I missed out on buying a Nova Darkroom Developing Tank (Beginner Darkroomer)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by nocturnal, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. nocturnal

    nocturnal Member

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    Darkroomer?

    I was going to buy (locally) a Nova 12" x 16" developing tank for around £75 GBP seen on the local Gumtree site.

    The seller stated that it would save a lot of room (I am trying to figure out a temporary darkroom in the house.

    The Nova was thermostatically controlled and as I only have 8" x 10" trays I would like the capacity to print 12" x 16" and my enlarger can do this size.

    I initially was going to buy an 8" x 10" Paterson print washer tray which you plug into the tap and then I seen the Nova tank and thought this would be great.

    The Nova tank can also process fibre prints so this was another boon.

    Needless to say I just checked the advert again to phone the seller and the advert is gone!

    Would it be a good idea to buy this? It makes sense to me although I am a novice who has bought nearly everything he needs without printing as yet.

    Thanks :smile:
     
  2. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Vertical print tanks can be very useful, if space is at a premium. Years ago, a friend built his own, for 16x20, out of fiberglass. He installed drain plugs, for ease of dumping. It worked great. If you're handy, you can probably build one.
     
  3. nocturnal

    nocturnal Member

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    Very handy (humble or what? :tongue:) although DIY is not worth my time any more.

    I'll look out for another one as I can't see any major disadvantage to using one.

    The Nova was also thermostatically controlled so I won't have to buy multiple thermometers either then worry about heat loss here in the Arctic (Ireland not quite)

    I'm sure this wasn't even sold I just wished I had been on the ball and called when I first seen the advert.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    They are great if your darkroom is space-challenged. I have a 12x16 Nova quad and really like it. They are nice for conserving chemistry too, with floating lids, a long-lasting developer will last through several printing sessions.
     
  5. nocturnal

    nocturnal Member

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    It was indeed a Nova quad, do you think aound £75 GBP was a good price? It looked in great condition.

    I also need to buy new paper developer so which paper developer lasts long? I was under the impression you had to dump it each time as I do with the film developer Ilfosol 3.
     
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Without checking up the exchange rate, it seems like a very good price, assuming it's in good condition with no leaks, etc. Parts are available from Nova too.

    Ansco 130, and Liquidol (both available from Photographer's Formulary) last a very long time. The Ansco 130 formula is published, ordering it from the Formulary might be expensive for you. Liquidol is a liquid concentrate, so the shipping across the ocean is probably out of the question.

    I've had good luck with Moersch Neutral which which what I'm currently using, and it's probably easier to buy on your side of the pond.

    In open trays, the life of any developer is limited, but in the slot processor, there is minimal surface area exposed to air, then that gets closed off when the lid is in place, so that is a big factor in the developer longevity.
     
  7. nocturnal

    nocturnal Member

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    Thanks bdial,

    I shall look out for one.

    Right now I have 8" x 10" trays for development, stop and fix. As I was going to buy a tank instead of a print washer (which I don't have), is there a way to rinse without one of those print washing trays with hoses? Or will I need to get one of these before acquiring a tank?

    There is other equipment I need to get too, for example, print drying racks.
     
  8. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The Nova Quad seems to be one of the few items, sourced in the U.K. that sells for less here than in the U.S. With most things sourced in the U.K. and also sold in the U.S. the opposite hold true.

    Nevertheless for a fully functional 12x16 Nova Quad £75 is a very good price indeed.If, as you think, the seller failed to make a sale then keep your eye open for a re-listing but normally expect to pay more for 12x16 Nova Quads if this one doesn't re-appear.

    pentaxuser
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    A slightly larger tray (11x14?) plus a Kodak tray siphon works well.

    I use two trays stacked one over the other. There are holes drilled in one end of the top tray. The water goes into the top tray and then drains into the bottom tray. The prints start in the bottom tray and finish in the top.

    You need to check them regularly to make sure they don't stick together.
     
  10. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    The general advice seems to be that for the "best" performance using tray development that paper developer should only be used for one session. I re-bottle mine and have failed to see any difference in new and 1 week old paper developer. Even 2 week old seems fine, but I don't keep longer than that. There again I do only print a few prints each session so my developer doesn't get fully depleted. I use Ilford multigrade ad also warmtone.

    I understand the nova tanks with the floating lids do allow extended chemical working life but have never used one.

    perhaps nice to have, but RC paper dries fine clipped to a line and FB dries super-flat if you tape to a piece of glass using gummed tape (I use a piece of toughened that was the front of an old TV).
     
  11. nocturnal

    nocturnal Member

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    I should have bought that paterson print washer although I changed my mind when I seen the Nova. I may get a print washer until a Nova turns up (kicking myself for not buying it and not taking the phone number!!!!!) as I want to print ASAP

    Ah so you pour it back in! And just hang the paper up on a line! Why do I not think of these things or read it in books? Can't beat experience and a human to teach you!

    I have some 1996 dated Lustre unopened Grade 2 here (100 sheets) although I've no idea if it is OK. I'll get some Ilford MG incase.

    Of course I want to try a 12 x 16 straight away as my first LOL. Maybe I'll work up to that. I don't even know how to contact print yet but let me guess...

    8 x 10 photopaper and a glass sheet with 36 negatives sandwiched in the middle, give it a blast of light from the enlarger but for how long????? How do you know how long to expose the contact sheet for?

    Another stupid question, when they talk about the emulsion side of negatives is this the 'matt' side which gets exposed to the lens in the camera and the facing side is glossy? Which way do these go into the enlarger? Glossy side down?
     
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    It is emulsion to emulsion so matt side of neg in carrier facing emulsion side of paper - likewise on a contact sheet. As far as contact sheet time is concerned you can simply do a series of test strips but a better exercise is to raise the head to a height that will print all the negs on top of the paper so 36 frames on a 8x10 then before doing the print, place the exposed film leader( the black bit) in the neg carrier and project it at same size as contact print paper and do test strips until you have several strips of dark grey leading to black. Use the time that produced the first black strip for the contact paper.

    If the film has been correctly exposed and developed all the contact negs should look right in terms of contrast and shadow detail. If all or nearly all negs do not look right then you might want to consider future exposure of the film in camera and development.

    Even if this sounds too complicated at the moment the exercise will still get you close to a good contact sheet and if it doesn't then before you take any more film it is time to look at your exposure and development regime.


    pentaxuser
     
  13. nocturnal

    nocturnal Member

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    Thanks pentaxuser,

    I already cut off and discarded the black bits.

    I think my negatives are look pretty good except for ones where I forgot to pull the lens hood back on a Pentax-A 28mm (got one of those?) so they are vignetted.

    I loosely used the expose for the shadows idea except where I intentionally wanted blacks.

    Which reminds me I need to buy paper developer! I think I'll spend all Christmas Day developing as it is the most boring day in the whole year for me! Bah Humbug!

    I really like the ME Supers, my other one seems to be working although I had a few problems with the shutter curtain partially remaining open and would like to know how to fix it, you can see this below.

    This was the first one I bought, most of the frames were fine (maybe a bit of light leakage on only some of them). Ilford XP2 film developed and scanned in the cheapest of cheapest labs!

    CNV00035.jpg

    And this one not as bad, apologies for the rider not in focus!

    CNV00001.jpg