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View Full Version : New 4x5 film processing system on Kickstarter: $47!



tim48v
15-Dec-2015, 15:26
We've just launched a kickstarter for a new sheet film processing system. It will processes four sheets of 4x5 in 16 oz of solution. Details at:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1653453089/sp-445-compact-4x5-film-processing-system

We're currently working on the next prototype, so send us your comments and suggestions.
The biggest question: is a four sheet capacity enough?

koh303
15-Dec-2015, 15:44
Im backer #1!
4 is not enough.

With that said:

1. There are other daylight 4X5 processing tanks in the world other then the Yankee tank (as is evident by the MANY "what is the best 4X5 tank" threads on this forum), so i am not sure what exactly you are out to solve - the fact the yankee tank is not very good? That has already been solved many times in the past 50 years.

2. Max 4 sheets does not seem like the most efficient system especially with econo type processors such as the MOD54 and Jobo 2509n reels, which can hold up to 6 sheets each. The amount of chemicals required for the Jobo in rotation processing is 270ml, and 990ml for the MOD54 for inversion. This might be an advatange of this system, requiring a seemingly lower per sheet amount of liquid.

3. Will there be a "quick rinse" attachment of sorts? It would be somewhat time consuming to replace the water in a tank without a central shaft.

4. To make this commercially viable at 47$ retail price, the manufacturing would have to be of a massive proportion. I doubt there are enough 4X5 shooters in the world (should each one buy at least one of these) to make that viable - i would like to see the economical breakdown of how you intend to make this happen, though not literally, just a point for thought, and - its not really any of my business. That would work out to almost 600 units on KS to get funded.

5. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=16oz%20in%20ml
16oz is not 475ml - choose one and stick to it.

6. Good luck!

Jim Noel
15-Dec-2015, 15:44
I have been developing large format film more than 75 years and have tried many of the products designed to ease film development. I watched your video and have the following comments and questions.

1. The projected price is extremely high.
2. 16 oz of developer is inadequate if using more than a 1+3 dilution of developer, and more than 1+2 with many common developers.
3. How do the solutions get to the reverse of the film to remove the anti-halation layer?
4. Related to #4, how does the washing solution get to the reverse of the film?

vinny
15-Dec-2015, 15:46
Welcome to the forum.
It would seem that the corner of the film closest to the plunger would be more turbulent than the other corners. Not the case?
4 sheets is enough.

Fred L
15-Dec-2015, 15:55
I'd prefer a gasket lid so I can rock/invert agitate the film vs plunger/turbulence. Much simpler. Also instead of film sheaths, maybe dado some channels in the walls to slide the film into. Price is not bad if product is well made and works 100%. I cld live with 4 sheets as I'd primarily use it for hotel room/guerilla processing.

Jac@stafford.net
15-Dec-2015, 16:03
It is unfortunate that we cannot contribute using pay pal. That shortcoming stopped me dead.

adelorenzo
15-Dec-2015, 16:43
I don't even need this but I'm backing it anyways. You've set a high target, good luck!

I'm thinking this could be a good tank for field processing New 55 negatives in fixer.

Bruce Watson
15-Dec-2015, 17:08
...is a four sheet capacity enough?

Not for me. I use a Jobo 3010 tank and process 10 sheets of 5x4 at a time, using 500ml of XTOL 1:1.

And a suggestion -- use SI units if you intend to sell outside of the US, and that includes Canada. The majority of LFers in the US use SI units too. I know I've long since lost any feel for what 16oz is; I've been doing nearly all my work in SI for the last three decades or so. I've got a 2m tape measure in my pocket as I write this that's free of any "imperial entanglements" (sorry, couldn't resist).

Tim Meisburger
15-Dec-2015, 19:31
I just backed it. This will be perfect for travel. It would be nice if it could do six sheets in the same space (i.e. about 500ml), but I can live with four (I already do with my Orbital).

This will not be all things to all people, but as another option, and given the demise of the Combi-plan, I think its a good initiative. A few years ago I tried to get Paterson to do another run of Orbitals (which I use for both shet film and paper processing) and they told me they had thrown away the molds and tooling.:(

I must be #6! For the Travelwide I'm something like 998 and still have not heard from them.

Sal Santamaura
16-Dec-2015, 07:35
Four sheets is fine. Just as long as you make it four sheets of 5x7. :)

There are plenty of options for 4x5 developing. You'd really have something if you took this design down the 5x7 path instead and it gave very even results. More than 16 ounces would be required, but not that much more.

goamules
16-Dec-2015, 07:45
I like the design. But I liked the prototype that was just the small tank better, without the pour spout and agitator rod. Also....I'd definitely buy one in 5x7.

