Older Paterson tanks any good?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Gritycityflicks, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Gritycityflicks

    Gritycityflicks Member

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    Ok, quite new to the developing world but getting along quite nicely. I use a Paterson Super System 4 tank that holds 3x35mm films. This works great for me and I have had no troubles. But now I need to get hold of a tank for developing single films, 1 at a time. Money is pretty tight here at the moment so any saving is good.
    Dose anyone here have any experience with the Paterson 35 Model II Developing Tank. The old ones with the little grey cap on the top as these are going very cheap these days.

    Cheers
     
  2. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I have.
    They work quite well, but leak even worse than Sytem 4 tanks (the older ones, with the white cap). So developing film is a messy business with these contraptions.
    But they get the job done.
     
  3. unclemack

    unclemack Member

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    Hi, I use a small stainless tank with a Paterson reel - I cut away the outside edge of the reel to make it fit - and don't have trouble loading a 36 film even without the little ball-bearing grippers, just use thumbs. The outside (cut) edges have to be smooth-finished so they don't scratch film.
    The stainless tanks come with a stainless reel which has a different loading technique - I don't like it, others do.
    A metal tank maintains temperature in a tempering bath a little better than plastic. In air plastic maintains temperature better but it does still drop. Important if you process colour.
    No leaks and quite a lot less chemical than a Paterson single.
    You could of course just use the lowest reel in your existing tank. If you don't want to have the 2 empty reels in the tank just slip a piece of plastic pipe over the centre column to take the place of the 2 reels and stop the reel riding up the column when inverted or tapped on the bench.
     
  4. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    You don't need another tank. The one you have will work perfectly well for smaller batches. There is no need to completely fill the tank with chemistry. Only enough to cover the reel(s) containing film is required, and those quantities should be indicated on the bottom of the tank. There is no need to invert the tank to agitate either, though you can do that if you like. The agitation stick works perfectly well provided you use it vigorously enough. There is also no need to use more reels than necessary. Tightly wrap a rubber band around the central spindle above the reel and the reel won't creep up the spindle when you invert the tank.
     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Agreed, you can use the one you have, even with inversion agitation (which I feel is strongly preferable to using the twirl stick - the stick was intended to get rid of air bells, not to provide agitation). You could pick up a used 2-reel Paterson tank for a song (they're cheap new, too) if you want something a little easier to handle. I've never seen a point to the one-roll tanks since a single roll in a 2-roll tank is more than comfortable enough.

    The 2-roll tanks are perfect to do a single roll of 120/220 too.
     
  6. Gritycityflicks

    Gritycityflicks Member

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    Firstly, yes I am an inversion kinda guy. Its done me well so far do as they say, if it aint broke. I have developed 2 films seperatly in my large tank so far. I just used the recomended 300ml of chems, not the usual 1ltr. I think the films came out ok as I cant see anything out of the norm. But seeing as the chems slosh around alot more during inversions I felt the need to give the tank some vigorous knocking and tapping to rid any bubbles each time. A bit hard on the hands to say the least. Also, being a noob to developing I want to keep the variables to a minimum, especialy when testing new film. Thats why I figure to get a single tank for the mo. Then I dont have to worry about over aggitation, air bells or anything elce. Just temps, and times.

    Photo jim, I am also tempted with the 2-roll tank as I also shoot Holga stuff. I think that will have to wait. Most of the time I have the patience to wait until I have 2 rolls to dev in my tank. Most of the time :wink:
     
  7. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I don't use my 3-roll tank with one roll any differently than my 2-roll with one roll. It works fine. The air bells are not really a massive problem.

    Use what you have, and get a 2-roll tank later when your money permits. As a bonus, that will let you do up to five rolls of 35mm in one big developing session. Then blow your mind by adding the 5- and 8-reel tanks! :smile:

    (I have one of each of these four, and there are times that they all get used... about once a year I have a massive backlog of film to catch up on, and having the assortment of tanks is really convenient.)
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's another current thread about tanks & no of spirals, I have the full range of Paterson System 4 and won't use the largest, they are too weak, andI had one split some years ago.

    Go for the ones that take 2 or 3 120's, the plain System 4's are just as good.

    Don't bother with the Systen II ranks, I used them at school, they are OK but the 4 series arevastly superior, I used to use the Multiple Series II tanks for E$ because they weer far more economical on chemistry, I still have maybe 7 or 8 of these older tanks.

    Ian
     
  9. fotopom

    fotopom Member

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    I still use the single and 3 spiral Paterson II tanks. They work well, and don't leak (much) unless the grey lid is getting old. Have inherited several new tanks, but they all use more chems than my Paterson II tanks. Only problem I have with them, is they don't load well if the film is damaged by lets say the angry winding action of a Russian rangefinder camera. The newer tanks with there ball bearing action are easier to load in that respect. From memory my single reel Patterson II use about 245cc of chem for a 35mm film, where as my other tanks don't work with less than 300cc (i think from memory). Also I use these tanks for inversion, and have never found the need to bash them too hard, just a couple of taps does the job nicely.
    Hope that helps,
    Dan