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Cut film tank
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xyzphoto



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 47
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to acquire a tank for developing 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 cut B&W film, and would appreciate ideas as to the best brands to consider. Would like a tank in which 6 to 12 negatives can be developed. I am new at this and have been using a makeshift tank which holds only 2 negs. The results have been very satisfactory with TMax 400 using TMax RS developer. But it's slow and I would like a tank to speed up production. Opinions would be appreciated.
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nikor made a tank with an adjustable cage that can be set for 3x4 film. It holds up to 12 sheets. It's like their other metals tanks, just one on steroids instead. The plus side of it is it came with [and don't accept one without] a lid which makes it possible to do inversion agitation. On the minus side, it isn't always easy to load, and you really should try to load it full of film unless you have a very active developer because you can't get the usual developer to film ration in that small a tank.

An adjustable metal band came with the tank to keep the film inside the grooves in the cage, but they aren't always there. You can just use a rubber band instead.

All in all, I recommend them. They come up on ebay. Sometimes expensive [over $100]. Just watch and you'll find one that sells for less than that.
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xyzphoto



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 47
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alecj, your recomendation is appreciated. Like I said, I am new at this. Could you explain, "get the usual developer to film ration in that small a tank"? Thanks
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, now that you mention it, that isn't too clear, is it?

What I was trying to convey is the fact it takes a minimum amount of developer to adequately develop a "unit" of film, say an 8x10 sheet [or 4 4x5 sheets]. I use HC-110 developer, mixed from a concentrate. There are a lot of dilutions available to me, but I have to remember that it takes a minimum of 3mL of concentrate (syrup) to develop 4 4x5 sheets. So, even though I can put lots of film in this small tank, I can't use a developer dilution which contains less than that ratio/sheet "in the tank". What overflows when you fill it doesn't count.

You must remember that when these Nikor tanks were developed, there were very powerful developers used [they didn't worry about dilutions - they wanted speed and convenience]. Now, we're trying to get quality as well. The bottom line is you shouldn't count on developing more than 6-8 sheets per batch, even though the tank will take more.

Hope that's a little clearer. If not, ask again.
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xyzphoto



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 47
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your explanation is very clear. Thanks for bringing me up to speed.
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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to order a HP Combi tank likely next week. It's reasonably priced. Supposedly works okay if you live with it's limits.

1) Needs a lot of chemicals. Not an issue for me since I use dilute developer and that means a lot of chemicals.

2) Slow to fill/empty. Also not an issue for me since I'm using a slow developer.

3) Only handles a max of 6 sheets. But it's quite a bit cheaper then the next step.

I thought I was going to get one on Ebay last night but somebody bid 10% more then the new price. I'm not paying more for somebody's old dirty tank then a brand new one.

I think it handles 3x4 but I'm not sure.
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The HP tank is a neat little tank, Nick. It is somewhat smaller, due to its rectangular shape, but you have to be more careful with agitation, especially if you're used to shaking a metal Nikor tank. The flow pattern for that tank is different. As with other closed tanks, take some time to determine the minimum fluid levels required, with rack and film inserted, then try not to exceed that amount very much. The presence of an air space inside the tank contributes to better agitation.

Let me caution you about your #2 above: That CAN become a real problem, because as the developer is poured in on essentially one spot, it does have the propensity to create abnormal density in that area (after all, with the developer starting to work there first, it gets a "head start".

I'd suggest you consider filling the tank first, then, in the dark, loading the rack and inserting it at one time, then locking the top. I got a lot better results that way. I've seen other similar comments. Just my 2 cts.

Yes, the rack is adjustable, and does accept 3x4 as I recollect.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Alecj 100% I've used the HP and I've used the Yankee Agitank. the HP doens't hold a lot of chemcials so watch that your slow developer doesn't get exhausted. They yankee tank will hold twice as much but uses 55oz per run, and you can't invert it.
Now the only time I've ever had problems with agitation and streaking is with the HP tank. The first is when I over agitated (easily solved). The second was solved when I stopped trying to fill the tank in daylight and did whay alec suggests.

If you can't do the darkroom load thing, at least do a prewash with water. It will help.
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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much does the HP tank hold? My times are about 20minutes normally but I actually add a few minutes this time of year to deal with the cooler basement. So 1 minute doesn't seem extreme for filling.

Kodaks capicity numbers for D-76 are about twice ilfords for thier version. My use of D-23 works out closer to Ilfords numbers but a little less film then they claim. So far it's worked fine-) I've done the math and I think 1litre of solution would be more then enough for 6 4x5. Assuming 1 35mm-36 exposure is equal to 4 4x5.
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not the amount [the instructions say to use 36 oz. for 4x5], but rather the small opening which extends the time it takes to get that fluid into the tank which causes the problem.

Hey, lots of folks swear by them. I'm just passing along my experiences, and reports from others I've read [like Les] who had the same results I did.
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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No I understand. I just don't think it's an issue with my longer times. I can see it making a big difference if somebody used stock solution and times of 7 minutes. 1 minute fill and empty is a big percentage of the total. By the time I'm emptying the tank the developer will be done so that time doesn't matter. The fill time just seems like it wouldn't matter that much either. I could be wrong but I intend to start out with tests first.
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xyzphoto



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 47
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alecj: Could I impose on you to look at an item on ebay; "Adjustable Nikor sheet film tank - up to 4 x 5", 3006518715. Is this the tank you recommended? Thanks
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, that's it. And it has the metal band around the middle of the cage to hold the film in the slots.

Note these points: Never buy one of these w/o the top pouring cap. Regardless of what others say, those caps are NOT interchangable. It is highly unlikely you'd ever find another to fit right w/o leaking. Of course this one has it, but I'm speaking generally.

That band isn't absolutely necessary. A good rubber band will suffice.

When you look at the top of the cage, you'll see some of the four flat headed screws which affix the position of the cage. Those are loosened to permit the top to compress down to adjust for different film sizes.

When/If you get one, use old sheet film [everybody that uses Graphic cameras has old discards from mistakes, etc.] to set the proper position. Then practice loading that sucker in the light until you get the knack of it. It's different than loading roll film or 35mm on a reel.

If you get one, and it doesn't come with the instructions, let me know and I'll send you a jpeg.

Good luck.


[ This Message was edited by: alecj on 2003-02-07 06:53 ]
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MikeS



Joined: 25 Nov 2003
Posts: 71
Location: East Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All.

I've been thinking of reproducing the Nikor 4x5 reel, but with some minor changes. One change would be that it wouldn't be adjustable, but rather just for 4x5 film. The other change would be that it would fit in a 'normal' diameter tank for doing 2 120 rolls (the 32oz tank) rather than needing the larger diameter tank the Nikors originally came with.

What I'm curious of is how much of a demand would there be for such a reel? If I do this, it's going to be made on computer controlled equipment (for bending the stainless wire, as wel as the spot welds), so I might have to make a large quantity of them, so I'm trying to get a feel for how many is too many? If I make 100 of them, will I get stuck with most of them, or not? Any opinions would be appreciated.


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-Mike
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dvonk



Joined: 16 Feb 2004
Posts: 29
Location: Omaha, NE

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like a good idea to me- if you get some drawings or picts of a prototype you should post them so we can all take a look and give feedback, suggestions, etc.
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