Time to purchase a new tank and reels

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Chris Harvey, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. Chris Harvey

    Chris Harvey Member

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    Dear All, firstly this is an amazing resourceful site - ive had great help and advice so thanks everyone.

    The point of the post, I have an oldish AP tank with white plastic reels. I do find these very fiddley to load with 120 film in a changing bag plust the tank leaks on inversion, so i think really need to invest in a new system.

    I'd really like to use stainless steel reels as people seem to favour them. Can anyone recommend a systerm to purchase? Ideally i'd like the capacity to be able to process two 120 films at once.

    Thanks in advance

    Chris
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The general consensus here is Hewes brand, or old Nikkor stainless reels and tanks if they can be found.
     
  3. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    If you intend to do colour in the future, I suggest buying into the Jobo system. The two more recent systems are the 1500 series and the 2500 series. The latter is larger and the plastic reels are easier to load. The former is smaller and allows - when using a rotary processor - great savings in chemicals. You can find specific stainless steel Hewes reels for the Jobo 1500 system.

    When you buy a rotary processor you must also buy a cog-lid to use your tanks with it. You need only one lid even if you have several tanks. E.g. you can buy 1510 (small tank for 1 reel), 1520 (tank for two reels) an then add "extensions" to arrive up to 5 reels (possibly more). With all those you could use the same cog-lid.
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There should be hundreds of used SS tanks and reels available. Since you want to be able to do two 120 reels at a time you want what is called a 4 reel tank. The size is usually given as 35mm reel capacity. The 120 reels are sturdier than the 35mm reels, but make sure they are not dented. Nikor is another good manufacturer.
     
  5. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    I find it hard to load the steel reels in a changing bag and if you have a big steel tank in there. Loading the steel reel requires more delicacy and bit more space imo, otherwise you can bend and mark the film. It happened occasionally to me.
    Have you tried different plastic reels ? http://freestylephoto.biz/55043-Arista-Premium-Plastic-Developing-Reel
    I use another brand of this design. I find it far better to use.

    I am not speaking against steel system. I own both plastic and steel. But I no longer use steel reels in changing bag. I believe a changing tent is more suitable.
     
  6. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Don't expect stainless rig to be any better in the leaking dept.
    I own probably 4-5 plastic setups and 4 ss.
    They all leak to some degree.
     
  7. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Regarding plastic reels becoming hard to load, the two most common causes are:

    1) Deposits of final rinse / stabilizer on the plastic reel. Although somebody says they are not removable, my experience is that a reel can become noticeably cleaner with: energetic brush with a toothbrush, warm water and dish soap; followed by a lot of dish soap applied on the reels and let it there for hours; followed by another vigorous brush while rinsing with warm water. Somebody cleans their plastic reels in a dish-washer (dish-washer soap is more "aggressive" than hand-washing soap). Colour treatment goes at around 40 °C so I would not wash them past that temperature ("economic" program).

    2) Humidity in the changing bag, due to seasonal heat and hands perspiration, made worse by the synthetic tissue falling over the hands. Remedies are: using a changing tent instead of a changing bag: in a changing tent there is an internal frame which keeps the tissue away from the hands and keeps the inner volume "large"; making some sort of a frame (with wood, plastic tubing, cardboard, wood, whatever) to put inside the changing bag so that it works like a changing tent.

    Hope this helps
    Fabrizio
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Stainless tanks with plastic lids do not leak according to my experience. I use Adorama branded (I think it's KALT) tanks. It has lasted 2 years so far with no damage. Lids are separately purchasable if you break them.

    I use Hewes for 35mm and generic for 120. I haven't seen too much variations on 120... at least not as much as 35mm kind.
     
  9. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I would go for SS tanks, but with plastic or vinyl tops (mine are Kinderman, and they absolutely do not leak). Older Nikkor tanks had SS tops, and the little filler cap can be trouble if it isn't the one made for that lid, I wouldn't buy a used one. For reels, I've always preferred Nikkor - they have a very simple "hooking in" device. If not Nikkor, then Hewes.
     
  10. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    The one reason I don't like plastic tops for ss is they are slow to fill.
    I don't use them but now you guys mention it, I don't remember it leaking when I did try it.
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    You only need and can only use the cog lid with the lift. If you don't have the lift you use the regular lid and the magnet.

    I have the lift and it's worthwhile but sometimes buying a used Jobo one takes what one finds.

    But that isn't what the OP asked. I always found good plastic reels easier to load than steel (bad cheap plastic reels are horrid though) so can't help much. SS versus plastic is a hugely YMMV kind of thing.
     
