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ignatiusjk
21-Apr-2011, 15:00
I just recieved a HP Combi plan devo system and it seems rather chinsy or flimsy.What type of expierence have any of you had with this system. I haven't run any film through it yet so maybe it will work better than I think it will. Let me know.

jss
21-Apr-2011, 15:54
I have two of these. They don't feel super solid but they are pretty sturdy. I know what you mean, they are not cheap and don't "feel" expensive.

On my first one, I found one of the screw-in stoppers leaked a little so I just make sure it's always on top (on the lid). No problem since then. I eventually bought a second so I can process 12 sheets at a time.

I definitely recommend the CombiPlans.

Jon Shiu
21-Apr-2011, 16:07
Be careful with the clip, as they can break. Just squeeze gently to remove. Also, only push it down when loading film a click or two for 4x5 film because you don't want to squish the film too much.

Jon

ignatiusjk
21-Apr-2011, 16:13
I know what you mean about the clips the one side cracked and I bearly squeezed it. I'm curious to try it out.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
21-Apr-2011, 16:34
You can make the insert stronger by assembling it with the nuts on opposite sides of the insert. Then it will be more rigid. Just make sure you reassemble it with the curved sides of the end plates facing in.

If you received it with a broken Film Clip just call us next week and we will send you a replacement, 800 735-4373. The Film Clip fits on the ratchted top of the carrier. To remove it you MUST gently depress each side of the clip. Otherwise you will break it! You can just push it down. There is no need to do it by a click or two. The only way you can break it is to not depress the sides when removing it or by stepping on it!

If someone has a Light Tight Hose Connector that leaks just call us for a replacement. But check to make sure that the black washer is installed first.

Zaitz
22-Apr-2011, 21:52
It is awesome. I tried tray processing and had several problems. The Combiplan provides fantastic and repeatable results.

bobwysiwyg
23-Apr-2011, 05:00
I've had good luck with them also. At first, the fill/empty time bothered me, and to some extent still does, but I think it all mental. It has never caused any real problems.

When I first used it, I had minor leaking, not serious, but somewhat irritating. I finally realized that when I 'thought' I had the lid on tight, it really was not seated all the way. I found that working around the edges of the soft rubber lid every few inches after loading really seated the lid. No more leaks or seepage.

Geraldine Powell
5-May-2011, 11:42
I am new to this list and completely new to LF. I have just bought an Hp combiPlan
system. I have been trying it out with water and have a couple of questions:

What are the blue washers used for? They are not noted in the instructions.

I called HP customer service and got routed around to four different places, nobody knowing what I was talking about until they told me to call Adorama. The man there didn't know but said he was emailing me a link that would give me more information, but I never got it.
Does anyone know of a video that shows how to load it and how to use the system? I think I understand, but a video would help a lot.

lastly, does anyone know somewhere I could get expired or unwanted 4x5 sheets so I can practice? I live in a photography wasteland.
Thanks

Gem Singer
5-May-2011, 12:19
Hi Eleanor,

Welcome to the forum.

As you know, the Combi-Plan tanks are manufactured and distributed by HP Marketing. Bob Solomon represents that company, and wrote the instruction book for the product. He is best qualified to answer your questions and help solve your problem.

If Bob does not notice this post, click on his name on post #5 above and send him a PM or Email.

I know of no video on how to use the HP Combi-Plan. It would be nice to have one.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
5-May-2011, 12:57
I am new to this list and completely new to LF. I have just bought an Hp combiPlan
system. I have been trying it out with water and have a couple of questions:

What are the blue washers used for? They are not noted in the instructions.

I called HP customer service and got routed around to four different places, nobody knowing what I was talking about until they told me to call Adorama. The man there didn't know but said he was emailing me a link that would give me more information, but I never got it.
Does anyone know of a video that shows how to load it and how to use the system? I think I understand, but a video would help a lot.

lastly, does anyone know somewhere I could get expired or unwanted 4x5 sheets so I can practice? I live in a photography wasteland.
Thanks

The blue washers are to be thrown out. They were used to process small sheet film sizes and were needed to slightly widen the distance between the side panels. However we discontinued the divider rack that was needed to process those sizes a long time ago and today that divider is simply not available anywhere. So the blue washers have no use. The black washers in the Light Tight Hose Connector do have to be used so don't lose those!

