MOD 5x4" Process Insert- Is it just me or...

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by sandermarijn, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    ... or has the world gone mad? From http://www.silverprint.co.uk/:

    "Why no-one thought of it before is a mystery, but at last it's here - an inexpensive 5 x 4" insert for a standard Paterson Multi-Reel 3 tank. The MOD insert allows you to process up to 6 sheets of 5 x 4" film simultaneously using your normal processing technique."

    "Inexpensive"? That's 45 GBP for a piece of plastic! Nice idea alright and probably nice plastic as well, but 50 euros, jeez...

    I must have lost touch with the real world :sad:
     
  2. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    It is in all probability an item that sells in small quantities, so I guess the manufactoring costs are quite high. Which probably reflects on the price. They seem very nifty and I suppose a good tool that makes life easier is invaluable. :smile:
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's been a long thread here on APUG about these holders in which the manufacturer has participated, they#ve been arounf for a while now.

    When discussing prices remember first they have to be made and assembled, shipped to Silverprint and manufacturing costs as well as a profit made by both parties factored in as well. That price aslo includes the 20% VAT as well.

    Now look at film prices these days . . . . . .

    Ian
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Compare the price with the price of JOBO 4x5 reels.
     
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    They're pricey, but there's nothing else like them really. Compare prices to a Nikkor 4x5" reel... yikes.

    I have one and I use it now for all my 4x5" stuff. It works very well, though your agitation needs to be extremely gentle in my experience. I've gotten some sticking of sheets which could be fixed by adding little ridges at the top and bottom of the end plates, but I digress...
     
  6. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Obviously the reason that I'm upset is that I would really like have one. And this thread is to get myself convinced that the thing *is* worth the money. You guys helped me quite a bit already, thanks!
     
  7. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Silverprint will want 25%. Probably 1/2 the remaining $37 goes to recoup tooling costs and interest on capital expenditure. Leaving $14 for manufacturing, advertising, overhead, and finally $0.25 for profit.

    If product sales were in the 100,000's/year the same insert would sell for $5 at Walmart.

    Been there, done that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2011
  8. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Many people already have the patterson tanks (I have three) sitting around, so basically trays are the only thing cheaper.
     
  9. GeorgesGiralt

    GeorgesGiralt Member

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    Hello !
    One thing nobody talks about : when buying plastic, one buy oil. And oil prices are not going down.... Plastic is becoming very expensive these days.
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Plastic is still the tiniest portion of the cost of manufacture though. The problem is that they're made in tiny quantities (probably assembled by hand from laser-cut pieces) with significant overheads and then resold.
     
  11. phfitz

    phfitz Member

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    "Obviously the reason that I'm upset is that I would really like have one. And this thread is to get myself convinced that the thing *is* worth the money."

    Just buy it, it will pay for itself the first weekend you use it.

    Daylight processing and NO scratches.
    There really is no other alternative for doing 4x5 C-41 or E-6 color film.
    It really is a pleasure to use.
     
  12. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Agreed - that's how the thing is made. Tooling costs should be very low, but piece price is probably a few dollars. It looks like there are 4 large(ish) and 6 small(ish) peices - $18 in pieces parts cost, plus a few minutes labor and a dollar or two for the box and insert.
     
  13. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Seems like a reasonable price if you already have the Patterson 3 tank. I'm thinking of getting one to try it out. I use a Yankee Agitank now and it is a pain to load without the little guide. Maybe even a pain with the guide. Regardless, the slosher method of agitation is not precise and makes a mess even with a large tray beneath.
     
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  15. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Thanks phfitz, that's the sort of talk my hesitant brain needs!
     
  16. thicktheo

    thicktheo Subscriber

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    ...or you can go taco-style with mesh inserts into a two-35mm-reel AP tank (Patersons will not do). I was using plastic bands for my taco-style development but I saw this idea from some guy over in LFF, and it seems to work better than plastic bands, since it does not put any pressure on the film.

    See the attached (crappy phone camera) photos. I got some plastic mesh (the one you use to keep the bugs out of open windows, etc), cut it down to the appropriate size and stitched it up with plain sewing thread.

