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Thread: Developing tank advice

  1. #21
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Developing tank advice

    Handy for 3X4 as the tank is adjustable

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    Some interesting thoughts here. I'll just add that you should avoid the old Nikor stainless tanks. I ruined a lot of images using one of those for 5 or 6 years, when it was my only option.

  2. #22
    David Schaller
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    Re: Developing tank advice

    I use a Jobo 2520 tank and reel for up to 6 4x5 negatives at a time. I use it for manual inversion, as I would with roll films, so I use the same intermittent agitation scheme. With Pyrocat or D-23, the cost of filling the tank is negligible. If a particular negative needs a big N minus, or plus, I would develop it alone in a tray. But most of my negatives get N-1, or N-2, so I can do them in batches in the Jobo tank.

  3. #23

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    Re: Developing tank advice

    i love my nikor ss tank when i have enough film to justify using it. otherwise trays work fine the rest of the time.

  4. #24

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    Re: Developing tank advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ron View Post
    i love my nikor ss tank when i have enough film to justify using it. otherwise trays work fine the rest of the time.
    I have had good luck with Nikor stainless steel tanks too. Pulling out 12 good chromes in one development and hanging them one at a time is the best feeling ever (not that b&ws or C41s are any less fun). Yes I have screwed up a couple of times that ruined a few sheets, but I like how it allows me to develop 12 sheets at a time.

    I also would like to suggest considering Stearman Press SP-810 as a versatile tray developer that is adaptable to 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10.

  5. #25

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    Re: Developing tank advice

    If I'm doing multiple sheets I'll use a Jobo inversion tank with a 6 sheet spiral reel, but only use 4 sheets to avoid problems.

    I've also been thinking about using a 4 sheet stainless steel rack in a tray, but haven't tried it yet. I'm thinking the rack would prevent scuffing of the sheets by keeping them from making contact with each other or with the tray. I don't process enough film to justify filling a whole tank, but something like this might be more practical for a few sheets. Has anyone tried processing film using racks in a tray? If so, are there any issues to be aware of?

  6. #26

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    Re: Developing tank advice

    I like using simple 8x10 trays for 4x5s. I had a tank once that I would agitate manually, but, as you can expect, the edges were over-developed. I probably didn't have the right touch. Sounds like people have success with Jobos.
    Last edited by Scraps; 29-Nov-2021 at 03:23.
    Garry Madlung
    Veteran of many tours of the Canadian Rockies

  7. #27

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    Re: Developing tank advice

    +1 for the SP-455 as well. Daylight processing capability is what led me to it; I had to save up for a while. Results are great, maintains temp well, gives consistent results. Just follow carefully the recommended agitation routine (video on the site), including reversal. I had some challenges with evenness before I got this squared away. I use it for single-sheet testing, but have found that developer flow through the second, empty holder can lead to extra density areas. Facing a one or two sheets outwards, or putting a dummy, processed discard sheet in the second holder solves the issue.

    For larger runs, I use a Jobo 4323 tank and the two reels that came with it, each holding 6 4x5 sheets. I have a Cibachrome roller base that is still holding up. Evenness has always been excellent. I initially thought I could load the film into the reels without shelling out for the pricey loader, but soon purchased one. Other reels may be easier; I have no idea about all the Jobo tank numbers and models. Not exactly what I'd call portable; YRMV.
    Last edited by Ulophot; 2-Dec-2021 at 11:23.
    Philip Ulanowsky

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  8. #28

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    Re: Developing tank advice

    I use a Yankee tank for 2 1/4 x 3 1/4, 3 1/4 x 4 1/4, and 4 x 5. I also have Kodak dip tanks that I use sometimes, but only if I have them full from developing 5 x 7 or 8 x 10.

  9. #29

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    Re: Developing tank advice

    I also have an old Yankee tank, but have only used this for film washing. Recently I've been thinking that it might be nice to press the Yankee into service to process 4x5's - especially as this tank has twelve film slots...but I'm feeling a bit unsure about how to agitate films in this tank in a manner which avoids artifacts. Anybody? RJ?

  10. #30

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    Re: Developing tank advice

    I think Paterson Orbital deserves a mention here. It's basically an 8 x 10 tray with a daylight lid, funnel and a funky base (motorised or manual) that gives a swaying rotation, a bit like the last rounds of a spinning top. With dividers, you can set it up for four 4x5s, two 5x7s or a single 8x10. There are no holders so it's dead easy to load and you can use it for less common sizes with no extra trouble. 9x12 cm, 4x10", half plate...
    Obviously there is a catch. The catch is that in my experience it works well either in constant agitation mode with very small amount of developer (close to how it was originally intended to be used for processing prints) or filled almost to the brim for stand development. With "normal" amounts of fluid you get problems from negs lifting over the dividers to surge marks/uneven development to developer sloshing out of the corners if agitated too vigorously. This rules out quite a few developer/dilution options.
    The Spearman Press SP-8x10 seems to be a new variation on the same basic idea (daylight tray with removable dividers) but with a more generous volume and no "orbiting". Worth a look if you ever intend to mix formats.

    All that said.. if you shoot a lot and prefer repeatable results to experimenting with development regimes, a Jobo Expert Drum is at least worth investigating.

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