Suggestions for 4x5 Developing Tank?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by chrisl, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a couple Unicolor drums that I've been using that leaks a small amount. I want to try PMK, but wanted to use sealed tanks. I read online you can try applying silicon to the seal, press tank and lid together, wait to dry, unscrew and ya got a new seal. No. tried once, and it ripped apart breaking the seal...tried again w. more silicon, and now I can't get it open! LOL

    Anyway, I like being able to add chemicals in daylight...so I scrapped those BTZS tubes. Jobo has a single reel 4x5 tank for like $125...and that expert drum for 4x5 does 6 sheets at a time buts costs $250! Wow. Anyway, Xmas is coming and need to know what to get. I plan on using my unicolor/besseler motor bases for rotary processing.

    Thanks for any and all ideas!!

    Chris
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  3. lee

    lee Member

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    I cannot confirm this but have heard that those seals in the Unicolor can be removed and placed in pretty hot water and they return to their original shape and will be like new. Again, I have never tried this so if you try it and it works post again and let us know how it went.


    lee\c
     
  4. lee

    lee Member

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    and that expert drum for 4x5 does 6 sheets at a time buts costs $250! Wow!

    The problem with the Expert Drum from Jobo it is very hard to get the chemicals in to the drum. There is a hole for each film and the whole thing looks like a cylinder for a revolver (6 shots). The drum needs to be moving the whole time the liquid is being poured in or it will not fill correctly. Plus the diameter of the thing is huge and it will not make a full rotation on a Unicolor motor base. Maybe people in the engineering trade could modify it so that it will make a full rotation but it is out of my league to try and create something like that.

    Myownself, I tray develop. With PMK I use Nitrial gloves and don't worry about it.

    lee\c
     
  5. brimc76

    brimc76 Member

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    I have tried the Unicolor drum seals in very hot water to try to stop leaks but the seals ended up stretching and now don't really fit properly. The leaks were worse. I then tried the silicon treatment and it didn't really stop the leaks fully. I then put the original Unicolor seal back in over top of the silicon and "WOW" - no more leaks! I've used the drum at least 10 times since and everything is still dry - not a drop! If you've put silicon in the lid already try it with the Unicolor seal back in.
     
  6. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    If you want Jobo try the 2500 series tanks. The 2551 will hold two 2509N reels for 12 sheets. The 2521 will hold one reel and you can do 6 sheets. The 2583 and 2593 will let you use three and four reels respectively. In my experience you don't need the loader and guides, but they may make it easier.

    You should also look at the Combiplan tank. I like mine alot and still use it over the Job most of the time.
     
  7. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    If you go to Calumet, what you want is the single-sheet kit, which is a 2521 drum + 2509N reel. They're $42.00 and $30 each. I use this combination for 4x5 B*W, six sheets at a time, with hand agitation, with no noticable problems yet. On jobo's site they list a hand-roller base (unpowered), which would be more convenient than rolling across the sink and could be left in a thermal bath.
     
  8. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    So do these 2521 tanks fit on the Unicolor motor base? Sounds about what I'm looking for.

    Thanks Aggie, I'll keep an eye out...but if I'm asking for it for Xmas, Blake can pay for it lol!!

    And Lee, Thanks for the info on that Expert drum..that filling regime is not for me lol

    And brimc76, That sounds like an idea...I guess you used a pretty small bead of silicon, then the seal? I'd think, if you used too much silicon, then you couldn't get the lid and tank to fit together no?

    Thanks for all the help!
    Chris
     
  9. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Yes the 2500 series tanks fit on the Unicolor base.
     
  10. brimc76

    brimc76 Member

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    I took at cheap art brush( maybe 1/4") and cut the bristles down about halfway. Then I put a bit of the silicon on the lid where the seal goes and used the brush to spread it out to the edges. It is a thin layer by the time you spread it out. Once it has cured or dryed just put the Unicolor sealing ring back in over top of the silicon. It will be a little bit stiff but you will be able to turn and lock the lid. I then put about 300ml of water into the tank and left it running while I went up and ate dinner and when I came back it was running fine with no drips anywhere to be seen.
    I found this tip on the largeformatphotography page posted by GreyOwl who is a member here in APUG, and it worked like a charm.
     
  11. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    Fantastic to both of you! I'll get one of those 2500 tanks L Gephardt if I cant get these Unicolor drums sealed...and that sounds like it would work well Brimc76, so Thanks to you and GreyOwl!

    Thanks everyone for the really fast replies and quick answers! I really appreciate it!

    Chris
     
  12. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    One thing which may help, or may not, I don't know. When you put silicone on one surface and need it to not stick against the other (as in forming a new seal or gasket) try using paste wax on the second surface. Use a light cover without any excess gobs and then wipe it when it is dry.

    It sounds like you need a mold-release agent to form the gasket against one side and have it stick to the other. This works with epoxy, so I wonder if it will do the same with silicone. You might give it a try sometime. Don't know about the residual wax-developers interaction and chemistry.
     
  13. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    brmc?? did you silicon both sides of the seal?
     
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  15. brimc76

    brimc76 Member

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    No, I first tried the silicon on the lid by itself and found that it still leaked. I just tried putting the ring back in over top of the silicon sealant and tried it again. I found that all the leaks had stopped once I put the original ring seal back in over top of the silicon I had brushed on. I didn't apply anything to the Unicolor sealing ring at all - just placed it where it's suppose to be in the lid.
     