StoneNYC
16-Dec-2015, 07:48
I also would prefer not to have a plunger, I do love this for travel, or if you're on site and want to check the shot before shooting more, could be handy, but inversion really would be preferred. There's a reason people moved away from the swizzle stick, the uneven surge marks.

That said, the price is fair. I can't back through PayPal?

Corran
16-Dec-2015, 12:15
I like the idea but I don't really need a new tank.

I'm concerned about the difference in turbulence vinny mentioned. Looking at the close-up video, it does look like the bottom half of the tank is getting much more agitation. I could be wrong.

Ultimately, I usually process 6 or 12 sheets at a time, so while the concept of a small tank is nice, I wouldn't use it as much as the HP Combiplan tank. Kudos for making it though, and it wouldn't hurt to have a new tank available on the market for new 4x5 shooters, if it's commercially viable.

baro-nite
16-Dec-2015, 12:43
I've backed it (my first ever Kickstarter; had to sign up), even though I'm pretty happy with trays for now, and prefer processing 8 or 10 at a time. But at the price it is a no-brainer and I'm happy to be a backer.

Andrew O'Neill
16-Dec-2015, 12:48
That looks pretty cool. I could take something like that with me to Japan to develop my film... as long as it develops film evenly, though.

Oren Grad
16-Dec-2015, 13:17
I'll second Jim Noel's question about solutions getting to the base side of the film.

Also, the details of the film holder design aren't clear from the video, but from what I see I'd be concerned about edge effects from a combination of the holder design and the flow pattern.

Getting even development is always the hard part in sheet film processing, particularly in small-box processor designs like this. Although I use Jobo Expert drums on a Jobo processor, I would potentially purchase one of these to have a simpler, more compact alternative available for some situations. But I'm a skeptic about development evenness until I've seen evidence that the device can deliver even results reliably and without requiring special voodoo in handling.

A_Tabor
16-Dec-2015, 14:40
I'm rather interested in this, but I'm also rather curious about how even the agitation method is. Any chance of seeing some grid and smooth gradient exposures processed with the plunger method?

Tim Meisburger
16-Dec-2015, 14:46
Regarding the back of the film in the holders, it would probably make sense to have cut-outs there to facilitate fluid flow. Regarding uneven development, I tend to doubt it, but at a minimum the tanks could be used for stand processing, I think. Anyway, its a small gamble for me, and worth it if it pays off.

I think the idea of inserting the holders in landscape rather than portrait orientation makes sense. Also think a 5x7 would be useful in th elong run, and if it works you could even do 8x10!

NoBob
17-Dec-2015, 03:41
I like the idea and considered backing it, but was wondering about the evenness of development. Any chance of posting an update to show several examples of processed film?

Light Guru
17-Dec-2015, 13:03
Yea it worries me that no sample of sheets developed using the system are shown.

vinny
17-Dec-2015, 13:12
He's read the posts on apug but hasn't chimed in there either. This is the type of thread which would have been very beneficial before the kickstarter stage.

koh303
17-Dec-2015, 15:15
Yea it worries me that no sample of sheets developed using the system are shown.
Thats because they have not done any testing yet, as noted in the video...

Looks like this has really taken off and congrats to the maker/s, though because of the above comment, and lack of actual testing, i am wondering what will happen if the collect all the money, then figure out this design just does not work for film processing?

480sparky
17-Dec-2015, 15:31
.......... i am wondering what will happen if the collect all the money, then figure out this design just does not work for film processing?


They try using it on digital. Duh! :cool:

Wsufans
17-Dec-2015, 16:58
I am not a fan of the agitator stick either. There are several lines of clear plastic storage containers with silicone gaskets and clips on the side to hold the top down. Mine seem to seal pretty well. I would rather tip the tank than push the stick.

Yes it also has to deal with the back side of the film so.....

The idea of the removable film holder is interesting you could load it in a changing bag if needed. Or you could make a cassette that would clip out of the standard film holder and go right into the tank. One less film handling operation reducing the potential for smudges and scratches.

I like the general shape and form and that it minimizes the chemicals but then how little do you need for proper developing? What are the ratios of the chemical reactions won't that tell what the minimum is?

I kind of like the filler holes on the typical patterson and jobo tanks to which you could add a screw top.

I haven't committed $$ just yet but think it looks promising.

**PRO**

StoneNYC
17-Dec-2015, 18:03
I think based on the look, the film holders look just like grafmatic septums.

