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  1. #1
    altair's Avatar
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    Omega steel tank lid question

    Hi all. Today I received an Omega stainless steel developing tank, marked Simmons-Omega on the bottom of the tank. It can hold 2 35mm reels or 1 120 reel. It came with 2 LPL brand 35mm reels. The tank has a steel lid or cover, not those black plastic or PVC ones. I plan to start using them either tonight or tomorrow. Before I do, I noticed some peculiarities & would like to ask:

    a) It seems that the tank's lid is quite loose. Being used to Paterson's Super System 4 & AP plastic tanks, I'm rather used to screwing the lid shut or pushing it down securely as with the Paterson. But with this Omega, there's no thread for me to screw down the lid. I just need to push the lid as far down as it will go and that's it. But, it just doesn't feel that secure. Same thing with the lid for the intake hole at the top of the lid, rather loose. Is this normal for all steel tanks?

    b) If I'm just going to develop 1 35mm film, then is it imperative for me to put in the other empty 35mm reel on top of the loaded one in the tank? I think so, if not the loaded reel would bounce around too much. It just seems...I don't know, weird to put in an empty reel. With the Paterson, the reel is put into a central core that keeps it from sliding up. Only 1 reel is needed.

    Would be glad if anyone can verify these for me. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Before you use it, fill with water and test the lid for leakage. The lid must fit somewhat snug, without sticking. I have an Omega tank, has the black plastic lid, none of my SS lids work on it, they're all loose and leak.
    If you only develope one reel, then by all means, place an empty spool on top to keep the film submerged. There is another school of thought, to allow the film to come out of the solution for brief periods during agitation, just make sure to rap the tank to dislodge any air bells that may form by doing that(I prefer not to chance it).
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  3. #3

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    It should be a slip fit, not particularly tight, but definitely not loose. Me, I gave up a couple of decades ago, and keep a roll of plastic electrical tape in the darkroom, for one tight turn around the tank/lid joint. Even then, the little pouring cap, with its jam fit, still leaks, and I only agitate the tank while holding it with a junk dish towel.

    Yes, you need to use both reels, and fill the tank with developer, too. This prevents odd agitation effects from the tank or the developer aggressively shooting from one end of the tank to the other, jetting developer through the sproket holes:
    (photo from http://blakeandrews.blogspot.com/201...ket-holes.html

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sallish+Park+blog.jpg  

  4. #4
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    The lid may not be the original one. Do keep a finger on the cap when inverting. A wide rubber band around the junction of lid and tank may stop any leaks.

  5. #5
    altair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    Before you use it, fill with water and test the lid for leakage. The lid must fit somewhat snug, without sticking. I have an Omega tank, has the black plastic lid, none of my SS lids work on it, they're all loose and leak.
    If you only develope one reel, then by all means, place an empty spool on top to keep the film submerged. There is another school of thought, to allow the film to come out of the solution for brief periods during agitation, just make sure to rap the tank to dislodge any air bells that may form by doing that(I prefer not to chance it).
    Ok, thanks for that Rick. I think I'll skip on that 'film for coming up for air' method for now

  6. #6
    altair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    It should be a slip fit, not particularly tight, but definitely not loose. Me, I gave up a couple of decades ago, and keep a roll of plastic electrical tape in the darkroom, for one tight turn around the tank/lid joint. Even then, the little pouring cap, with its jam fit, still leaks, and I only agitate the tank while holding it with a junk dish towel.

    Yes, you need to use both reels, and fill the tank with developer, too. This prevents odd agitation effects from the tank or the developer aggressively shooting from one end of the tank to the other, jetting developer through the sproket holes:
    (photo from http://blakeandrews.blogspot.com/201...ket-holes.html

    Yes, it's a slip fit. That term fits nicely. Not a screw on fit, but a slip fit. It's snug, not too tight. Gosh, I hope mine doesn't leak as bad to need a roll of tape! Thanks very much for your tip on filling the tank, wow, haven't thought of that..but is it necessary? If so, it negates the whole 'SS tanks require less solution volume' benefit, doesn't it? My tank says 8oz of solution (only!) for 35mm, and double that for 120. So basically if I'm just going to develop 1 roll of 35mm in 1 reel, then not only do I have to put in the other reel in, I also have to fill the tank completely with 16oz of chemical solution?

  7. #7
    altair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    The lid may not be the original one. Do keep a finger on the cap when inverting. A wide rubber band around the junction of lid and tank may stop any leaks.
    Thank you. I think the lid is original to the tank, as 'Simmons-Omega' is also written on the top of the cap. I'm wondering though...since leakage seems to be a major problem, what if I agitate not by inversion by a gentle swaying motion from side to side? I used to do this with my Paterson plastic tanks, as it sometimes leaks too. Hated getting developer & fixer on my hands so much that I used that agitation method instead. Worked fine & I didn't notice any adverse effects on my negatives. What do you think?

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    The point of agitation is to get fresh chemicals in contact with the film surface...so, the method that you use really doesn't matter too much as long as you are getting the results that you want.

    At least you're not in my situation, where I have a tank lid that fits too tightly, and I can't get it to seat all the way. I've been trying to figure out how to fix that for weeks, now.

  9. #9

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    It doesn't negate SS needing less; that's compared with plastic tanks. You have a two reel tank that uses 8 oz per reel, which is a lot less than the plastic tanks. It's not made for one reel. . . that's why they make one reel tanks. If you are doing something it's not intended to do, you have to take precautions to avoid bad agitation patterns showing up on the film, and the easiest precaution is to put in both reels and fill the tank. That doesn't mean it can't be done some other way, but by doing it some other way you increase the chances things will go wrong.

  10. #10
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    I used to have 10 or 12 SO stainless tanks all with stainless tops.
    If the tops got mixed up, some of them were so loose they would leak. I went to the extreme of marking them to prevent this problem.. The likelihood is that you got a tank with the incorrect lid.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

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