4X5 tanks and film developing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by nsurit, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    It has been a few decades since I develped my own 4X5, however that is going to happen again before too long. Does anyone still use tanks and film hangers? If not, why not? Bill Barber
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I use a gallon tank of replenished D23 and hangers for my 4x5 and 5x7 . I feel this combo gives me the most even development.
     
  3. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I use a Nikor 4x5 daylight tank, love it- quick and simple.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I use a small 4x5 tank (about 1 L) and stainless hangers. It's easier than trays, and I don't need to make room for the Jobo.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2009
  5. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    My dad gave me his old 4x5 daylight development tank. This one holds, I don't know for sure, but somewhere between 12 and 20 sheets. Absolutely the way to go. I'll never tray develop again.

    I just need a 4x5 camera again.
     
  6. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    I tried a Yankee Tank but did not like it to much due to large volume of chemicals required and too easy to slop the chemicals around.
    I switched to using a Unicolor drum it does 4 films at a time and uses much less chemistry. The drums and motor bases can be found quite cheaply.
     
  7. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear nsurit,

    Find a Jobo on ebay, buy it and the appropriate tanks (The 25XX models work just fine but the "expert" tanks have great reviews.) and you'll never go back to hangers or trays.

    Of course if you really like using hangers and tanks, they still work great.

    Neal Wydra
     
  8. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I guess it is because fewer people use tanks than roto drums: but count the number of posts with problems with roto drums compared to other systems.
     
  9. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    I have been using a HP Combi tank for nearly 20 years with only a couple of bone-headed problems. I like the way my negs turn out.

    gene
     
  10. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I have two hard-rubber Kodak 4x5 tanks. I don't know what they are for; I suppose there is some kind of thing you load the film onto so that you can dip it in the tank? There doesn't look to be any provision for daylight developing.

    I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to develop 4x5 sheets. Right now I do it one at time in trays, but it takes forever when you have a lot of film. Hours.
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    One at a time probably gives least chance of film damage. We used to do half a dozen sheets in a tray at a time by leafing through the sheets, taking the bottom one and putting it on top. I also found it hard to do without scratching the film. Others do a lot better, obviously.

    For the tank, you use ss hangers, one for each sheet. You dunk and lift and let it sit; then lift and redunk a couple times on the minute. Unfortunately, they require total darkness until the fix. On the other hand, it is very relaxing to sit there in the dark, listening to Mozart, waiting for the timer to indicate when to agitate. Although I am a J.S. Bach devotee, Mozart does it better for me in the darkroom. Dunno why.

    I made a floating lid for my tank of D23. Some people just float a sheet of saran wrap on the developer. If I am not going to soup sheet film for a while, I just pour the D23 back into my gallon jug. And sometimes I do 35 and 120 in the tanks as well. I made some dip and dunk rods from thin copper tubing bent with an L at the bottom. String the reels on them like kabobs.
     
  12. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I use a couple of Jobo 2000 series tanks, these are inversion tanks and pre-date the roller vases CPE etc systems, far better than the Yankee/HP tanks (I have a Yankee), more even development, they don't leak etc. I've had the first since 1976.

    Ian
     
  14. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Ian, are these tanks suitable for rotational development as well? 4x5 reel seems to be fixed with the lid, but 9x12 floats around. I have developed B&W with these with great success (once using right amount of chem) but thinking to economy some chemistry with C41/E6. In rotational tanks the spiral needs to be fixed, right?
     
  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Yes, as long as the tank seal is OK, the previous owner of my 2nd tank (which I use here in Turkey) used it on a roller base. It doesn't have the magnet base to couple to a Jobo system though.

    You might want to look at these. They are newer and possibly better.

    They are no good for 9x12. I have a Yankee tank back in the UK for them.

    Ian
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Depends what I'm doing, but I use tanks and hangers, the Nikor stainless steel sheet film tank, or open trays.

    Tanks and hangers are an excellent system for processing film in quantity, particularly if you use a replenishable developer.
     
  17. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Well, I have two 2021 reels, one 4x5, other shortened by previous owner for 9x12 so I can do inversion development in same tank for both formats. Those 2509n reels are adjustable AFAIK.
    But in general, in rotational systems the reels are fixed in the tank or no?
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Should be the same. Perhaps the spirals are tighter on the centre spiral but it shouldn't make mush difference.

    Ian
     
  19. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The inner column holds the reels in place. I normally use the five reel tank for everything. 1 roll of 35/120/4x5 or a full tank.
     
  20. Bruce Watson

    Bruce Watson Member

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    I don't use hangers 'n tanks. Uses too much chemistry, has too many agitation issues, and isn't daylight processing.

    Things have changed in the last few decades. Better tools were developed and marketed. I use a Jobo CPP-2, and a Jobo 3010 tank. Handles 10 5x4 sheets. Perfectly even development -- much better than I could do with trays or BTZS tubes. I've put thousands of sheets through this system and the few problems I've had have all been operator error, and those I can count with the fingers of one hand.

    The justification for the price of the Jobo system is that I tend to take photography trips and shoot for a few weeks. The travel cost for even a two week trip is well above what I paid for the Jobo equipment (used). If I screw up in the darkroom I can't go back and remake the exposures. To make it work I need the most reliable system I can get. Which lead me to Jobo.
     
  21. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    When I was in the Army, we used hangers in tanks with Nitrogen burst agitation, and it worked very well. When I started developing my own at home with hangers and a large tank, I could never get the agitation right. It was ok most of the time (alternating corner to corner every minute), but a smooth even sky could be ruined.
    I changed to open 8x10 trays, following Fred Picker's recommendation, averaging 8 sheets per run, starting with a tray of plain water to get them all wet (they try to stick to each other if you put them straight into developer). I had one scratch the first time I ever did it, then never again, and always very even development.
    I'm currently playing with tubes, but am not happy with it yet.
    You can search the B&W Film Paper and chem forum on tray processing and find more about technique.
    As A-John says, Mozart helps in the dark, but it's Renaissance music for me.:wink:
     
  22. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Assuming tanks and hangers, what developer with replenishment might be a good starting point? Thanks, Bill Barber
     
  23. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    D23 replenished. Very easy to mix, works really well and seems to last forever. I've been using a litre of it, replenished, for like 6 months now. You might also look at using Xtol.
     
  24. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Some people on APUG have had very good luck using Xtol this way, since the "replenisher" is simply more Xtol stock solution. D76 requires a special replenisher.
     
  25. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I've never had any uneven development or other problems with my Jobo. If you get a Jobo Tank, 2509 Reel, a suitable roller base (either a full Jobo unit or not) and Pyrocat-HD then you are set, everything will just work 100% of the time (unless you screw something like chemical mixing up). Can't really say that for other methods of sheet processing I think.