developing tanks

Justin Berger 5:03am, 24 June 2009
Hello all,

I'm looking for a recommendation for a good rig for developing 4x5 bw negatives. I usually use Diafine.

Inexpensive solutions are good, although I don't mind paying a little more for something that works better.
Justin Berger 9 years ago
Silly me posting before I read the archives. Looks like the Yankee daylight tank is the cheapest way to go for daylight processing.
Mike Z PRO 9 years ago
I've got the Yankee Tank. Two drawbacks: you have to wait for a critical mass of negs, and the thing is quite thirsty (55 oz or 1626 ml). Search "taco method" for a way to process onesey-twosey" in a 120 tank. Recently, I exhumed my Unidrum from my Cibachrome past, and have been processing four at a time with 300 ml.
Eric Lorette 9 years ago
I use a Unicolor Drum (8x10) its very easy to load and uses little chemical (i use about about 180ml for 2 4x5)
Alex Elwing 9 years ago
I use Jobo large tanks and fill them with stock D76, which I then replenish.
Justin Berger 9 years ago
Thanks for the suggestions all.
I use the taco method and I can process up to 4 negatives at a time. It takes 1l of solution, though that's quite cheap with the chemistry I use.
The Hunter of Light PRO 9 years ago
I use the Jobo rotative system...the film is held quite safe and 270ml develops you 6 negatives.
Also have a yankee tank but never use it as it s quite thirsty...
Other method which I used a long time ago and which nearly costs nothing is developping in the dark the same way as bw paper...
In bw I always use Agfa Rodinal but als devellop my E-6 and C-41 with the Jobo as all modells have heaters.
The only inconvenient of the system is that you have to pre-wetten your films 1min in water on order to prevent stripes and unequal dev.
Cristiano Abreu 9 years ago
"The only inconvenient of the system is that you have to pre-wetten your films..."

I normally don't see this as an inconvenient. It represents an extra step for sure, meaning increased overall time in processing, but I value more the benefits. I also use a Jobo processor and almost always use 5 min pre-wash (or pre-soak) for all films. For old type grain emulsions, like FP4+, HP5+, ADOX, Tri-X, always. I've even done tests with and without pre-wash for newer Delta and, apparently, get better uniformity of development when pre-soaking the negs. Ilford discourages pre-wash for short times since it can lead to uneven development, but 5 min as recommended by Jobo obviates that issue, and you achieve quicker thermal equilibrium between the sheets and developer, as well as removing the anti-halation layer prior to soup the film with the developer (as this represent a real benefit, there's lot of debate and I'm not the best qualified person to answer... to me it seems I get improved "clarity" -a subjective parameter- of the negs, when doing a pre-wash).
Jehu10842 9 years ago
I started with the Yankee Tank. I highly recommend avoiding it. My current method of processing 4X5 is not only the most consistent I've used but the cheapest as well. I got some ABS pipe (sewer pipe) from the hardware store. I glued a cap on one end of a 5" length. I then glued a cap and a coupler on a 1" length. That serves as a cap that will hold two to three ounces of fluid. Just follow the instructions for the BTZS tubes. I've got less than $20 into the whole system.

I hope that helps.
dub_focus 9 years ago
i can second cristiano on the issue of presoaking. as i use this method with C41 and E6, jobo multitank 2523 when doing 4x5s: at first i had strange lines on my testshots but now i've got it pretty much figured out how to get an even development presoaking the film first (i rotate the 2523 by hand though, hehe)
Greg Williamson PRO 9 years ago
have used every method known to man. trays are best.
probable point [deleted] 9 years ago
I have gone to trays for my work. Mostly because I don't produce that much work that requires tanks.
ChristopherFecio 9 years ago
I also stick to trays, as it is the most accessible to me (I still go to school and they provide all the equipment and chemicals).

Not to mention the joy of standing in the dark for 30 minutes at a time whilst shuffling the negatives through the developer.
chenresig Posted 9 years ago. Edited by chenresig (member) 9 years ago
I use HP Combi-Plan. Trays just didn't work out for me because I was scratching the negatives. Besides I frequently use long development times when working with Perceptol and Rodinal and it would be boring and difficult to control the temperature to do tray development.
M R Goodwin 9 years ago
I also use the HP Combiplan daylight tank. Once I figured out it was not really great as an inversion tank (mine leaks), I just set it in the sink with a butter knife under it and rock it back and forth during my agitation cycle, then slide it forward onto the blade for resting, so it is level. I'm having no leaking now and it's really producing some great results. The Combiplan is a breeze to load in the dark. It takes about 36oz of chems. I use a version of Harvey's 777 for BW which is a replenishing developer. For color I use the Unicolor kit, which is a use it and save it approach.
ac12basis 8 years ago
For those using a drum processor, what B&W developer are you using? I have been reading a lot of stuff about rotary processing and the "problem" seems to be the continuous agitation does not let you bring out the shadow details like you can with intermittent agitation, like in a SS tank w 35mm film.

I'm trying to decide on what film (FP4 or Delta 100 or TMax 100) and developer (HC-110 or Rodinal or ? ) to start out with. Since I don't plant to shoot a LOT, I would prefer liquid concentrate so I can make small/one-shot batches.
kitsaplorax 8 years ago
Using my Yankee tank with a pre-soak and stand development with R09 I have had fair results, but I see a Combi-plan in my near future.
ac12basis 8 years ago
I picked up a new old stock Unidrum with the spacers for 4x5, so I'm set there.

Now to actually try a develop a couple sheets.
Interestingly I am now trying to figure out developer capacity, which I never did before. HC-110 at dilution E (1:47) or dilution B x2 (1:62) and the limited solution capacity of the drum (4oz) means that I could exhaust the developer. I am trying to use a something more dilute than dilution B, because of the constant agitation of the drum.
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