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  1. #11

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    Not too bad, assuming of course you've locked in the adjustable portion of the reel correctly and firmly. With just a little practice you can become quite good at sliding the film into the slots. The only issue I've had at all is that if you fumble around with it a lot, the sheets want to start walking out of the slots again, before you're ready to hold them all in with the clip. Just requires you to go around the reel and tuck each one in before putting the clip on (and the clip can be tricky, in the dark!) I have never loaded more than 4 sheets at a time so it's not really a problem, but fully loading it with 12 could get interesting.

    Duncan

  2. #12
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post
    This is a beautiful piece of equipment. I am curious; how easy are these tanks to load?
    I just now finished developing a set of 4x5 sheets in my tank. (I was channeling my inner Weegee yesterday with my Crown Graphic. It was a rare nice day this time of year.)

    My tank is carefully configured and locked down for 4x5, which is the only format I develop in it. Loading was a breeze, even though I had not used the tank in over a year.

    I too notice a tendency for the sheets to back out of the slots slightly. I just do a once-around at the end and gently push them back in before adding the stainless band. It's not a big deal.

    If I had one tip to offer users trying to load one of these tanks, it would be to remember to NOT curl the sheets prior to insertion.

    Most of us who use stainless steel reels for our 35mm and 120 roll films have become accustomed to slightly curling the film, by compressing it between our fingers, in order to get it between the spirals, which then load from the inside out.

    These cages, however, load from the outside in. If one instinctively tries to curl the sheets slightly, they won't load. The sheets need to go into the slots perfectly flat, since the format adjustment screws are - or should have been - set to the full width of the film sheet itself.

    If you remember this, a dozen sheets can be loaded very quickly and cleanly in total darkness.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  3. #13
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I figured it out by trial and error before finding the instruction sheet, but read the instruction sheet and it gives the key steps. Two major issues: The distance between the two sides of the reel should be set about 1/16" wider than the width of the film, so there's a little play, or the sheets won't slide in smoothly. Also, as you insert the sheets bend them slightly, following the curve of the reel (perpendicular to the axis you would curl the film slightly when loading rollfilm). When you've got it right, it's no problem developing 12 sheets in the reel, and I've done both 4x5" and 2x3". Also, the film should be emulsion side in.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  4. #14

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    If you do 12 at a time, looks like you would limit yourself from using some dilute developers. Thinking about how much HC110 is required.

    Mike

  5. #15

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    According to the HC-110 data sheet, one Gallon of Dilution B can process 20 8x10 sheets of film. Since the Nikor tank uses 48 ounces of developer, it could handle up to 7.5 sheets of 8x10, but it only fits "3 sheets" of 8x10 (12 of 4x5). One could go as far as Dilution E and still have enough capacity.

    The only improvement one can make on this particular reel is to get a tank with the quick fill lid.

  6. #16
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Shriver View Post
    Since the Nikor tank uses 48 ounces of developer...
    Unless there are multiple versions available, I believe that the design capacity of this tank is 36 fluid ounces. I know that's how much mine takes. That amount leaves a sufficient air bubble to produce nice agitation upon inversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Shriver View Post
    The only improvement one can make on this particular reel is to get a tank with the quick fill lid.
    Yes, I've heard that later versions of the lid were made with a larger opening. From what I can tell, mine is the smaller opening. It takes approximately 30 seconds for me to fill the tank, and about the same to empty it. The two roughly cancel each other out and are both included in my overall time. My HP5+ development time is a longish 17 minutes at 68F/20C, so this reduces the impact of those 30 second operations. I've never had a problem with inconsistent development using this tank.

    Mike is also correct. Because the system is capable of processing such a large number of sheets, one must keep an eye on the dilutions used. I use home-brewed D-76d at 1+1. I like to provide 250ml of stock per 8x10 to play it safe. That works out to about 8-1/2 4x5 sheets per tank run. So I insert 8 exposed sheets and 4 dummys to keep the agitation consistent.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  7. #17

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    I finally got around to scanning the instruction sheet and making a proper PDF of it. I'll also post in the Darkroom Equipment forum of course, but for anyone that was following this thread it might come in handy.

    Nikor 4x5 tank instructions (2.8MB)


    Duncan

  8. #18

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    Great thanks Duncan

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