Phototherm 4x5 made from Patterson reels

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by michaelbsc, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I have recently seen two eBay auctions of Phototherm units with 4x5 inserts that were made out of Patterson reels.

    One currently listed is here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/PHOTO-THERM...784991112&po=&ps=63&clkid=7958399344643062561

    Look at the eighth picture.

    The one which recently closed, and I did not win, was for a broken unit. Here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...sspagename=STRK:MEDWX:IT&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

    Look at the third picture, the unit on the left.

    Has anyone ever seen one of these 4x5 inserts? Got any pictures? Can you make one at home out of things laying around?
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Michael:

    Are you sure these weren't actually put together by Phototherm themselves?
     
  3. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    They may well be. But they aren't like the ones Phototherm has now. And the ones Phototherm has now cost a fortune.

    What I want is a chance to examine one of these up close and personal. Or at least get a good set of pictures.

    I've tried to scheme a way to make a 4x5 holder as well as a 5x7 holder using Patterson reels as the ends of a cage. But I've never been successful. So I really want to know what this looks like. Especially if it works.

    MB
     
  4. sage

    sage Member

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    The 4x5 insert that is with the one I use looks nothing like that pattersonstein. Dunno.
     
  5. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Neither does mine. Which is exactly why I want information about the Pattersonstein.

    The current holder is next to impossible to duplicate except in mass production.

    Morgan's MOD processor is pretty good, but it could never hold the sheets in for rotary use.

    But I must have 40 Patterson reels that have found their way to me over the years. Most are just collecting dust.
     
  6. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I'd be interested in this too. I have one of the Phototherm ones (Ouch!), and thought about DIYing something with patterson reels too. Will look at the pics and see if i can help. Has anyone contacted Phototherm about this? Maybe they made them back in the day before doing their current version...

    -Ed
     
  7. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Here's another crazy idea... how about taking the rotation spindle for a Phototherm, (the piece that looks like this: http://www.phototherm.com/interctr/pvw2.gif ) and somehow fitting it to the guts of a Nikor 4x5 tank? What is the diameter of the hole in the middle of the nikor 4x5 reel? I wonder if the phototherm spindle could be made smaller diameter (it seems like it's a little wide, from just eyeballing the pictures). That might allow 12 sheets of 4x5 per run of the phototherm, assuming chemical coverage was high enough... ?

    -Ed
     
  8. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    You couldn't rotate 12 sheets. They wouldn't stay in the reel. Too much dynamic drag on the film edge.
     
  9. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    The Nikor reel comes with a metal band to keep them all in place. Or are you saying there would be so much drag it would collapse the sheets and let them pull out along the edges and get all crinkled in together in the cage?

    Duncan
     
  10. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    How about taking a Patterson reel, cutting the the central post and gluing in an extender? I'm sure you already thought of this and rejected it for some obvious reason I am just to thick to have seen.
     
  11. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Humm. I didn't realize there was a keeper band. That might work. But a Nikor tank isn't any cheaper than a Photo-therm insert. It just has more capacity.

    Cutting up a Patterson us exactly what I have been thinking about. But I would sure like to see one someone else has done first.
     
  12. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    Here's a couple of pictures showing the keeper band on the Nikor tank. Forget rotary processing, the film will fall out with hand agitation without that band! Sadly, a lot of Nikor 4x5 tanks you see for sale are missing it - check closely before buying one. (You can always just use a rubber band or two to hold the film in, but the band is so much more useful.)

    Duncan


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  13. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    I was actually just talking with the lab tech at my local camera shop about these. Apparently they were made by Phototherm using a generic plastic reel, cut to fit 4x5. It was a good concept, but he said that in practice the inner sheet would end up slipping off the reel, causing the two inner sheets to have uneven development and scratching.
     
  14. PeterJF

    PeterJF Member

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  15. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I just referenced this thread in another, so I thought I would come back and put in some pictures in case someone finds it in a search.

    I did not win the auction I listed in the opening post, and after a while that item is going to crawl out of eBay's cache and vanish.

    But I did correspond with the seller, and he was kind enough to take some snapshots of the reels before shipping them to the winner.

    Here are some pictures.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1351230968.866475.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1351231004.754135.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1351231036.628312.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1351231060.346636.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1351231093.547460.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1351231122.932485.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1351231157.567178.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1351231183.120424.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1351231209.433143.jpg
     
  16. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    YES. If someone could figure out how to do this with 5x7 I would bow down to them in WORSHIP if they put plans up. I'm pretty handy with a number of fun tools.

    I think what will end up working best is a system somewhat like the Mod54 setup. I mean, it's pretty neat. It would be pretty easy to homebrew, really, and I think you could do 3 5x7 in the same Paterson tank that you can do 5 4x5 in. I'm going to hit Lowes this weekend because, well, I like it there, so I'll see what I can do. I'll burn a sheet of 5x7 for the cause. I found a film holder hiding in my daughter's room that's loaded.
     
  17. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Ok, I'm working out of town for the foreseeable future, so I'll try to describe what I have been thinking and you can test it out. I am not in a position to do it from a hotel room across country from my darkroom.

    First you have to open the reel. They come apart pretty easily.

    Then hunt in the PVC, ABS, CPVC piping at (somewhere - Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware) for a piece of pipe that has an I.D. big enough to accept the smaller hub from the reel. But hopefully not too big.

    I think CPVC will be the thinnest. So that's my first choice.

    I expect you'll have to reduce the smaller hub and ream out the larger one. But one should be able to make a fixed reel of any arbitrary width with the pipe extending the middle. And as long as the ends are cut square then one can expect to butt the bottom flush and the unit will be square as well.

    Obviously the width should be sized to accept the 5" dimensions of the film. I don't know if the 5" side of 4x5 and the 5" side of 5x7 are exactly the same or not.

    This should be a reel that you could push sheets of film into the spiral slots if you tried. I suspect the plastic pipe glues will work to hold it all together.

    Now, you cannot just push sheets of film into the reel because they'll move and overlap, ruining your film during processing. Also, the 5" edge presents a giant lip for the liquid to pull the film out of the slots. So the next piece is crucial.

    We'll need stabilizers between sheets of film, and at the front edge of the first sheet as well as the trailing edge of the last sheet.

    Phototherm made the 120 stabilizers out of 1" mini blinds. So this is a pretty good material. Steal the bottom one or two blades, down where a bunch pack together, from a regular 1" plastic mini blind.

    The stabilizers need to be cut to length so they'll slip into the spiral like a crossbar.

    Obviously "just a piece of mini blind" will not prevent the sheet from slipping, so we'll need to use them as pockets somehow. My thinking is to take two pieces cut to length, then sew them together so that they can clamp the film edge.

    Sewing right down the middle will make the pocket too big, so my suspicion is that it will take two seams to make adequate pockets.

    One stabilizer needs to go into the spool first to hold the leading edge of the first sheet. Then the first sheet needs to be loaded. After the first sheet another stabilizer with the trailing edge of the first sheet secured. A second sheet goes in with its leading edge inserted into the back of the stabilizer bar. Then a stabilizer bar bringing up the rear.

    I'm certain that two sheets will fit, and three might fit. Three sheets is only 21 inches into the spiral, but sheet film is thick compared to roll film, so getting it to insert all the way to the center is foolhardy.

    Does any of this make sense? It's tough to describe a vision in words.