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Thread: Happy MOD54 users?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    39

    Happy MOD54 users?

    This is something of a follow-up to cupcake's thread about the best easy to use tank for developing 4x5 sheets...

    I recently got myself a MOD54 tank insert, and seem to have a choice between two problems when using it: I can either go for a developing cycle with strong and frequent agitation, and end up with relatively even development, but the back of the films gets heavily scratched where the retaining fingers hold the film. OR: I go for more gentle agitation and end up with underdeveloped areas, again in proximity of the holding fingers. Neither is ideal, although the scratches encountered in the first approach don't necessarily show in scans, so this seems the lesser problem.

    As a reference, I used Ilford Delta 100 film and either Ilfotech DD-X or Ilford Perceptol (stock) developer. I should also say that after a bit of practice I didn't have the loading problems others seem to have encountered, nor have I so far had any cases of negatives dislodging or touching each other.

    I understand that some people recommend longer development times and higher developer dilutions for use with the MOD54. While I would be hesitant to choose my developer mix to suit the tank, rather than the negative, it would be great to know what chemistries and agitation people are using who have been happy with their MOD54!

    It would also be great to hear from anyone who managed to get good consistent C-41 results with their MOD54 - this is something which after my b/w results so far, I have not been confident enough to try with this system.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    158

    Re: Happy MOD54 users?

    I have been very happy with mine, my development regime is Ilford FP4 at ISO100 developed in Rodinal at 1:25 for 9 minutes at 20C. 30 seconds initial agitation and then 1 gentle inversion every minute.

    I have yet to get scratch marks or uneven development, but i only contact print (4 5x4's on a sheet) and at that size i cant see defects with a loupe on either negatives or print.

    as always FWIW, YMMV, etc.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Milan
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    Re: Happy MOD54 users?

    With MOD54 I use the spinner every minute (or every 15" with Pyro), and only one very gentle tank inversion in thw whole process. I fear inversions could unmount the films.
    No underdevelopments whatsoever.
    With C41 and E6 processes I strictly follow instructions, always with spin and one single very slow inversion. No issues so far.

    I keep temperatures much stable because the tank and every process bottle are immersed in a sink at the process temperature.
    I use demineralized water always.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Belgium
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    Re: Happy MOD54 users?

    Take great care to put the emulsion of the sheet films facing the interior of the tank, otherwise you will some undevelopped marks at the retainings fingers place on your films. Use mine for 6 years now,a nd never had any issues with it.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    39

    Re: Happy MOD54 users?

    I use the spinner for first ten seconds, then gentle inversions every minute. I've used HP5 in various dilutions of HC110, but more recently Microphen stock for 6mins 30secs. I haven't noticed scratching or uneven development. I'm very happy with it, although it's easiest to load in a Darkroom rather than a bag or small tent.
    Alex.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Doncaster UK
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    311

    Re: Happy MOD54 users?

    I use the Mod54 with FomaPan and TMAX Films and HC11o, XTOL and Pyro

    I have seen the odd scratch on the Fomapan but never on TMAX. I invert for the first 60 seconds and then 5 gentle inversions every minute.

    I max number of films I load onto the MOD 54 is 4.

    I load the holder in a changing bag but I do find it cumbersome.

    Are you loading the holder in a darkroom or a changing bag ?

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Re: Happy MOD54 users?

    Hi Ian, I load in a darkroom, and in that way I don't actually find the loading itself difficult - although I can imagine it would be harder in a changing bag!

    Given the range of films and developers people are using with good results, I can't quite make sense yet of the trouble I have been having, since the dilutions / procedures don't seem to differ vastly from what I have been doing. I might try to upload some images in the next few days, just to illustrate the problem. Not that I had the impression so far: but is Delta 100 more scratch-sensitive than other films?

    Thank you everyone for your responses so far, and for sharing your procedures! This really helps me to get an idea of how others are getting on with their MOD54! (Essentially, it's great to know that you are getting good results without vastly different procedures so, with some luck, I should be able to get there... :-)!)

  8. #8
    alanbutler57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Coppell, TX
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    352

    Re: Happy MOD54 users?

    I liked mine before I got a Jobo, kept it for someday when I decide to experiment with stand etc., it's pricey but works well.

  9. #9
    Vince Donovan
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    San Francisco
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    Re: Happy MOD54 users?

    No problems with mine. Make sure you are loading emulsion side in.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Equally far from everything
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    208

    Re: Happy MOD54 users?

    I used the original MOD54 for years and got uneven development frequently in shots that had a lot of sky. Got the newer one but found it was more difficult to load.
    I ended up switching to the BTZS tubes and have been very happy.

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