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Thread: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

  1. #1
    Henricus Henricus's Avatar
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    BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    I'm having second thoughts about my BTZS tubes. Using HP5+ at iso 400, I took two shots with my Crown Graphic and Kreuznach Xenar 135mm f4.7 lens. I developed the film in the tubes using distilled water and HC 110 Dilution B (1+31) from concentrate. One of the negatives had a dark band across it where I think the film overlapped just a bit. Other than that the negatives were good, albeit a bit grainy for my taste. I like the fact that I can just develop two sheets and use a small amount of developer, one shot no less. I have boxes and trays, I just wonder if it would just be better to use the trays and be done with these tubes. I'm just thinking out loud, don't know yet. I'm going to shoot two more sheets and try dilution A next. Any BTZS tube fans here or past users? I'm interested in opinions.

    Humbly,


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    Henricus

    Lux et Veritas.

  2. #2

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    Re: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    What size tubes? 2 at a time sound like 8x10 tubes, but your camera is a 4x5. You can easily process 6 tubes at a time with 4x5. I like the tubes for the money. Jobo is my preferred for convenience and for processing a lot of film.

    But BTZS tubes are foolproof, low tech, inexpensive, and allow you to use different developers/dilutions for each sheet of film.

    One downside of BTZS tubes is the number of pieces that must be cleaned and dried. A proper sized wooden dowel rod and a flour sack towel is a good system for drying tubes if doing multiple runs.

  3. #3

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    Re: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    I should have mentioned that practicing loading and unloading some dummy film in daylight is a good way to get started so you are not loading wrong or scratching film when you remove it from the tubes.

  4. #4
    Joel Edmondson
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    Re: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    I have to agree with jeroldharter... been using the tubes for more years than I can (easily) recall and I have never had any grounds for complaints. I found a sponge-type bottlewasher that I use to dry them if I am in a hurry!

    Joel

  5. #5
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    I have been using BTZS tubes, 4x5 and 8x10 for about 15 years. Love them. Very convenient and economical way to develop fim. Never had an issue with film overlapping in the tube.

  6. #6
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    The film shouldn't overlap, are you putting the film in the tube length wise? Are you using 4x5 tubes with a single sheet of film in each tube?

    Roger

  7. #7
    Henricus Henricus's Avatar
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    Re: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Thoms View Post
    The film shouldn't overlap, are you putting the film in the tube length wise? Are you using 4x5 tubes with a single sheet of film in each tube?

    Roger
    Well, I'm not sure that the darkened section was caused by overlap, but it is a logical assumption based on how I loaded the tubes. No, I didn't load them width wise and yes, they are 4x5 tubes. I have two tubes. The reason I think it was caused by overlap, was that I rolled the film tighter than usual so as not to allow the film to stick to the side of the tube when I loaded them. In hindsight, I should not have done it that way. I like the "sponge-type bottlewasher" idea, this would have solved my side-sticking issue. It is good to hear that there are fans with much experience with the tubes. Thanks for the insight.

    Best,
    Henricus

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  8. #8

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    Re: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    If the film edges overlapped, I would expect at least one edge to be clear, so the print would be darker. Never try to load a tube that is not perfectly dry. Any moisture on the walls will result in sticking. If you don't have it, try to get the BTZS molded tray which holds 6 tubes in a water bath. Nothing magic, but it is convenient and the proper size for managing up to 6 tubes. Even with 2 tubes it would be convenient.

    The only problem with a bottle washer sponge (like the ones for Jobo film tubes) is that the sponge gets wet if you have several tubes. So you still need something to get the last mist of moisture off the tubes. That is why I like a dowel rod with a flour sack towel (not on Jobo though, too fragile). The towels are inexpensive, lint free, and absorb a lot of water. If you use a lot of tubes (e.g. I have 2 sets of 6) then a clean 3-5 gallon bucket is a good storage bin.

  9. #9

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    Re: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    I never developed ANY film before about 4-5 years ago, and have been using the BTZS tubes exclusively since then. I had occasional problems initially, but none since. I often develop sheets with various development times, so the tubes are very convenient for that. Someone here suggested that it is easy to get the film out if you submerge the tube in water. I tried that, and it seems to work well. I would be sure to tlet the film expand to the full circumference of the tubes to avoid overlap.

    It is a rare day that I expose more than 6 sheets of film, and I have a set of 6 tubes, so I can generally just let them dry between sessions. Sometimes I dry them out with a hair drier, then let them cool before re-using.

  10. #10
    45-57-617
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    Re: BTZS Tubes Anyone? Anyone?

    I recently contacted the seller of these tubes and asked if there was a larger lid for the 4x5 varieties. The reason is I want to use about 90ml of developer for each 4x5 (PyroCat-HD). The standard lid only accomodates around 60ml of developer. I didn't get a very favourable response to my request ! I even suggested that a cap that was larger than the film holder itself would allow me to use the tubes for stand development ...

    I've owned the tubes for a while and I'm not that impressed. THhe O-rings are perished after a few years too.

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