Tips wanted for processing odd widths of film
Sometimes I run (in reverse) film widths that are not 35mm or 120, namely Advantix (24mm wide), slit 120 (31mm wide), slit unperforated 35mm (17.5mm wide), slit 46mm (23mm wide). This is challenging but I do it occasionally.
But how to process lengths longer than a foot is challenging even more! Do you have any suggestions other than cutting down the center of a plastic reel so that the spirals come closer?!? I would like to know what thinking similar situations have resulted in. - David Lyga
I have never done nor considered what you are doing but possibly you could make a tube the length needed out of pvc pipe of the appropriate diameter and attach a threaded coupling to each end. Attach a film clip or design a holder to the end caps that could be screwed to the couplings. The film would not have to be rolled. It would take some engineering but I think something like that is possible and would be cheap to make.
Kodak used to make a roll film tank that used a dimpled plastic "apron" rather than a spool. So it could take any width film up to about 120. The dimples kept the plastic separated enough for the chemistry to get to the film. I've seen similar tanks from Japanese suppliers, but don't remember the brand. Not sure if any are currently on the market, but they are probably around on ebay.
The downside of these is that you can get scratches from the film rubbing on the plastic, and the plastic gets brittle and stained from the chemistry exposure. Reels are easier, but the aprons get around the exact problem you're facing.
Yes the apron method has gone out of favor (I don't know whether that is good or bad, but the apron did 'wear out'). The apron had ridges on each side to allow a free flow of solution. I tried rolling the film with a layer of cut, plastic screening but, surprisingly, the screening imparted its image onto the film. - David Lyga.
I have adapted the use of Paterson reels and a single reel tank centre tube for non standard film widths wider than 35mm. I dont have a solition for narrower than 35mm other than to develop them like spagetti in a 5x7 or 8x10 print tray in absolute darkness.
For wider than 35mm but not standard
I don't 'click' the two halves of the Paterson reel together, but rather leave them to slide 'film width wise' freely' in the aligning channels. I slide the samller diameter half reel on the tube first, and then inner increase the diameter of the centre tube to match the diameter of the smaller rel core with self amalgamating electrical tape.
Then the larger core diameter half reel is slid into position, and I then gingerly load a waste length of the wierd width onto the reels.
At this stage I usually have pre spooled a few big elastic bands on the smaller shaft, and partially roll them onto the larger shaft to keep the width between reel halves in place on the first load.
I also roll another elastic band down the centre shaft to keep the rele half from wandering too far out.
I finalize the width with some SAPT around the centre tube on the outside edge of the larger half reel, and where the two reels may overlap to keep that width in place.
It is a bit cumbersome, but it allows me to to process bulk loaded 70mm film, that I cut and spool on dowels or widened 35mm cassette central spindles to use in some converted roll film polaroids, and older brownie box cameras.
my real name, imagine that.
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I have one of the old Kodak tanks with an apron. I tried it on 122 film (3 1/4 roll film?) and it didn't give me decent negatives at all, whereever the film touched the apron it developed differently. I would try one of the cheap adjustable Yankee tanks. They're adjustable for several different width films. I suspect if you place the top and bottom separation just right in the light, then load your film, it may work. Worth a try. I've done advantix film a few times and I just see sawed it through 4x5 dip tanks in the darkroom.
Yes, Mike, this is similar to what I thought to do if I did not find a better answer. I also use the Paterson plastic reels. I thought of cutting one of the reel's shafts down to maybe 1/2 inch and then, as you say, freely slide the two reels together. They would not be ABLE to snap back because the nipple would have been cut off, so I would stuff a pieces of plastic sheeting to make the precise width between the two reels more rigid by preventing the reels from getting wider than the film width. This would work. Too bad reels are not made to accept any width and then be able to be 'locked' into position. Too few do the crazy experimentations I do. - David Lyga
For the life of me I cannot understand why Kodak did this in the first place. Didn't they test things thoroughly?
Rjmeyer314's comment makes me wonder why Kodak, and ONLY Kodak allowed this fautly theory to 'develop'. As he says, the ridges prevented as free a flow of solution, as was necessary, and as was entirely possible with spirals we use today.
If you can find vats or long containers that you could weight the end of the roll and basically dip the film into the vat .
A very famous lab in Paris processed by inspection this very way.
You would basically be standing over the top of the container, may need a ladder to properly do this.
Sounds crazy but would work.
What jeffreyg suggested above is precisely what this guy did for processing 50 foot lengths of super 8 film. He uses an outer pipe and an inner core, both made of PVC drain pipe.
You would be able to use the same outer pipe "tank" for all films, and just make a custom insert for each width of film you want to process. Just make sure the tubes and inserts are long enough to handle the longest length of film you want to process.
Assuming that we are talking about relatively short lengths of film (say, under 10 feet), you might also be able to make a film winding core that will fit inside a Jobo or similar film or print drum.
Last edited by SkipA; 07-28-2011 at 10:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.