Lachlan 717
17-Dec-2015, 18:23
When is someone going to get a CAT scan of a Jobo Expert drum and convert it to a 3D file for a 3D printed Jobo knock-off on Kickstarter?

Just musing...

StoneNYC
17-Dec-2015, 19:02
When is someone going to get a CAT scan of a Jobo Expert drum and convert it to a 3D file for a 3D printed Jobo knock-off on Kickstarter?

Just musing...

I don't get why we don't have a 3 sheet tube insert for 2500 series tanks, to me that makes more sense than the CatLabs version. Same amount of sheets just more in-line with the safer agitation and loading of tubes.

tim48v
17-Dec-2015, 19:10
Everyone,
Thanks for the comments! Please keep them coming.

Let me address what I can:

First, I don't know why kickstarter won't let you use Paypal. But bear in mind that we, (the project developers), never see your credit card info. Once the project is funded, Kickstarter processes all the cards and wires us the money (after taking their cut and giving the credit card company theirs.) I would expect that they are as secure as Paypal.

Regarding the 'gasket vs plunger' debate; we tried two prototypes with two different gasket configurations and decided we needed a better idea. The gasket complicates the molds for the tank/lid and brings another supplier into the mix. That raises the cost.

As for 'edge to edge' uniformity, we haven't seen any problems. Note, I'm probably not as picky as many of you and our testing has been limited to E-6 and D-76. We're putting a plan together to shoot a series of controlled shots using several different films and developers and then scan them looking for issues. Probably be after Christmas before we have much more data.

As for the agitation debate, I'm preparing a video to address the topic. I hope to have it published (on the kickstarter site) this weekend.

As for the anti-halation backing getting removed: the only issue I've seen is the chemistry not getting to the film under the slots that hold the film. (Mainly on just one of the prototype film holders; the others are fine.) This is one reason we're making the slots wider. The rest of the film seems fine. I would think that the JOBO rotary system would have the same issue (or lack thereof) as it appears to me that the film is in firm contact with the tube.

To wash, I've just removed the lid and let it flood. One could insert a tube/hose down the fill/drain chamber as well. We are looking at adding a nipple to the lid; no promises at this time.

We have a 5x7/8x10 combo version sketched out (4 sheets of 5x7 or 2 sheets of 8x10). However, first, we need to get this project launched and in production. Then we'll need to do more market research to make sure there's a demand. (Launching a kickstarter takes a lot of effort.)

Please continue to spread the word to your fellow photographers.

Thanks again,

Timothy

StoneNYC
17-Dec-2015, 19:16
Thanks Timothy,

FYI the jobo expert drum, because of the actual bending of the sheet, as rotation happens, the edge gets lifted up and water gets behind the sheet and travels along the back, it looks as if it's stuck solid to the wall edge, but the film itself actually catches the water and a "wave" flows behind each sheet as it rotates (as well as of course on top of it on the emulsion side).

Good luck with your project!

Corran
17-Dec-2015, 22:08
I am glad to hear that you are using it for E-6. Regarding the rear of the sheet of film, I believe that has to be hit in any color process so apparently your holders are working in that regard.

That said, I'm still just not needing this tank myself, but you mentioned the 2 sheets of 8x10 - that I would be seriously interested in, at a reasonable price.

redshift
18-Dec-2015, 06:27
I don't really need one but I signed up anyway.

hamradio
18-Dec-2015, 08:51
I backed it. I've never found a great 4x5 dev solution...I usually use a Beseler print drum and unicolor base, but still get occasional uneven results from that setup, due to turbulence inside the drum (that, and the thing needs to be given a 45 tilt every 1.5-2min to ensure exhausted developer doesn't stay in the same spots). I've also given up on doing c41 color in the drum.

I'd maybe buy a 5x7 version, but my current scheme––an ancient Angelus daylight tank for dip n dunk hangers––works pretty alright. Except it uses two liters of chemistry an is very slow to fill/drain. For 4x5, however, I'm very optimistic about this: If it makes processing color 4x5 as hassle-free as processing color rollfilm, it's worth it.

Randy Moe
18-Dec-2015, 11:51
It just funded, I guess more than this Forum is interested.

Corran
18-Dec-2015, 12:01
Anything that helps new LF shooters get out there and shoot more film is good in my book.

Randy Moe
18-Dec-2015, 12:16
Anything that helps new LF shooters get out there and shoot more film is good in my book.

Might be all those WANDERLUST by Travelwide buyers need something.

I hope there is an uptick in 4x5 film sales and we get a report on that.

Wayne
18-Dec-2015, 12:49
It just funded, I guess more than this Forum is interested.