I think you are pushing the help issue a bit though. When you call us with a technical question you normally will get either me or the Product Manager. One of us is normally here all the time. On the Combi all calls would be sent to me and I did not get any calls from you, or anyone else, with this question in the past year. However, I travel like during NAB the week of April 10th. But the office will give you my cell phone during those times and I did not receive a call on it regarding the Combi. Or someone might leave a voice mail message on my extension and you did not. I might also be out sick, like last Tuesday and Wednesday or have a doctor's appointment or be out seeing dealers. In these cases the office will also give the caller my cell phone and, again, I received no calls about this. Nor were there any messages about this on my office extension.

As to being trasferred so many times. We are an 8 person office. One is a receptionist, she is not technical. One is the office manager, he is not technical. Two are the Warehouse Managers, they are not technical. That leaves me, National Sales Manager, our Product Manager and our Order Department Manager. None of us can remember a call with your question recently.

We are HP Marketing Corp. you didn't try asking Hewlitt Packard your question?

bobwysiwyg
5-May-2011, 13:15
I'm another satisfied user. A couple of things I, and others have noted. The fill and empty times. At first this bothered me. I was use to 35mm tanks. I have not found the "perceived" times with the Combiplan to be an issue. Be careful with the tank itself. It's very brittle plastic. If you drop it on a hard surface... need I say more. :o I chipped the corner of mine doing just that, but liked it well enough to get a new one. It can leak around the edges of the lid if you don't secure it tightly. After loading and putting the lid on, I make sure I press very firmly around the perimeter every inch or two. Since doing this, no leaks at all.

Gem Singer
5-May-2011, 14:57
Eleanor,

An article that I wrote for the home page of this website offers a clue about loading film into the Combi-Plan.

Click on LF Home Page on the blue tool bar above. Scroll down to "Developing 4x5 Film, an Alternative Method".

A few of the photos at the end of the article show how the sheets of film are loaded into the Combi-Plan film rack.

RmFrase
5-May-2011, 19:30
I have a combiplan and like it. It is expensive cheap plastic - but does the job. You do have to be careful with the film loading guides and the top retaining clip as can crack/break. I've already had to superglue both.

Also, I've found that the orange film guides tend to dislodge easily. So, I place a a loose rubber band around them to keep them in place until ready to place into the tank body. I then just roll it down off of the film guide in order to remove them.
Bob Salomon (Previous page) is also correct on the retaining clip - just a click or two.
When pouring the chemicals, make sure that the tank is on a level surface so that the chemicals flow evenly and to not pour directly onto the Negatives.
And finally - when rotating the tank to agitate the solution, rotate ONLY side to side and NEVER front to back. If you rotate front to back you can (lesson learned) dislodge the film from the weight of the chemicals pushing against them.

-Robert

lbenac
5-May-2011, 19:57
And finally - when rotating the tank to agitate the solution, rotate ONLY side to side and NEVER front to back. If you rotate front to back you can (lesson learned) dislodge the film from the weight of the chemicals pushing against them.

-Robert

Great tip.

Thank you

bobwysiwyg
6-May-2011, 10:25
Also, I've found that the orange film guides tend to dislodge easily. So, I place a a loose rubber band around them to keep them in place until ready to place into the tank body. I then just roll it down off of the film guide in order to remove them.
-Robert

Ditto on this tip, forgot to include it. Without the rubber band, they pop off pretty easily.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
6-May-2011, 10:59
Ditto on this tip, forgot to include it. Without the rubber band, they pop off pretty easily.

Then you broke yours. An unbroken film clip will stay on even with violent shaking when inverted. Contact us about replacing it.

800 735-4373

Gem Singer
6-May-2011, 11:06
Bob,

They are referring to the orange film loading bar, not the film retaining clip.

bobwysiwyg
6-May-2011, 11:22
Bob,

They are referring to the orange film loading bar, not the film retaining clip.

Yup, no problems with the film retaining clip.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
6-May-2011, 13:09
Bob,

They are referring to the orange film loading bar, not the film retaining clip.

The film loading guide locks onto the film carrier and will support the weight of a loaded holder. If it is falling off then it is either broken or improperly installed. Again call us and we will replace it if broken or guide you through its proper use if it isn't.

800 735-4373

Gem Singer
6-May-2011, 13:30
Bob ,

In post #16, you stated "film clip", not "film loading guide".

The film loading guide was the part that Robert was referring to, not the film clip.

Over the years, I have used at least 10 different Combi-Plan film loading guides. None of them locked firmly onto the film racks. All of them couldn't have been broken. I thought I was using them properly.

