Best stainless steel developing tanks?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Jeff Bannow, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

    Messages:
    1,759
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Royal Oak, M
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    So, I've settled on Hewes stainless steel reels for my processing. I love the reels, but hate my tanks. They are a hodge-podge of brands, and they all leak. Some are steel lids, and those always stick.

    I'm looking for a stainless steel tank with plastic lid that is easy to fill and doesn't leak. So, what's the best?
     
  2. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

    Messages:
    4,184
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  3. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    OH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I just use the generic SS tanks from Freestyle or B&H. Cheap enough and they work fine with Hewes reels (all I use). The 4 reel tank even comes with the little lift rod.
     
  4. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,187
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Wayne,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Generic ones, made by Kalt, are just fine. I see no difference in quality between these cheap tanks and expensive ones like Kinderman. Reels are another matter; cheap ones SUCK and Hewes are the only game in town.
     
  5. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  6. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

    Messages:
    1,759
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Royal Oak, M
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    How is the lid holding up on the Kalt?
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mine is fine after 2 years. No leaks, no damages, and I haven't lost the cap, yet.
     
  8. bblhed

    bblhed Member

    Messages:
    601
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    North Americ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would like to know where you can get just a lid, the tanks all appear to be the same spun stainless cans and of good quality, but the molding quality of the plastic lids is all over the place. I had a great lid that didn't leak, then it cracked, I got a new tank and lid but the new lid leaks no mater what tank I put it on.
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,438
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kalt used to sell just the plastic replacement lids, I have one stashed away just in case I loose a lid or cap.
     
  10. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

    Messages:
    1,759
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Royal Oak, M
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Freestyle sells their Arista brand caps ($4-5), and you can also get Kindermann brand caps from B&H (for $20).
     
  11. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,975
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've found the biggest problem with stainless steel tanks is that the lid's get mismatched. Tanks and lids do not seem to match well across brands. I have a couple of older Nikor tanks where the lids are original to the base and no problems. Same issue with the top cap.

    I've also run into problems where the "aftermarket" plastic caps fit one brand of base and not another. Sometimes they'll only go on with difficulty, resulting in premature cracking.
     
  12. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,187
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Wayne,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Mine are fine too after a year of use. Before I bought the two Kalt 4-reel tanks I have, I used a bunch of old 1960s-era Nikor tanks that I got new in the box at a photo swap-meet when i was in college years ago. They're still good too, but the Kalts with plastic lids don't leak on my hands like the old metal lids do on the Nikors. I know the Kalt lids will wear out, I've seen them in schools wear out but like the others here said, they're $5 to replace.
     
  13. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    OH
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My generic lids are going fine. The oldest two are about 5 years old. The more recent one is maybe 3.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,476
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    i heard (and actually then saw) that you can load the hawes reels in to Jobo tanks, center core and all. Jobo tanks never leak, i have yet to have seen a broken one.
    simply put the best stainless steel tank for ss reels is a plastic one.
     
  16. wotalegend

    wotalegend Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne (t
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd like to see that. I have a Jobo 1520 tank and I also have a Hewes 120 size SS reel, and there's no way in the world that the gap in the centre of the Hewes reel would fit over the centre core of the Jobo tank. I wish it would.
     
  17. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Subscriber

    Messages:
    221
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Maarssen (NL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Although not cheap, I have two of Hewes SS reels for my paterson tank and they are wonderful. You can buy them at RK Photographic
     
  18. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,323
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Before you use any of the SS tanks make an identifying mark on the tank, lid and caps. I scratch these on the under surface of the item. Tanks may leak if you should swap lids and tanks.

    It is easier to remove lids if you first remove the cap. This allows air to enter as you remove the lid and prevents suction from making this difficlt.

    Tanks are easier to fill if you tilt tham slightly so that air can escape as it is being filled. This prevents burping.
     
  19. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,476
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    check this out:

    item number 160605512108 on zleezbay.

    Jobo with hewes reels.
     
  20. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,476
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    also, the light trap funnel in Jobo tanks can easily be sealed with an original part or simple improv, then just drop ANY reels in there that fit the tanks diameter.
     
  21. wotalegend

    wotalegend Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne (t
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ah, the picture explains it - the reels are different to my Hewes reel. They have a much bigger hole in the centre. My reel has a hole which will barely take a pencil through it.
     
  22. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,476
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    well in that case you might use what i said here, if i may quote myself:

    "also, the light trap funnel in Jobo tanks can easily be sealed with an original part or simple improv, then just drop ANY reels in there that fit the tanks diameter."
     
  23. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

    Messages:
    1,759
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Royal Oak, M
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Looks like my best bet is to get some generic / Kalt brand tanks and make sure to keep the caps assigned to the tank. I think I'll get a few extra lids while I'm at it to stash away for later.
     
  24. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,476
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    or start using plastic reels and tanks all together and never see leakage again...
     
  25. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

    Messages:
    1,759
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Royal Oak, M
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Tried plastic and it doesn't agree with me. I guess since I learned on SS, it just is seems more natural to use them.
     
  26. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,476
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    yeah i know what you mean, i never understood how those metal reels even work.... i just never had any reason not to use the plastic gear.. but i heard some poeple really like that ss stuff.