Film is dead. :)

Randy Moe
18-Dec-2015, 13:03
film is dead. :)

lol:)

Alan9940
18-Dec-2015, 13:44
After thinking about it for a couple of days, I decided to jump in. Sometimes I have only a few sheets to process and I'm too lazy to pull out the Jobo. ;)

Kind regards,
Alan

Bob Salomon
18-Dec-2015, 14:28
The problem with this poll is that the number of sheets may most likely be controlled by the capacity of the processing tank. A better poll might be: what would be the ideal number of sheets of 45 would I like to process at one time?

StoneNYC
18-Dec-2015, 14:38
The problem with this poll is that the number of sheets may most likely be controlled by the capacity of the processing tank. A better poll might be: what would be the ideal number of sheets of 45 would I like to process at one time?

Bob,

Thank you for saying "poll" I had NO IDEA this was a poll thread because the title doesn't say poll in it and I never access in the browser and the app doesn't show polls, I have now voted.

Tim Meisburger
18-Dec-2015, 15:08
They seem pretty focused. I just got my third update. I think this is going to be perfect for travel.

hamradio
18-Dec-2015, 19:55
The problem with this poll is that the number of sheets may most likely be controlled by the capacity of the processing tank. A better poll might be: what would be the ideal number of sheets of 45 would I like to process at one time?

Well, obviously the unicorn processing solution we all seek has the following characteristics:

Processes one or fifty sheets in a crack
Uses the same absolute minimum of chemistry
Doesn't require attention
Washes easily
Maintains perfect temperature
Does everything in one fell swoop

:cool:

Jim Cole
19-Dec-2015, 16:05
Looks promising, especially for those times when I do not want to drag out the Jobo tank. It was worth a $54 gamble for me as I usually only process 1-4 sheets at a time.

tim48v
21-Dec-2015, 18:37
There have been some concerns about uniform development. (I shoot mainly E6 transparencies and haven't seen a problem but that doesn't mean much.)

Obviously there are too many combinations for us to empirically test every possibility. So here's the question: What combination of film/developer is the "worst case?"

I realize that this is more art than science but there must be some reasonably common but challenging combinations that would be good test cases for us.

Suggestions?

Michael R
21-Dec-2015, 19:32
Tim,

There are a host of variables involved, and generalizations/extrapolations in photographic processing are problematic, so I don't think worst case scenarios would be the best way to begin testing. In my APUG response I suggested you start with a few high quality, general purpose films and a few properly formulated, commercially available general purpose formulas, using standard processes. In my opinion that would be a good place to begin, though others may disagree. Some experimentation may be required with your agitation system (frequency, intensity). The film must be uniformly exposed, of course. A density aim of ~1.0 is a common target.

To me, the system first has to pass using standard materials and chemicals at standard dilutions.

My two cents.

Duolab123
21-Dec-2015, 21:22
Everyone,
Thanks for the comments! Please keep them coming.

Let me address what I can:

First, I don't know why kickstarter won't let you use Paypal. But bear in mind that we, (the project developers), never see your credit card info. Once the project is funded, Kickstarter processes all the cards and wires us the money (after taking their cut and giving the credit card company theirs.) I would expect that they are as secure as Paypal.

Regarding the 'gasket vs plunger' debate; we tried two prototypes with two different gasket configurations and decided we needed a better idea. The gasket complicates the molds for the tank/lid and brings another supplier into the mix. That raises the cost.

As for 'edge to edge' uniformity, we haven't seen any problems. Note, I'm probably not as picky as many of you and our testing has been limited to E-6 and D-76. We're putting a plan together to shoot a series of controlled shots using several different films and developers and then scan them looking for issues. Probably be after Christmas before we have much more data.

As for the agitation debate, I'm preparing a video to address the topic. I hope to have it published (on the kickstarter site) this weekend.

As for the anti-halation backing getting removed: the only issue I've seen is the chemistry not getting to the film under the slots that hold the film. (Mainly on just one of the prototype film holders; the others are fine.) This is one reason we're making the slots wider. The rest of the film seems fine. I would think that the JOBO rotary system would have the same issue (or lack thereof) as it appears to me that the film is in firm contact with the tube.

To wash, I've just removed the lid and let it flood. One could insert a tube/hose down the fill/drain chamber as well. We are looking at adding a nipple to the lid; no promises at this time.

We have a 5x7/8x10 combo version sketched out (4 sheets of 5x7 or 2 sheets of 8x10). However, first, we need to get this project launched and in production. Then we'll need to do more market research to make sure there's a demand. (Launching a kickstarter takes a lot of effort.)

Please continue to spread the word to your fellow photographers.

