Definitive Taco Method?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by yeknom02, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a Paterson 2-reel tank and very little cash, so I've been trying to research this "taco method" of cramming 4x5 sheet film in the tank so that it can be developed as you would 120 or 35mm. The problem is, I haven't yet taken my first Large Format shot (I'm very excited, of course) so I feel sort of behind the curve. All I know is that you've got to curl the film to get it in the tank, and people have apparently held them curled with rubber bands. Can anyone point me to a step-by-step taco method how-to, or even take the time to type one out?

    Some questions left unanswered:
    - What volume of chemistry do I need?
    - Any changes in processing time, or do I use what my times for 120?
    - How many sheets can/should I do at once?
    - How do you dry these film sheets, anyway?

    Of course, any additional tips are appreciated, too.

    All the best,
    -Dan
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Volume. Fill the cannister.
    Processing time. Tank time as per your film's data sheet.
    How many. One (curl film slightly and rest against the inner edge of the tank with the emulsion side facing in. This will keep the neg from bouncing around during agitation and maybe damaging it).
    Dry. I hang mine on a line of some sort with wooden clothespins.
     
  3. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    And don't forget to put the center post in the tank!!!

    Just because you don't have reels doesn't mean you can leave it out like someone I know tried. (No names here.)

    The center post is the light trap, not a thingy to put the reels on.
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    You can also try and find a 4x5 reel for the tank. Holding 4-6 sheets depending.
     
  5. debanddg

    debanddg Member

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    I think there's an old post here where someone just made cylinders with soft mesh-like clothing [window lace curtain or similar stuff] and had put the film in such a cylinder with emulsion side inside. You can safely put a few such cylinders into your paterson tank.. can also use one-half of the supplied reel to stack such cylinders within the tank.. The results are reported to be good.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I cant use my Paterson tank for 4x5's, its not tall enough inside. I have an AP brand tank that works better. I can do four sheets at a time. I gently curl the film emulsion side in and put a rubber band around it. Do put the center column in, it is needed to keep the dark from escaping.
     
  7. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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  8. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Rick, thanks for the note about the height issue. I'll definitely have to check it out with some 4x5 ortho litho film I have. I'm so close to shooting 4x5, I really hope it will fit. I don't want to have to buy another tank... :-(
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have an old FR brand daylight tank for sheet film, you can have it for the price of postage. It will handle up to 12 sheets and is adjustable for sizes from 2.25x 3.25 up to 4x5, looks like a Yankee tank. I see you are in Happy Valley, I'm just over the mountain in Cameron county.
     
  10. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I dont knwo how big the patterson tank is, but here is my method.
    I have the stainless steel tanks for processing 2-3 35mm reels.
    I simply place one or two sheets emulsion-side-in into the tank. The backside against the inside of the tank. Not taco'd like the above example. Then I fill the tank with only 125ml for one sheet or 200 for two.
    Roll or roto-process the tank on its side.

    The halation layer backing comes right off even though it is against the inside of the tank.
    The only problem I have had is is the 2 sheets sometimes shift and end up over one another. I made a separator out of wire shaped like a W and now i dont have this problem again.


    4x5 processing is really whatever works best for you.
     
  11. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Discarded women\'s nylons as I recall. Looked like a good idea. Provided protection and chemical flow to the back of the film at the same time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2010
  12. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    This approach worked extremely well for me before I purchased a dedicated Nikor stainless steel 4x5 tank, then later a set of water-jacketed stainless deep tanks and hangers.

    Ken
     
  13. stevebrot

    stevebrot Member

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    I have done the "taco" method using the Arista Premium tank from Freestyle. Four sheets fit quite nicely using the cloth-covered elastic bands sold for holding a woman's pony-tail. The tank require quite a bit of develop to fill, but you can get around that by using a dilute developer and doing semi-stand agitation for a longer period of time. The only caution is to make sure there is adequate developer to develop the four sheets (about the same as for a roll of 35m film).

    I use HC-110 dilution G (1+119 from 6ml of syrup concentrate).


    Steve
     
  14. dagabel

    dagabel Member

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    I can vouch for the screen mesh method. I haven't had any uneven development of my 4x5 negatives since I started using it a few years ago.

    Duane
     
  15. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I prefer the burrito method. Stick film in a Unicolor print drum & chow down on a prawn burrito from El Palomar in between changing chemistry:D
     
  16. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    Have you considered tray developing?

    No special equipment needed, you already have an 8x10 tray.
    You'll need only about ten minutes of blissful, silent dark (total dark).
    Gently rotate them bottom-to top for your standard 120 time.
    Use plenty of liquid.
    Practice first.
    Like dancing with your fingers.

    Some people swear by the method.
    Some people swear at the method.

    You'll never know till you try...

    Reinhold

    ClassicBWphoto.com
     
  17. 1banjo

    1banjo Member

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    hay this Taco thing is not any thing new Kodak was doing it back in 1910
    to 1940s you can see the tank & holder all the time on Ebad
    as of now #390253336356 Vintage Metal Kodak Film Pack Tank 2

    1banjo
     
  18. totalamateur

    totalamateur Member

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    As someone already said

    I use a 3 stack 35mm stainless daylight tank and put 2 4x5's vertically. They standoff the sides nicely and have had no uneven development. Mine holds 1L of chemistry, and I fill to the top (I use rodinal, so its cheap, and generally get 4 - 6 slides out of a liter)

    I'd be one that swears AT the tray dev. method. too many scratched negs and uneven Dev.

    Plus, 15 - 30 minutes in the total dark isn't so much fun by yourself.