in a closet sweater container thing. A plastic enclosed compartment I bought at the hardware strore.
     
  23. steve simmons

    steve simmons Inactive

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    I was never able to make the daylight tanks work. They also require that all sheets be developed for the dsame length of time.

    I prefer tray processing. I can process 6 sheets at once for six differnet developing times. The instructions are in a free article on the View Camera magaizne web site

    www.viewcamera.com

    go to the Free Articles section.

    steve simmons
     
  24. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I also like tray processing for the reasons Steve Simmons mentions, and do it regularly for 8x10" and 11x14" and occasionally for 4x5", so even if you have a daylight tank, it's worth learning how to tray process. I usually have enough 4x5" sheets that are going in for the same development time, though, to justify using the tank.
     
  25. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I have these great Miniture spring clamps You can get at home depot. They have rubber tips and take up very little area on the film..
    You guys that tray develop must have gentle hands, My film always ended up damaged some how. I'm a tank developer. "Dip and dunk you know it's the only way to go"
     
  26. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    I'm a rank amateur and a beginner at 4x5, without a darkroom to boot... so FWIW. I started using my Patterson without the reels: not recommended unless scratched negs is what you're after. I bought the Jobo 2500 tank, and use it manually. It holds up to 6 sheets and after some practice, isn't all that difficult to load in a changing bag. It does not leak and drains very quickly. The only drawback is that to fill it requires 1500ml, whereas used on a processor, it would require only 270ml.

    So on that front, and having never seen how processors agitate, I wonder if I could use reduced amounts of solution, and "simulate" the movement/times a processor uses. What is it, constant rotation with the tank on its side?