Thanks again,

Timothy

Looks interesting, one thing to keep in mind. Everyone on this forum most likely already have multiple tanks, reels, gizmos for processing film. I think that concentrating on keeping it small and portable is your best advantage. In the good old days commercial photographers checked their lighting and composition with test shots on film and studio proof paper.
Polaroid is gone, any potential replacement is a pipe dream or going to be very expensive. Put one of these in a changing bag you could use it to check lighting, etc. Then toss the negs. and shoot more film for your Jobo . I think there is definitely a yet to be defined niche for this unit. I use a Jobo 2509n setup and processor that I picked up used. I don't think I've bought a new in box darkroom item since 1973. (except the CL81 )
Personally I don't see how you could pay for the tooling to mass produce, having said that I look forward to seeing how this works. Best Regards, Mike

StoneNYC
21-Dec-2015, 22:00
There have been some concerns about uniform development. (I shoot mainly E6 transparencies and haven't seen a problem but that doesn't mean much.)

Obviously there are too many combinations for us to empirically test every possibility. So here's the question: What combination of film/developer is the "worst case?"

I realize that this is more art than science but there must be some reasonably common but challenging combinations that would be good test cases for us.

Suggestions?

E-6 I would think WOULD be the definitive test, it's the most persnickety.

I would try HP5+ pushed to 3200 in DD-X as the elongated processing time would accentuate any possible issues with uneven development.

Also keep in mind for 8x10 you need 1+4 dilution and 200ml per sheet, so that's 50ml minimum for ONE sheet of 4x5 HP5+ in DD-X without exhaustion, that's 100ml for 2 sheets, so the tank looks very small, make sure it can actually accept enough developer for all film/developer combos.

Also read my response to Mike.


Looks interesting, one thing to keep in mind. Everyone on this forum most likely already have multiple tanks, reels, gizmos for processing film. I think that concentrating on keeping it small and portable is your best advantage. In the good old days commercial photographers checked their lighting and composition with test shots on film and studio proof paper.
Polaroid is gone, any potential replacement is a pipe dream or going to be very expensive. Put one of these in a changing bag you could use it to check lighting, etc. Then toss the negs. and shoot more film for your Jobo . I think there is definitely a yet to be defined niche for this unit. I use a Jobo 2509n setup and processor that I picked up used. I don't think I've bought a new in box darkroom item since 1973. (except the CL81 )
Personally I don't see how you could pay for the tooling to mass produce, having said that I look forward to seeing how this works. Best Regards, Mike

I agree with Mike in that the majority already have a working tank solution for home processing.

What I PERSONALLY see value in, is in the field testing kit. This means when you're out shooting, and you REALLY need to know if the shot is good, you take two shots and develop one right on the spot.

So the value to me is a closed system, making sure it doesn't have a lot of finicky parts, like a swizzle stick...

A cap that seals, take a hint from JOBO and give it a compressible nipple so that excess air that builds pressure has a place to expand without blowing the lid, heck, make it use a water ballon as a seal or something simple, cheap, and easily had. Just an idea, but ultimately the swizzle stick was cycled out years ago for a reason, it's a pain, you drop it, lose track of it, etc, it's too small and doesn't often give even agitation.

Just some thoughts. For me personally it only works with an inversion system.

Kirk Gittings
21-Dec-2015, 23:14
E-6 I would think WOULD be the definitive test, it's the most persnickety.
The definitive test, whether color or b&w, is an evenly lit smooth wall placed on middle gray and thrown way out of focus. No agitation problems can hide in this test.

Randy Moe
21-Dec-2015, 23:25
The definitive test, whether color or b&w, is an evenly lit smooth wall placed on middle gray and thrown way out of focus. No agitation problems can hide in this test.

I must try this with my Gas Burst.

Wsufans
22-Dec-2015, 12:11
The problem with this poll is that the number of sheets may most likely be controlled by the capacity of the processing tank. A better poll might be: what would be the ideal number of sheets of 45 would I like to process at one time?

I agree that the number of sheets would be an interesting data point.

