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  1. #1
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Drippy developing tanks

    It seems that no matter plastic or stainless steel, any tank I use with inversion agitation gets all drippy, especially with fixer(?). I just ran some rolls in a stainless tank with a cap that looks brand new, but it dripped so bad I was worried I would lose too much developer and it would fall below the top of the film.

    Any suggestions? Or is this a case of (as Nature Boy Ric Flair would say) "you might not like it, but you better learn to love it"?
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
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  2. #2

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    I use an inexpensive tank purchased from Adorama. It's a kind that the lid and the cap is plastic and the tank part is stainless steel.

    It does not leak at all....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3

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    Good Evening, Parker,

    The response above reflects my experience also. The more pliable plastic caps essentially eliminate any leakage problem with SS tanks. I do sometimes use a Nikor SS tank/cap combination; it leaks a little, but not enough to be a problem. Leakage will vary a lot depending on the particular tank/cap combination. Try substituting a plastic cap. Chances are that most of the problem will disappear.

    With plastic tanks, leakage is typically related to gasket problems and possibly to not having the top screwed on completely.

    Konical

  4. #4
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    Mine leak sometimes and other times are dead water-tight. I agitate with the twirly stick when I can, and use paper towels when I can't.

  5. #5
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    I meant to say that the brand new cap is the black plastic variety on the stainless tank. Sometimes they leak a little and sometimes they leak a lot, but they always leak. It's maddening.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
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  6. #6
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    I'm going with Rick Flair on this one.
    I just have dedicated towels that I wrap around the tank.

    Sometimes I get a tight seal on the patterson plastic snap tops from the "4" system.

  7. #7
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    It happens to everyone. You have to be mindful to store the tanks with the plastic caps off. The plastics, if always locked and stretched over the tanks sides loses the tight seal. They become molded to your tanks shape instead of being just a bit smaller for a friction fit.

    You get more leakage with fixer as the chemical reaction during fixing produces some heat energy and gas. You can see this when you open up a tight patterson tank as the pressure causes the gas to whoosh out when the seal is broken. If the seal is not ideal fixer pushes its way out.

  8. #8

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    Dear Parker,

    Good news! It is unlikely that you are losing enough fluid to cause problems. However, if you want an essentially leak free developing experience, there is an inexpensive answer. It is sold by Freestyle and Adorama (possibly others) and using the twist only method works perfectly. I used one for years (and still do on grand occasion) with Edwal FG-7, D-76, T-Max developer and Extol, and never once had an issue with improper agitation.

    In any case, I think the biggest issue with a little dripping is how it makes my hands stink. If that is an issue, try some exam gloves (or better yet, dish gloves that can be reused).

    Neal Wydra

  9. #9
    ozphoto's Avatar
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    My old type Paterson tanks leak like a faulty tap! I *never* use the inversion method - always use the twirly stick to agitate. It's a real PITA when it leaks after draining, but I just ensure I mop up the spills after the film processing.

    I've learned to live with it, and the washing powder manufacturers *love me* to bits. . . . . . .

  10. #10
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I also remembered reading that if you can't do inversions you can also agitate on a table top by doing figure 8s to swirls the liquids.

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