Definitive Taco Method?
I have a Paterson 2-reel tank and very little cash, so I've been trying to research this "taco method" of cramming 4x5 sheet film in the tank so that it can be developed as you would 120 or 35mm. The problem is, I haven't yet taken my first Large Format shot (I'm very excited, of course) so I feel sort of behind the curve. All I know is that you've got to curl the film to get it in the tank, and people have apparently held them curled with rubber bands. Can anyone point me to a step-by-step taco method how-to, or even take the time to type one out?
Some questions left unanswered:
- What volume of chemistry do I need?
- Any changes in processing time, or do I use what my times for 120?
- How many sheets can/should I do at once?
- How do you dry these film sheets, anyway?
Of course, any additional tips are appreciated, too.
All the best,
Volume. Fill the cannister.
Processing time. Tank time as per your film's data sheet.
How many. One (curl film slightly and rest against the inner edge of the tank with the emulsion side facing in. This will keep the neg from bouncing around during agitation and maybe damaging it).
Dry. I hang mine on a line of some sort with wooden clothespins.
And don't forget to put the center post in the tank!!!
Originally Posted by Christopher Walrath
Just because you don't have reels doesn't mean you can leave it out like someone I know tried. (No names here.)
The center post is the light trap, not a thingy to put the reels on.
You can also try and find a 4x5 reel for the tank. Holding 4-6 sheets depending.
I think there's an old post here where someone just made cylinders with soft mesh-like clothing [window lace curtain or similar stuff] and had put the film in such a cylinder with emulsion side inside. You can safely put a few such cylinders into your paterson tank.. can also use one-half of the supplied reel to stack such cylinders within the tank.. The results are reported to be good.
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I cant use my Paterson tank for 4x5's, its not tall enough inside. I have an AP brand tank that works better. I can do four sheets at a time. I gently curl the film emulsion side in and put a rubber band around it. Do put the center column in, it is needed to keep the dark from escaping.
Here's a photo of the taco method and some discussion and a link to the aforementioned mesh-like contraption:
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu
Rick, thanks for the note about the height issue. I'll definitely have to check it out with some 4x5 ortho litho film I have. I'm so close to shooting 4x5, I really hope it will fit. I don't want to have to buy another tank... :-(
I have an old FR brand daylight tank for sheet film, you can have it for the price of postage. It will handle up to 12 sheets and is adjustable for sizes from 2.25x 3.25 up to 4x5, looks like a Yankee tank. I see you are in Happy Valley, I'm just over the mountain in Cameron county.
I dont knwo how big the patterson tank is, but here is my method.
I have the stainless steel tanks for processing 2-3 35mm reels.
I simply place one or two sheets emulsion-side-in into the tank. The backside against the inside of the tank. Not taco'd like the above example. Then I fill the tank with only 125ml for one sheet or 200 for two.
Roll or roto-process the tank on its side.
The halation layer backing comes right off even though it is against the inside of the tank.
The only problem I have had is is the 2 sheets sometimes shift and end up over one another. I made a separator out of wire shaped like a W and now i dont have this problem again.
4x5 processing is really whatever works best for you.
Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.