large volume processing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by mouren, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. mouren

    mouren Member

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    Hi, I was wondering if anybody have any recommendation on processing large volume, like 4+ rolls of 120 at a time, of b&w film?

    I have heard those basket things that you can dunk, but can't seem to find any on ebay right now.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    You can get inversion tanks that will hold 4x 120 rolls. I don't use them myself though because of the time it takes to fill and drain.
     
  3. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    The basket things usually hold a lot more than 4 rolls. And the tanks required are big, requiring a lot of chemistry. But the capacity is very high, like 12 or 16 stainless reels.

    Do you want to process a few more than 4, or a lot more than 4?

    I can get two rolls of 120 on a Paterson plastic spool in the dark every time without fail, so I can get 4 rolls into a tall Paterson tank easily. Since I happen to prefer the plastic reels that's what I would do if you're really talking about 8 or fewer rolls. Just do it twice.
     
  4. mouren

    mouren Member

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    Thank you for the replies, guys.

    I saw those 4 120-reels tanks, both SS and plastic, my main concern is uneven development as a result of long pour-in/out time.

    I could just darken out my bathroom, pre pour the developer into the tank, load the 4 reels, then dunk all 4 reels in at once. I have seen the Nikor tanks with a center rod.

    Do you know where I can find those baskets? I have just started this new project using MF, so, I am not entirely sure of the quantities yet. But I am pretty sure it will be more than 4 rolls at once.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Use a Jobo 1540 tank with two plastic reels [two rolls of 120 film each] and a Jobo processor. I used this combination to develop 12 rolls of 120 print film, four at a time using only 470ml.

    Steve
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2011
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    My largest ss inversion tank holds 6x120/220 rolls. When I use it, I pour the developer in the tank in the dark and lower the reels into the tank on a lift rod, put the lid on, turn on the lights and proceed normally. I think the most critical stage in terms of even development is when the developer first contacts the film, particularly if you use a dilute developer that is likely to be exhausted by the end of the development cycle like Rodinal or PMK or something like D-76 (1+3). If you use a developer with a short development time or that is reusable/replenishable, you might want to remove the reels in the dark and dump the developer with the lid off or set up a line with three tanks, since processing tanks are cheap these days.
     
  7. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    What I'm talking about is using plastic reels double loaded (like Steve mentioned), so you have only two reels each holding two rolls of film. Fill/Drain time is significantly reduced from the really tall 4 reel tanks. Especially the stainless 4 reel tanks. But the method you mention of filling the tank, then dropping in the loading rod does work well from what I understand.

    And by your comments it seem you like the SS reels better than plastic, so that's a factor. Nothing like sitting in the wrong church pew to make a job hard!!

    I doubt anyone still makes the baskets and tanks that you could buy as a set. I've got a basket and a couple of tanks in the back of my closet somewhere that I delusionally bought once. I think they're 3 gallon tanks or something equally ridiculous. If my wife hasn't thrown them out as more of that darkroom junk, that is.

    Let me look for them this weekend, and if I have anything that's not trashed we can talk. You can tell from the fact that I don't quite know where they are that I don't use them much.

    MB
     
  8. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Is it a requirement to do them simultaneously, or are you merely trying to be economical with your time?
     
  9. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I'm curious, why don't you preload the developer into the tank with the lights on? Surely the developer won't oxidize that much while you're loading the reels in the dark.

    I'm clumsy enough that I would have half the fluid in the sink if I tried to pour it in the dark.
     
  10. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I've got a patterson tank that holds 5 rolls of 35mm or 3 rolls of 120 (1.5L) It fills right up fast. I have the chemistry premeasured in a widemouth 2L gatorade bottle and the tank will take it as fast as I can pour it. I do mostly 12-15 minute development times and have no issue with uneven development. Filling or draining a combiplan tank is like molasses in comparison and I don't have uneven development in that system either if you need a comparison. Three rolls at a time is plenty, but if I had to do more, I'd get a second tank setup and process the 2nd tank 10 minutes behind the first.

    Some people also put 2 rolls of 120 on a spool as they can take upto 220 sized film. I haven't tried this.
     
  11. mouren

    mouren Member

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    Ah double loading, I get it. That is an advantage plastic systems have over SS :smile:

    Yah, let me know about the basket. I might be interested.

    :smile:
     
  12. AlbertZeroK

    AlbertZeroK Member

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    I double load 120 on a paterson reel, it helps to tape the rolls together. When I had a jobo, those reels had litlte plastic things to seperate two spools of 120.
     