  12. Smudger

    Smudger Member

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    Chris - the key to your problem may be the film reels you are using, but,after many years loading 120 film, because my customers needed pictures, I left S/S reels behind. Used Jobo plastic,and they still are the best plastic I have used. I have Kindermann 120 s/s,but would only use them in an emergency - although the construction and design is superb.
    Describe your AP reels -do they have a cutout in the edge - to push the film through, or the Paterson style ball- bearings ?
    And the dark-bag - any problems with sweaty hands, fabric getting in the way?
    The thing about stainless steel is that the natural "spring",acrossways,of 35mm film allows the s/s reel to ease the film into the spiral .
    . But most 120 b&w films I encounter are pretty thin-based, and they don't have the Spring . This means that bowing the film to allow it to ease into the metal spool is an invitation for the Killer -
    shaped "Pressure Marks ",where you bowed the film just a little too much . When you see them,they are crescent shaped white/black arrowheads permanently etched into your negatives.
    Plastic reels of either design pull the film into themselves in a lengthways direction - which IMHO,
    is the way to go. They do need a scrub with an old toothbrush from time to time.
    Another observation - All Tanks Leak. Collect it in a dish and re-add to the tank. Or: Check the gasket - absent ?
    Hewes & Nikkor are great,I'm sure, but they are both s/s, and use the same design principles described above.
     
  13. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I use a 30 year old Paterson tank and reels and don't have problems loading 120 in a changing bag. Minimal leaks when inverted but it did that new. Humidity in the changing bag can be eliminated by putting a clean, dry, absorbent, lint free towel inside the back of the bag. Of course the reels must be clean and dry also. I tried the SS reels but didn't get the hang of it so I stuck with the Paterson.
     
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  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Durst 120 plastic tanks do not leak, not even a drop. The tank top fit is so good. While the reel is plastic the films is feed into the middle by a loading apparatus which may be sold with the tank or separately. You do need this to use the tank. Once you have pushed the film under the spring loaded middle you simple wind the film on with the small plastic crank handle built into the reel via the feeder apparatus.

    It is inversion only so cannot be used on a Jobo which may or may not give you problems with colour film but other than that possible issue it ticks all the other boxes.

    pentaxuser
     
  16. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    This Durst plastic tank must be one of the "mythical" daylight loading I have read about, but never seen neither in picture nor in person.

    I suppose it can be adapted to a Jobo non-lift machine by glueing on its bottom a proper magnet.
     
  17. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Hewes makes a film loader for their SS reels. I've never had one or used one, but it might help to avoid the crescent shaped creases if you want to load 120 film on an SS reel. Rather than go that route, I practiced a lot. I can now load 120 film on an SS reel without damaging the film.

    I use both plastic and steel reels and tanks. Lately I've been using Hewes 35mm and 120 SS reels in Jobo 1500 drums on my CPP-2. You'll need the special metal core with the 1500 series drum. They also work fine in any tank designed for SS reels.
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    No its a normal tank that looks like any other and has to be loaded in darkness. Good point about the magnet. I can think of no reason why it wouldn't work

    pentaxuser
     
  19. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Aarrgghh ... I've never seen any reference to this metal core. Can you post a picture? Is it difficult to find? Do you think Hewes still produces it?

    I was tempted to buy a couple of 135 SS reels for the Jobo 1500 series (I have some 1510 and a 1520) and I now see it wouldn't have been enough to buy the reels, and maybe I would have remained "stuck" without SS cores.

    Are the metal cores also produced by Hewes? In case, do they have a part number (for 1510, 1520 etc.). I don't find any information on the Hewes web site.

    Thanks for any information
    Fabrizio
     
  20. AlbertZeroK

    AlbertZeroK Member

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    By the time you buy a Jobo, you really should just invest in a phototherm sidekick
     
  21. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    Me too.
    I you are having trouble getting film started on the reel look under my name for a few posts on a simple trick for getting the film started.
     
  22. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Not the same thing at all. The Sidekick may be better at what it does, but doesn't do as much. For one thing I shoot 4x5. Unless I read incorrectly, the Sidekick won't do 4x5 film.
     
  23. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    You have buy a rather expensive insert to do 4x5. Once you have that insert it is an awesome 4x5 processor. But without it there is no way to make it work.
     
  24. AlbertZeroK

    AlbertZeroK Member

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    With the insert it does 4X5. AND you are correct. Thephototherm does not process paper. But owning a phototherm will change your life:smile:
     
  25. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    The cores were made by Jobo, as far as I know. I have several sizes. I could post a picture perhaps this evening if I can recall how to do that.

    You also have to twist and remove the light safe funnel cap inside the lid of your 1500 tank and put in a special one that doesn't have a hole in the middle of it. The special one has a plug in the middle to keep out the light since the metal core is just a rod, not a tube as with the plastic cores. The end of the metal rod fits into the plug.

    Here are some of the Jobo part numbers:

    1 reel Centercore #1561
    4 reel Centercore #1562
    5 reel Centercore #1563
    8 reel Centercore #1564

    The reel count is for 35mm. You can fit half as many 120 reels, in general. According to an old Jobo catalog I have, you must use a Jobo lift and cog system, not the magnet setup. The catalog says it's not intended for hand inversion tanks either.

    I've got the 1561/62/63 and a 1558, which was a package with the 1564 core and some 120 reels.


    Edit: OK, it looks like I don't have to post a picture. I found this one here on the Jobo site:
    http://www.jobo.com/jobo_service_analog/us_analog/instructions/instructions_load_reels_ss.htm

    Here is some other info on the reels, cores, and tanks.
     

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  26. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Very many thanks.

    Stainless steel reels #1565 are usable in place of the plastic #1501 ones, with the normal plastic rods.

    The other stainless steeel reels have to be used with the specific stainless steel rods.

    In my case, it's either #1565 or nothing

    Fabrizio