Nikor Cut Film Tank

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Chaska, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Chaska

    Chaska Subscriber

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    I just picked up one of these in a lot of darkroom stuff I bought. No instructions were included, but it looks pretty straightforward. Anyone have any tips for use? Maybe a scan of the instruction sheet? I plan to use it for 3x4, 9x12 and some 4x5. Thanks for any guidance tha is ourt there.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Congrats on your find. I've attached the instruction sheet, which will save you a lot of frustration, though by the time I managed to get the instructions, I had figured it out by trial and error.

    A few key issues that are not obvious--

    1. The film should have about 1/16" of play in the slot. Sacrifice a sheet of film or use a scrap neg to test it when you adjust the height of the reel. If you do it right, the reel will hold 12 sheets as intended. People who claim that the tank won't hold 12 sheets either have a bent reel or they haven't adjusted it right.

    2. The film goes emulsion side in.

    3. Curve the sheet in the direction of the reel when loading and it should slip right in, if you've adjusted the height properly.

    4. If you are missing the metal band, you might use a rubber band to make sure the sheets don't slip out during development.

    5. The tank holds 1200 ml. Fill time is a bit slow, so you might fill the tank and insert the reel and put on the cap in the dark, then proceed with the lights on.

    6. If you're using one of the East European films with a soft emulsion, take care when removing the sheets to avoid scratches.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    Your either going to love it or hate it - there doesn't seem to be anything in between. Just follow the directions and you shouldn't have any problems. It's one of the few tanks that accomodates all formats. If you wanted to buy one off of EBAY your going to pay at least $150US.

    Regards
    Gord
     
  4. Chaska

    Chaska Subscriber

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    Thanks David, that is exactly what I was looking for.
     
  5. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    I was given one of these in a box full of old, musty items bought at auction for near nothin
    Had to have sat in a basement for decades and then presumably the gentleman -Kodak employee and photographer- died

    Thing is pretty neat. Had never seen one before or heard of
    Holds 12 sheets of 4x5 or whatever format you may have



    My questions
    Does it work well or simply better than other cut film tanks?
    Seems easy to load

    Any idea on # produced?
    Why are they rare?
     
  6. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I have one and love it. From what I hear it's much better than the other varieties, and takes a lot less liquid to fill it. It's best if you take an old neg and adjust the height before processing as it's easy to bump it out of line.
     
  7. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Threads merged.
     
  9. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    thanks for that instruction sheet up there lol

    I use Paterson for 35 and some 120 finding them not only easier to load but in keeping spillage down
    How does one keep the solutions from pouring out of SS tanks?
    I have Nikor and numerous whatever other tanks and reels and caps and they all seem to leak

    They look nice all polished up and in a group, though
     
  10. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    They leak. End of story. You have to work over a sink and wear gloves if you don't want drips everywhere. Some tanks are worse than others depending on how well matched the lids are to the bottoms. I have some that barely leak and others that gush. For short timed processes like C41 I prefer to dip n dunk in an open tank in the dark with each step in a separate tank. I agitate with the little wire dipsticks you can get with them lifting the reels up and down in the tank.
     
  11. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    That's what I figured
    They seem like a huge mess without much real benefit
    but hey

    maybe one day something changes
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    This is off the topic of the Nikor sheet film tank, but once you learn to load stainless steel reels, most people find them faster to load and easier to clean thoroughly than plastic, and you can reload them before they're completely dry, unlike Paterson reels. There is also lots of processing equipment out there for handling standard stainless steel reels--tanks of all sizes, cages for deep tanks, etc. I don't think I've ever heard of a professional lab using Paterson reels.
     
  13. Chaska

    Chaska Subscriber

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    Funny to see this thread pop back up. I have been using the tank for 2 years thanks to David's instructions and love it. I shoot bag mags in 3x4 and 4x5 and it is great to be able to develop everything at once. Actually my tank doesn't leak, it's just a bear to get the top off to change chems. I have found it easier to use devs with longer times because it takes a while to fill.
     
  14. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Absolutely, SS reels and tanks are the "way to go". It can take some practice to get quick and accurate at loading SS reels, but once you learn, you don't forget, it's just like learning to ride a bicycle. You'll wonder why you ever used plastic reels.
     
  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I've acquired a second Nikor sheet film tank and have discovered that there are two types. The reel seems to be the same in both tanks, but the newer one has a slightly taller tank, and the fill cap is a bit larger. The older one has a shinier finish, and the top is a bit more difficult to remove. I'm missing the metal band on the more recently acquired older tank, but I've been using a rubber band without difficulty.

    I usually leave one set up for 4x5" and one for 2x3", and then if I have a lot of film to process, I can set them both to the same size.
     
  16. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    David you may have gotten a tank for the 220 large reels double size. I have a couple of these that I use when doing my C41 4x5 and it makes processing much less of a hassle to fill the tanks and simply switch the reels from tank to tank in the dark.
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    It's possible, but the older tank seems to be of the same vintage as the reel. Maybe they used the same tank at some point. The reel also fits in a 5x7" 5 quart tank, so sometimes I use the reel in my tank line, depending on what developer I want to use, or I'll develop and rinse in the daylight tank, turn off the lights, and fix in the deep tank.
     
  18. tcaddle

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    I am new to APUG, but I too have on of these tanks that I got on Ebay. As noted above, the critical thing is to get the reel spacing correct and then the tank works well. Mine does not leak either, but it is slow to fill and empty so, also as mentioned, use developers that require long times, ie not very active ones or high dilution of active ones like rodinal. As an aside and a bit of history, these tanks have been made since about 1938 give or take. I have seen ads for them in old 1938/1939 photography magazines from that era that our library has in bound format. I also have a Fink & Roselieve adjustable cut film developing tank that my father used to use for 2-1/4 by 3-1/4 cut film. It works well too, although you cannot invert it for agitation like the Nikor tank, but i have to say, it is easier to laod than the Nikor, besides it has a kind of nostalgic feel about. But then so does useing film in general these days.