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  1. #1

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    FR Adjustable Roll Film Tank

    Hi, I am just getting back into analogue photography after a 20 year hiatus. Unfortunately, in the gap I lost half my equipment- I have tanks but no reels so as a stop gap I used some of my very limited budget to get an old FR Bakelite tank. I'm shooting 35, 120 and 127 + 9 x 12cm. I've got a couple of yankee tanks on the way for the sheet film. The FR arrived yesterday and on examining it I'm wondering if it is supposed to have a rubber seal in the lid? Anyone have one of these with a seal? I guess it is not designed for inversion- it has a small agitator rod to turn the reel?
    Greg

  2. #2
    hgernhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregW View Post
    I guess it is not designed for inversion- it has a small agitator rod to turn the reel?
    I'm not familiar with the FR Bakelite tank. The tank I use is a Yankee brand tank with adjustable wheel. Though it comes with a thermometer that is supposed to act as an agitation crank, I don't even worry about that.

    No, inversion agitation doesn't work with my tank since it doesn't seal. That's not a problem for me. I agitate ten seconds each minute: five seconds of figure-eighting the tank followed by five seconds of a washing machine style back-and-forth twist. My experience with this has been good so far.

    Hope it helps!

  3. #3

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    Thanks so much for your help! Your tank sounds very similar to mine. So, probably never had a seal.
    Greg

  4. #4
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    I had an fr tank when I started out developing film - at the age of 8. Brings back memories. The reels are hard to load - the easiest way is from the center out. The tank has a sharp point on the center spindle for attaching the end of the film, a far cry from a Hewes reel.

    The tank is a twiddler: you turn the rod back and forth rapidly and randomly to agitate, with the usual 5 seconds every 30 seconds routine.

    I have a Patterson clone that can work the same way but it also has a cap and seal for inversion processing. The fr tank doesn't have this feature.

    I have heard the plastic fr used for the white translucent reels has become brittle with age. The tank is probably 50-60++ years old.
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  5. #5
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    Yes, the FR tanks just have a sort of labyrinth light baffle at the center with a protruding stem from the center column to twist for agitation. The center is hollow to take a thermometer too. I'm glad the OP asked this question; when I dug into an old tote to see if in fact mine was an FR, I found a couple of other items I forgot I owned!

    The good about the tank was low price, and it adjusted for a number of popular films without needing extra reels. I do seem to recall the ribs of the plastic spirals are pretty deep and that it wasn't all that pleasant to load (but I'll bet it's been at least thirty or more years since I loaded it).

  6. #6

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    I did find it difficult to load which wasn't helped by the fact I was developing a very old roll of verichrome that was tightly curled. Anything apart from twisting to agitate made a mess. The deep grooves led to an odd effect on the edge of the neg. Not unpleasant unless you want a pristine development right to the edge. I was developing recent exposures with my old Kodak Vest Pocket Special with a 4.5 anastigmat lens. Here' the best shot. I've tweaked it with photoshop a bit. This is cropped, so the edge effect can't be seen.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    This thread may have run its course... If not, and the op or someone else needs the info, I have the manual for the "FR Special ... Model 2" and I can copy relevant pages if someone needs them. I haven't used it in recent times; it worked fine 50 years ago. I'll post a copy of the manual cover.

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  8. #8

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    hi greg

    i have FR film tanks
    there is a holder downer and a light baffle that sets in the film tanks
    before you put the lid down. some people have good luck agitating on a pencil / slow rock
    ( i stand develop in mine )

    good luck !
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