Help Loading a Yankee Agitank

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Wade D, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Wade D

    Wade D Member

    Messages:
    901
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jamul, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I recently found a Yankee Agitank cheap. It holds 12 4x5 sheets but I'll probably never put more than half that in at a time. The problem is getting the sheets into the skinny slots. I end up with the top in one slot and the bottom in the next slot or worse touching the next sheet. Maybe I just need to get the feel for it but are there any tried and true tricks to loading one of these? I have been using SS hangers and dip & dunk for years. Just wanted to try something different to lessen the time in the dark.
     
  2. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,625
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Wes
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dear Wade,

    When I used mine, I would drag the edge of the film over the slot dividers and count the snaps on each side. I would still have problems occasionally.

    Good luck,

    Neal Wydra
     
  3. hughitb

    hughitb Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    Dublin, Irel
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The one I have has a little separate plastic guide device that you place on top of the first slot, slide the film in, move on to the next slot, slide the film in and so on .. makes it quite a bit easier I think.
     
  4. Wade D

    Wade D Member

    Messages:
    901
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jamul, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mine is missing the guide.:sad: More practice in the dark is in order I think. Thanks for the replies.
     
  5. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Messages:
    2,106
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    South Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have an FR, which I believe is the precursor to the Yankee. (Actually I've heard it's exactly the same tank; when FR slipped away Yankee took over much of their lines. I don't know that for certain.)

    Frankly, I think I would have a tough time loading it without the guide, especially if trying to do it in a changing bag. (I have a blacked out room and load film on a table top in the dark.) But honestly, I don't even really use the tank very much.

    What I use (way *NOT* cheap) is a Phototherm sheet film insert. I bought it for my Phototherm, but Phototherms use Patterson reels. Ergo it's an exact fit in a Patterson 3 reel tank. Works flawlessly. Gives you four sheets in a Patterson tank, and way better than the taco method in my mind.

    But again, it's not cheap. The insert is $130 for a plastic doohickey. The high cost is from vanishingly low sales volume. (Kind of like film!)

    Here's a couple of links with pics and some discussion:

    Here:http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/56145-developing-4x5-sheet-film-2.html

    And over at photo.net:http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/00RMar

    If you do want to use the Yankee without the guide, then I'd suggest you load every other slot as someone else offered. Maybe if you've got steadier hands than me, and you got used to it, then you could load every slot. But I also think they show up on evilBay frequently enough you can probably find one cheap.
     
  6. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

    Messages:
    1,888
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    Blue Ridge,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I use the same method. I start by loading the slots farthest away from me, holding the sheets by the edges close to the slots, starting at the outside, and feeling and listening for the film to "snap" across the slots, counting until I know I am at an empty slot, and the film drops right in. If I am developing more than 6 sheets, when one side gets full I turn the frame 180 degrees and start over. I have noticed that I need to make sure that the frame is adjusted to the correct opening using an old, developed sheet of film before going dark. If the sides get compressed too closely together the film will not slide in easily.
     
  7. Francis in VT

    Francis in VT Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The FR tank and the Yankee tank are two completely different animals.
    After the FR company went away the tank was sold under a few different names but not Yankee.
    As I remember the Yankee did NOT come with a loading guide.