AP tank agitation

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by revdocjim, May 20, 2012.

  1. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    I've only been home developing for less than a year and up until now I used only stainless steel tanks and reels. I don't have a dark room so everything is done in a dark bag. I've found that 120 film is quite easy to load once I got the hang of it. But try as I may, I frequently struggle with loading 35mm film onto the stainless steel reels. So I finally purchased a plastic AP tank to use with 35mm film. It is similar to the Patterson but was way cheaper. I did my first load the other day and was pleased at how easy it was.

    So my question has to do with agitation. The tank comes with a tube shaped agitator that is inserted down the center of the tank after the film is loaded and twisting it spins the whole reel, agitating the film. I'm wondering whether it is OK to do all the agitation this way, twisting the agitator back and forth, or whether it is still necessary to put the top cap on the tank and do complete inversions for agitation. Furthermore, if I go exclusively with this spinning agitation would I need to make any adjustments to the agitation pattern that I use with my stainless steel tanks and inversion agitation?

    Any advice will be appreciated.
     
  2. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    It's fine to agitate the film with the twiddle stick, I use patterson tanks and frequently agitate that way.
    Richard
     
  3. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Search for "agitation stick" on here, and you'll get about 300 threads in which people debate the pros and cons of twirling vs agitation. Possibly you can find Elvis hiding in there too. :smile:

    I tried it and got issues with non-uniform density so I moved on to agitation.
     
  4. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    I recall writing the problems using the agitation stick many times. There must be many threads on the subject. Some people doesn't seem to have problems with it, in my case it causes uneven development. The edge density increases because the speed of the liquid is uneven (vortex) when using stick. Something like that :smile: you can find more info in the forum.
     
  5. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    The instructions that come with a Patterson tank say to use it for initial agitation right after pour in ONLY. Cap and invert for further inversions.
     
  6. edibot42

    edibot42 Member

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    Oh dear, I just realized that I've been using my AP tank with the reels upside down for the last 6 months. It makes much more sense now.
     
  7. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I used an "fr" twiddle-stick tank in my youth. No problems if you remember to twiddle it - don't spin it. The more random the twiddling the better (including, I confess, the occasional spin).

    Hewes 35mm s. steel reels are worth investigating: the easiest loading reels bar none.

    If only Hewes made small hand-agitation tanks to the same performance standard [ones that don't leak and don't have lids and caps that jam].
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2012
  8. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I think I will just stick with full inversion agitation.:smile: