Which 4x5 developing tank Combi-Plan or Standard Kodak ?
I'm just beginning 4x5 format and need to buy dev tanks and hangers. Does anyone have an opinion on the Combi-Plan system vs. the open tank w/ hanger type system ?
I find the COmbi-Plan tank to be very convenient. SOme folks have issues with it but I have had nothing but success. I can't comment on the open tank, as I have no place dark enough to use one, so never tried it.
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My 4X5 is all in open Yankee tanks. 8X10 is in trays or various stainless steel tanks. Open tank is simple and works well. I have tried other methods but I came back to tanks.
DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.
Here is my assessment of the combiplan from a previous thread on 4x5 developing. There are a bunch of threads about the HP tank you can search up, that give varying opinions.
"After mucking about with trays and tubes for 4x5 developing, I finally settled on the HP combi tank. I like being able to do six sheets at a time, and I like that it is procedurally similar to developing roll film. It takes some practice to load. After you load it you must run your fingers around the edge (like tupperware) to make sure it is sealed. Even then it may leak a little, so its best in a sink or tray.When filling you must make sure the air valve is all the way open, or it will take too long to fill up. I have read complaints regarding both these issues, and in large part I solved them, with the previously mentioned actions.
Some people do absolutely hate this tank,
but once I got used to the quirks, it became my friend. It is particularly good for stand development, as once it is loaded, you get to work in the light.
For 8x10 I use tray development, because it is simple, and I tend to shoot many fewer sheets when I use the 8x10, and that is most of the time."
I prefer to do only 4 sheets in a Combi-Plan rack (I have a Nova hand line that uses Combi-Plan hangers) but I have done 6 often enough without problems -- and that's E6.
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Well I posted for a 2nd 5x4 tank in the classifieds, and got my second JOBO 2000 with 2 5x4 reels.
I've not that much experience as I only got my first new in about 1977, but so easy to load, it's just like processing 35mm or 120 film, and I can process 6 or 12 per load 1 or 2 spirals.
Oh and great for E6 too . . . . . .
Another vote for the HP Combi tank... been using one since about 1991. I have always had good results from it.
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
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And the winner is...
The Combi wins hands down. It has a little learning curve, but once you have it, the results are consistent. There are several threads here in the forum on this tank. Those who have problems usually are doing something that is easily remedied by setting and following a protocol based on the practices shown here. After five years with one and hundreds of tankloads of six each, I have never had a single problem.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it...
I just finished developing some Efke 4x5 PL 25 in Kodak tanks. I use pyrocat hd 1:1:100 and the negs came out great. No scratches but I only did 4 at a time. still they came out perfect. Even got some great negs with a $ 11.00 1880's lens!
Has anyone tried dip and dunk for semi,minimal agitation?
I like my combi-plan. It takes a little practice to make sure that the sheets are loaded properly, but I've never managed to ruin a sheet (that way!). I use it a bit differently than most people I suspect, though. For developer, I use it with the lid on. When it is done developing, I turn off the lights, open the tank, pour out the developer, pour in water, agitate for a minute or so, pour out the water then pour in the fix, and agitate for 3 or 4 minutes. Then I can turn on the lights and finish fixing. The reason I do this is that it takes a long time to get chemicals in and out of the tank. I suppose that it would not be a problem with reasonably long development times and being consistant in exactly how you do it. Myself, I don't mind spending 5 minutes or so in the dark.