I recently bought a Phototherm 4x5 adapter for my old FP-1 processor, which uses standard Paterson reels for roll film. When I got the adapter out of the box I noticed that it's perfectly sized to fit in a Paterson multireel 3 tank. I haven't tried processing with it yet in a Paterson tank, but it fits like a glove just dropping it in to see if it really fits. I have been using it in my Phototherm tank, and it works great in that.
Here are some pictures : http://www.apug.org/forums/members/m...reel-tank.html
The problem is that it's expensive. I think Photherm doesn't have the volume to get costs down, and that's partially because of inadequate marketing. I think if the sales volume was a bit higher, then the costs would come down. As it is, the thing is $130 for about $1 of plastic and probably $3 of manufacturing labor. The remaining $126 is carrying costs and overhead - at least this is my guess.
On the other hand, it beats the pants off anything I could make for myself to use in the Phototherm processor. And the coincidence that it could be pressed into service for use in a Paterson tank is incidental to me.
The Combiplan is OK, but the Jobo is a more modern system. There are less issues (read: "risks") with the Jobo tanks and reels. As the Jobo is intended for continuous rotary processing, it has a couple of pros, i.e. it takes less chemistry and with continuous agitation there is less risk of uneven processing. Almost all of my film processing is done in a Jobo CPP2 nowadays. I know that I get consistency, with exact temperature and agitation control. It's just a matter of geting back to the wet-bench when the alarm rings.
I still use my Combiplan for semi-stand processing though. Mine doesn't leak (more than the odd drop or so), so that isn't an issue for me.
Optique, I just noticed that you are in Houston. So am I, most of the time. Small world, hey? Glad to know that there is another film user in what ammounts to a Digital Black Hole.
Yes, NW Houston off Barker Cypress.
Originally Posted by Venchka
I go to that store on Richmond, Houston Camera Exchange. Fairly nice people, and some used stuff too.
Is there even one local shop with LF stuff?
Whoa, we're neighbors! My apartment is at Huffmeister & Hwy 6.
Houston Camera Co-op has a ton of large format stuff. That's where I got my Uniroller, Jobo 2840 drum, various used odds & ends like cable releases and filters and they stock a lot of chemicals and paper. They have a display case full of MF & LF hardware. Cameras, backs, holders, lenses. Be prepared to spend many hours in there. They have other cases with used 35mm SLR & rangefinder goodies.
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I think Michael's Phototherm adapter is a intriguing idea. I use a smaller Paterson tank (the universal) for developing 4x5 film. I've always wondered why no one has made a simple insert for developing 4x5 film in the Paterson tanks.
How many sheets of 4x5 film will the Phototherm adapter hold?
I use a Combi Plan Tank - or more accurately a series of them.
I pre-fill the tanks with Dev/Stop/Fix & water for washing in a production line
I then load the film cassette and dunk the cassette into the pre-filled tank of dev
I vigorously agitate for the first 20 sec then I stick the lid on - carefully
I then agitate the tank as I would a Roll Film Tank
Again in the dark, I remove the film from the tank at the end of the development time and dunk into the stop then into the fix. I don’t bother with the lids for these two steps but vigorously “chug” the cassette up and down.
Initially I was having problems with uneven development, but by rolling the tank +/- 90deg 12 times each minute I overcame the issue. It is also important that you have a minimum number of sheets of film in the tank- to create baffles and hence turbulence when agitating the developer – I use the inevitable used/blank/dead/fogged spare sheets of film I inevitably collect when using my LF Camera.
Yes – the top does leak – a bit but no more than all my Paterson tanks
The reason I went with the Combi Plan was to be able to use semi-stand development which is the recommended dev process by Ilford
I do batches of film processing so having several sets of tanks & cassettes is an advantage, I can take the cassettes in tern and dev sheets of film while the earlier cassettes are either still washing film or are drying ready for re-use.
However, if you only want/need to do a single cassette of films at a time, I have found that Lock & Lock Food Containers make a container that is almost a perfect fit for the film cassette
The Lock & Locks are not perfect – they seal fine but do take on the stain of the Stop Bath.
I therefore only use the Lock & Locks to Stop or Fix or what ever else and never mix them up.
I also store the Lock & Locks empty and dry to minimise the absorption of chemicals.
The big advantage of Lock & Locks is they are only a few Pounds/Dollars each new – something you can never accuse any photographic equipment of being :rolleyes:
The Phototherm adapter holds 4 pieces of 4x5 sheets, and it's pretty secure, too. Obviously, since it has to hold the sheets under the rotation of the Phototherm machine, they can't be floating around loose. (You can load fewer than 4.)
Originally Posted by Danny Spence
That's not as many as the Nikkor tanks, which hold 12 sheets. But the last Nikkor I was watching on the bay went for almost $250. I thought that was kind of pricey.
The down side compared to the Nikkor tank is that the Phototherm adapter is not adjustable, only holding 4X5 sheets - not 2.25X3.25 or any other size for that matter, whereas the Nikkor tank is adjustable. The Photherm adapter is a one trick pony, but it does that trick extremely well.
If you're already using a Paterson Multireel 3 tank, this just fits right in.
If anyone is interested the address serve-at-phototherm.com goes to Kathy. I wrote to her and suggested they should market the things to the LF hobby market, but didn't hear back yet. While they haven't abandon the film market, their bread and butter products are temperature and agitation controlled medical specimen lab devices. (The actual invoice came from Cyto-therm, not Photo-therm.) I'm sure the medical lab market is a lot higher margin than photo hobbiests, and with Pro-shops closing down like buggy whip manufacturers a hundred years ago you can't blame them for shifting focus.
It also occurs to me, since there is a parallel discussion going on about 5X7 tanks, that the same concept could be used to make a Paterson tank adapter for two 5X7 sheets. The Phototherm 4X5 adapter probably couldn't be modified without wrecking it, but the construction would be extremely similar, and the dimensions would work fine. After all, if two 4X5's will fit side by side, then clearly that's 5X8 plus a little for the divider, so a 5X7 would fit in the same space. So, instead of two 4X5 on the outer section and two on the inner section you would have one 5X7 on the outer and one on the inner.
Houston Camera Co-Op also stocks 4x5 sheet film, both color & black and white.
I can vouch for the Combi-plan t... it's not quite as idiot proof as the Jobo, but you get what you paid for!
Uneven development from the combi-plan is likely due to people pouring developer in the top and emptying it out of the bottom, which is what the stupid instructions tell you to do. Obviously if you do this you are leaving the bottom of the negs in the developer longer. If you empty out of the top this isn't a problem. I also recommend rotating inversions on the same plane as the film, if you invert the tank so that the liquid pushes against the face of the negative it can dislodge it from the holder (only happened to me once--the first time I used it).