Tanks, but no tanks

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Flotsam, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    When I set up my little B&W darkroom area several months ago, I decided to use the Jobo CPE2 that I bought years ago to process E-6. The convenience and self-contained aspects and hands-off agitation were attractive. I had misgivings about rotary processing B&W, that the constant active agitation would cause the highlights to over develop while leaving the shadows in the dust. I know that better photographers than I are getting fine results but I find that I have to rate my film one or two stops lower just to get some detail into the shadows and then I have to reduce my developing times by 30% just to keep the highlights from blocking up.

    I give up. It is time to simplify. I dug out my Nikkor tanks and Stainless Steel reels. Invertable or using a lift rod, I think that those rests in between brief agitations are essential to holding down the highlights and allowing the low densities build up. I don't care what anyone says, "LIFE _DOES_ EXIST BELOW ZONE IV". And I want it! What is your experience?

    It will be a PITA to retest all my film/dev combos again but it will be well worth it not to have to deal with loading those d@mned plastic reels ever again.
     
  2. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    As much as I dread processing, The only way I've ever been able to get consistant values is thru Dip and dunk for 120 and 4x5 and tanks for 35mm. I tried the automated tanks about 15 years ago and then again 2years ago wiht the same results. Clogged highlights and choppy gradations. I even tried tray processing and that gave me inconsistant results and a larger margin for error (scratches/ uneven development).
    With dip and dunk I can run up to 18 rolls 120 at once with a 2 run capacity to the chemistry or 50 sheets of 4x5 at 1 run capacity. 35mm I can run 20 rolls at a time single shot. I usually save my film so that I can process large batches at once and can get about 6 runs in a full day.
    Processing film is so important yet it's the part I dread the most, long boring hours of mixing chemistry, loading reels and holders and agitating only to be followed by washing and drying then waiting to see what jewels are laying in wait to be printed.
    I suspect this is more than you ask for but it's saturday night and I'm supposed to be washing the floor so thanks for the outlet to avoid housework.
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Thomas,
    Are you using a 3 1/2 Gallon sinkline and hangers? What are you using as a developer? The only B&W replenishment system that I've run is HC-110. Not for me anymore. It's one shot all the way. Low,low volume.
     
  4. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    Yes Neal, I'm using 3 1/2 gallon tanks with XTol. I used Hc110 along time ago also, have been very happy with XTol. Would like to try some thing new but really don't have the guts or the time.
     
  5. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    Flotsam:
    I have used your specific method for years (YEARS) mainly with HC110, D76, and D23. I agree that the still time between agitation is important. Also, I only agitate three inversions each minute contrary to Kodak’s advice of 30-second intervals.