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Thread: Developing tank advice

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Developing tank advice

    I shoot 4x5 and normally process my own negatives. I have a "portable" darkroom and use three trays.

    My question is: What is the consensus best/easiest tank system for processing multiple sheets at once?

    Thanks for your input.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    St. Simons Island, Georgia

    Re: Developing tank advice

    I use hangers and tanks, both stainless and hard rubber.

  3. #3
    Old School Wayne
    Join Date
    Dec 1999

    Re: Developing tank advice

    Trays are the best tank for me for b&w.

  4. #4
    Nicholas O. Lindan
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Re: Developing tank advice

    If I only process a few sheets then I use a tray.

    Otherwise, I use a Jobo tank with 4x5 spirals, with two spirals I can do 12 sheets at once. I put the tank on a motor base for continuous agitation.
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
    f-Stop Timers & Enlarging meters

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Boise, ID

    Re: Developing tank advice

    I have used the Stearman Press SP-445 developing tank to great success in small batch developing. It holds 4 sheets of 4x5 film and takes only 16oz of chemical.

    Plus I haven't noticed any uneven development of sky areas which is a bonus

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    South Dakota

    Re: Developing tank advice

    Stearman Press SP445. So easy I've even used it in the field from the back of my car. Very easy to load, compact, takes minimal chemicals. If you think you'll ever shoot something bigger get the SP810. You can process any sheets or plates in it up to 8x10 size. It's a tray you can use in daylight.

    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  7. #7
    Myriophyllum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Schaumburg, Germany

    Re: Developing tank advice

    A Jobo 3010, hand rolled works fine... for more comfort a motor roller or CPP.
    Up to ten sheets at a time.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Here or there

    Re: Developing tank advice

    Another suggestion for the Stearman Press SP-445.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    SF Bay Area

    Re: Developing tank advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    Trays are the best tank for me for b&w.
    Wayne, I agree.

    When I worked at a commercial lab for a few years, we used hangers and tanks. Results were fine for the clients, however in my opinion, truly even development was never achieved.

    Later, when I started my own business, all processing was done in trays. Twelve 4x5 sheets in an 8x10 tray, always with a pre-soak. Still my preferred method for processing sheet film, although I did try the Combi-Tank at one time.

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Developing tank advice

    I find hangers and tanks are something I can do

    I use trays for single film up to 14X36 inch sheet

    My tanks can process 16-4X5 in one go on 4up hangers

    I CANNOT shuffle, my hands are arthritic, so as above

    We all must adapt to fragility of age
    Tin Can

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