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Thread: 4x5 developing tanks?

  1. #11

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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    If you decide to go the tank route, I use a B&W King 4x5 tank that's basically like the old Nikkor 4x5 tank; these old Nikkors are very hard to come by and not cheap. The B&W King tank is sold on eBay. I had a little trouble figuring out how to get totally uniform development, but after a bit of playing with different agitation techniques I'm now very happy with my results. If you're not in a hurry to get something, there will be a new 4x5 tank coming out called SP-445; a Kickstarter campaign from a few months ago.

  2. #12
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    Combiplan here mostly. I also have the mod54 and it worked fine, but I was already using the combiplan and haven't needed to change. 6 sheets at a time is good.

    I'd think BTZS or Jobo would be good rotary options.

  3. #13
    Huub
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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    Some Jobo 2500 tanks here with a couple of 2509n reels, used in rotary processing. Never looked back since i got them.

  4. #14
    fishbulb's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    There are tons of options. They all have their pros and cons. The only ones that are really difficult are the old bakelite Yankee (and similar) tanks, which can process 12 sheets, but it's pretty hard to get even development.

    I use the Nikor tank myself. Nikor design is very efficient with chemistry but is more difficult to get consistent results - although certainly not impossible. You just have to follow the instructions and do less agitation, longer development. Combiplan or Mod54 use more chemistry per sheet but are easier to get good results, basically because there is more space between each sheet.

    BTZS tubes and Jobo tanks produce very clean results and are very efficient with chemistry, but require constant rotation of the tank to keep the developer moving (constant agitation basically). I use BTZS tubes sometimes but they take up a bit more space and I get bored doing to constant agitation. But, very clean results every time.
    -Adam

  5. #15

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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishbulb View Post
    There are tons of options. They all have their pros and cons. The only ones that are really difficult are the old bakelite Yankee (and similar) tanks, which can process 12 sheets, but it's pretty hard to get even development.

    I use the Nikor tank myself. Nikor design is very efficient with chemistry but is more difficult to get consistent results - although certainly not impossible. You just have to follow the instructions and do less agitation, longer development. Combiplan or Mod54 use more chemistry per sheet but are easier to get good results, basically because there is more space between each sheet.

    BTZS tubes and Jobo tanks produce very clean results and are very efficient with chemistry, but require constant rotation of the tank to keep the developer moving (constant agitation basically). I use BTZS tubes sometimes but they take up a bit more space and I get bored doing to constant agitation. But, very clean results every time.
    And some, like the Combiplan can do everything but loading the film in full room light. Others, like the Nikor require complete darkness when changing chemistry and other might require complete darkness for all steps. Some like the Combiplan require as little space as a piece of 57 film for all steps, others might require the better part of a bench top or a sink.
    The Combiplan becomes a forced film washer by simply attaching a hose to the bottom connector. The others require that you get a film washer.

  6. #16

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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    And some, like the Combiplan can do everything but loading the film in full room light. Others, like the Nikor require complete darkness when changing chemistry and other might require complete darkness for all steps. Some like the Combiplan require as little space as a piece of 57 film for all steps, others might require the better part of a bench top or a sink.
    The Combiplan becomes a forced film washer by simply attaching a hose to the bottom connector. The others require that you get a film washer.
    The B&W King (basically, a Nikkor clone) tank requires complete darkness only for loading. Once the reel is sealed in the tank, all chemical steps are done in normal room light just like 120/35mm. And, since it's a stainless steel tank it's pretty easy to maintain proper chemical temps with a simple water bath. Like fishbulb said, the key to obtaining even development is less frequent and gentle agitation cycles which will demand slightly longer development times. I don't wash the film in the tank; rather soak in a tray of water with a few water changes. IMO, if you want to play with agitation techniques such as stand or semi-stand development, an enclosed light proof tank is the way to go.

  7. #17
    Vince Donovan
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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Light Guru View Post
    The mod54 is perfect for stand development, but sheets of film will easily come loose and mess up the developing with agitation.
    Hmmm. I've developed a hundred or so sheets with the Mod54 and I've never had a sheet come loose. Maybe I'm a timid agitator.

  8. #18

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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    I started with a combiplan, made my own btzs type tubes from ABS pipe, tried trays, and now use a Jobo with lift. I just got a PhotoTherm processor but haven't set it up yet.

    Of the first three I definatly prefer the combiplan. Can be done with a dark bag or tent.

    Any of the Jobo tanks would be the same amount of effort to do by hand as the combiplan. If you don't have the processor, they could easily be spun in a sink of water in full daylight. The 2521 and2820 are the same thing they will hold two sheets around the outside of the drum using as little as 40ml of fluid. They also hold a reel that will do 6 sheets of film, I've not done that. A 2830 will hold up to 4 sheets around the outside using 100ml, but is difficult to load. The 3010 will hold up to 10 sheets using as little as 210ml of fluid. You may need to use more in order to have enough chemistry per sheet to properly do the job.
    You can't teach an old dog new tech's!

  9. #19
    Kyle M.'s Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    Quote Originally Posted by vdonovan View Post
    Hmmm. I've developed a hundred or so sheets with the Mod54 and I've never had a sheet come loose. Maybe I'm a timid agitator.
    I had it happen the first time and then I started agitating by moving the tank in a figure 8 pattern in front of me rather than inverting and didn't have any issues. Then I got real smart. I put some real thin tape on the center column from my Paterson tank and pushed the MOD54 on so it would be a tight fit, then I put a rubber band over the spout of the funnel where it meets the column. This way the MOD54 can't spin in the tank, I then bought a Uniroller base and now use that for developing my 4x5. And I am very pleased with it.

  10. #20
    Old School Wayne
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    Re: 4x5 developing tanks?

    I'm a fan of black visqueen and trays. Enough of the former can make any room dark enough to use the latter.

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