  16. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member

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    Hi,

    brimc76 has the correct answer. I posted this somewhere (cannot remember where at the moment) on how to properly seal the lids. It works like a dream!

    What is important is that you remove all of the lid seals, including the rubber one that is closest to the lid. You then spread a very thin line of silicone around the area where the rubber seal normally sits inside of the lid. I mean a real thin line of silicone, otherwise closing the lid will be a problem. I tried to achieve a line of silicone about the thickness of the glossy seal that is used in the lid. I used a cheap brush that is normally used for applying solder paste to spread the layer of silicone. You DO NOT place any silicone on the seals but rather only on the hard lid.

    Now let it dry over night. DO NOT put the rubber seal on the wet silicone. The next day re-assemble the lid with all of the seals (rubber and glossy black thin seal) and you should be good for a very long time.

    Hope this clarifies the technique.

    Kind Regards,
     
  17. Robert

    Robert Member

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    No the 2521 won't fit. You'll need the 2551 or bigger. Not much of an issue the price is about the same and the 2551 will handle more film or less film just fine.
     
  18. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    Ah! Now I got it! Thanks alot Brimc76 and Grey Wolf! I really appreciate the instructions! I didn't even see that rubber seal till you mentioned it. lol
    Thanks again guys!!

    And Robert...the bearer of bad news! lol I 'thought' that 2521 looked real short in length to fit the motor base. The 2551 is way too big for me, I rarely need to dev. that many sheets and waste alot of chemistry. Although maybe, one could use only one reel and enough chemistry for one reel in the 2551?? You know by chance Robert if that'd work??

    And Aggie also sugg. a Nikor tank...but that also looks to small to fit the base. Well...I think I'll still get the 2521 and hand rotate develop with it, and seal up these Unicolor drums as noted above and stick to these on the motor base.

    Boy..never thought this would all be so difficult getting a system put together lol

    Thanks alot for all the help everyone!!

    Chris
     
  19. Robert

    Robert Member

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    You can use :

    1 4x5 reel
    2 4x5 reels
    1 4x5 reel and one roll film reel set for 120/220
    1 4x5 reel and I think two roll film reels set for 35mm.

    The only thing is you'll always need to use at least 560ml of solution with only sheet film in the tank. Or 640ml if you've got 35mm in the tank. Be it one sheet of 4x5 of the six rolls of 120 film the tank will hold.
     
  20. chrisl

    chrisl Member

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    Thanks Robert! Great information!

    Chris
     
  21. Sherman

    Sherman Member

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    Chris,
    I'm a little late to this thread so you may have already figured out a solution. If not here is something you may be interested in trying.

    I also have Unicolor drums and have liked them very much. However I recently tried something a little different. In a box of photo stuff I bought cheap was a DevTec 8x10 print drum. This print drum is totally smooth on the inside unlike the Unicolor drum. However it has a feature I really, really like. One end is a "pour in" cap and the other is a "pour out" cap. Why does that matter? Well, the pour in cap has a cup under it. When you tilt the drum to vertical the chemicals inside pour out the "out" cap and you can simultaneously pour your next chemical in the pour in cap. No waiting for the drum to empty. The chems are caught in the cap and don't flow into the drum until you lay it down. I can lift, drain and fill in about five or six seconds. Makes for very accurate timing.

    So, I went to the local hobby shop and bought a plastic angle shaped like a "V", a couple of plastic straight pieces like little beams, and a couple of small 1/16" square pieces about 24" long. If you have a Unicolor drum you know where I'm going with this. I glued in the V just like the V in the Unicolor drum. The two straight pieces I glued in at the bottom in position to hold 4x5 sheet film in "portrait" orientation. The little 1/16" square pieces I just glued on the drum wall to allow solutions to reach the back of the film. Only two strips necessary per "side". Finally I glued in a separator in the middle of the drum to keep my film from sliding and overlapping when doing 4 sheets.

    This drum will hold four sheets of 4x5 or if you don't glue in the separator you can also do two sheets of 5x7 or one of 8x10. It will work in my Unicolor roller no problem. It is light-tight and a daylight drum. They are cheap even brand new (~$16 at Freestyle under the "Arista" name).

    HTH,
    Sherman
     
  22. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I use tupperware type tubs. I can reseal them, they don't take up much room, and they are REALLY cheap. You can even get different color for different chemicals just to jazz things up a bit. Makes people think your really organized LOL. Of course this is a "do it in the dark" procedure using hangers. I can develop a ton of film a lot quicker than the tube people as I don't have to mess around with drying etc. I can also do up to 10 sheets at a time in a pinch, more if I bought bigger tubs.
     
  23. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  24. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I've got one of those, really nice. Only thing is you now are developing your days shoot of 4x5 just like roll film, all the same. Of course I'm pretty ignorant of the finer points of plus and minus development so I'm perfectly happy with it.
     
  25. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  26. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    That would work if you were doing multiple batches, but I do good to fill the reel and don't really want to break it down into multiple runs with a partially full tank. I usually don't have much trouble printing the negs anyway so I'm not really worried by it. Maybe one of these days I'll be ambitious enough to shoot that many frames and actually keep track of the SBRs and whatever else, but not today.