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  1. #11
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Another option is the Nikor stainless steel tank, if you can find one. They often sell for around $130. It holds 12 sheets, takes 1200 ml of solution, and it's worked well for me, though every option seems to have its detractors.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  2. #12
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    Brad -

    There are a number of options - the Jobo system is great (but expensive). BTZS tubes are supposed to be very good, but I've not tried them. The Unicolor drum trick is also popular - I tried it once and ruined four sheets of film. Tray processing is the old classic - it's very simple and works well, but you so stand a chance of scratching the film.

    This summer I was in a workshop with Chip Forelli where he let us try his slosher. This is a plexiglass insert that fits into an 11x14 tray and holds 6 sheets of 4x5. The basic idea is to the tray into six distinct compartments so that you can develop up to six sheets at a time without any chance at all of scratching - because the sheets never touch each other. There are commercial options available, but Chip had made his own from plexiglass, and when I came home from the workshop, I also made one. Just finished processing six sheets a few minutes ago and they came out perfect.

    If you are interested, send me a private e-mail and I will forward the drawing that I made up in preparation for constructing mine.

  3. #13
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricR
    I bought some tupperware tubs for a buck each. works really great and I can do 8 negs at a time on hangers with no problem. Another benefit is I can seal up the tubs between sessions to keep the chemicals fresh.
    Eric, I haven't done any developing of lf at all yet, and have just been trying to figure it out. I assumed I'd do my 4X5 in trays, one or two at a time. Would you explain about the tupperware and the hangers in a little more detail?

    TIA,
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by papagene
    I'll second Larry's recommendation fo the HP Combi Plan for a manual processing tank. I have been using one for several years and no complaints.

    gene

    I agree. I posted a thread here about how to get teh best from them; others adding extra info. Even development and easy to use, if slow to fill.

    Tom

  5. #15
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I (as a highly experienced LF photographer) have never gotten a ready-made small tank to work to my satisfaction. I have tried the big Nikor tank (the wrap-around clip scatched the back of the film), Doran (just how are you supposed to agitate?) and Combiplan (the slowness of filling alarmed me). I heard that Jobo drums were good but have not tried them. The only cheap solution that worked for me was the Tupperware option, but in the interests of speeding things up (doing 12 4x5" at a time), I in the end bought a line of 15-liter tanks. These of course take all sizes up to 8x10" and are economical on solutions - 15 liters of ID-11/D76 developer plus 2.5 liters of replenisher lasts me a year!

    PS: Another cheap solution was to make tanks by cutting down 5-liter chemical bottles and plunge the Doran cage (same as the one in the Polaroid bucket) into these suspended on a stainless-steel reel lifter and weighted with a film clip. I would as a general principle avoid developer/skin contact.
    Last edited by David H. Bebbington; 12-19-2004 at 04:35 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16
    Baxter Bradford's Avatar
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    I too use a Combi plan tank, having got lots of neg scratching with a Stainless Nikor tank. There are quirks which annoyed me to start with, but it has now trained me and we get along fine! Main thing is long time needed to pour in chemicals as noted previously, but to no adverse effect. I pour in and out through top vent to keep times as even as possible. Despite this, development is even. Once fixed, I remove top and fill far more easily for washing, pouring water onto central bar to reduce impact on film.

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