nitrogen burst processing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by AMBYSTOMA, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. AMBYSTOMA

    AMBYSTOMA Member

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    now that Jobo not longer manufactures or supports their manual rotary processors, does nitrogen burst processing offer an alternative - i.e., low chemistry volumes, suitable for the ocassional small volume processor of 120 and 4x5 and 8x10 negative film?
     
  2. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    I have a Wing-Lynch processor that uses nitrogen burst processing. You can pick these processors up for very low prices on ebay.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I have never seen a commercial nitrogen burst device for sizes such as 120 and 4x5, but we had hand made ones at Kodak. The sparger is the key item here and it can merely be a spiral of stainless steel tubing at the bottom of a graduate cylinder or beaker. Tiny holes in the sparger supply the route for the bursts and it works just fine. The end of the tubing is merely pinched off and sealed with some sealant such as epoxy, or welded shut.

    PE
     
  4. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    Absolutely.

    Using a developer that can be replenished in a tank is the best choice IMHO as that way you can put Saran Wrap over the liquid between processing runs to prevent oxidation. I use a cheap aquarium heater ($10) to bring the tank up to the correct processing temp and it works great. Check out the article I wrote on the subject (May June 2007 View Camera) and let me know if you have any questions. Cheers!
     
  5. CBG

    CBG Member

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  6. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I used to use a nitrogen burst system for roll film and 4x5. It is not an economical system unless a large quantity of film is being processed. These systems require large quantities of chemistry so a replenishable developer is necessary. This negates the use of many of the currently popular developers. My favorite in the system was D-23 which was replenished with D-25.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Jim;

    We did this in small beakers and threw out the chemistry after use. It can be done very economically.

    PE
     
  8. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    Plus there are also 1 and 2 gallon burst tanks out there.

    I use a replenishing developer and have a 3.5 gallon gas burst set up in the basement and it is the cat's meow. Flip a switch and drink coffee in the dark. Consistent and predictable. I even have a power shut off so I can do stand and semi stand development in hangers with extensive periods between agitations (10 minutes plus) and the system handles it with ease. I can come upstairs for the hour + of processing time and not be chained to the process.
     
  9. DKT

    DKT Member

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    you can't fit a reel down in anything smaller than a 2 gallon tank, if you want to use 4-up hangers or full 8x10 ones. the one gallon tanks are pretty slim--they run about 4 or so 4-up racks, but they're too skinny for a reel. a two gallon tank--you can run about 12-15 rolls of 35mm on s.s. reels or about 9 or so 120, and up to 28 sheets of 4x5 or 7 8x10. I have used a wing lynch as well-- as someone mentioned it uses nitrogen, but not the same way as a tankline. the nitrogen pressurizes the tanks that hold the chemistry and it's that pressure that acts as the pumping mechanism to get the chem into the "trough"--where the tube is. the trough is temp controlled, as are the tanks (24/7). the nitrogen in the tank, as it displaces the chem volume acts as a blanket--chem lasts a couple of weeks in a wing lynch. it's not so great for low volume use though, because it sits there cooking at your process temp. it's not the same thing as a jobo though--they're both tube processors, but the WL is more of a machine really--automated & much larger. probably the best replacement for a jobo would be a super-sidekick...better low volume machine, but I'm not sure if you can do 8x10 in one of those.
     
  10. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    Is it possible to get a copy of the nitrogen burst article somewhere other than the magazine. I have been unable to track down that issue of View Camera.

    Gord
     
  11. Mike Té

    Mike Té Subscriber

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  12. alecj

    alecj Member

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    There are indeed nitrogen burst racks made for 1 gal. tanks. Mine holds 5 4x5 individual holders. I've never tried it with reels. I don't believe they would go flat, and if inserted vertically, the agitation wouldn't be uniform.

    I have the rack w/built-in nitrogen distribution for the 3 1/2 gal. tanks. You can put lots of reels in another rack that fits inside, or use 10 4-up holders for 4x5, but I learned early on that that uses more chemistry than I have film to process at one time.

