DIY Minox developing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Blacknoise, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    Hi there,

    Didn't know quite where to post this (admin please move it if needed).

    I need to develop some Minox film, I have the chems and times down, I just need a tank. I have a paterson tank and 2 adjustable spools. Is there any way I can modify them so that they'll work for minox, and idealy still for 35mm/120? or are there any other ways of doing this?

    Thanks

    Rob
     
  2. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I've done a fair amount of Minox developing, and have always used either a Minox tank or Nikor reel for Minox film. Theoretically you could use an old style "roller" development tray where you pull the film back and forth under a roller that's immersed in a developer bath in a totally dark room. I don't think there are many good alternatives to a Minox tank or specific Minox reel.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I don't know the Paterson reel, but in principle (based on how the Jobo reels are constructed) you would have to take out one of the adjusting parts and cement it again in an adjusted way. Maybe you have to mill down a bit the flanges of the reels too.
     
  4. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I have heard of people taping the film, emulsion side out, around an orange juice can and souping Minox film in a standard tank.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Yes, this has been done, but it would only work with film that has no agents in a back layer that somehow would have to undergo development. (To put it simple: AH-dyes in a back layer.)
     
  6. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    I read somewhere that the trick using the bottle works, but you need to refix it in a tray afterwards to clear the dyes...

    I'll have a look at my paterson reels to see if I can hack it...
     
  7. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    to update, ive found that if i mill away a small section of plastic on my yankee adjustable reel, i can add an extra stop past 16mm, I'll see how it goes :smile:

    Wish me luck!

    Rob
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I am using two modified Jobo 1500 reels in a rotary processor. Then needed to be cut in the center (so they are 'Minox-only' now).
    I suspect Patterson reels could be also modified.

    If the emulsion touches the spirals, there will be un-even development, so I rig up a little piece of springy plastic that keeps pressure on the film to push it to the center of the reel and expand it so that the base is in contact with the spirals.
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *******
    It was my understanding that the seam on the orange juice can kept the film from complete contact with the container.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    In the 'standard' Minox tank the film is wrapped around a flat solid spiral. This was upgraded to a concave shape on later models, to allow the back of the film to be cleared.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    Hey,

    I've been hacking my old reel with a dremel for the last half hour, I can now fit a strip of scrap film cut to the 9.3mm size into the reel easily, and it seems to be ok. Any tips to avoid the uneven development?

    I have used this reel for 16mm, where the flange of the spiral also covers the frames slightly, this seems to cause no ill effects, so im wondering if I'd be ok just using it as-is...
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'd run some film and see how it goes.

    To ensure 100% perfect results I wound up with a rather complicated scheme.
    In the dark I punch a hole in the end of the film
    Through this hole I thread a small cable-tie
    The locking mechanism on the cable tie is defeated for re-use
    The end of the cable tie is split like a snake's tongue
    I thread the other end of the film onto the spiral and feed it all the way to the hub.
    I then wedge the snake's tonge between the spirals to catch on the radial supports of the reel.
    This keeps pressure on the film to keep it pushed into the spiral, thus keeping the film pressed against the outer spiral and keeping the emulsion away from the inner spiral.
    I have done about 40 rolls this way (2 reels at a time; 72 exposures, per development run). Somewhat tedious, but near perfect development each time on a Jobo CPP2.
     
  13. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    That sounds fairly straight forward, although I might try winding the film back on its self using a dowel, I recon if i take the curl our of the film, thread it right to the end as you say, and then jam something in the reel as you say. I think a small scrap of film folded up a few times should work...
     
  14. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I've used Minox quite a lot in the past, and it can be very fiddly. The Minox tank, or the Nikor or Kindermann stainless steel reels made for the size, are, IMHO, a worthwhile investment if you are likely to want to develop more films in future. They were quite expensive and even collectable at one time, but prices seem to have fallen lately ( loss of interest in the format?) and they can sometimes be picked up on Ebay with a little patience.
     
  15. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    I think I will quite possibly end up getting the metal reels/minox tank. But for now, cash is a bit tight, and I recon I can get this to work. I'm quite handy with the old dremel!
     
  16. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    The reel seems to have worked very well, Had a little bit of trouble getting the film in there, but it went in eventually. From looking at the negs, the development is nice and even, but I'll have to wait til later so i can scan to confirm this.

    Thanks for all the help everyone! :smile:

    Rob
     
  17. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    I haven't tried this yet, but I've heard of people cutting the plastic out of the center of a 2-liter soda bottle and then forming it into a strip of plastic the width of either 35mm or 120 film. They then slip the plastic into one of their existing 35mm or 120 tank reels to form a cylinder. They then tape the Minox 8x11 film around the outside of the plastic cylinder in a helical spiral. The nice thing about this technique is it allows you to use your existing Jobo/Paterson tank without having to chop up a reel and does not effect the liquid loading and unloading flow patterns. The downside would be using much more chemical than a Minox tank, which only needs just over 50 ml of chemical. IIRC, the juice can folks that Anscojohn talked about trim the can in such a way as to fit it in the tank with no reel in such a way that the slope of the top holds it into the center. If you go with this approach make sure that the juice can allows the developer to enter and circulate freely just as if you were using a reel.

    Denis K
     
  18. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    I did consider the juice bottle idea, but hacking the reel was pretty easy really. In fact it was much easier than I thought it would be. The negs and scans seem pretty good and i can dev a roll with only 200ml of chems.

    Results can be seen here. There all shot on Minopan 25 (Agfapan?) and developed in perceptol 1+3.

    Tell me what you think...

    Rob
     
  19. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    Rob,

    These are excellent Minox 8x11 pictures. Your composition is frankly some of the best online examples of what an Minox 8x11 format camera can produce. Are these all handheld?

    For those who know what it takes to compose a Minox B photograph, your composition on 001 () is simply superb and 008 (the ferris wheel) is incredible.

    Denis K
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2009
  20. Blacknoise

    Blacknoise Member

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    Thanks a lot Denis, I'm really flattered :smile:

    They were all taken handheld, as I have no idea how I would use a tripod (theres some sort of adaptor that goes in the bayonet for the chain?). I find the finder fairly easy to use, and not anywhere near as squinty as I thought it would be. I guess all those years of using Russian cams with crude VF optics has me well trained! :wink:

    I'm pretty pleased with them seeing as this is the first roll I've put though the camera. I've got another 2 in the freezer that need souping, they've been building them up while I've been sorting out how to develop them. So theres more to come :smile:

    Rob