Is there a trick to locking them down?

bobwysiwyg
6-May-2011, 13:41
I'll watch this for a reply. I could never get them (guides) to lock in any way, and as far as I know, nothing is broken. I wouldn't mind eliminating the rubber band, but until then...

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
6-May-2011, 13:47
Bob ,

In post #16, you stated "film clip", not "film loading guide".

The film loading guide was the part that Robert was referring to, not the film clip.

Over the years, I have used at least 10 different Combi-Plan film loading guides. None of them locked firmly onto the film racks. All of them couldn't have been broken. I thought I was using them properly.

Is there a trick to locking them down?

The film carrier has a notch on each end on each side of film holder. The film loading guide slips over the top of the film holder and the bottom of the guide rests in the nothces on each side of the film hoder. When properly placed there are three slots available to put film into on each side and you can lift the film holder up by just lifting the film guide. Load three sheets and move the guide to the other side. If the guide was properly fitted then you remove it by lifting the bottom edge of the guide up.

If you look at the inside bottom edge of the loading guide you will see that it was a lip. That lip will fit under the top edge of the notches in the film holder so the guide stays in place unless pulled away and up from the bottom. If yours does not do that then play a bit in the light and you will see how it stays in place.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
6-May-2011, 13:48
Bob ,

In post #16, you stated "film clip", not "film loading guide".

The film loading guide was the part that Robert was referring to, not the film clip.

Over the years, I have used at least 10 different Combi-Plan film loading guides. None of them locked firmly onto the film racks. All of them couldn't have been broken. I thought I was using them properly.

Is there a trick to locking them down?

#22

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
6-May-2011, 13:57
Here are the instructions from the instruction sheet regarding putting the film loading guide in position. There are illustrations of this procedure in the instruction sheet.

"The loading guide frame is hooked into position by placing the top cross bar over the two projecting guide grooves and then pressing the bottom edge of the loading frame into the cut-out on the sides of the carrier plates (Illus. 7). This prevents the guide frame from slipping while working in the dark."

bobwysiwyg
6-May-2011, 14:42
Bob, it will not be the end of the world for me to keep using the rubber bands, but I followed those instructions long ago, (and just tried them again now) and what I found is once the guides are 'hooked' at the top and brought down, they can't lock in place because there is a 1-2 mm gap between the horizontal lip on the orange guide and the top of the cut out on clear, plastic film holder. No chance to catch and lock into place.

Gem Singer
6-May-2011, 15:07
Following the instructions to the letter.

The loading bar will not lock into place. It merely rests on top of the film rack with the lip holding down one edge while the opposite edge is free to lift up..

Bumping it while working in the dark, tends to dislodge the entire loading bar.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
6-May-2011, 15:22
Following the instructions to the letter.

The loading bar will not lock into place. It merely rests on top of the film rack with the lip holding down one edge while the opposite edge is free to lift up..

Bumping it while working in the dark, tends to dislodge the entire loading bar.

Call me Monday and we will figure it out. I wrote #22 with a set in front of me.

bobwysiwyg
6-May-2011, 17:08
Call me Monday and we will figure it out. I wrote #22 with a set in front of me.

If you guys do sort this out, you will share the secret... right? :)

RmFrase
6-May-2011, 19:06
Well, I examined the parts: Groved side plates and film loading guides. I found that it had a bit of play as it had from first purchased. I never found this to be an issue of displeasure. And only started to use the rubber band out of necessessity due to my particular process of loading the film onto the Combi Plan.

Due to my environment, I load the film onto the Combi Plan "T" in a film changing bag. The reason I use the rubber band is because the changing bag does not lie flat, and this causes the film carrier to fall over if I'm not constantly holding onto the handle of the upper spacer rod. Now, it's 2nd nature for me to hold the carrier in the changing bag with part of my hand while opening and removing the negatives from the film holders and loading the Combi Plan.

The film guide and film retaining clip only broke due to user error on my part. I dropped then stepped on the film guide and squeezed too hard on the retaining clip. But it wasn't anything that superglue couldn't fix right up.

As a user of this - I'm right at home with the Combi Plan, and would buy it again. I may need to anyway, as I'm developing more film.

One last tip I can think of, is when tightening up the Two Locking Rings (#459415) place the carrier on a flat surface, and make sure that the Handle on the upper spacer rod is at 90 degrees. This ensures that the 'teeth' on the lower space rod, and the 'teeth' on the retaining clip are parallel so that the film is held in place.

-Robert