The Refremas are in a complete league of their own. Terry Khan spent his whole career going from lab to lab in NA and beyond adjusting the burst systems to get even flow.
ND tests would be done on E6 film , basically neutral lit gray backgrounds and then processed on a full rack which would hold 6-10 4x5 at a time.
Terry's drill would be to evenly match the density on four corners , middle , top and bottom.
Colourgenics in Toronto would bring him in for tune ups on their machine and were cherished by commercial shooters who needed even and consistent development.
The burst was adjusted top to bottom side to side to even out the agitation in the larger tank.
Burst from the bottom in smaller tanks only will agitate the film but certainly not even as suggested by some here.
Originally Posted by CGW
Would it be reasonable to only introduce burst agitiation into the developer tank for uniformity? Then simply use regular hand agitiation techniques for the remaining solutions? If so, then there might be a simpler path open for some type of a DIY solution. This is something I've also mulled over for my 6-hanger, 1-gallon, 4-tank system.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Probably should have said "attempted miniaturization." As pro labs fade, we'll probably see more of these, though with demand slipping, I'm not sensing it becoming a growth industry.
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
Kodak released a complete nitrogen burst system in the '50s along with the new color paper processes. It was in use in-house at EK for years before that.
So, regarding Refrema, which came first? IDK. Kodak sold several sizes.
They also introduced the Saran basket at that time, for processing sheet film and paper.
Jeff the View Camera Magazine Article on Gas Burst Agitation was in the May/June 2007 issue. I have the Kodak E57 publication that I received from Michael Kadillak he was very helpful, let me know if you need it.
I had three Arkay one gallon stainless tanks with floating lids that I wanted to use. I contacted Alistair Inglis about using one of his plenums in these tanks but it was the wrong size. California Stainless makes a one gallon Gas Burst System with exactly the same sized tank. I called them and although their plenums are made to be installed in their tanks they made one for me with a 90 degree elbow and hose attached. I installed the plenum at the bottom of an arkay rack that can be moved from tank to tank. Works great. You could just buy one of the Cal Stainless one gallon tanks/plenum and do the stop and fix manually. Finding the burst timer other than Inglis or Cal Stainless is becoming difficult. For the timer I found an Arkay BT210 on ebay and later found another Kodak Burst timer there.
At first I was using Xtol replenished and this worked very well but I didn't feel that I was developing enough film through it to maintain a steady state. I now use Pyrocat HD 1:1:100 and I also do semi-stand 1:1.5:150 and Nitrogen Burst works great for all of it.
Hope this helps
Great post, Dave!
Lots of good information. For those interested, here's the California Stainless Manufacturing site. Lots of great darkroom equipment. And here's a page describing their gaseous burst hardware (no prices, though). Their timer is shown at the bottom of the page, along with a mention of their one-gallon plenum.
And somewhat off-topic, but probably also worthy of mention, for everyone who thought that low pressure sodium vapor darkroom safelight illumination went extinct with the Thomas Duplex, here's their OC-1012 Sodium Vapor Safelight - a similar-design look-alike of the Duplex.
I may look into that ready-made Arkay-compatible one-gallon gaseous burst tank you mentioned.
I have an Arkay E6 sink which has a complete nitrogen burst setup. Like Vinny said, it takes a lot of chemistry and my Jobo and stand development routines work so well that I never use the burst system..Evan
Looks like the Inglis system uses a lot less chemistry - I'm guessing around 1 liter for 6 sheets, but I emailed him to verify that.
Originally Posted by eclarke
Dave, could you scan the E-57 document and attach it here as a .pdf? That would let everyone get a copy without having to send separate emails.
Just verified - under 2 liters for 6 4x5.
Originally Posted by Jeff Bannow