Combi/Yankee tank madness!?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Rhodes, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    Do the combi and/or yankee agitanks, for the several formats of sheet film, worth paying such prices as 92 euros or more for them?
    I see a lot of demand or pursuit for this kind of tanks and prices on ebays normally go above 70 euros. I know that both tanks are not manufactured any more,but even so, are they so good?
    I trying to get one to see if processing 4x5 with one is better thant with MOD54 and in europe is not very common to see one on ebay. Last week I spoted one combi and two yankee, all went for above 75 euros in price. :blink:
     
  2. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    I don't know about value compared to other methods, but my combi leaves me wanting for nothing but more handles to lock the film down. Might be a good project for a 3D printing service.
     
  3. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    I picked up a spare Combiplan kit for 45 euros last week - To my mind, a single tank for daylight processing is a pain in the backside. The holders can be fiddly to load, the tank takes an age to fill & empty, and they invariably leak. You also need around 1.2l of chemistry to fill the tank. That said, if you get the hang of loading the holder (don't used the guides, they scratch the film) and use them as a dip & dunk line, they are great. But this only really makes sense if you have a significant number of films to process in one batch (or over the course of a few weeks).

    For low volume - Say 4-6 sheets per week - A Paterson Orbital is much more economical and quicker to use. I typically mix 150-300ml of developer (one shot) per run of up to four sheets. Orbitals also fetch silly money on ebay :sad:

    The low cost alternative to Combiplan or Paterson is a "slosher" - But these only work if your darkroom is really dark and you don't mind working with the lights out.
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I like my combiplan enough to own two of them; so I can develop twice as much; I stagger them about five minutes apart.

    It takes a little more than 1L of chemistry, but I use pyrocatHD and it's cheap. A larger volume of liquid will maintain temperature better without a water bath. I load the holders without the guides, just feel the film into the slots, then run my fingers over the edge of the film to feel the spacing like on a mod54.. It is annoying slow to fill and drain, but that hasn't affected image quality at all. After the fixer has been in the tank for a minute, the top comes off and it's a daylight dip and dunk for the fixing and wash. Push the film retainer clip in gently and agitate gently and film won't fall out.

    It's very functional for me, but there is room for improvement if someone were motivated to improve upon it. I'd make the film carrier/holder one-piece plastic to make it less wobbly, and have better drain/fill spigots. If you get one, use it several times before jumping to a conclusion. You can always sell it for what you paid for it if you buy reasonably carefully.
     
  5. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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  6. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    You can still buy new Yankee tanks at B&H for $38.50. I can see the Combi selling for a higher price but the Yankee should be much cheaper.
     
  7. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    Yes, I know! But the trouble with buy in US is: 1º - the shipping costs. 2º - costums, since they stop every thing that it is not from inside the UE and one have to pay the fee to get the item , normally 25 euros, so one item bought, even if it is by one dollar, shiping price of 35 dollars (normal) we have to add 25 euros (30 dolars or more) to the price.
     
  8. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    The combi was made is Sweden if that makes any difference or is helpful.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I have both a Yankee and a Combiplan. The Yankee is incredibly wasteful of chemistry, and it doesn't just leak, it drools chemistry all over your hands because the lid doesn't seal. The Combiplan is more chemistry-efficient, but a pain in the ass to load, and it also leaks, just not nearly as much as the Yankee. The problem with the way the Combiplan leaks is that since it leaks from the drain valve, and the volumes of chemistry are already low, it could leak enough to give you insufficient coverage of your film for the entire development/fixing cycles. After both of these, I switched to a Jobo Expert drum and haven't looked back. I was lucky and got mine when you could still buy them used for $100-150 each.
     
  10. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Is there any good method? I just loaded up 35 holders for this weekend and dread using the Yankee tank whence I return.
     
  11. Rhodes

    Rhodes Member

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    Didn't know. Always thought the brand was form the USA!
     
  12. John Weinland

    John Weinland Member

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    The Spigots Are Different

    Dear FlyingCamera:
    You probably already realize this: One spigot has a 'hard' gasket or washer for the pour-in hole on top - it's shinier. The other spigot has a 'softer' gasket that better seals the lower pour-out hole on the side - and it is dull in appearance. If they are switched - easy to do - the lower spigot will leak. Perhaps take a look at the difference: The duller, softer, washer belongs on the lower-side as the out-flow spigot.
     
  13. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    combi t\anks

    Combi Tank
    I haven’t done any work for the last two years ( heart attack etc) but when I did I use the combi tank in a three tank set up The combi held the developer and the other two tanks ( being Rubber Made containers found in the local grocery store.) the stop bath and fix. The combi film holder fits nicely inside, They are clear plastic and have to be use in the dark , one for stop bath or water and the other for Fix. Dip and dunk works fine for the developer and if you want to use the developing tank in the light you can always put lid and agitate the whole tank
    . At the end of the cycle turn off the lights and transfer the rack to the stop bath and then the fix for the required 2 to3 minutes and turn on the lights and use the stop bath tank for washing .The combi tanks use about 43 oz of developer as I remember ( I could be wrong about that) and replenishing the developer is possible as opposed to one shots .