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Thread: The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

  1. #21

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Now boys... don't fight!

    Instead, direct some of that energy into something more productive, like helping me! LOL

    I've been searching till I'm bleary eyed but I either haven't put in the right search terms or my eyes were crossed when I came across the info I was looking for. So here goes...

    For developing my own b&w film, I am looking for a daylight tank of some sort that I could use for both 4x5 sheets AND 120 rolls that doesn't use an obscene amount of chemicals and that won't cost too much. Does such a thing exist? Should I have started a new thread for this?

    One other little side question - how long do chemicals typically last? It's been YEARS since I developed a roll of film and I just can't remember :-)

    Thank you :-D

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    hey ellen--I don't know how close you are to Charlotte, but since you mentioned it....if you're looking for a community darkroom facility or maybe some classes in b/w printing or technique, you might be interested in the Light Factory:

    I was a member years ago and I think they still have a gang darkroom, even though they've moved since I was living down there. When I belonged, they had a darkroom with about 12 stations around a big island sink, and another smaller film room. They provide all the chemistry as well, but the darkroom can be used on a per hour fee (it used to be real low, like 3.50 or something like that) that is collected on an honor code type system. You have to be a member, but they also have classes in photography that cover different levels--and used to cover both b/w and color as well as technique.

    Worth a shot anyway if you're looking for help and a darkroom to use. good luck at any rate with your new camera.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Hi Ellen, Welcome to the bin.....err club. You'll probaly find that here in the....uh club that to be a true loony one has to shoot 8x10" or larger (I aspire, but have not yet achieved that level of.......umm sophistication). We 4x5 shooters are mearly "touched".

    For developing my own b&w film, I am looking for a daylight tank of some sort that I could use for both 4x5 sheets AND 120 rolls that doesn't use an obscene amount of chemicals and that won't cost too much. Does such a thing exist?
    No. the closest is the Jobo but it can fail the expense test or not. The classic stainless roll film tank takes care of the 120 pretty easily (though with more chemistry use than you might care for).

    I found the the crappy plastic 4x5" tanks (ie: agitank) barely acceptable for black and white work but others have found them to be the road to hell. They also use a LOT of chemisty (think half a gallon). I never could get the hang of the classic stainless dunk and dip tanks (which require a darkroom). I always got streaks where the holes in the hangers were.

    In any event a used Jobo is probably still the best bet.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Hello again Ellen

    What You need of JOBO equipment is not that expensive for set up: To devlope both 120/220/4"x5" (b&w/c41/E6) You will need a 2500 series tank, two reels for 35/120/220 film, and one reel (#2509n) for 4"x5" film + possiby the roller base. The roller base is very practical - espesially for kitchen-style e6 developing (the tank is then rotated in the sink which is filled partly with tempered water - 38c). For info, I put together b&h links to the items needed. Some can be picked up inexensive on ebay, but unfortunately - LF is alive & well, so the 2509n reel You might just as well purchase new - price will not kill You (approx US $$ 40 in Norway).

    4"x5" reel:

    Somebody might tell You you need the JOBO loader for 4"x5" (jobo makes an expensive one), but I have never used that one. Just exercise a litte sheetfilm-loading in daylight before entering the darkness & it will wotrk out fine.

    I started E6 dev. using stainless steel tanks & rolling the tank back & foth on the table - worked OK. Laziness & comfort + need for better repeatability leaded me to the jobo CPE2 and then ATL (auto processors, but using the same reels & tanks as listed above, save for a cog-type lid). I use Tetenal 3-bath E6 for slides, NOVA c41 press-kit for color neg. ID-11 for b & w. Ease of use makes c41 even faster than b & w neg.

    Good luck.

  5. #25

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Thanks for the info - it will certainly get me started in the right direction :-)

  6. #26

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Howdy Mz. Ellen,

    I went against the advice of many more knowledgable folks and bought a Combi-Plan for my 4x5s. Being inherently stingier than a XXXXXX in a YYYYYY, I couldn't see laying out big money for even a bottom-end Jobo. I also have many decades running 35mm and 120 film in daylight tanks, so the Combi seemed a natural.

    I don't know what processing costs are like down there but I have been using Agfa "Process 44" (a double batch of 500mL kits) and the price is about the same as sending my trannies to (the only) commercial lab in the area. (This is assuming I I get the full life from the chemicals, which hasn't been a problem.) The lab isn't convenient either!

    E-6 really isn't difficult. If you are organized and control the temperature well, the results are super! (I will decline from making any gender-based remarks about "attention to detail" or "following directions" . . . .) I use a large tub with a slow flow of water to reach 100F and I allow plenty of time for the chemicals and the Combi to stabalize before I start and I write all the step times down so I always know when to change chemicals (until I built a microprocessor-based "multi-timer" - now it's all pre-programmed). Even if the temp varies a few degrees between the start of the process and the end, the results have been good.

    I enjoy B&W but I LOVE colour transparencies in 4x5! There is a special satisfaction in doing it yourself to. Next step for me is colour prints :-)

    Happy shooting!

  7. #27

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Hey ya'll!

    Following directions is such a lovely ability, isn't it?! Tee hee hee

    If you shop online, who are your favorite vendors for chemicals?

    Stay warm - we're gonna have ice tomorrow - BURRRRR!

  8. #28
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Coquitlam, BC, Canada, eh!

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Hi Ellen,

    Trays are definately the best way to develop sheet film...but if you are looking for a daylight tank that requires very little...and I mean very little developer, then you should get ahold of a few BTZS tubes. They're great! One tube requires only 60 ml of solution. And you can develop up to six tubes for different times. You can also have different films and/or solutions at the same time....for different times. Some people complain about the back of the films not being able to clear (they clear in the fixer) but I always wet load mine. Not an option if you don't have a darkroom. I still use mine occasionally. It's one of the few darkroom stuff I brought back with me when I left Japan for Canada...stuffed in my suitcase with some other darkroom stuff. I believe I bought the BTZS set (six tubes, caps and tray) at Much cheaper than JOBO. I have a couple of tubes for 8x10 (only need about 300 ml per tube).

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Montgomery, Alabama

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    To get started try unicolor developing drums and rollers I have been using that setup on 4x5 and 8x10 for years after I sold the house (darkroom) and moved to take a new job. Get the 8x10 and 11x14 drums. Also get more than one. You can use a regular dark room enlarger timer to get the times right. Best of all it uses very little chemistry and can run with the lights on. One bigi big point I would relate to you. Buy the best changing bag you can afford. The large tent typle are the best. A large Harrison is what I use and is argueably the best. I use twine and clothes pins in the shower to dry my film. This is about as inexpensive as it gets. Also, very controlable and repeatable.
    Good luck and welcome to LF.

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)


    I'll second Doug's comments on the Unicolor system---what you want are the paper(for prints) drums for sheet film, not the film drums which are for roll film on spools. There is a link on Tuan's Large Format Home page to an article by Greywolf Phillips that taught me about using the Unicolor processor for sheet film---and it works! 4x5, 5x7,8x10,11x14, even 12x20(in the 16x20 print drum!) It saves space, chemicals, and you don't have to stand around in complete darkness ---is that cool or what??? Not as productive as shuffling a 'deck' in trays but hey, I find it more enjoyable to pop open a beer, contemplate a parallel universe and save the dark room for printing.

    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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