View Full Version : Paterson Orbital and Home Processing

8-Feb-2011, 12:39
I was fortunate enough a few years ago to find a Paterson Orbital in an ebay auction.

Now I'm finally looking to develop my sheet film at home, in a clean, odorless(as much as possible), economical fashion.

Does anyone have any tips/suggestions/methods/products that I should try?
Or some forum articles they could point me towards?

I'll can offer good youtubes as repayment.


8-Feb-2011, 14:36
here are five links:






I use one. At first I thought I didn't need to cut off the fins (read the threads) but then realized I was getting uneven development also. Cutting off the fins solved the problem...

11-Feb-2011, 07:39
I use one and have had very few problems. You do need to make the various modifications suggested in the links. I glued some plastic hemispherical beads to the base to allow flow underneath the film sheets (available from craft, jewelery making and scrap-booking suppliers on ebay). Don't try to use the supplied red pegs; they are too short the film sheets will float, escape and stick to each other. You can use 30 mm nylon screws, wooden match sticks, or cut sections of drinking straws instead (and check that they are firmly seated before each run). Opinion is a bit divided on whether or not you need to saw off the vanes; I did and it works fine without them, so that is probably the safest option. I've had no problems doing 4 x (5 x4), 2 x (7 x 5) or one 8 x 10. I use mainly rodinal 1 in 100, and find that 200 ml works fine for 4 sheets (you can use less for fewer sheets but I don't usually bother). I've found that the times given in the Massive Dev chart for roll film development are usually a good starting point, and I don't shorten them to compensate for the continuous agitation (but you might need to if using more concentrated developers ( my times are usually between 14 and 20 min at 20C so it's fairly forgiving of a bit of imprecision).
A prewash with 200 ml plain water before development is a good idea to remove the anti-halation layer and it brings the tank up to temperature too. If you have one, the motorized base is a help (just make sure you stay within earshot of your timer). However I've used it without when on vacation with a minimalist development kit, and haven't needed to adjust the times.
good luck