View Full Version : Processing Tank Issues...

12-Apr-2008, 18:16
I tried the cheapo 29.00 "daylight" tank and hated using it. I returned it and looked the "combi" which looks suspiciously similar to the 29.00 jobbie. So I purchased a Jobo "multi tank" set for $150 Now I haven't used it yet, but it too, seems awfully fiddly as well. I need a "daylight" processing system. The only other choice I see is a >$300 Expert tank and I'm not crazy about the idea, but is it simple to load (in a Photoflex changing tent)?, I might be willing to fork out the money. Tried to score a Paterson Orbital and no one seems to want to ship to the US. I sure can't find one here. Anyone using the Expert? It is easy to use? Can I do inversion with it, or must it be used on a roller?

Ron Marshall
12-Apr-2008, 19:31
The benefits of the Jobo Expert drums are: Well built, extremely simple to load (even in a tent), low volume of chemistry required, even development.

I first tried a cheaper tank, because I couldn't stomach the cost of the Jobo. (I have seen them used for $150-$200) Now that I have used the Jobo I would never go back. I hand-roll on the $25 Jobo roller base.

You can do inversion, but you would need about 1800 ml of developer. If you used very dilute developer it might be feasable.

For inversion, use the stopper that comes with the pump and plug the hole with a pen or something similar.

12-Apr-2008, 22:01
Thanks Ron. I think I may as well go ahead and save myself the headaches of reel and loader type systems.

Paul H
13-Apr-2008, 03:28

I see you did look at the Paterson Orbital. Keep asking on eBay, since you will get someone that will ship eventually. Either that, or try Retrophotographic (http://www.retrophotographic.com), since they will ship for certain.

13-Apr-2008, 03:45
I just did my first process with a Nikor tank-
I managed to get one that was just mildly way over-priced-

12 sheets, and only one ruined, through not being slotted correctly-
though I hope to improve on this, with practice-

I think I'll need some gloves though, which wont make the loading easier-
I managed to get some fingerprints showing...

36oz of solution for 12 sheets- seems reasonably economical-


13-Apr-2008, 04:23
The 2509N reel isn't that hard to load. Do it a couple of times and it'll become second nature. Inserting the black insert pieces is the hardest part.

13-Apr-2008, 13:06
Yes nick. The black fiilm holder are most difficult part. They're supposed to snap in---but don't.

13-Apr-2008, 13:09

I see you did look at the Paterson Orbital. Keep asking on eBay, since you will get someone that will ship eventually. Either that, or try Retrophotographic (http://www.retrophotographic.com), since they will ship for certain.

I contacted Retrographic and no, they do not shio to the US. My loss.

22-Apr-2008, 08:19
Nick, I would suggest you keep going for the Patterson Orbital. It will be worth the hassle.
In case someone googles here looking for ORBITAL, Here are the old tips plus a couple more.
The Paterson Orbital does a very clean 8x10 negative. No streaks, no mottled edges, very little effort, consistent results. It's ideal for the kitchen sink.
The tray does need tweaking:
The inside of the lid has fins to hold down the paper. Saw the fins off. Using more liquid than the fins were designed for will create eddies which streak the film.
Engrave zigzags on the bottom of the tray to irrigate the anti-halo side of the film.
The tray bottom has peg holes for separating smaller formats. Fill the peg holes with hot glue or silicon. If you really want to develop smaller formats clean the acid residue out of the holes with cotton flocks every time.
Whack the side of the tray after each pour to dislodge the film from the bottom. You should hear the film clicking around nicely when it's free.
Forget the coloured cups, they hold only about 50ml which exhaust rapidly. The 8x10 area needs at least 200ml of chemicals (some say 300ml). So repeat each process twice (pre-wet, twice 100ml developer, wash (no stop), twice 100ml fix, wash).
You might want two trays, and a motor base which does guarantee consistent results.
I did 8x10s on steel racks in 13 litre Kodak tanks for a decade and could always count on grotty edges. Way back, people were driven to using painted backgrounds as a remedy for grotty edges.
Hand rolling the Paterson paper tube (color print processor) does work without streaking if you are careful to tilt the thing now and then. It's a nice minimalist alternative but you are chained to the tube for half an hour.

Jim Noel
22-Apr-2008, 10:34
The 1509 reel is very easy to load if you get the loader. The tank, reels and loader are available used at reasonable prices. I use both the 2509 reels, 3 in a tank, and Expert drums. When doing 4x5 I usually have a large number so I use the reels in preference to the Expert.

22-Apr-2008, 22:38
I just went through the same thing you are. I tried several options and, like you, insisted on a daylight method. I concluded that all of the daylight methods stink. I looked around the house and picked a closet that I made light tight. Then I made a shelf on which I place a rubber tub to use the method in this article:


that uses the tub as a water bath in which I put 3 combi tanks with their lids off as a dip'n'dunk system. I'm using my Zone VI compensating timer and getting excellent results.

Yes, I'm sitting in the dark for a few minutes, but I no longer have to deal with tanks that leak, take forever to fill and empty, and require loading in a giant bag where everything gets jumbled together.

26-Jul-2008, 05:04
I contacted Retrographic and no, they do not shio to the US. My loss.

Just say if you need a proxy buyer I will ship for you. I hate being the victim of companies that don't ship internationally or do so for extortionate amounts myself.