Paterson 4 x 5 Developing Tank

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by norm123, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. norm123

    norm123 Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Montréal Can
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi everebody

    I want to know about your experience with this product.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/908261-REG/Paterson_4X5_Sheet_Film_6.html

    I want to change my way to develop 4 x 5 sheets. I used trays and often I have scratchs, so...

    With the pictures of this product, I don't understand. Is it daylight or not? There is no funnel who protect from light. Do we change liquid in darkness?

    Any comments are welcomed.

    Kind regards
     
  2. Steve Goldstein

    Steve Goldstein Subscriber

    Messages:
    597
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been using one of these setups since they first came available. Once the film is loaded and the funnel snapped in it's a totally daylight system. The instructions say you should always load 6 sheets, so I keep a couple of dummy sheets around for times when I'm doing fewer than 6 real exposures.

    Like any daylight tank system, it takes a bit of practice to get the hang of loading. Start out in daylight with some scrap film, eyes open, to see how it plays. Then advance to daylight, eyes closed, to build up your confidence. I've had no trouble, and no scratches. I still tray-develop when I have a lot of sheets to do, but I probably use this more.

    There's been a lot of discussion of this on the Large Format Photography Forum, you might pop over there and search for MOD54 and MOD-54.
     
  3. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,463
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Texas Hill C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Works great for me. I have both the original Mod 54 and the newer one. There is a You Tube video on how to use it which is very helpful. Loading the film is something you will need to develop a feel for. This is not dissimilar from having to learn to load roll film. The mistakes I initially made were agitating too vigorously and loading the film backwards. Like many things there is a little learning curve. A good system. Yes, it is a daylight system, once you have loaded the film into the tank. Change iquid in the light just like other Paterson products. I like mine. Bill Barber
     
  4. Light Guru

    Light Guru Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I stopped using it and switched to trays.

    The part the holds the film would ether scratch the film or not actually hold the film securely causing the film to dislodge and touch another sheet if film thus ruining both sheets of film.

    I had these problems with multiple film types and even with very little agitation.
     
  5. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,958
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I saw these tanks earlier and they're intriguing. I already use a Yankee agitank and they're ok. They take more chemistry then the Paterson talks. Once in a while, I see the stainless steel Nikor tanks on ebay. But they're not cheap.
     
  6. Steve Goldstein

    Steve Goldstein Subscriber

    Messages:
    597
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The parts for the original version were cut from plastic sheet, and the cut edges were a little rough. I spent an hour with some fine sandpaper wrapped around a thin dowel to smoothe all the film-facing edges, and have never had a scratch. But then I never had a scratch before I did this, either. The newer model is, I think, injection molded and may be better in this regard, but I haven't seen one.

    I've never had a sheet dislodge when agitating per the instructions with FP4+, TMY-2, or Acros. I'm also careful to run my finger along all the film edges once I've loaded the film to check for uniform spacing, which should be the case if the film is properly loaded. You can feel the edges of all three films at the same time, so this is very easy to do.

    The key seems to be to work very carefully and deliberately. Developing film is not something I do when I'm tired, short of time, or preoccupied with other things.
     
  7. ruby.monkey

    ruby.monkey Member

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Orpington, L
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have the original version. The only time I've had it scratch the emulsion, was when I loaded the sheets back-to-front. Very much a case of user error.

    The MOD54 takes a little swearing to load correctly the first time, and Paterson tanks can get a bit dribbly when inverted; but it's a convenient set-up if you don't have a dark room.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2014
  8. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,410
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver B.C.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The things they are not showing is the center spool holder and funnel cap which goes with it. I hope it is included myself before I purchase the same.
     
  9. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,103
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    An alternative is the Jobo 2509n which fits in the 2500 series tanks. They are discontinued and the few on sale new are expensive, but I got myself a couple of sets second hand. I find them easy to load.
     
  10. FiatluX

    FiatluX Member

    Messages:
    223
    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Location:
    Scandinavia
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  11. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,463
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Texas Hill C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had the same problem the first time I loaded my original Mod54. Clearly user error. Watch the You Tube video and you should have no problem with the Mod54. One does need the tube and the funnel and I can't imagine the set being sold without it. I still use both the old and the new Mod54. Good stuff . . . don't be afraid of the learning curve. What you have gained from our mistakes is, get the new model, don't load your film backwards and don't agitate like you are making a Martini. That should produce very satisfactory results.
     
  12. norm123

    norm123 Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Montréal Can
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Backwards?

    Thank you all of you for responding. What do you mean by <<loading the film backwards>>? From the center to outside? Do you put the film with emulsion faced to the center or not? I'll figure to use the spool for agitation. What is your opinion about this?

    Regards
     
  13. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,463
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Texas Hill C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Backwards= emulsion facing out. Don't use spool to agitate. Watch you tube video for Mod54.
     
  14. Light Guru

    Light Guru Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Sanding the holder may solve the scratches but it won't solve the dislodging issue. I can assure you my film was loaded properly and I did not over agitate.

    I don't know about the other films you listed but FP4 and all ilford films are thicker then others and thicker films tend to do fine with the mod54. But if your using thinner films dislodging is a big issue.
     
  15. Light Guru

    Light Guru Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    But good luck finding one. And in the fair instance they do show up they are usually spendy.
     
  16. Light Guru

    Light Guru Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Even though I don't use the mod54 for development anymore I do still find it handy for washing film. After tray development I'll put the film on the mod54 and in the Paterson tank and then run a hose from the facet into the center column. With the water on low it provides great washing.

    While dislodging was a factor in switching to trays part of the decision was also based on not wanting to wait until I had 6 sheets of film that all needed the same development time.

    One of the big perks of shooting large format is being able to use the zone system and develop different sheets at different times. If I only have 1 or 2 sheets that need a certain time the mod54 is a wast of chemicals.

    With trays I can use a fraction of the chemicals and more easily do smaller batches at different times.
     
  17. natelfo

    natelfo Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have both the Jobo 2500 series tank and 4x5 reel and the Patterson with Mod54. I like them both and these are the only two methods I have used for LF development. I use the Mod54 for inversion/stand development and I use the Jobo for rotary. My Mod54 is the newer type and I have never had an issue with scratching or film popping loose. When I wash my film, I do so by pouring water into the tank with the lid off and fill enough to cover the film, then slosh around quite vigorously, dump, then repeat. Even with all of the sloshing and swirling, I have still not had a single sheet pop loose on either system.
     
  18. norm123

    norm123 Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Montréal Can
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's included