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Thread: Plastics question for film developing

  1. #1

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    Plastics question for film developing

    Possibly dumb question here. Is there a plastic that won’t stick to film when wet? Of course it has to be suitable for photographic chemicals and useful for building things (like styrene, ABS etc.). Would it help if the surface had a texture instead of being smooth? If that’s the case I can go with styrene.

    Or am I stuck with stainless steel?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Re: Plastics question for film developing

    One of the reasons that I continue to use a stainless steel Kindermann tank and reels for 35mm and 120 film is that every plastic reel that I've ever looked into is apparently a problem if it's wet. Obviously, that's an issue if I want to use a reel more than once during a developing session. If there was a fix, presumably there would be reels that address this.

    I use plastic trays for tray processing of sheet film without any problems, but the trays have ribs.

  3. #3

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    Re: Plastics question for film developing

    Yeah for roll film it's always been 100% stainless for me (Kindermann and also some Hewes reels).

    The reason I ask is that I have designed/built/tested a styrene 4x5 holder for daylight/inversion processing in a Paterson or Jobo tank. Everything is perfect except that obviously it is sometimes hard to remove the sheets (ie when everything is wet). Sometimes it slides out no problem but other times it isn't quite as smooth. It's not a deal breaker because the film only makes contact with the plastic outside the image area of the sheet, but it's the last annoying little thing to solve in this holy grail quest.

    Don't get me wrong - I'd LOVE to make this thing out of stainless, but I don't know how feasible that would be.

    I've never used a Paterson 35mm reel - I wonder how the film comes off the reel easily when wet? (I know you can't load the reels wet but I've never heard anyone complain about getting the roll off reel after processing. Maybe the channels the film sits in have a lot of space so it floats around more instead of sticking. Not sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    One of the reasons that I continue to use a stainless steel Kindermann tank and reels for 35mm and 120 film is that every plastic reel that I've ever looked into is apparently a problem if it's wet. Obviously, that's an issue if I want to use a reel more than once during a developing session. If there was a fix, presumably there would be reels that address this.

    I use plastic trays for tray processing of sheet film without any problems, but the trays have ribs.

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Plastics question for film developing

    Styrene tends to be fragile. You don't want to drop it. Reminds me of when I was a little boy stuck at home recovering from measles or something like that - all the hours spent meticulously assembling intricate styrene ship models from kits - square riggers with sails, aircraft carriers, you name it. Then I'd take them down to the little pond on the creek and either use a cherry bomb or 12 gauge shotgun to instantly blow up the whole thing. That was the whole point.

  5. #5

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    Re: Plastics question for film developing

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Styrene tends to be fragile. You don't want to drop it. Reminds me of when I was a little boy stuck at home recovering from measles or something like that - all the hours spent meticulously assembling intricate styrene ship models from kits - square riggers with sails, aircraft carriers, you name it. Then I'd take them down to the little pond on the creek and either use a cherry bomb or 12 gauge shotgun to instantly blow up the whole thing. That was the whole point.
    That sounds like fun. Yes styrene can break/crack - not a good idea to bang a Paterson tank on a hard countertop the way you can with a stainless. I made the parts of this thing thick enough not to deform during processing but thin enough so it has some "give". I haven't tried dropping it. I suspect it would flex just enough not to break but I won't be trying that until I have a backup.

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Plastics question for film developing

    Try the shotgun test instead, Michael - always works, and is more fun! Leaks might be a minor issue afterwards, after seven weeks of gluing everything back together, that is.

  7. #7

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    Re: Plastics question for film developing

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Try the shotgun test instead, Michael - always works, and is more fun! Leaks might be a minor issue afterwards, after seven weeks of gluing everything back together, that is.
    Haha.

    I think maybe what I'll try is adding a texture to the channels that hold the film and see if that helps. Or perhaps even some tiny ridges in there.

    I wish stainless was a viable option. That would be great.

  8. #8

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    Re: Plastics question for film developing

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    Haha.

    I think maybe what I'll try is adding a texture to the channels that hold the film and see if that helps. Or perhaps even some tiny ridges in there.

    I wish stainless was a viable option. That would be great.
    Take a look at a 45 CombiPlan insert. Film sticking was never a problem.

  9. #9

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    Re: Plastics question for film developing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Take a look at a 45 CombiPlan insert. Film sticking was never a problem.
    That's a good idea, Bob. Thanks I'll try to find one locally.

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Plastics question for film developing

    I never could get even development out of the Combiplan, not even close. But ever after, I've used those Combi inserts for keeping 4x5 sheets properly spaced in my big acrylic wash tank. Never a problem. Bob is right.

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