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Thread: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

  1. #1
    Laurent L's Avatar
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    Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    Hi !

    I had this dream that came true a few weeks ago, IOW got my Nikkor steel tank to process my 4x5 sheets without my Jobo. Last week I decided to use it for the first time at my workplace with the kids I work with. I brought a view camera exposed ten HP5 with the kids that went creasy using this equipement. They were also very pleased to learn about how to process films but unfortunetly the fun stopped here...

    When we opened the Nikkor tank, we were kind of disappointed when we saw the mess inside. The sheets had slipped from the reel and were stucked to each other and even folded ! Only three sheets were saved and some portraits could be printed with some heavy software post-treatment...

    Then I googled to find what went wrong and understood that my nikkor tank came uncomplete. The steel belt "stair shaped" (sorry don't know the word for it neither in French) was missing.

    Knowing that this great piece of darkroom equipement is better known in the US I thought about asking you some advice.

    How can I replace this missing part ? Can a simple rubber band do the trick ? Do I have to shape one using some steel and giving it this "stair shape"

    Any help would be much appreciated on the other side of the great pond.

    Thanks

    Laurent
    Large format photography is not only about size.

  2. #2
    Kleiny41's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent L View Post
    Hi !

    I had this dream that came true a few weeks ago, IOW got my Nikkor steel tank to process my 4x5 sheets without my Jobo. Last week I decided to use it for the first time at my workplace with the kids I work with. I brought a view camera exposed ten HP5 with the kids that went creasy using this equipement. They were also very pleased to learn about how to process films but unfortunetly the fun stopped here...

    When we opened the Nikkor tank, we were kind of disappointed when we saw the mess inside. The sheets had slipped from the reel and were stucked to each other and even folded ! Only three sheets were saved and some portraits could be printed with some heavy software post-treatment...

    Then I googled to find what went wrong and understood that my nikkor tank came uncomplete. The steel belt "stair shaped" (sorry don't know the word for it neither in French) was missing.

    Knowing that this great piece of darkroom equipement is better known in the US I thought about asking you some advice.

    How can I replace this missing part ? Can a simple rubber band do the trick ? Do I have to shape one using some steel and giving it this "stair shape"

    Any help would be much appreciated on the other side of the great pond.

    Thanks

    Laurent
    Hi Laurent,
    Did you get this tank from EBay? Was it missing the retainer? I saw that tank listed and kept reading the description and finally noticed that it said the retainer was missing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    Hi Laurent,

    The stainless steel band that goes around the middle is not magic.

    You can use a rubber band as an emergency substitute.
    I don't know how those would hold up to repeated chemical exposure, so single-use.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  4. #4

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    Re: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    I've been using a Nikor 4x5 tank for five years or so now. A rubber band works very well. (I have a copy of the original instructions if you need them.)
    I have learned to keep some scrap film around. Before I load the reel with film, I test-load it in daylight with the scrap film. This makes sure that the reel is properly adjusted and tightened down. And the practice loading, in the light, makes it easier to load film in the dark. Contact me if you have any other questions.

  5. #5

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    Re: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    Had one years ago and found that the top portion of the 'cage' needed to be placed accurately otherwise film was loose and could pop out. Takes some fiddling to get right and make sure the screws are secure. I had the steel band so used that other wise a rubber band should do the trick if the band is missing. Also found it simpler to drop the loaded reel into a tank pre filled with chemistry vs pouring through the top. Obviously this has to be done in the dark.

    fwiw, I've moved on from this tank to something else.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  6. #6
    Laurent L's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    Thanks a lot for your advices and insights

    Yes I did buy this tank on Ebay thinking that the missing steel band was not so important. Ok it's not magic but on the other hand I keep thinking that its special shape (stair shaped, still don't know the english word to describe this shape) was calculated by the people who created this impressive piece of darkroom equipement.

    However I will try to do the same than Mark and use some rubber band. I do agree with you Fred about the need to place accurately the top portion of the cage, I went to the same conclusion and used some wasted sheets to set it upright. I also noticed how long it takes to fill the tank and to empty it, I even found that leaning the tank can help a bit when filling it. This is kind of tricky therefore I will try to do it in the dark with the lid wide opened as you told me.

    I saw some chinese equipement close to this tank, made of stainless steel and existing for sheets from 4x5 to 8x10, they have mounted the cage on wheels so that the cage can turn in the tank when you turn the rod under the lid... Could be interesting but I didn"t find any prices nor dealers.

    Nevermind, I love my Nikkor tank, I love the "bellish" ? sound it makes when I gently hammer on it, love when it spills liquids on my hands... the simple joy of vintage darkroom ! But the real reason I like it so much, is that when I'll be on holidays, I'll be able to bring it to the seaside to process my sheets, it snuggles gently in my Sinar case along with chemicals while my Jobo processor obviously can't... And processing with trays at the seaside isn't such a great idea because of the thin sand that enters everywhere...

    I'm on vacation this week so I will make my second try with the rubber band and I'll be back to tell you if it worked or not.

    Till then, thanks for your kind support

    Laurent hoping that his english isn't too weird...
    Large format photography is not only about size.

  7. #7
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent L View Post
    Laurent hoping that his english isn't too weird...
    Hi Laurent,

    I think your English is excellent, better than many native English speakers I've met.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  8. #8
    Laurent L's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    Thanks Leigh, then I'll do my best to post more messages and I hope, more photos here !
    Large format photography is not only about size.

  9. #9

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    Re: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    Laurent, I think that dilute, slow-working developers are good with this tank. Send me a PM and I will explain my method in detall- it might help you.

  10. #10
    Laurent L's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help with my Nikkor steel 4x5 tank

    Thanks Mark I do appreciate your help, I'm sending you a PM right away.
    Large format photography is not only about size.

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