    Correction: I just tried it and found that although I couldn't put any reels side by side in my 1 gal. tank rack, I could stack them w/i the bounds of the rack. I can build a stack of 3 35mm or 2 120 reels. I never thought of that before.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2008
  13. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Where can I find the solenoid for the Nitrogen system? I have the tanks and plumbing, but I need the solenoid.
     
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  15. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I would like to know more about low-volume and roll film processing with nitrogen burst. It sounds like it could be theoritically possible to retrofit a regular commercial darkroom tank for nitro burst. You would just need the sparger (and the nitrogen tank and solenoid) which I gather is SS tubing with holes in it? Using a regular darkroom tank you could then load the film, and dump and fill the tank with solutions, just like you normally do.
     
  16. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

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    You need a solenoid valve and an interval timer that you can wire to it.

    I am sure that there should be plenty in the used market as Kodak made them as well as Calumet. I have a friend that has a interval timer and solenoid valve as well as a marvelous stainless Ted Pella 4x5 gas burst system. PM me if you are interested.

    The other alternatives as I point out in my View Camera Article is California Stainless and Arkay.

    Read the View Camera AND the Kodak technical publication and follow it to the letter. Gordon Hutchings states in his Book Of Pyro that there are more ways than you can possibly imagine to mess up with gaseous burst as you can imagine.

    Gordon also says that it is impossible to use gaseous burst and pyro with conventional stainless steel hangers which fortunately is not true. Saves everyone from the considerable time and expense of having to fabricate tanks and plenums on their own.

    No sense re-inventing the wheel.

    Cheers!
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    We tossed 2 or 3 of these controllers when my uncle retired. I got his nitrogen tank.

    As for small units, you can make a spiral out of 1/4" or 1/8" tubing with an outer spiral diameter equal to the size of the container you want to use such as a 400 ml beaker. Then you bend a right angle at the end of the spiral so it is an "L" shape with the spiral the lower bar of the "L" and the feed line coming in at the vertical end.

    Then you drill holes in the top of the spiral in increasing diameter towards the center and then crimp and seal the center of the spiral.

    Voila. A small scale nitrogen burst unit for 35mm or 120 in a 400 ml beaker.

    PE
     
  18. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    So it's a flat spiral, like an electric stove burner element?

    Ed
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes, a flat spiral similar to the device illustrated in the photo on e-whatsit, above.

    PE
     
  20. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Erik,

    Try www.mcmaster.com.

    Neal Wydra
     
  21. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

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    For LF film, you might consider the tube developing system as sold by BTZS and Fred Newman at The View Camera Store. He is on the classifieds here, and if you click on the name and follow the messages you will be able to view a video which shows the method...seems to be fairly easy, and quite economical regarding volumes of chemistry.

    Ed
     
  22. dfloeter

    dfloeter Member

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    A quick question for Photo engineer: What type of tubing did you use for the spirals? Soft copper would be easy and malleable but I am not sure how copper will hold up with the developer.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    DO NOT USE COPPER, BRASS or GALVANIZED. Use only Stainless Steel, 308 or better.

    Do not store in the tank after use.

    PE
     
  24. dfloeter

    dfloeter Member

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    My that was quick. Off to the tubing supplier I go. BTW, I was monitoring a tank with plenum on Ebay thinking I could get it for $75 or and a coupe people took it to $180 in the last 8 seconds. Sheesh, at that rate I really do need to make my own. Also, there has been some discussion about drilling acrylic tubing and using an extremely small drill bit. Do you recall the range of sizes used in the past?

    Thanks
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Plastics are mostly acceptable, but can interact with the color developer solution by absorbing organics. The plastic turns black and the developer loses potency. It is also best to use a different sparger for each tank in the case of plastic spargers.

    I don't remember the hole size nor the number of holes if I ever even knew those numbers. Sorry.

    PE
     
  26. dfloeter

    dfloeter Member

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    Thanks