Wsufans
22-Dec-2015, 12:19
Looks interesting, one thing to keep in mind. Everyone on this forum most likely already have multiple tanks, reels, gizmos for processing film. I think that concentrating on keeping it small and portable is your best advantage. In the good old days commercial photographers checked their lighting and composition with test shots on film and studio proof paper.
Polaroid is gone, any potential replacement is a pipe dream or going to be very expensive. Put one of these in a changing bag you could use it to check lighting, etc. Then toss the negs. and shoot more film for your Jobo . I think there is definitely a yet to be defined niche for this unit. I use a Jobo 2509n setup and processor that I picked up used. I don't think I've bought a new in box darkroom item since 1973. (except the CL81 )
Personally I don't see how you could pay for the tooling to mass produce, having said that I look forward to seeing how this works. Best Regards, Mike

I am still a beginner in this format. Did 35mm in high school but that was a few weeks ago and had a dark room set up. Not a great one but I learned a lot. Turn the clock a few weeks into the future and I am starting out again. Done some research on what it would take to dabble in processing once again and it seems like a somewhat challenging investment. This tank could be just the thing to get started back down that road again. Haven't made the dive just yet as I want to see a bit more from the sponsors and the fine folks on this forum first, aka doing research.

But it might be just the thing for home and even better for in the motorhome where space is an extremely limited resource and getting film to a lab is difficult.

Kirk Gittings
22-Dec-2015, 13:45
Please don't be the fool who does their beta testing for them on your dime. Make them do the proper agitation tests and post them publicly before investing in their product.

Light Guru
22-Dec-2015, 16:56
Please don't be the fool who does their beta testing for them on your dime. Make them do the proper agitation tests and post them publicly before investing in their product.

Amen

Duolab123
22-Dec-2015, 17:34
A Mod 54 reel in perfect shape just went for 20 bucks on ebay 1 bidder, free shipping. Auction was up for several days. Reality of the market /auctions for this stuff.

Ben Syverson
22-Dec-2015, 18:04
I do think they should post some examples (especially in E6), but seeing the food coloring test, I'm convinced. But with that said, there are a lot of different agitation styles, and you can't please everyone.

For me, this is very appealing. But I'd like to do 6-8 sheets at a time. :)

koh303
22-Dec-2015, 18:06
I do think they should post some examples (especially in E6), but seeing the food coloring test, I'm convinced. But with that said, there are a lot of different agitation styles, and you can't please everyone.

For me, this is very appealing. But I'd like to do 6-8 sheets at a time. :)

The test says nothing about the agitation action on the back side of the film facing the holder.

How you can do E6 with this, and get consistent results is beyond me.

Wsufans
22-Dec-2015, 18:41
Well for some of us "simple" B&W is a big enough challenge. Color via E6 is way beyond our means and skill set so....... For some of us this might be just the rig but for me it is still too early to tell.

Wayne
22-Dec-2015, 19:23
I don't understand what's supposed to be so fleepping hard about sliding film into slots. Just isn't that difficult! Has anyone really put a sheet in a slot with another sheet and not figured it out before closing the tank? I presume most of us have at least several fingers which with minimal training can function quite well in feeling and counting. :confused:

Light Guru
22-Dec-2015, 19:46
Well for some of us "simple" B&W is a big enough challenge. Color via E6 is way beyond our means and skill set so....... For some of us this might be just the rig but for me it is still too early to tell.

Processing your own color film is no more difficult them processing B&W film.

Ben Syverson
23-Dec-2015, 07:58
The test says nothing about the agitation action on the back side of the film facing the holder.

How you can do E6 with this, and get consistent results is beyond me.
The base side of film doesn't need agitation, but regardless, it's clear from the video that there's turbulence throughout the chamber... But some E6 samples would answer this question pretty definitively!

koh303
23-Dec-2015, 09:23
The base side of film doesn't need agitation, but regardless, it's clear from the video that there's turbulence throughout the chamber... But some E6 samples would answer this question pretty definitively!

So, i will ask again, how can you porcess E6 in this thing?
What will manual E6 results tell you about the tank, or anything else for that matter? What will you compare it to?

StoneNYC
23-Dec-2015, 12:10
I am still a beginner in this format. Did 35mm in high school but that was a few weeks ago and had a dark room set up. Not a great one but I learned a lot. Turn the clock a few weeks into the future and I am starting out again. Done some research on what it would take to dabble in processing once again and it seems like a somewhat challenging investment. This tank could be just the thing to get started back down that road again. Haven't made the dive just yet as I want to see a bit more from the sponsors and the fine folks on this forum first, aka doing research.

But it might be just the thing for home and even better for in the motorhome where space is an extremely limited resource and getting film to a lab is difficult.

What Kirk said, also..

I made this for beginners, it's an order list for what you need, the only thing you would want to add is a MOD54 for 4x5 sheet film.

Shouldn't cost you more than $100-$150 total to get started.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/wl/771A833B26

Not to take away from the OP's post about the Kickstarter, just helping with the chemistry and equipment starter kit. Also, there are many options for Developers, I chose the cheapest and shippable option. There are better developers but this one is ok, not a long shelf life, but many that have a long shelf life are expansive and also this is NOT a powder which I think newbies should stay away from as they tend to mix in their kitchens and that's a recipe for disaster with foodstuffs around.

