Help developing 122 film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Mongo, May 11, 2005.

  1. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I just picked up a Kodak Folding Autographic 3A camera on eBay that I intended to convert to a panoramic camera. When I got it, there was a roll of 122 size film inside with frame number 6 showing in the window. I'd like to take a stab at developing it, but I have no idea how to go about this. (The camera, by the way, is probably safe. I got another one for $1 the other day on eBay that isn't in great shape; the one that's in my hands right now is in incredible shape and I hate the thought of doing anything to it that would ruin the look of it.)

    Chemically I'm not worried, it's the physical aspect I need help with. Specifically, does anyone have any ideas on modifying a standard adjustable plastic reel to hold film this large?

    I don't have a true darkroom, so the solution's got to involve a daylight tank.

    (If anyone cares, it's a roll of Verichrome Pan. The paper backing is mostly red, with yellow borders.)

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Dave
     
  2. msage

    msage Member

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    Hi Mongo
    I run across this often. I use D-76 w/anti-fog, process for twice the normal time for VP in a open tray. I realize the open tray may be a problem, but I don't have a better idea.
    Michael
     
  3. 127

    127 Member

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    I came across the same problem a few months ago (with EXACTLY the same back story - turns out the 3a is pretty modular, so you can remove the bellows lens/assembly and fit it into something else, then put it back into the 3a back later).

    I tried getting it into a tank somehow but failed. I ended up going the "skipping rope" route - open trays, hold each end of the film and let the bottom of the loop fall into the chemicals. Then alternatly raise and lower each hand (like a diablo) to keep the whole film wet. Hard work, and I ended up with a few scratches, but I got some pictures off it! If you try this, then the first 30 seconds are the worst, until the film gets wet an softens - after that its not too bad.

    My darkroom isn't so dark either, but if you wait till it's dark outside you should be OK.

    Ian
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The "seesaw" method in an open tray or tank would be the usual method. I think it's going to be easier to figure out how to make some space dark enough temporarily to do this than it will be to figure out how to modify a daylight tank for one roll of film.
     
  5. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I bought some of this 122 film not long ago from Film for Classics and they also develop it. I know, I can do it myself, but at the time I bought the stuff, I didn't have that capability. I still have them do it.

    I think that Jobo has some sort of reel that holds 4x5 sheet film and this might work for you.
     
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  6. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I'd suspect the film is not Verichrome Pan, but Verichrome, which is a different film. IIRC, Verichrome Pan didn't come along until the mid-50s so I don't believe it was made in 122.

    I'll agree that the only practical way to develop I can think of is the see-saw method. Depending on the developer I used, I might consider something like a Rubbermaid dishpan so that the developer would be deeper. Of course that means using more developer, which may or may not be a problem. Darkening a room is not such a problem - I'm able to develop sheet film in trays in my bathroom at night by making a shade to cover the window.
    juan
     
  7. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Someone around here has a 122 stainless reel (fits standard stainless tanks, but you'll need a 4x135/dual-120 size with a 35 mm spacer reel) that I gave/sold to them a few months ago (after determining to my satisfaction that there was no way I would be able to fit my 9x12 cm sheet film into it). They are out there, and they're easy to identify because they're about 90 mm between the spirals. Alternately, if you have a dual-120 size Paterson and two reels for it, you could probably use rubber bands and/or gaffer tape to temporarily mount both of the "bottom" halves (the ones that are snug on the tank core) to the core on the correct spacing and feed the film into the improvised reel so created; you wouldn't have the "walking" motion, but the film should slip into the slots pretty readily, and you can measure the film, still rolled up, to get the spacing right.

    The Jobo sheet film spool won't help you at all, though; it'll adjust for 9x12, but that's a few mm too narrow for 122, and in any case it'll only take a maximum of 4" or 5" of film in each slot.
     
  8. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Oh, yeah -- if you should happen on one, a 124 reel is the same width as 122; 124 film was 3x4 format, near enough, while 122 is postcard, same width but 5 1/2" frame instead of 4 1/4", and most likely a film reel that fits one will accommodate the other. The 124 film spools are also the same as 122, I think.
     
