FB sheet film tank?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Kino, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Anyone have any experience with the FB 12 sheet 4x5 film tank? I shot some OOD Kodak Ektapan 100 today, looked up Rodinal and Ektapan on the Digital Truth Master Dev Chart and found 1:50 dilution, 13 min @ 21C/70F. The Rodinal was a new bottle I purchased 2 years ago and kept in the dark and never uncorked until today. (guess I shouldn't have jumped the gun 2 years ago, but I THOUGHT I'd have a darkroom in a month!)

    I know it was just supposed to be a starting point, but man were the resulting negs thin! Is this normal? I processed 8 sheets at once and agitation was akward at best with this FB tank; could this have to do with the flatness of the image? I thought Rodinal was a contrasty developer...

    I had to contact print this neg with a #5 Ilford VC filter onto Ilford MGIV RC Deluxe Paper to get any contrast at all!

    The scan is of the print and adjusted to as closely match the print as possible; I do not have a transparency adapter...

    Be nice now, it's the first time I ever shot on 4x5. :tongue:


    Camera:

    Crown Graphic
    135 Schneider f4.7

    OOD Kodak Ektapan
    1/15th @ f22.5
    no filtration

    Print:
    4x5 contact print
    20 sec
    #5 Ilford VC filter


    What have I left out?
     

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  2. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    The outcome of developing film is the result of a number of factors - the inherent characteristics of the film and developer, the dilution, the agitation, the temperature, and the exposure.

    My first reaction is to suspect that your film was not agitated enough.

    It would be prudent to experiment with one or two sheets of film before committing the product of an entire shoot to a new developer in a new and untested tank.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Look at the negative and see if you see good shadow detail. If you don't, then the negative is underexposed, but figuring that Ektapan is around EI 50-100 depending on how you develop it, and that the image was probably shot on an overcast day or in open shade, 1/15 sec. at f:22.5 isn't unreasonable--if your shutter really is exposing for 1/15 sec.

    Issues could be insufficient agitation, low developer temperature, too short development time, exhausted developer, insufficient developer for the area of film.

    Based on the other information you've posted, I'd guess insufficient agitation, but also--did you load the film right side up? If you're looking at the filmholder vertically, with the flap toward you and the darkslide handle away from you, the notches should be in the upper right hand corner or the lower left hand corner.
     
  4. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    Do you mean the FR tank? I have one and it holds 12 sheets. It can't be inverted which is part of the problem with using it. You use a back and forth movement for the agitation which I find insufficient. It also requires 1600ml of chemicals.
     
  5. r-brian

    r-brian Member

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    I have 2 FR tanks that I've used in the past. I would rock them left and right to about 45 degrees in the direction of the film sheets, not back and forth. I have gotten good negatives from this tank. I don't use it now because of the amout of chemicals, prone to streaking and just too hard to deal with.
     
  6. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Yes, sorry! It is the FR tank; wrote that at 2 am...

    Exactly the same one; it takes a huge amount of chemistry ( I used 1635 ml as baseline to be sure) and I was dubious of the efficiency of agitation after I attempted to invert it and almost got a mouthful of Rodinal.

    The tank is an interesting idea, all cool, heavy bakelite and interesting design, but it almost seems you a need nitrogen burst hose in the tank to get any meaningful agitation.

    In my rush to develop, I also forgot a water pre-wet bath; something I always have done when I develope roll film.

    I rarely get a stretch of several contiguous hours in any endeavor, so I thought I would "maximize" my time by doing more. Seems I am prone to endlessly re-learning that there are no shortcuts in a darkroom.

    Monophoto; Yes I probably should have done a single exposure with traditional hangers to pre-check the combo; I certainly will in the future.

    David: I did manage to get all the film loaded in the holders with the proper emulsion orientation (checked that about 3 times for each holder as I loaded it -- newbie sweats!).

    I am guessing the agitation issue is what sunk me here. The sheets are held about 1 cm apart in a curved holder, so when I get around to localized starvation development, it should be perfect, but even then I might only load every other slot...

    No one has any reservations about the keeping qualities of 2 year old Rodinal?
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Rodinal seems to last forever, and yours wasn't even opened. It could have gone bad if it was exposed to high heat.
     
  8. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    As David says, the storage life of Rodinal is legendary. Someone here talked about using a 30yr old bottle with good results. I think among all the variables agitation and maybe the old film may not be helping you.

    I have the original FR instruction book. It has a photo of a man's arms in suit sleeves doing the agitation... :rolleyes: What is nice about the tank is that it is adjustable and can do many sizes of cut film from 2 1/4X3 1/4 to 4X5.
     
  9. Kino

    Kino Member

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    David; very good. Guess I should go back to that shop; they have a few more bottles on shelf!

    JHannon; Agreed. The OOD film, even though frozen, is a real unknown. Thanks for letting me know it can do other size cut film! Got a scan of that booklet you could share?

    Frank
     
  10. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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  11. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Paul, I'll have to check when I get home, but I will see then.
     
  12. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    Kino, I sent you a PM on the FR manual.
     
  13. Kino

    Kino Member

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  14. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    You didn't say it had a high FB+F, so I asume it was not a problem, indicating that the film was still usable. To me the shadows were there, indicating the time and temp were not too far off. That leaves agitation, a rule I was taught was time for density and agitation for contrast.