Kirk Gittings
23-Dec-2015, 12:26
but seeing the food coloring test, I'm convinced.

That food color test looks cool but actually demonstrates almost nothing of value. It's not about how it moves chemistry around an empty tank but how it moves it around film, closely stacked film.

koh303
23-Dec-2015, 12:41
That food color test looks cool but actually demonstrates almost nothing of value. It's not about how it moves chemistry around an empty tank but how it moves it around film, closely stacked film.

+1
Actual film tests will demonstrate current patterns, density shifts and other issues most processing tanks suffer from. This design has such small area that every minor detail will have a greater effect on results.

steveo
8-Jan-2016, 04:28
Looks like they've gone for inversion now instead of the plunger. I'm more interested now and I've got some Christmas money to spend...

Wayne
8-Jan-2016, 06:36
Looks like they've gone for inversion now instead of the plunger. I'm more interested now and I've got some Christmas money to spend...

where do you see that?

steveo
8-Jan-2016, 06:40
where do you see that?

On their kick-starter page.

Wayne
8-Jan-2016, 07:01
again:where?

Wayne
8-Jan-2016, 07:03
OK, i found it in the updates section

tim48v
12-Jan-2016, 13:58
Everyone,
Here's a link to the update: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1653453089/sp-445-compact-4x5-film-processing-system/posts/1463260

We've also posted some sample images on Kickstarter; larger files are at: www.stearmanpress.com under the 'photo tech' page.

Tim

Tim Meisburger
12-Jan-2016, 15:14
I do love this process! I remember when the Travelwide kickstarter first came out. It all seemed so simple and straightforward, and everything would be ready in a few months. Then reality reared its head, but as each problem arose there was a titanic struggle, and through dedication and perseverance all obstacles (except shipping) were heroically overcome. its a metaphor for how life should be lived, and a cautionary tale for anyone.

Keep up the good fight!

Kirk Gittings
12-Jan-2016, 16:43
Everyone,
Here's a link to the update: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1653453089/sp-445-compact-4x5-film-processing-system/posts/1463260

We've also posted some sample images on Kickstarter; larger files are at: www.stearmanpress.com under the 'photo tech' page.

Tim

Those images are not good examples. Plenty of uneven development could hide in the details or the building photos or the monotone high key images. As I have said before. The definitive test, whether color or b&w, is an evenly lit smooth wall placed on middle gray and thrown way out of focus. No agitation problems can hide in this test.

koh303
12-Jan-2016, 17:13
Everyone,
Here's a link to the update: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1653453089/sp-445-compact-4x5-film-processing-system/posts/1463260

We've also posted some sample images on Kickstarter; larger files are at: www.stearmanpress.com under the 'photo tech' page.

Tim

So - just to get this staight - you have completely departed from the original design (which was completely or almost completely untested in real life), to completely new design, which has question like: what will the lid look like, how it will be made and of what materials, will it seal? (paterson seem to not have been able to figure that one out over 30 years), will it work and how totally in air (though your engineers are leaning towards a kitchen ware lid..???)?

I am not sure i am following, and how the 60K so far raised for the original concept will tie in to this new one.

Im still waiting to see those chrome tests and learning about how time and temperature/agitation is maintained consistently.

Duolab123
13-Jan-2016, 22:18
I'm somewhat surprised that so much money has been pledged with the design so up in the air. I do think that the fellow is earnestly trying to respond to the customer base. . I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Mike

seezee
14-Jan-2016, 10:46
There have been some concerns about uniform development. (I shoot mainly E6 transparencies and haven't seen a problem but that doesn't mean much.)

Obviously there are too many combinations for us to empirically test every possibility. So here's the question: What combination of film/developer is the "worst case?"

I imagine film with double-sided emulsion, e.g., x-ray film, regardless of developer, would be challenging.

Wayne
15-Jan-2016, 11:31
I'm somewhat surprised that so much money has been pledged with the design so up in the air. I do think that the fellow is earnestly trying to respond to the customer base. . I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Mike

We here at LFF have firmly established that large format photographers generally have a lot of disposable income. YMMV, as mine does. I'd love to contribute but can't afford the risk and I'm not sure it will help me with economical development of color.

europanorama
20-Jan-2016, 13:14
After checking the latest report one must come to the conclusion this system is very solid.....

