How many tanks do you do at one time?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Sully75, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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    When you are developing in spiral tanks, are you doing more than one at a time? I was juggling 3 last night, with different developing times, and it was challenging. Agitation definitely wasn't perfectly consistent, off 10 seconds on one side or the other. And if I started pouring chemicals at the same time, obviously one tank is waiting a bit.

    That said, results looked pretty good.

    What do you do?
     
  2. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    One.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I develope one roll of film at a time. I process within a day of finishing a roll so I dont get a backlog.
     
  4. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    I do 2 tanks at a time if I have a lot of film to wade through. I usually have two timers and make sure I stagger the 2nd tank time wise so i do not hose up agitation and pour times on the 1st one. 3 would be a challenge.
     
  5. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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    2 timers!! Great idea.
     
  6. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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    Another question: Is it ok to leave the film longer in the stop or fixer to catch up at the end? Or am I screwing things up? Is there a maximum time film should be stopped or fixed?
     
  7. rthomas

    rthomas Subscriber

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    I've done two at a time. Learned this working at my bi-weekly college newspaper, where I would have as many as a dozen rolls to process by hand, twice a week, and maybe more than that if there was a big game over the weekend. So, pushed rolls (if any) in one tank of two or four, regular rolls in the other tank of four, two timers, off we go. I could get my processing done in a couple hours, which was nice because we still had to print them by hand too. It can be done but it's not necessarily the best choice for critical work...
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Within reason, a little extra time in the stop or the fixer shouldn't matter.

    Anything more than doubling the fixing time would be cause for concern though - if only because you would be wise to wash longer as a result.
     
  9. fotch

    fotch Member

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    One tank at a time. Can use a bigger tank to accommodate more rolls if needed.
     
  10. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    I regularly do two tanks at a time, and have done three at one time. I find two manageable, three is doable, but can lead to mistakes for me.

    When I first started doing multiple tanks, I made a chart for each tank and staggered the development. Most of the time, I will start the second tank 3 to 5 minutes after starting the first. By doing this, I make sure that One tank will only need agitating while I am changing chemicals in the other tank. I can pour out and add chemicals within thirty seconds, so changing chemicals in one tank does not interfere with agitating the other tank.

    I use two timers. One timer counts down to zero and the other starts at zero and adds the time. I found this helps to keep me from getting confused. But it is not necessary. But two timers definitely makes it easier.

    If I miscalculate and find i have to change chemicals in both tanks at once, I always make sure that the developer time is correct. If I have to leave one film in the fix for an extra 30 seconds, so be it.

    I also make up all the chemicals for both tanks before starting and have the beakers separated on the counter, the chemicals for tank one on the left, the chemicals for tank two on the right.
     
  11. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    I have one tank that holds two 35mm reels (adjustable to 127 and 120). I've never had to do more than two rolls of 35mm at once, and I dont shoot my holga enough to justify getting a bigger tank to do two or more 120 rolls. At the school I go to, we have one big-ass monsterous tank that'll hold 4 120 reels or 7, possibly 8, 35mm reels (I tried to fill it up with 35mm reels, but could only find 7. A last one might fit, but it would be a tight fit). I doubt I'll ever need to develop that much film at once, but I might stock up on exposed film just to give it a try for the hell of it :D

    Now that I've given you a paragraph of useless babble, I have only used one tank at a time. I'm too clumsy and scatterbrained to try two. three would probably be enough for me to screw up at least one of the rolls :D I'll just use the gigantic knee-high tank if I have lots of film to do :D
     
  12. R gould

    R gould Member

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    One tank at a time for me, and I try to develop film on the day I finish the roll, next day at the very latest,Richard
     
  13. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I usally do one tank at a time. If I do any more I could mess them up!

    Jeff
     
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  15. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    I routinely process 6-8 rolls of 120 film at a time
    in 2-reel steel tanks. It's easy once you get the
    workflow down. I use only one timer, set for the
    first tank, and start another tank every 60 seconds,
    and then empty each every 60 seconds at the end.
    I number the side of each tank so I can keep track
    of them -- so long as you don't mix up the tanks,
    it's easy.
     
  16. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Two tanks with two rolls each of 120 film. Clearly mark each of the tanks so they won't be confused. One timer. Two separate graduates with developer, water only for stop and two separate containers of fix and then mix clear while fixing so there is no chance of clearing without first fixing. My washer holds all four reels at the same time. Works for me for many years.
     
  17. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have done two, but I always wait until the first is in the fix before starting the developer, and the first might overfix a bit. Two timers is a definite help.

    To combat this I have moved to occasionally run larger tanks. I have a Paterson that will do 5-35mm at once, and a pair of them that will do 2-120 width reels at once if you don't ask the spirals to spin in the tank. I routinely run 2-120 reels end to end on Paterson spirals.

    Wait for David William White to chime in. He has been known to toss a large qty of films, sans reels into a gallon tank of developer, and then fish them into a gallon tank of stop, etc, while processing in total darkness to get caught up on a backlog.
     
  18. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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    Whaa?????
     
  19. CBG

    CBG Member

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    That sounds insane. What could one possibly accomplish doing that - other than destroy film?
     
  20. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I've juggled 3 tanks at once 1x5 spirals, 1x2 and 1 single; indeed challenging, but all rolls looked great and consistent.
    Poured out all chemicals for each tank and started with the double and single tanks first, then poured in the 5 roll whilst the first two sat for 1 minute.

    From there, I kept tabs on times and agitation. As I said, challenging, but time was against me, so couldn't do as single batches. If I had to do again, I'd see if I could get another 5 tank and just do the two together. Would make it easier on the brain!! :wink:
     
  21. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I only ever dev/stop/fix one tank at a time.

    If I have lots of rolls of film, I have 5 tanks which I pre-load and lined up ready to go.

    As soon as the first tank has started to wash, I can then devote my full attention to getting the next jug of developer to 20C and as soon as I am ready I start on the second tank

    The choke point in my film processing is the film dryer - films need a minimum of 30 minutes to guarantee being completely dry.

    Getting tanks of film through the dev/stop/fix process faster doesn't improve my start to end time.

    How do you guys get over the film drying issue when you have lots of rolls to process?

    Martin
     
  22. mekia02

    mekia02 Member

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    I tried two tanks at a time and it was too rushed for me, so I got bigger tanks and now just do one 8 reel tank at a time. Now I just need a tank that can handle 3 or 4 120 reels.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  23. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    I hang all eight strips up in the kitchen and let them air-dry.
     
  24. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    I do two tanks regularly, using two timers. I tried three tanks once (six rolls of 220) and it was so stressful that I swore never to do it again.
     
  25. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    Guys, Very interesting Topic!
    Frequently I'm doing 2 paterson tanks with 8 and 5 rolls of 35mm, two timers, all developer prepared before start, one bottle of fix and 5 min difference in starting time on total of 13 min developing time. No problem at all!
    A few days ago i finally got my second 8 rolls tank and I already can see some challenges coming.
    Processing 3 tanks or more in the same time (all in developer phase) is just to dangerous for me.
    Goran
     
  26. tenaitch

    tenaitch Member

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    I often use 2 but I only start the developing the second tank once I've started fixing the first tank. A third tank would follow likewise and so on. Using a couple of timers, one for dev and one for fix works well.