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  1. #1

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    MOD 54: Experiences?

    I've always developed my sheet film the same way - homemade slosher in open trays. I use intermittent agitation for all my plus, minus and compensating development so the slosher has always been perfect for me. It is relatively simple and gives me exceptionally even development. However sometimes I can't resist the urge to experiment with something - even though I don't have any problems to solve and I know the new gadget won't improve the results. It's for fun more than anything else.

    Case in point, the Mod 54 system. I hadn't heard of it before but there have been a few references to it relatively recently on APUG. So anyway, it just looks so cool I want to try it. The only bummer is I'll have to get a Patterson tank. I don't like those things at all.

    Looking at the pictures of the Mod 54 on the website, one thing that puzzles me is, those finger-tabs that hold the sheets seem to extend pretty far into the image area of the sheet. Why would that not cause development issues - ie increased development around the tabs, reduced development under the tabs etc?

    Anybody have any experience with this sexy looking system?

    Thanks
    Michael

  2. #2
    wildbill's Avatar
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    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  3. #3
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    I use one for all my 4x5 work, and love it. Very convenient, as I primarily shoot 120 and 35mm roll film, which I develop in a mult-reel paterson tank. Never had any development issues related to the tank, the only mistakes have been related...
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
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    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the link and thanks Chris.

    I guess I'll just have to try it and see for myself. I just wish someone made one of these insert things for stainless steel tanks. I don't like the Patterson tanks.

  5. #5

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    DIfficult to use, great results

    I've been using one of these for about two years, and have some film developing inside one right now.

    I find it epically difficult and fiddly to load the film onto the Mod 54 in a dark changing bag. Much more frustrating than either my 4x5 Nikor spiral reel tank, or my Kodak metal hangers (dip + dunk). It's so easy to accidentally get two sheets of film in contact with each other (seated in the same notch). Really, I sometimes want to throw it onto the braai (barbeque for you non-South-Africans) and watch it melt...

    Still, the results are as promised, perfectly even and streak-free, which is why I stick with it.
    Last edited by philosomatographer; 12-29-2013 at 09:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    Michael, you may also want to consider HP CombiPlan if you can get it. I've been using it for over a decade now.
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles

  7. #7
    Regular Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I've always developed my sheet film the same way - homemade slosher in open trays. I use intermittent agitation for all my plus, minus and compensating development so the slosher has always been perfect for me. It is relatively simple and gives me exceptionally even development. However sometimes I can't resist the urge to experiment with something - even though I don't have any problems to solve and I know the new gadget won't improve the results. It's for fun more than anything else.

    Case in point, the Mod 54 system. I hadn't heard of it before but there have been a few references to it relatively recently on APUG. So anyway, it just looks so cool I want to try it. The only bummer is I'll have to get a Patterson tank. I don't like those things at all.

    Looking at the pictures of the Mod 54 on the website, one thing that puzzles me is, those finger-tabs that hold the sheets seem to extend pretty far into the image area of the sheet. Why would that not cause development issues - ie increased development around the tabs, reduced development under the tabs etc?

    Anybody have any experience with this sexy looking system?

    Thanks
    Michael

    All the problems you have identified are real.

    You might prefer this "experiment". I use no other method now for sheet film. It's ideal if you use Pyrogallol or Catechol based developers as there is no need for your skin to be in contact with the chemicals...

    http://freepdfhosting.com/f640343f29.pdf

    RR

  8. #8
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Regular Rod View Post
    All the problems you have identified are real.

    You might prefer this "experiment". I use no other method now for sheet film. It's ideal if you use Pyrogallol or Catechol based developers as there is no need for your skin to be in contact with the chemicals...

    http://freepdfhosting.com/f640343f29.pdf

    RR
    RR

    Don't be a troll, he only listed one problem and it was the finger tabs, and it's not even a problem at all, have you ever even used one?

    OP I think by not having it in your hand you're actually not sort of understanding how it functions which is why you think that that might be a problem. The film faces inward and all the pressure is on the back of the film not on the emulsion, there's actually some space between the inside part of the tab and the emulsion so the emulsion never touches the fingers, so there's no uneven development issues as the developer is in full contact with the film the entire time.

    As long as you're not shaking the thing around a lot, there's also no issue with the film pieces coming out of the holder, but after using it a lot, I have found that you do have to be gentle not for concern over the film coming loose but rather to prevent scratching from those fingers on the backside of the film, however I've never noticed the scratching to actually interfere with the image, just that it's noticeable if you agitate vigorously. If you use regular film holders, it certainly doesn't come into the image anyway, however if you're using graphflex holders, then the image will be slightly wider and then it would slightly enter the image area.

    Overall it's not a bad option for hand developing especially if you're using most of it in the daylight, and I've never had any streaking or any kind of issues with the images that I produced
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  9. #9
    drumlin's Avatar
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    I don't have issues loading film, and I'm more hamfisted than most. I do have a recent variant -- I think he's updated the molds some based on user feedback and the like.

    I think it's an elegant solution for the small time dabbler into sheet film (eg myself) who likes a daylight tank and doesn't want to invest in a big Jobo.

    I ordered mine from B&H and saved on overseas shipping.

  10. #10

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    I have the older version, I develop only 4 sheets at the time. No problems.

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