Cheap equipment question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Donald Qualls, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Has anyone used the plastic tanks with aprons that Freestyle sells? They're about $5 each for 35 mm, and $7 for 120 size; look like they're built like a stainless tank (nesting cap and bottom, with a baffle light trap in the top, and inversion cap), but all plastic. I'm thinking of getting a couple of each with my next film older, just to have as backups. I get visions of loading all my tanks (like I did today) and then wanting to prioritize a roll that's just come out of a camera (like if the aliens land in the side yard). Having one or two of these in each size could save the day... :wink:
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,196
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Donald:

    I bought a 120 tank recently, but more as an afterthought really, because I was mainly interested in getting some more film aprons.

    I haven't used the tank but I intend to try. It is very light weight and seemingly flimsy, and I don't know how leak proof (or evem light proof) it might be, but it does have the advantage of being closely matched in size with the 120 roll.

    I doubt that it will be big enough to use with dilute developer, but I haven't measured.

    I have gone back to using aprons, because they work for me.

    Matt
     
  3. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,809
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have not used the aprons from Freestyle, but in the distant past I used the Kodak aprons without any problems. The old Kodak tanks were slow to fill and empty, but easy to use and can be used wet.
     
  4. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How do these work?

    Although I have been developing film for a while now, I have only used plastic universal tanks with plastic reels. So could anyone explain how these tanks are filled and drained? I mean, it just looks like a plastic container with no daylight filling mechanism. I might just get one to try.
     
  5. titrisol

    titrisol Member

    Messages:
    1,671
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    Rotterdam
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Aprons used to be a simple/cheap way to do it
    Just like developing film in the canister!

    Heck you could even make your own aprons with corrugated plastic.

    But there were always issues with the film moving up and down and getting stuck to the aprons.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,196
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    An update:

    I figured out one of the reasons that the 120 tank seemed flimsy - the light baffle clips into the lid. It was loose and unclipped when I received it.

    I filled up the tank with water - it requires 360ml (12 oz) to fill to the very top, with apron in (but no film in).

    There is very little space between the top of the apron, and the bottom of the (now clipped in) light baffle.

    The tank didnt leak when inverted or agitated. It also filled quite quickly. The cap for the filler hole fits quite tightly.

    The entire tank and lid is made of a medium hard black plastic. The lid fits tightly. When wet, the tank is a bit slippery, and smooth, so it is a bit hard for me to hold tightly enough when I am trying to take the lid off.

    I too have been using Kodak aprons, but I use them (and the accompanying top plates/weights) in a Kinderman plastic tank, that fills more quickly, and has a cap that seals.
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,809
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The film is wound up in a plastic apron that keeps the film seperated but allows for the chemistry to circulate. The Kodak version has a weighed top plate that kept the apron and film from floating. The lid is designed just like most other day light tanks with a built in baffle.

    Paul
     
  8. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nice -- sounds like these are actually decently usable tanks (and I like the smaller capacity, though it's obvious there'll be no "two 35 mm in a 120 tank" silliness here!). I think I'll grab one or two of each size on my next Freestyle order, then, since I've got some tax refund money available...
     
  9. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,013
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I been told that these apron style tanks are much easier to use for those with less-then-steady hands or difficulty with "fine motor skills".

    (That's not to suggest that that's their only use.)
     
  10. glbeas

    glbeas Member

    Messages:
    3,307
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    Roswell, Ga.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I wonder how the apron would affect the action of stand development? Seems the apron would restrict the movement of the developer somewhat.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,196
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A further update:

    I processed two separate rolls (at two separate times) today. They were both J & C Classic Pan 200, shot at EI 125 (the film I use for trials and experiments).

    I used HC110 dil H @ 68 degrees F for 13 minutes., and agitated 5 seconds for each 30 seconds for the first minute, and the 5 seconds for each three minutes thereafter.

    Development appears even. For the first roll, I actually ran it through the enlarger in my not yet functioning bathroom/darkroom, and to my eye there were no signs of uneven development.

    The aprons are very tightly curled- much more tightly curled than my old Kodak aprons. This makes "loading" the film slightly more difficult, and may make stand development more unpredictable (tests would have to be made).

    The aprons are also slightly narrower than the Kodak aprons - I am not sure if I could use the Kodak aprons in the Freestyle tank, because there may not be enough clearance (there is definitely some), to allow the chemistry to flow easily over the top of the apron.

    I use the aprons, because I can do every step necessary with respect to the stainless reels except the initial clipping of the end to the core - I have great fine dexterity and motor skills in my left hand, but limited dexterity and range of motion in my right. The 35mm reels work fine for me - the film is inherently stiffer when loading, and I can therefore just insert it in the gap and crimp it. The 120 reels, however, require that you use one hand to work the clip, while the other feeds the film. My right hand just isn't up to those two types of motions.

    By the way, the Freestyle tanks are absolutely void of labels or markings, save and except for 4 characters which I expect are chinese in origin. I have no idea what they mean.

    Now if I can just figure a way to use the aprons easily with my film drier..

    Matt
     
  12. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

    Messages:
    1,723
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Colorfull, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Like so many things in photography today, folks simply look for an easier way to do everything. Loading a Nikor spiral reel is very simple, quick and easy to do, you will never have an apron stuck to your prize winning negative and you will be doing it the tradishional way the pro's have done it for years. I can imagine Joseph Karsh putting the role of film he just completed of Winston Churchill in a plastic tank and using an apron. :smile:

    I truly feel sorry for anyone who can't or won't master loading a spiral film reel the second or third time he/she tries. All this is a matter of opinion of course and I reserve the right to mine.

    Kodak designed the film apron for beginners learning to develop film, I cannot understand accomplished "Artist's" that refuse to learn the simple act that amatuers and other photographers have known how to do and done for years.

    Let the flames begin!

    Charlie...........................
     
  13. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

    Messages:
    2,950
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    South Bend,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, some people find one thing easy, and others find a different thing easy. One ought to think twice before poking fun at someone else's disabilities. For example, I would never mention that there are two k's in Nikkor, that commas are not used to join independent clauses, that there is no "sh" in "traditional," that film does not come in "roles," that the apostrophe is not used to form the plural of "artist," and that English speakers over the age of 12 ought to know the correct spelling of "amateur." The reason that I am not saying any of those things, and will never do so, is that it would be grossly unfair, since some people are clearly unable to write their own mother tongue or to use the SpellCheck button. I think that those of us who are challenged in the area of loading stainless steel reels are entitled to the same forbearance as I have just displayed. :smile:
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,196
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Charlie:

    I'll challenge you to a steel reel loading contest, but there is one special rule. Each of us will have to wear a boxing glove on our right hand!

    That's a crude approximation of how my right hand is affected.

    I expect that you didn't read the details in my earlier post, or you wouldn't have made quite the same post you made.

    I have been adapting to my realities for my entire life, including over 40 years of photography, and I have figured out how to deal with a lot of challenges, but there are just some things that I cannot reliably and consistently do. One of those challenges that remains unsolved (to date) is how to load 120 stainless steel reels (Nikor, no name brand, Kindermann or Hewes) without too high an incidence of film damage.

    35mm on steel reels works great, because you don't need a clip at the core. I've loaded hundreds or thousands of rolls. 120 requires some sort of clip, and I cannot operate them.

    From reading some of your posts, I know that you too have had to deal with some challenges recently. I applaud your courage and determination.

    You asked for a flame ... :D

    Matt
     
  15. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,350
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Montréal (QC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nikkor: Nikon Lenses
    Nikor: Stainless Steel tanks

    Don't ask me why they sound the same, but they're totally different things.