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Thread: Film Agitation

  1. #1

    Film Agitation

    I'm new to 4x5 film processing.I'm considering getting those light tight tank pr ocessors so that I don't have to process film in the dark. I'm just wondering h ow you would agitate the film. Do you need to invert the tank or you can just a gitate it with a rocking motion. One of the tanks I saw enable you to invert th e whole tank without leakage but is considerably more expensive than the other t anks which do not allow this feature. I normally use Tri X films.

  2. #2

    Film Agitation

    In my opinion, it would be better if you were to get the Yankee Cut film tanks. They come with a cap and floating lid. All you need to get are some used 4x5 stainless single holders. With these tanks you can develop up to 12 she ets at a time. From my experience, the tanks that you are talkingabout, give inconsistent developing at best. Just my opinion. Cheers, Scott

  3. #3

    Film Agitation

    I don't mean to argue with the previous contributor but in my experience and in everybodyelse's I've talked about, the Yankee tank proved to be a real pain in the neck, not only getting consistent result is almost impossible, irregular developing is rather the norm than the exeption. It is a messy business as well the tank isn't water tight and therefore the chance you'll end up sloshing chemicals about is very high, the tank which I use now after lots un unfotunate episodes with the Yankee is the Combiplan, very reliable, works like a normal 35mm tank without the Jobo loading aggravations, Jobo id very good as well but I found loading less than easy, infact jobo reccomends a kind of leader machine to do the job for you but I found it clumsy. By the way, loading 12 films in the yankee and getting it right is difficult too. I am sorry to disagree. Combi-plan works the samer way as 35mm , same agitation too!

  4. #4

    Film Agitation

    Andrea: Yankee made two types of 4x5 tanks. One is the kind you mentioned. Scott was referring to the second type, a low-cost alternative to a stainless steel tank (no light-tight lid) that you used with standard stainless steel sheet holders in total darkness, for "dunk-and-soak" processing. A bit easier than loose sheets in a tray, but not my idea of a fun time in the darkroom.


    I use a Jobo with their loader. It works fine for me with inversion agitation, but needs 1.4 liter to cover the film. I don't have trouble loading the film, but without the loader it would be difficult. Unfortunately Jobo wants an arm and a leg for the kit. Were I buying new today, I would try the Combiplan, since its about 1/3 the cost of the Jobo and looks like a snap to load. Takes less solution, too, about a liter. Both the Jobo and the Combiplan work in daylight after loading in TD (total darkness).

  5. #5

    Film Agitation

    I have been using a Job for two years now. I don't use inversion except for compensating development. I just put 270ml in,lay it on the Jobo hand roller and smoothly roll for 20 in each direction until done. My negatives are always consistant. I have zero problems loading six sheets into it without the sheet film loading thingy. It just takes a little practice. Urwin, I would go with some sort of rotary processor for your sheet film, even if its not a jobo. Good luck and have fun.

  6. #6

    Film Agitation

    This is a minority opinon, but I like the stainless steel 4x5 Nikor tank.

  7. #7

    Film Agitation

    This is a minority opinion, but I like the stainless steel 4x5 Nikor tank.

  8. #8

    Film Agitation

    Thats Jobo, not Job.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 1999

    Film Agitation

    FWIW I favour the combiplan tank. However a few things worth noting, When loading ensure that the clip that keeps the sheet film in its runner is properly located - otherwise the sheets have a tendency to escape and stick to the sides of the tank. The clip needs to be lowered a notch or two, too little and they escape...too much and the film "springs" free. Sounds tricky but a few dry runs with dud sheets is a good idea. Another "problem" concerns agitation. I used the traditional inversion technique and found that this resulted in sheets escaping from their rack. I now use a simple and slow side to side rocking motion and have not had any problems. Some users have problems with leaks....this can usually be remedied by fitting the rubber lid and then expelling air by lifting a corner and pressing down on the centre of the lid (in a similar way as the paterson tank). Finally, when filling the tank ensure that the valave is open (a good half to 3/4 turn is required)this prevents splashback and allows the tank to fill quickly. I manage to fill the tank in about 25 seconds. Sounds over-fussy?? But it does the job!! Regards Paul

  10. #10

    Film Agitation

    Irwin, I would consider the Combiplan tank which holds up to six sheets of 4x5. I agitate by using two inversions every 30 seconds, lift and arch once to the le ft, return to upright position then lift again and arch once to the right (seems more like a dance then film agitation) then when returning the tank to its stan ding position I gently tap the base of the tank on the bench to dislodge any air bubbles that could form on the surface of the film. This agitation cycle should take no more then 5 seconds. There are of course variations on a theme and all photographers evolve their own methods, this is my method and is therefore only an example. I hope however it is of some help. Regards,

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