  13. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    If you use a rotative processor like my Jobo CPP-2 with lift the amount of chemicals is smaller than when using inversion, and therefore also the emptying - filling time is shorter. The liquids are inserted into the tank while the tank is horizontal and rotating so all rolls basically touch the chemicals at the same time. Provided the processor is well levelled (measuring levelling on the tank) there should be no uniformity problems.
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    if you can get a few large 3-4 gallon tupperware container and a few coat hangers
    you can make a dip/dunk system to process your film ...
    just bend the bottom of the coathanger to keep the films from sliding off
    and load the hanger up as high as your tank goes
    you can make 2 or 3 hangers like this ... put your film on, and raise / lower your film shishkabobs
    to agitate i used to process film like this for years but i opted for the metal reels and 3 reel hand tanks
    its just as easy and works fine ... just process your film a couple a day and you will be OK ...
    no use rushing everything and poorly processing ... some negatives can't be replaced ...

    good luck !
    john
     
  15. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I'll guarantee this will be cheaper than the basket and 3 gallon stainless tanks.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    like with everything ... it takes a roll or 2 to figure out agitation technique
    and time needed ... you need to lower slowly so there aren't surge marks
    then barely move the shishkabob up and down using the same development time
    as sheet-film in hangers / deep tank it was a piece of cake ...
    you can even use dektol and it would make it super fast to process
    1:3 for 1:45 mins ... i know, i know massive grain you are thinking to yourself
    but it just isn't true, dektol can yield wonderful film negatives

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/31300-paper-film-film-paper.html

    it seems that don's images aren't available right now,
    but i am sure if you pm him he will be happy to give you the low-down

    have fun !
    john
     
  17. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    I have a home made system that allows me to process a lot of film for custom lab clients. I went to "Tap Plastics" and got 5"diameter plastic tubes cut into 24" lengths and then got 6x6" acrylic squares to glue to the bottom of them to make a base they stand up on. I used the proper glue they sell which seals well and then added to the strength with epoxy.
    Then I went to a metal shop that sold stainless steel rods and bought a couple slightly less than an 8th inch diameter and I bent a handle on one end and bent a spiral on the other. Now I can load 8 120 reels or 14 35mm reels on at once. The tanks hold 10 liters so I put in 2 packages of XTOL. I made floating lids out of plastic food containers like large cottage cheese or yogurt. Some are exactly the right diameter to make a perfect floating lid. I just tape the container lid on the empty container with packing tape.
    I keep track of the film I process and use the extended development method of countering developer exhaustion. I can process 150 rolls of film in one 10L mix of developer.
    I agitate by lifting the film on the rod completely out of the developer tank and then putting it back in. I get perfectly even development. The time it takes to lift the film out and move it to the next tank of stop bath is not significant.
    You wouldn't have to make yours as large as mine. You could scale it down so the tank will hold only 5L Xtol or only a gallon of your favorite developer. If you have the room for all that in your bathroom it is the best way to do it as far as even development, perfect smooth skies and the same processing on the inside of the reel as the outside frame.
    Dennis
     
  18. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I made a system like Dennis's only smaller for 4 rolles of 120 and used Microdol stock with replenisher. I also have a old unicolor film drum which I will take 3 rolls.
     
  19. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I would ask again if it is a requirement that all the rolls be processed simultanously?
    If not then either a Phototherm or a Jobo will give you extremely repeatable batch to batch results even weeks apart.

    And also how many is "more than four" rolls? Six? Or twenty? Or is that still unknown?

    If it is a commercial project then I would strongly suggest buying a rotary processor, either new or used. Phototherm still sells and supports the SSK8R. And they'll support it even if you buy it used.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Jobo can hand more than four rolls.

    1520Tank +153+1530 10
    2583(2523+2560) 10
    2593(2553+2560) 14

    Steve
     
  21. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    If you are interested(shameless plug) I have Ilford Cibachrome processing tubes for sale. The short one holds three 120 reels and the long one holds 6, or four 35mm and eight 35mm reels.
     
  22. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    And if you process 10 today, then 10 more in two weeks, then 10 more 3 months later they will be consistent batch to batch if you operate the machine properly.
     
  23. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I often use pyro, where I'm adding the pyro right before development, so I tend to do it at the last minute, because it does oxidize while loading the reels. I measure the dilute solution into a large graduated pitcher, and the pyro in a small graduate, add the pyro to the pitcher and pour it all into the tank to mix. I've managed to get the hang of feeling for pouring liquid in the dark, the way blind people learn to do it, using my (gloved) finger to feel when the tank is full.
     
  24. mouren

    mouren Member

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    Like I mentioned in one of the previous posts, I am not sure at this moment. I just got a new MF that I intend to use to shoot one of my long term projects with. However, I just made the switch, so, I really don't know what the volume will be. But I am pretty sure it will be more than 4 rolls at a time. If not 120s, then 35mm of the same film, so, I can use the same development time.

    I am debating between Tri-x/Arista Premium 120 and 35mm or Arista.EDU 400 120 and 35mm. I like how I can push Tri-X to 3200, as I shoot mostly at night.
    Still something I need to work out.

    Back to volume processing, thank you everybody for their reply and PM, greatly appreciate it. I see I have a few options, and will decide accordingly when the project picks up.

    Thank you again for all of the suggestions.