View Full Version : Uneven negs with daylight tank

20-Feb-2008, 14:52
Recently I've been using a nifty daylight developing tank for my 4x5 stuff. Specifically it's a Yankee Agitank. More and more I'm getting these crazy over-developed edges. I think I'm pretty consistent with my agitation (5 agitations per minute). I'm using PMK to develop. The over developed areas definitely match the slits that allow developer to circulate in the tank. It seems to only happen to about half of my negatives though. Any ideas? Is it just a cheap-o tank and I need to spend the big bucks on a better designed tank? I think I'm pretty gentle in my agitation... it's not like I'm shaking the tank vigorously or anything. I move the tank longways about an inch in each direction. Each full agitation takes about 2 seconds. I'd appreciate the help!

20-Feb-2008, 15:43
I had a similar thing with a more expensive tank. I'm not a fan of these type because it takes SO long to fill up the whole load of liquid.

Try diluting chems and increasing your development time, and overfilling - that's what I do. By going a little over the 'capacity' you're making sure there's well enough to cover all the negs. By diluting you're making sure the edges don't develop much faster than the rest.

Try tipping more, gentle but thorough agitation by tapping and swaying the tank - avoid bubbles but promote liquid movement.

20-Feb-2008, 17:05
Like Ash said, try increasing dilution, development times and overfilling as much as you can.

The Yankee tank was the first "daylight" tank I used in trying to move away from open tray development. This was way back in the last century :) and I'm surprised to hear that the tank is still on the market. It leaks (at least the one I had, unless the design has vastly improved) and I too got uneven agitation. I quickly went back to open trays until I got the HP Combi-Plan tank. If you want to use a daylight tank, the HP is much better and can be inverted. Another option is using a tubular print drum and motor base or the Jobo system.

By the way, did you figure out your problems with the scratches on FP4?

Erich Hoeber
20-Feb-2008, 17:21
Many folks have edge density trouble with this tank. If you want a daylight tank I second the HP Combi as a good choice. A little quirky, but very reliable. Search previous threads.

steve simmons
20-Feb-2008, 17:24
I've been using a nifty daylight developing tank for my 4x5 stuff.

It can't be that nifty if it does not work. I tried these tanks years and years ago when I was afraid of developing my film w/o lights being on. I could not make them work, finally gave up and bit the bullet and tried trays. I had almost immediate success and learned that I could do 6 sheets simultaneously but each one for a different time. This can not be done with an enclosed tank of whatever brand.

just my 2 cents.

steve simmons

20-Feb-2008, 20:01
I'll definitely try increasing dilution and trying different agitation, but I have a feeling I might have to figure something else out.

And no, still stumped by the cracks in the film base. I pulled a sheet straight out of the box and there were no marks. I'm wondering if it might have something to do with a fluke in the processing combined with an odd box of film. I did run across a sheet that had significantly less marks on it though. I'll crack into a new box tomorrow morning. We'll see.

20-Feb-2008, 20:05
i use a "doran" daylight tank. no development problems in over 800 negs. try it.

mostly i use hc110 dil h (1:63) or dil g (1:119). i ma now trying pryo hd 1:1:100 and have no problems. i like to play on the computer between agitations!


Clay Turtle
20-Feb-2008, 21:18
Iáve used tanks I even use universal tank film tank as I would jobo system for paper development continues rotationto produce even distribution. you may need to alter development time because of the continues agitation but I have used this system out in the boonies to develope b&w many times without problems.

Glenn Thoreson
20-Feb-2008, 21:42
I hate those Yankee tanks. One way to make them work flawlessly, though, is to use more than one. Throw the lids away and use them as a dip-n-dunk line. Of course, that kind of eliminates the daylight option. I use a Unicolor roller and tank.

Jim Noel
21-Feb-2008, 10:47
If a tank gives the kind of results you show, I would not call it "Nifty", I would call it "Junk". In my more than 60 years of photography, I have never seen a daylight tank for sheet film that gave reliable results time after time.

Brad Rippe
21-Feb-2008, 11:08
Like Steve said, try trays. They are easy to learn, and you will get very consistent results.

steve simmons
21-Feb-2008, 11:11
If you are interested in trying trays my process is described step by step in an article in the Free Articles section of the View Camera web site


steve simmons

Benno Jones
21-Feb-2008, 13:22
I use FR tanks with very good success. I make sure I fill them completely (1600 ml) and agitate by shaking gently side-to-side (parallel to the film) for 10 seconds every minute. I try my best not to swing the bottom more than the top to be sure that both ends are getting the same amount of agitation. Never had a problem with streaking or other uneven development unrelated to user error (like getting two sheets into the same slot).

Seems like just about every method has some folks who swear by it and some who can't get it to work no matter what.

21-Feb-2008, 13:26
Cool! The daylight tank added clouds to your picture!

I use trays with a cover on top. They work.

21-Feb-2008, 14:23
I struggled with the yankee tanks and uneven development for quite a while, I finally gave up on them altogether. Wish i still had the tanks to use as dip and dunk though...

Garry Madlung
21-Feb-2008, 18:47
I used a tanks for 4x5s for a while and had that very problem. There is increased turbulence in the developer as it hits the side of the tank. I believe that tanks are the worst method for processing negs. Once I switched to plain old tray processing all negs were processed evenly.

It's more time consuming but not so frustrating. I'm reading Benno's post. It seems to work for him. Might be worth a try.

Chuck Pere
22-Feb-2008, 05:41
Some people seem to be able to use these tanks. If you really want to try I would not use PMK Pyro as it seems more sensitive to agitation. If you want to use pyro try Pyrocat HD and some kind of minimal agitation technique. Or try D-76, Xtol or HC-110. But I still think you will have problems on negatives with large areas of continuous tone like snow or skies. Complex stuff is easy. Also if you switch to another method don't toss these tanks. You may want to use them as a wash tank.