Arkay Tanks & Hangers for 8x10 development
I am looking to enter 8x10 and was wondering if anyone is familiar with these. Since I currently use three Combi tanks is series and am very familiar with a dip and dunk system for 4x5 development, I thought I would stay with that system. Open to better ideas. I intend to mainly do stand development.
I would appreciate input in to these particular tanks or equivalents (I was intending to have three in series), and advice on washing efficiently...
Thanks for any input.
I've been doing my 4x5 in tanks and hangers, and prefer it to tray processing. And it has worked well for me for minimal agitation technique. Seems like a good choice for 8x10.
For washing sheet film, I use my archival print washer. For the 4x5 they fit crosswise in the print washer with the ends of the hangers resting on the top edge of the washer. For 8x10 I've just put the film into the print slots, but If I had 8x10 hangers, I'd suspend the hangers in the water, using a piece of wood or similar to support one side of the hanger.
8x10 tanks use a lot of chemistry, which might be the biggest downside if you do one-shot, but if you use a replenished system, it wouldn't matter much how much it takes to fill the tank.
Using three tanks would be almost essential, at least I wouldn't want to try to empty and refill a gallon or multi-gallon tank in the dark.
Thanks for the feedback. What kind/brand of tanks are you using? Need to think about the replenishing since I haven't worked out yet how often and ho much I will be shooting. I guess the alternative is a Jobo or tray? K
Currently I have a small narrow stainless tank that only takes 4x5, I think it's made by Kodak. -full disclosure- I just have the one tank, and for stop and fix I put the film in the hangers in trays. I'm looking for more tanks. The tank accomodates 4 hangers comfortably and maybe 6 if I pack them tightly.
For 4x5, I've used about every method, the little tank with hangers, trays, Jobo reel and tank both with inversion and rotary. I don't leave the jobo processor set up all the time, as I have very limited space. So using the tank and hangers is simpler than dragging out the Jobo rig, and uses less chemistry than filling the Jobo tank for inversion.
For 8x10 I've been using trays, when I've done the minimal agitation thing with 8x10 in a tray it's been one sheet at a time, which isn't very productive.
Arkay and other makers have 8x10 stainless tanks that are about the same width as my 4x5, 1 inch/25 mm or so. I think they hold about a gallon/4'ish liters
There are bigger ones as well that hold 3 - 4 gallons, and probably 20, perhaps more 8x10 sheets. Both of these types come with, or have available floating lids, so that you don't necessarily need to empty the tank between sessions.
But, these systems more or less presume that you're running film through on a regular basis with replenished developer. For more casual use or one shot developers like pyro, rodinal etc. trays or a Jobo may be more practical.
I've been using 8x10 tanks for some time now and I love them. They are about 3800ml. I'm not sure who makes them but they are stainless steel and take 4 hangers. I use Pyrocat-Hd that I mix from scratch and love to do minimal agitation this way. I have 5 tanks and the extra one I use to wash the film in. I shoot a lot of Efke and never have a scratching problem using my tanks. I'll have some 11x14 tanks up and running soon.
BTW, I do 8 sheets and then change developer with no problem using the Pyrocat-HD @ 1:1:150,
Last edited by Jim Fitzgerald; 09-28-2009 at 08:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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I spent a half day looking for 8x10 tanks after fabbing some for 7x17 out of scrap sheet plastics- but my immediate need is for 8x10 so I can use hangers and avoid shredding my Xray exposures.
I found some nice 4 inch-ish wide lab tank$ and figure to fab some more 7x17 and a half-dozen for 8x10 out of 1/8 ABS for a lot less, counting my hourly rate at 10 cents, less than $100. Then someday "real soon" I'll start building the 11x14 back bellows holders and hangers so i can join Jim. I might get the tanks done this week, but gotta wait a week or two to get the springs for the 7x17 light valves.
I have a set of the Arkay stainless steel one-gallon 8x10 tanks; after watching the used equipment market for several years I broke down and bought new ones through B&H. Construction details are not as clean as older tanks that I have (for example, there is some roughness on the inside welds and the bottom of one of the tanks is not quite square to the sides) but the are quite serviceable. I normally develop only four sheets at a time, but I think that this size tank will actually hold either five or six.
Be advised that they are not cheap, at least new; they seem to be made to order, by hand, and are priced accordingly. If you can manage temperature control without the good thermal conductivity of metal, or if you intend to use a long-lived and replenishable developer, there are cheaper options. Plastic tanks can be made relatively easily from ABS or even acrylic, but it takes a while for them to equilibrate with a tempering bath. The large 3-1/2 gallon stainless tanks are fairly common on the used market, but I develop sheet film at long enough intervals that one-shot developers make more sense for me.
You mention stand development; in that case, a water jacket (a styrofoam cooler, for example...) is a really good idea unless your darkroom is exactly at developing temperature because the surface-to-volume ratio of the one-gallon tanks is pretty large, and temperature drift is tough on repeatability.
Washing is pretty easy, if you aren't doing large amounts of film. Just have several gallons of water on hand at process temperature, and do multiple changes for whatever times and repetitions you have confidence in. Make sure that in dumping the water that you thoroughly rinse the tops of the hangers, and add a few drops of wetting agent to the last change of water.
It seems that there should be a lot of the one-gallon tanks floating around, since I think that they were once common for dental x-ray films; where all of the used ones have gone is something of a mystery to me.
Well, I have the tanks for the 11x14, five of them. I have the idea for the hangers and I have some hangers that I can use for my Efke and FP-4+ 11x14 but I need to make some special hangers for the X-ray film. Moving and vacation to the Eastern Sierra is going to put this project on hold for a bit.