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  1. #1

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    COmments on SS tank developing with hangers

    I am talking about the one gallon square tanks that you put the hangers in and lift them out for agitation. I am not sure what their official name is.

    In my quest to stop getting uneven development on my negs and not damage the emulsion I have begun thinking about tanks and hangers. At one point I read that this method was not good and rife with problems. Is this true?

    If there are folks out there working with this method of film processing I would like to here about it. Are the stories of uneven and inconsistent development true?
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #2
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I don't use them, but considering that tanks and hangers have been the leading commercial processing method for decades, I'd be surprised at any uneven development when using that method. The obvious down-side, I'd think, is the large volume of chemicals required, and the associated workflow issues.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  3. #3

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    That is what I thought but I read a number of years ago when I was just starting LF that people got wave patterns because of the way the chemicals rebounded off the Sides of the hangers during agitation. Like if you are processing in too small a tray.

    I started screwing up negs when I began looking to save chemicals as my negs got bigger. BTZS type tubes were a disaster, drum processing has proven to just not work for me. And I cannot afford a jobo. I fugure I can develope all of my 5x7 negs at one shot using the gainer method of filling for a presoak, dropping in the right amount of Developer concentrate then dropping in the right fix concentrate. One tank for the whole process. Then I dump it all out and wash, hypo and wash. Gainer is a pretty crafty guy. If this does not work I have no problem doing it the old fashioned way. I am just plain fed up with my processing problems. I assumed it was something I am doing wrong. At this point I need to go back to the basics but still be able to process in volumn.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  4. #4
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Although many pro labs had tanks set up with nitrogen burst systems for agitation, I believe the preferred manual method is to lift the frames (all frames at once using lifter bars) from the tank, tilt them to 45° for a couple of seconds, and then re-immerse. Next cycle, tilt the other direction. Repeat.

    I'd be leary of trying to use a single tank for everything. (What do you do with a group of hangers loaded with film while switching chemicals?) Three tanks would allow all films to be immersed in the baths at the same time.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    I believe the preferred manual method is to lift the frames (all frames at once using lifter bars) from the tank, tilt them to 45° for a couple of seconds, and then re-immerse. Next cycle, tilt the other direction. Repeat.
    This is what I did at the lab I worked at. I never had a problem but had to be careful with older hangers cause sometimes...the film falls out. Ooops. I did this method if we weren't too busy. If I got busy, I put it in the Jobo. It took longer but at least, I can process a few baskets of roll film while that thing is turning.

  6. #6

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    I use the deep tank method for my developing sheet film. While I don't shoot 5x7, the results should be comparible.

    I do use the small tanks (8 sheets in single hangers) for small batches but in general all the work I shoot in the studio goes in 4-up hangers that fit in the 13L big tanks. The one change I do is my developer... Because I only develop 5 hangers (20 sheets) at a time, I use a slim version of the deeptank. I bought it on ebay. It allows me to use less chemistry that is one shot, and then the other tanks are the standard size. (4L of chemistry for 20 sheets) Here's my process...

    I only use PMK with water presoak and fixer.

    I load up the hangers and make sure that the emulsion side goes onto the hanger side that has all the holes drilled in it. If I don't do this, I find I get strange agitation marks... By rotating the emulsion out to this more open side, even development is achieved.

    I load up 5 hangers (20 sheets) and put them off to the side... I then grab a large elastic band and put it around the whole group of hangers over the middle bar. This creates 1 unit to hang onto... I started this because I was leary about not being able to fit it all into the small tank in the dark. 5 JUST fits in... I could stop doing it now due to experience, but I'm used to it so it's part of a routine I guess...

    I keep a floating lid on the fixer tank so I keep reusing that... When not in use I put it into a bunch of bottles for storage.

    Water, developer, water, fixer... I use a big washer that is part of this stainless steel deeptank line... The system costs a fortune new, but I picked them up from someone getting out of wet processing of colour film... I'm sure a system like this is out there if you find it useful... With so many darkrooms packing up, they aren't that expensive anymore...

    I can also/and do process 18 rolls of 120 at a time in a basket... Again, perfectly even development.

    Any questions, feel free to PM me... Good luck!

    joe

  7. #7

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    Joe
    You don't mention the brand you use. I really know next to nothing about this and would like to explore it more.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Joe
    You don't mention the brand you use. I really know next to nothing about this and would like to explore it more.
    Brand?? Hmmmmmmm... I'm not near them so I may have to look... But here is a link to what type of equipment I'm talking about.

    Small Version of Deep Tanks w/hangers

    Hope that helps,

    joe

  9. #9

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    hi mark

    i used deep tank and hangers for 9 years with no problems. i processed 5x7 sheets for a portrait photographer (maybe 50-70 sheets a day) in the big tanks, and i processed a bunch of 4x5 sheets in smaller tanks - both improvised tupperware containers which worked great, and stainless steel mini tanks. hangers work great once you get the hang of using them, but be aware that sometimes you might buy a bad hanger on the used market. (i am speaking of my own experience) and you will process your film like every other time, but when you inspect your sheets after the processing is done, you will notice small circles, or lines on the edges of the hangers from where the film wasn't allowed to move about ( or something like that) you won't be able to figure out what hanger was the culprit and after getting these marks on enough film you might decide to process using a different method.

    since then i have processed my film in trays, and i also have a unicolor drum &C, but i often think about those tanks and how easy they were to use. i have also wanted to use "777" developer and DK50 again and they work great in deep tanks, not in trays ... so maybe i'll be using hangers again someday, but nervously since i would buy all my hangers used considering they are probably an arm and a leg by comparison if buying them new ...

    good luck

    -john
    Last edited by jnanian; 02-17-2005 at 10:11 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  10. #10

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    Is there anyway to inspect the hangers to see which are too tight?
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

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