Yankee sheet film tank
Last month there was a thread about problems with uneven development using the Yankee tank. Today I developed 8 sheets of 4x5 Agfa APX 100 in D 76 diluted 1:1 for 10 minutes. I prewashed for 1 minute, drained the stained water and prewashed for an additional minute before starting the developer. There is no uneven development on any of the sheets. I don't know if the credit goes to the prewashing or the long development time or both. Years ago using the same tank I did have some uneven development using Super XX and DK 50. I think I did not prewash at that time.
Been using the tank for about 2 years with 4X5 & 2X3 sheet film with no problems. Using Diafine, though, which is fool-proof. If I try another developer, will include your recommended pre-wash.
I will be using one of these tanks very soon, and have read every post I could find on the web, really !. There are so many variations it's mind boggling. Could both of you post your "exact" agitation method. Please be detailed about it.
My experience with this tank is that you can't agitate too much...I mean really, shake the s*** out of it. That was the only way I found to get even development consistently. Your mileage may vary.
The Yankee tank I have was used when I bought it 30 years ago, but I don't know if new models are any different. The one I have has arrows on the lid indicating diection of agitation (shake in the longer direction only). I think it is important to put some large rubber bands or tape around the tank to prevent the lid from lifting open while you are agitating. For 4x5 it takes 55 ounces of liquids in my old tank. I agitated very vigorously for the first 15 or 20 seconds to dislodge any air bubbles that might be trapped between the sheets or in some of the many grooves. After that I shook vigorously for 5 seconds each minute. I used D 76 diluted 1:1 to increase the development time. I kept the tank in the sink for the entire process because some liquid splashes out the way I shake the tank. I think it is very important to prewash the film and drain the water before pouring in the developer. It takes a while to fill the tank so you probably will want to use a funnel to speed up the process. Expect to lose some liquid each time you fill the tank. You will probably have 64 ounces or more when you start. I think successful development is easy if reasonable care is taken .
I know I'm a few days late into this thread, but for what it's worth, I've used the same Yankee 4x5 tank since the early seventies and have never had a lick of trouble with it. I use it anytime I don't feel like sitting in the dark, and my only complaint is the amount of chems it takes. Usually I use it when using Gainer's vit C developer with APX 100. It's a very low cost developer, and 55 oz probably costs less than a quarter. I always presoak and agitate side to side for ten seconds per min. Fairly vigorous agitation, sometimes slopping a little liquid out of the joint between the top and the tank. I also tap the tank on the counter a couple of times at the beginning of the presoak and dev time to knock loose any air bubbles. I have never had streaks, drag marks or any other problems that some folks seem to have.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind with these tanks. Try not to use the small hole in the top for filling. If possible, use the tank with the lid off in a dark room for filling of developer, then set the inner holder in place with presoaked film. Filling can take a bit of time.
A staining developer (PMK) can cause uneven development of continuous tone areas (clear blue sky). I was never able to use the tank with PMK in this situation, even with shaking the s*** out of the tank every 15 seconds as recommended with PMK. It was subtle, but evident in the sky areas, as we seldom have clouds here most times of the year.
You need to be able to pour chemicals rapidly to keep from getting uneven development.
I've used my (fairly new) Yankee tank probably three times over the past three years, and haven't had any problems yet with uneven development. I was using Tmax 100 4x5, and the developer was Dektol. I even filled the tank through the small hole in the top with the lights on. I was simply following instructions, and possibly lucked out. I've got some of the new EDU 200 negs to try with Xtol, so we'll see what happens!