Duolab123
16-Mar-2016, 21:33
I just looked at the latest update as of March 6th. Looks pretty darn good. I'm not sure I would use for day to day work in my darkroom but in the field to check exposure or to check lighting, a couple 500mL bottles and a changing bag. I may pick one up :)

tim48v
28-Jul-2016, 14:51
The first production run of SP-445s is finished, boxed up and on its way to the distribution center in Hong Kong.

In fact, we messed up and sent a few too many. Thus, we're having a warehouse sale (I know, it sounds cheesy but we don't want to have to air freight the units to the USA if we don't have to.) Visit shop.stearmanpress.com for details.153372

Robclarke
28-Jul-2016, 15:13
Just bought one. Looking forward to trying it. Thanks, Rob.

Duolab123
28-Jul-2016, 18:42
So the "Special Price" is $87 USD plus shipping?
Best Mike

stawastawa
28-Jul-2016, 23:14
Tim,
I am curious about a specification of the film holders for the SP-445.
What are the envelope dimensions for the film holding space of the film holders?
I am curious if the holders would accept a sheet of photo paper cut down to 4'' x 5'' or if it is designed to snugly hold 4x5 film which is slightly smaller.

thanks!
~nicholas

stawastawa
28-Jul-2016, 23:16
I wonder, would making the primary flag ship a 5x7 design and having holders sold either for 4x5 or 5x7.
then include a spacer (hollow tube) to take up space and reduce fluid requirement when developing 4x5. ...


Four sheets is fine. Just as long as you make it four sheets of 5x7. :)

There are plenty of options for 4x5 developing. You'd really have something if you took this design down the 5x7 path instead and it gave very even results. More than 16 ounces would be required, but not that much more.

seezee
29-Jul-2016, 07:08
I just ordered one. I'm using an HP Combi-Plan now & am interested in how this compares for ease of use, consistency of results, etc.

I see the dry plate Kickstarter failed. Any future plans to make these with alternate funding?

Ron (Netherlands)
31-Jul-2016, 08:23
Actually don't use 4x5 but 10x15 (i.e. cm) as smallest LF, and there go 3 in a Paterson 35 model II Tank, which I altered so it can take larger films.

tim48v
31-Jul-2016, 08:31
So the "Special Price" is $87 USD plus shipping?
Best Mike

The real "Special" is the $7 world wide shipping. Normally, shipping from the US to anywhere is a lot more money.

tim48v
31-Jul-2016, 08:35
Tim,
I am curious about a specification of the film holders for the SP-445.
What are the envelope dimensions for the film holding space of the film holders?
I am curious if the holders would accept a sheet of photo paper cut down to 4'' x 5'' or if it is designed to snugly hold 4x5 film which is slightly smaller.

thanks!
~nicholas

The thickness isn't a problem, just need to trim your paper to 3.95" (<100mm) wide.
The Galaxy direct positive paper fit perfectly; the Ilford 4x5 is a bit too wide and would need to be trimmed.

tim48v
31-Jul-2016, 08:49
I wonder, would making the primary flag ship a 5x7 design and having holders sold either for 4x5 or 5x7.
then include a spacer (hollow tube) to take up space and reduce fluid requirement when developing 4x5. ...

Frankly, we're not sure how well the film holders would work with something as large as 5x7. But real issue is the volume, not of chemistry but of production and the actual size of the mold. I need to address this in a blog post sometime; to long for the forum.

One crazy thought, you might (emphasis on might) be able to process a single sheet of 5x7 using a modified "taco" method. Leave out the film holders, fold the sheet of film carefully and slide in into the tank. Haven't been able to try it; I don't have a 5x7 camera.

tim48v
31-Jul-2016, 08:56
I just ordered one. I'm using an HP Combi-Plan now & am interested in how this compares for ease of use, consistency of results, etc.

I see the dry plate Kickstarter failed. Any future plans to make these with alternate funding?

We will probably launch another kickstarter as Galaxy gets closer to production. Might combine it with a 9x12 film holder.
One thought was a holder that would take a dry plate on one side and a sheet of 9x12 on the other. If the demand was there, we could do a dedicated 9x12 holder, just don't know that this time.

tim48v
5-Aug-2016, 09:12
Please note that our "warehouse special" will have to end at midnight, August 6th (Denver time), this gives us time to get all the address/shipping info to the shipping agent.

Duolab123
5-Aug-2016, 20:16
I'm going to wait for the price to go up ��. Having said that for a quick check in the field one of these easy to load little tanks and a pint of mono bath developer and you got a way to check composition ,exposure etc. Make sure you have it right then expose some extra sheets to take home and process any way you see fit. It looks like a great little gizmo and impressive in ease of use, and portability.
Best Mike