Tank for 35mm: which size?
Here I am again with a question about the equipment for the darkroom which I am putting together. I am only intersted in 35mm as of now.
I am now asking the following thing: would you buy a tank with room for two
spirals or for just one?
Basically, these are my basic doubts:
1. Would a single spiral tank allow to make higher dilutions?
2. How do I avoid waisting chemicals when using a bigger tank loaded with just one spiral (which will be the case most of the times)?
Following are the details of the offers from the online shop (price is pretty much the same):
Paterson 35mm Tank: 14xH12 cm (1 35mm spiral)
Paterson Universal Tank: 14xh17 cm (2 35mm spiral or 1 120 spiral).
Thanks for any advice you can give me
actually if you can afford it, get both. There will be times you want to do two that have the same exposure and times to develop. It saves time. Others you will only want to do just that one roll. I've used tanks that do 4 rolls at once. Of course when I see something I really like, I can run through a lot of film in a few hours.
Second aggie suggestion about getting both if possible. We use the 2 reel tanks all the time with one roll of film. You need to be sure to use enough chemistry to cover which is at least 10ounces with the patterson reels and that the reel is pushed down all the way to the bottom of the spindle. People have been known to forget that and end up with uneven development. Of course you could also just put an emplty reel on top.
You will find that there may be times when you will need more than just 2 reels. ALthough you can reload a patterson reel if it is damp (at least the newer ones) it can be difficult.
I also would second Aggie's suggestion if you can. I have a single tank, two double tanks, and a tank that takes four reels of 35mm. I don't think I'd go much bigger than that, I think agitation gets tricky with those eight reel tanks. Having said that, I find I rarely use the single tank. Somehow I can always burn through more film! If you are using more than one tank, start your development times at one minute intervals. Of course, I acquired these tanks slowly over the years, and still would like one more four reel tank!
If you can find them second hand, tanks are cheap. It's good to own them in a range of sizes. I use stainless steel tanks, and I have tanks for 1, 2, 5, 8, and 12 35mm rolls (but I'm usually using them for 120).
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Not wishing to be argumentative, but why buy both? I have used the 2 reel tanks for years with the vast majority of films being developed on their own. I feel it's handy to have the option to do 2 films at a time and I also do 120, although I didn't when I bought my first tank.
It is handy to have multiple tanks, more so multiple spirals (if plastic) as their b******ds to load when damp, let alone when wet. It all depends on how much film you expect to process.
To answer your specific questions in one, for a single film, both the single spiral tank and double spiral tank would use the same quantity of chemicals.
If you can only afford 1, get the 2 spirals tank.
All you need is a "reteiner" ring to keep your 1 spiral at the bottom and you won;t use more cheamicals than in a 1 spiral tank.
If you want to dev 2 rolls at once is the way to go, and will allow margin to use 120 film later....
I'd reccomend a plastic tank (Patterson or similar)
Mama took my APX away.....
Thanks everybody for the answers!
It looks like that the two reels option is what I should prefer, for the time being. Since this is my first attempt at developing BW on my own, I think I can stick to one single tank for now. If my experience is successful (and my family won't complain for the mess in the bathroom ), I might consider your advice of adding further tanks.
Just to share what else is in my cart:
- Rodinal 500cc
- llfostop 500cc
- Agefix 1L
- Agepon 250 cc
- Paterson Thermometer (Alcohol)
- Graduated Cylinders (50cc and 650cc)
- Kodak Tri-X 400 (5 rolls)
You'll need a syringe to measure Rodinal.
Those sell for less than $1 in any pharmacy, or free if any of your friends is a doctor. Get a 5ml and a 10ml if you can.
If you are doing 1 roll its about 350ml, 1+50 you'll need 7ml and 1+25 14ml.
Mama took my APX away.....
I think it is better to have tanks that fit the number of reels loaded for more consistent agitation. If you agitate a half-full tank with a large air space, that's different from agitating a full tank with a small air space. Alternately a tank with sufficient solution for two reels but only one reel loaded may produce different results with a one-shot developer than a tank with sufficient solution for two reels and two reels loaded. With very dilute developers, there might be similar considerations about developing one reel of 120 as opposed to 220 or 2 reels of 35mm in the same volume of solution.
So start with the larger tank, if you can only afford one for now, but you might want to be aware of the issues and get other tanks later.