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I have an opportunity to buy three Kodak hard plastic non-daylight processing ta nks, seven 5x7 hangers, one 4x5 hanger, and four 8x10 hangers -- all used and in good condition -- for $75. I am wondering what type of deal this is and the pr os and cons of tank processing over tray processing. I do tend to scratch negat ives with tray processing more than four 4x5 or two 5x7 negatives at a time. Thanks for the input Jim Worthington
Tank processing is OK. And the deal sounds fine. The main problem with tank proc essing is the fact that you need a large volume of chemistry to fill the tank. ( An 8x10 tank takes 3.5 gallons of solution!) Not good if you use one-shot develo pers as I do. You'll have to replentish, extend your developing time, or dump yo ur developer after each session. Tray processing is best, I feel, at least for b &w, where temp control is not a problem. I harden my negs before washing, so str atches are kept to a minimum. Use a 5x7 tray for 4x5 or 5x7, an 8x10 for 8x10. T his way the film has less opportunity to scratch. Practice makes perfect. T-Max films scratch easily, regular films less easily. A tray with holes drilled on on e end is fine for washing. If you do go with tanks, beware of excessive agitatio n, which will cause streaks as developer rushes through the little holes in the hangers. And loading hangers takes some getting used to! Also, the edges of the holders are extremely sharp, so handle them carefully so as to avoid scratching in the tank. Finally, you will have to remove the film from the hangers for dryi ng. Good luck. http://www.ravenvison.com/rvapeter.htm
Sounds just a bit steep to me. Do the tanks have lids included? Does the guy hav e any more 4 x 5 hangers? Are the hangers in good shape with retainers in good w orking order, not bent or rusted, holes and channels not plugged up with dried c hemicals?
Problem with the plastic tanks is that they will take a long time (longer than m etal) to come up to temperature.
It takes some practice to be able to process film in hangers with manual agitati on so that you don't get streaks and uneven development from developer pumping i n and out of the holes. You will probably ruin a few batches until you get the f eel for it.
Certainly for large batch processing it is the way to go. However at that stage you would want to look for the cages which hold a dozen or so hangers so that yo u can lift them all at once.
Lots of film has been processed in that kind of equipment however, and you can d o it. I just think you are getting short changed a bit on the hangers. I can see a dozen 4 x 5 and maybe six each of the other sizes for that price.
I have tried trays and tanks (even tried a daylight tank for 4x5) with mixed res ults. I got scratches with all of them, but more with trays. Developing wasn't always even. Two years ago I bought the BTZS tubes for 4x5. Best investment I ever made. Good consistent results with no scratching and much cheaper than a J obo. Don't bother with tanks. Get the tubes. A muc better system.
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