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Thread: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

  1. #11

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    I picked up a B's4x5 second hand. It worked fine even with my dilute developer. The only issue I had is that it is hard to clean in the corners compared to the SP445 flat film holders. Do not put photoflo in either tank. It tends to adhere to plastic and can affect your next batch. My patterson tanks are also slower to fill and dump than the SP tank, but with my dilutions and slower processing times I did not get uneven development.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  2. #12

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by esearing View Post
    I picked up a B's4x5 second hand. It worked fine even with my dilute developer. The only issue I had is that it is hard to clean in the corners compared to the SP445 flat film holders. Do not put photoflo in either tank. It tends to adhere to plastic and can affect your next batch. My patterson tanks are also slower to fill and dump than the SP tank, but with my dilutions and slower processing times I did not get uneven development.
    Good for you. Meanwhile I sent the crappy inserts back 2 weeks ago, on the instructions of Monsieur Bounet. He did not get back to me. The whole misery cost me 200 USD and 12 sheets of film. I will probably never see that money again.

    BTW. I tried MOD54's. They're really good. I use two of them in a Paterson System 4 tank Nr 8.

  3. #13

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    I've been using the B's reel for a few weeks now. I've made quite a few mistakes myself and seen a variety of failure conditions as a result. Based on those mistakes, I suspect the damage to the negative in Daniel's photo is from loading the negative backwards such that the emulsion side was facing the reel. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the damaged is much lighter than the surrounding image. This area is exactly where the back side of the negative presses against the reel. I suspect that area of the negative was under developed and/or scratched off when removing it from the reel. It just doesn't seem like even a massively defective reel could get all the way through the negative and scratch off the emulsion on the other side.

    It's also possible that the negative was x-ray film, which is sometimes double-sided. X-ray film just won't work in the B's reel for this reason. I started a thread on that experience here:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...FPP-x-ray-film

    That said, I think that the strong pressure of the back of the film against the reel is its biggest flaw and would probably not recommend the reel. While development is not affected and I haven't seen bad scratching, the pressure traps the antihalation layer preventing it from being removed properly. I have tried heavy shaking and a very long pre-wash but that hasn't worked with Foma 100. The instructions do acknowledge this issue and it can be fixed by a second soak in the developer and another wash.

    But obviously you can't do that second soak with the negatives in the reel or it won't work. You can't load them backwards to get the back side or you will scratch off the emulsion. That leaves reprocessing and washing each negative individually after development, which really negates the value of the thing. Also if you are doing one-shot development, you have to re-mix or save the developer...

    Does anyone have a good solution to this?

  4. #14

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    Doesn't Foma 100 use a blue base film?

    I have only done one run through the B's and one through the SP810. I tend to prefer the SP810. My favorite 4x5 technique is the Alternative dip and dunk using HP Combi film holders as described on the LFP Webpage. I have used that since 2005, without issue. It does require complete darkness and patience with developers like Pyrocat. For me it worked much better than shuffling in meatloaf pans. My Darkroom is temporarily out of commission and I am using a communal darkroom that doesn't lend itself to the Combi dip and dunk style of development. The reason that I like the SP810 is the flexibility of 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10. It could be a hassle with a lot of sheets but I am trying to revise workflow to deal with smaller developing runs.

  5. #15

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    The "foma" I have is branded arista, but I have read they are the same. The wash water is greenish when the antihalation layer is coming off and interestingly the stains left on the film by the incomplete removal of the AH layer and subsequent fixing are pink and do not wash off with water alone. Another dip in developer removes the pink stains from the non-emulsion side. I don't really know what's going on there but I imagine something to do with the pH of the developer.

    I had a successful run with two more sheets of 4x5 today in the B's reel. This time, during pre-wash, stop and final wash I filled the tank about half way with water and shook it hard for maybe 10 shakes. This seems to have circulated enough wash water behind the film.

    The new problem is getting the slippery negative out of the holder without damaging the emulsion. They provide a pusher tool but it only moves the negative about 1/2", which isn't far enough for it to move easily. I tried pushing further with my fingernail from underneath but scratched the edge of the emulsion. I put it in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning to see if maybe there's some residue that's gumming up the works causing my issues.

    I'm sure there is a way to get this thing to work but it is not so easy. I'm surprised so many people have reviewed it positively.

  6. #16

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by sabeluc View Post
    The "foma" I have is branded arista, but I have read they are the same.
    Arista re-branded Foma is the Ultra.EDU line of films. Do you have this version of "regular" Arista?

    Quote Originally Posted by sabeluc View Post
    The new problem is getting the slippery negative out of the holder without damaging the emulsion.
    Have you tried removing the film with the reel under water? I've found this works wonders with the B's reel, the SP-445 film holders, and hangers.

  7. #17

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    Alan, I'll try removing them in the photoflo bath. Thanks for the tip.

    It's arista.edu.

    Here's a picture of the antihalation layer that doesn't wash off of the non-emulsion side of my negatives with the B's reel. This is with heavy shaking during all of rinse phases of the development process. I'm shy to shake the developer because of air bubbles. I've just been doing the normal periodic inversions that I use for medium format.

    If it matters, this is with HC-110 @ 10 min with dilution H. The emulsion side looks really good. Even development, no flaws.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #18

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    I've not used the B's reels, but would not want to use any reel or system that exposed the major part of the image surface to another surface like that, it seems like a really risky design.

    I'm using Jobo 1500 tanks and reels. The only place the film comes in contact with anything (the reel) is along the edge, outside of the image area. It uses a bit more chemicals, but doesn't have you dragging your negative back and forth across a piece of 3D printed plastic. That seems unnecessarily dangerous to me.

  9. #19

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    @sabeluc, it's interesting that some folks have an issue with the anti-halation dye while others do not. Though I haven't processed that many sheets in the B's reel, I've never had the problem. I wouldn't recommend shaking the tank vigorously; seems like a high probability of film damage. If you're pretty proficient at loading the reel, you might play around with doing a pre-soak in a tray, load the reel, then drop it into a tank filled with developer. Loading wet film will probably require some creative thinking, but you would eliminate the anti-halation problem.

  10. #20

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    Re: B's 4x5 reel, experiences?

    hello, i have now tried out some reels. what works very well is the jobo system, but it is quite expensive and complicated to fill. it is complicated and requires practice to fill the spirals. But the sheets sit very securely in the spirals. I use two spirals for 12 sheets in a 2l tank.

    what also bothers me about jobo are the missing specifications for the tank volume. if you want to do tilt development with hc110h 1+63, you need a lot of volume - but jobo aims for a rotation with less developer ... of course you can also invert with jobo, but at the beginning you are not sure, because jobo does not write how much liquid goes into the tank.

    much cheaper is the MOD54, which i can highly recommend. i bought two reels, which i put into a 2,5l paterson 8 reel tank. this is very comfortable. even with inversion the films will hold in the cartridges. the films are easy to put in. sometimes it hooks, but you get practice, like with jobo. the price is ok. i will buy some more, because i have two big paterson tanks.

    tschau zme

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