    First test with b/w film was a success - it takes a while to get used to the mesh inserts but after a bit of practice in the dark, it becomes easier. This system allows me to develop 4 frames of 4x5 film in a inversion tank that uses 900-1000ml of chemicals, thus making it possible to develop C-41/E-6 films with the 1lt kit.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2011
  17. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Or you can go to the Photo-Therm website and buy their insert.

    4 Sheets instead of 6. $120 so it costs more too. It is quite a bit more secure so you can agitate more vigorously. It is an old design make for their rotary processor, but it fits a Patterson drum perfectly. Same size as the Mod.

    I have the Mod, the Photo-Therm, & have tried the taco method. My default is the Photo-Therm in the rotary processor.

    Obviously the taco method is cheapest and is perfectly adequate for a small volume .

    But I think the Mod strikes a good balance for medium volume hand processing.

    MB
     
  18. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Thanks for sharing Michael. This thread and its contributors have convinced me to believe that the Silverprint device is actually fair-priced, perhaps even on the cheap side, if one ends up using it a lot.

    My initial price-shock is a product of the naive psychology that plastic must equate cheap.
     
  19. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    If you illuminate it from below with some warm white LEDs, it also becomes a bit of modern sculpture. How much sculpture can you buy for less than £10,000? :laugh: :whistling:

    I bought one last week. Now I know that I must be very gentle with it...... :smile:
     
  20. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I like the mesh idea theo; that looks very clever.

    Good call on the modern sculpture bit... it does look pretty cool! :D The mod is unpleasantly flimsy feeling...
     
  21. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I agree , good design art costs money and causes lots of efforts to the designer to learn how to do it right . Try to learn design shape harmonic analysis and it requires lots of hand calculation to create something pleases the eye , plus the ergonomics and inverse engineering of tanks.

    If they were too cheap and easy to do , here is the capitalism and an competitor product , make better and sell for half of it
     
  22. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Would you please provide a link to where on the Photo-Therm Web site that insert is described and offered for $120? I just went there and attempted to find it with no luck. Thanks in advance.
     
  23. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Sal,

    Apparently they've changed the website around, and I cannot find it now either. Here's a link to our earlier discussion a few years ago on photo.net about it, http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/00RMar

    Apparently I also misremembered the price I paid, as it was $130, not $120 according to my post there. As that was more recent, I would trust that post as accurate, however since it's been a couple of years I dare say the price may have change in the ensuing period, so check with serve@phototherm.com for current price and availability.

    As noted in the old photo.net posting I had not tried it in a Patterson tank at that time. I can now say for sure that it does work in a Patterson tank just fine. And frankly it is less finicky than the mod processor since it holds the film much more securely. But as Sal has noted, availability might be an issue. If Phototherm has depleted their stock of the holders I seriously doubt Roman has been willing to make another production run. It's not economically feasible at low volume. When he offered to rent the molds to me I couldn't see making fewer than 2K parts to get a selling price that felt like the market would bear, and I didn't feel like I could ever sell 2K units.

    MB
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2011
  24. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Michael, thanks for your reply, including the link and updated Paterson compatibility information. After our exchange three years ago, life got in the way and I never followed up. Then, within the last year, I bought one of Morgan's inserts, but found that, no matter how gentle the agitation, some sheets are not held in place. Even when they don't come loose, scratches are made on the base side where it contacts the insert's "fingers."

    I just ordered a Phototherm 4x5 adapter to try out. They still had stock (at least the one I ordered :smile: ) of part number AF-4X5 and the price remains at $130 plus shipping. Not inexpensive, but probably worthwhile if it performs as hoped. I've had a hankering to develop some FP4 Plus in ID-11 1+3, which requires 1 liter of working solution per 80 square inches. Should the four 4x5 sheets look good in this system when I complete some tests, there will likely be a MOD insert available to anyone who wants it for a good price...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2011
  25. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Sal,

    It's interesting that you're having troubles with the MOD. I've been successful with very slow inversions, like 3 in 6 seconds (at best).
     
  26. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    I even tried it with "slow-motion" inversions, fewer than one every 2 seconds and much slower than Morgan used in his video. The outer sheets still slip out of their slots, sometimes falling against tank walls, other times moving inward and ending up flat against the next sheet.

    This may vary depending on how flexible the film base is. Different manufacturers' bases, even though they may be the same thickness, can be more or less rigid. I don't know why, considering virtually every one is 7-mil polyester, but it's a real phenomenon.