  9. JLMoore3

    JLMoore3 Member

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  10. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    You can also make a film apron, Kodak made film aprons which is length of plastic a little longer and wider than the format and is curled so the film is supended between the plastic apron when it rolled up. You can find an apron on EBay to use as a model. Using a Paterson type plastic reel with 122 size film is a sure way to crease the film causing those 1/2 moon on the film.
     
  11. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    The film is, indeed, Verichrome Pan. Since Verichrome Pan came out in the 1950's and 122 sized film was available until 1971 (check the Kodak web site for more information), it's unsurprising that it's Verichrome Pan film.
     
  12. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Verichrome pan was made in all roll film sizes, from 828 to 122 (and possibly in the even larger 4" and 5" rolls -- I don't recall if those were still available even in the 50s); it was also sold in film packs in (at least) 3x4, 9x12 cm, and 4x5 sizes, possibly 2x3 or other sizes as well (just saw some in 3x4 and 9x12 film packs on sale with a 3x4 Speed on eBay).

    Relative to developing 122, making an apron is likely to be the simplest way (short of standing in the dark and seesawing four or five feet of curly film). One relative easy way to do it would be to obtain some "Coroplast" -- plastic sheet that's made like corrugated cardboard, typically used for making durable, cheap outdoor signs. Cut a strip to the width of the film, about 92 mm, and peel off one smooth surface layer to reveal the corrugation underneath. Carefully cut through the corrugation about 1/8" (3 mm) in from each edge and peel out the corrugated layer, then cut a pair of strips the same width from the corrugation and glue to the edges of the remaining smooth side. For this film, eight exposures of 5 1/2" length (originally six, but it was changed to eight before VP came out), it should be sufficient to make the resulting strip four feet long (which may require splicing two strips; I'm not sure the Coroplast comes in large enough sheets to get this long a strip across the corrugations), and it should be possible to roll this up and fit it into a standard dual-120 stainless tank with a 35 mm reel on top as a space filler (helps keep the film inside the apron).

    Oh, and for developer or fixer capacity calculation, this much film is like 2 rolls of 120...
     
  13. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Oh, another simple way to make an apron -- get a pair of the crimping pliers used to join length of metal furnace duct, and use those to crimp both edges of a sheet of nylon or polyethylene around 1 mm thick, same width as the film, and four feet long. The mats sold by Tupperware for rolling out pie crusts would be perfect, except they aren't quite long enough (and there's no glue that will work for splicing, though you might be able to hot weld that material).
     
  14. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Donald-

    Thanks very much...this is exactly the type of information I was looking for. I have plenty of containers that will hold film this large, but finding a way to wind it was the thing that I was stuggling with. Coroplast (and I know exactly what you mean by this!) is the perfect solution.

    (By the way, I searched eBay for old Kodak tanks and loading boxes, and I was stunned by the number of these things that are still available. It's a shame that Film for Classics wants $30/roll for this stuff, or I'd be tempted to spend some time shooting this camera as it was meant to be used.)

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  15. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Something you might consider is making up an adapter to fit into the frame mask and hold a single 9x12 cm sheet (assuming you don't have the sheet film adapter back to begin with -- which can be fed by cutting down 5x7 or 8x10 film to the 3 1/4" x 5 1/2" postcard format). That won't give you the whole frame, but it will let you get large format negatives instead of a 120-based "panoramic" image. Another option might be to put a Polaroid 3x4 pack film back on it somehow (the spool wells would make nice anchor points for an adapter, though film plane preservation could be a big issue); it would certainly have more class than the plastic cameras that are often seen in conjunction with that film.

    Or, since you have two spools, you might just get a roll of aerographic film from that eBay seller, make a slitter, and load your own (at least until the backing from that VP wears out -- even then, you can make backing from two strips of 120 backing paper). One roll of that stuff should keep that camera shooting for several years, given you can only roll one roll at a time unless you make up some more spools (also not out of the question -- brass sheet and tube, a little solder, and some dowel, plus a few tools).