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  1. #1
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Cheap equipment question

    Has anyone used the plastic tanks with aprons that Freestyle sells? They're about $5 each for 35 mm, and $7 for 120 size; look like they're built like a stainless tank (nesting cap and bottom, with a baffle light trap in the top, and inversion cap), but all plastic. I'm thinking of getting a couple of each with my next film older, just to have as backups. I get visions of loading all my tanks (like I did today) and then wanting to prioritize a roll that's just come out of a camera (like if the aliens land in the side yard). Having one or two of these in each size could save the day...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Donald:

    I bought a 120 tank recently, but more as an afterthought really, because I was mainly interested in getting some more film aprons.

    I haven't used the tank but I intend to try. It is very light weight and seemingly flimsy, and I don't know how leak proof (or evem light proof) it might be, but it does have the advantage of being closely matched in size with the 120 roll.

    I doubt that it will be big enough to use with dilute developer, but I haven't measured.

    I have gone back to using aprons, because they work for me.

    Matt

  3. #3

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    I have not used the aprons from Freestyle, but in the distant past I used the Kodak aprons without any problems. The old Kodak tanks were slow to fill and empty, but easy to use and can be used wet.

  4. #4
    Anupam Basu's Avatar
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    How do these work?

    Although I have been developing film for a while now, I have only used plastic universal tanks with plastic reels. So could anyone explain how these tanks are filled and drained? I mean, it just looks like a plastic container with no daylight filling mechanism. I might just get one to try.

  5. #5
    titrisol's Avatar
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    The Aprons used to be a simple/cheap way to do it
    Just like developing film in the canister!

    Heck you could even make your own aprons with corrugated plastic.

    But there were always issues with the film moving up and down and getting stuck to the aprons.
    Mama took my APX away.....

  6. #6
    MattKing's Avatar
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    An update:

    I figured out one of the reasons that the 120 tank seemed flimsy - the light baffle clips into the lid. It was loose and unclipped when I received it.

    I filled up the tank with water - it requires 360ml (12 oz) to fill to the very top, with apron in (but no film in).

    There is very little space between the top of the apron, and the bottom of the (now clipped in) light baffle.

    The tank didnt leak when inverted or agitated. It also filled quite quickly. The cap for the filler hole fits quite tightly.

    The entire tank and lid is made of a medium hard black plastic. The lid fits tightly. When wet, the tank is a bit slippery, and smooth, so it is a bit hard for me to hold tightly enough when I am trying to take the lid off.

    I too have been using Kodak aprons, but I use them (and the accompanying top plates/weights) in a Kinderman plastic tank, that fills more quickly, and has a cap that seals.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anupam Basu
    So could anyone explain how these tanks are filled and drained? I mean, it just looks like a plastic container with no daylight filling mechanism. I might just get one to try.
    The film is wound up in a plastic apron that keeps the film seperated but allows for the chemistry to circulate. The Kodak version has a weighed top plate that kept the apron and film from floating. The lid is designed just like most other day light tanks with a built in baffle.

    Paul

  8. #8
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing
    I figured out one of the reasons that the 120 tank seemed flimsy - the light baffle clips into the lid. It was loose and unclipped when I received it.

    I filled up the tank with water - it requires 360ml (12 oz) to fill to the very top, with apron in (but no film in).

    There is very little space between the top of the apron, and the bottom of the (now clipped in) light baffle.

    The tank didnt leak when inverted or agitated. It also filled quite quickly. The cap for the filler hole fits quite tightly.

    The entire tank and lid is made of a medium hard black plastic. The lid fits tightly. When wet, the tank is a bit slippery, and smooth, so it is a bit hard for me to hold tightly enough when I am trying to take the lid off.
    Nice -- sounds like these are actually decently usable tanks (and I like the smaller capacity, though it's obvious there'll be no "two 35 mm in a 120 tank" silliness here!). I think I'll grab one or two of each size on my next Freestyle order, then, since I've got some tax refund money available...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  9. #9

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    I been told that these apron style tanks are much easier to use for those with less-then-steady hands or difficulty with "fine motor skills".

    (That's not to suggest that that's their only use.)

  10. #10
    glbeas's Avatar
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    I wonder how the apron would affect the action of stand development? Seems the apron would restrict the movement of the developer somewhat.
    Gary Beasley

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