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Hmmm...I would still prefer the conventional Paterson daylight developer tank which allows me to develop 35 mm, medium and large format films. Only advantage I can see from this setup linked above is that the 35 mm cartridge doesn't need to be opened sperately in the dark. For beginners this might be a benefit who are not used to roll film onto a reel in the dark - even I believe it is good to learn to do this because then it is easy to do it for all kind of film sizes, too. 

 

The labeling of the bottles might be a bit off - for B&W processes no bleach is needed but either water or stopper fluid after the development step instead. Even for color C-41 development, most development packs now prefer to have bleach and fixer combined (called Blix). The used iron EDTA complex for bleaching is much more stable now than the formerly cyanide based one - so Blix now lasts for quite long. 

 

The setup for heating the chemicals if needed (especially for C-41 or E-6) can be useful even the same can be accomplished well in any kind of water bath with temperature control. For B&W development, I found it much more important to cool the developer instead especially in summer time when stock developer has to be diluted with tap water (I am using 2-3 ice cubes in 1 liter of water and use some of it to get to 20 deg C with developer). 

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I think it's a good idea, but processing one 35mm film at a time is a laborious disadvantage and not really viable unless you are only an occasional film user.  

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Looks an interesting idea but I see a couple of potential issues (apart from only being able to process single rolls).

 

I find threading a 36exp roll onto the plastic (Patterson) reels often tricky in that the film sticks during loading. I'd be wary of the auto loading system - how do you know for sure it's loaded correctly. Also will frame 36 (or 37!) be developed correctly? It looks like you might have to allow for at least a couple of frames length of film from reel to cartridge.

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I will stick to my pair of Rondinax daylight tanks. Admittedly the #60 MF tank does not always remove the backing paper as it should and I have to do a bit of fiddling in a changing bag but I develop so little 120, I will live with it. My 35U works perfectly and only taking 200ml of liquid is very economical. 

 

On a different point has anyone tried the Ars Imago single processor developer/fixer yet. I have bought a pair of the A&B bottles but have not got round to using them yet. Someone on RFF posted that they found extra fixing was needed for perfect clearing, which rather negates the whole point of a single process. I am waiting until I have around 6 rolls of B&W ready to go before I mix the A & B liquids up, as they have a short life when mixed. 

 

Wilson

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On a different point has anyone tried the Ars Imago single processor developer/fixer yet. 

Have they actually delivered any yet? Last I heard there were more delays.

 

I'm perfectly happy with my Rondinax too though.

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I have seen several people recently getting some great results with the new Cinestill DF96 monobath, I'm wondering about trying some myself.

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Ian,

 

These are the chemicals not the tanks. I very nearly put money into fund raising for the tank but after my poor experience with the fold up bluetooth blade keyboard for iPads and iPhones, gave it a miss. A elderly friend then told me he had both Rondinax tanks in his attic and I bought them from him. They needed new spindle seals (neoprene penny washers were perfect) but they then worked near perfectly apart from occasional 120 loading problems. I gather that was always an issue. These are the Monobath chemicals. 

 

Wilson

 

 

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Ian,

 

These are the chemicals not the tanks. I very nearly put money into fund raising for the tank but after my poor experience with the fold up bluetooth blade keyboard for iPads and iPhones, gave it a miss. A elderly friend then told me he had both Rondinax tanks in his attic and I bought them from him. They needed new spindle seals (neoprene penny washers were perfect) but they then worked near perfectly apart from occasional 120 loading problems. I gather that was always an issue. These are the Monobath chemicals. 

 

Wilson

 

Nice drawings for the main part of the developer (1,4-dihydroxybenzene or hydroquinone) and the fixer (NH4)2 S2O3.

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nice design

 

http://www.thomasjmueller.de/projects/laboratory.html

 

On the other hand a plastic washing up bowl and a fish tank heater does the same sort of job. People have been using this setup for processing colour film for many years, the advantage of a water bath that it keeps all the pre-mixed chemicals at the more critical temperatures needed for colour. Re-inventing the same thing is kind of like, hmm what would be a good analogy, I know, like re-inventing the wheel! Use a changing bag to load your daylight tank and you've avoided the need for a darkroom and can use whatever type of tank you like. 

Edited by 250swb

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All these fancy new daylight developing tanks are just re-inventing the wheel which probably reached its apogee with the Agfa Rondinax tanks. They found that one tank for 35 and 120 did not work well and very quickly reverted to separate tanks. My problem in the summer in France is that it is too hot and in most years (not this year) the temperature inside my non-air-conditioned house for the whole of July, August and the first half of September is over 25º. My experiments with shorter processing times have not been very successful, so I just store up films waiting development in the freezer until mid September. The other problem I have in France, is ultra hard water (off the scale on the test strips), so I get through a lot of de-ionised water in washing negatives and diluting chemicals. 

 

Does anyone make a non-HQ developer for colour negative? I am using Rodinal or Ars Imago for B&W, which both don't cause me a problem. I used to use Kodak XTOL but now it comes in two big bags of powder and once mixed, does not have a long shelf life unless kept very cool. I preferred it when it came as the two solutions which were much easier to mix and dilute a small quantity. 

 

Wilson

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Haven't seen anything that beats a Jobo ATL for all round ease of use and flexibility (automatic, all processes, up to 5 films at a time, can use for paper dev etc), but for single tanks my favourite is the Rondix for it's economical use of chemicals, simplicity of construction and small size. I have Rondinax, Rondix, Jobo daylight and Kodak daylight tanks in the darkroom in addition to the ATL and CPP... 

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Haven't seen anything that beats a Jobo ATL for all round ease of use and flexibility (automatic, all processes, up to 5 films at a time, can use for paper dev etc), but for single tanks my favourite is the Rondix for it's economical use of chemicals, simplicity of construction and small size. I have Rondinax, Rondix, Jobo daylight and Kodak daylight tanks in the darkroom in addition to the ATL and CPP... 

 

That is the nice thing about the Rondix and Rondinax tanks. Only taking 200ml, you are not tempted to the "oh I am sure I can get just one more film out of that batch of chemicals." More fixers than developers.

 

Do you wet with wetting solution before developer or not? I have seen folks saying: "absolutely essential" to others saying: "makes no difference at all" I wet with a very dilute solution (a few drops in 200ml) of Adoflow on the basis that while it may not do much good, it certainly won't do any harm. 

 

Wilson

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Do you wet with wetting solution before developer or not? I have seen folks saying: "absolutely essential" to others saying: "makes no difference at all" I wet with a very dilute solution (a few drops in 200ml) of Adoflow on the basis that while it may not do much good, it certainly won't do any harm. 

 

Wilson

 

Hi Wilson

 

No, never done that with the small tanks. The ATL when doing the B&W processes does a 5 minute water pre-soak, but does not do that for other processes.

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That is the nice thing about the Rondix and Rondinax tanks. Only taking 200ml, you are not tempted to the "oh I am sure I can get just one more film out of that batch of chemicals." More fixers than developers.

 

Do you wet with wetting solution before developer or not? I have seen folks saying: "absolutely essential" to others saying: "makes no difference at all" I wet with a very dilute solution (a few drops in 200ml) of Adoflow on the basis that while it may not do much good, it certainly won't do any harm. 

 

Wilson

 

I have never tried using wetting agent before doing the development. It might help for very foaming developer solutions - and this depends how the solution is agitated. I am no longer doing heavy agitation processes by inversions etc and just use the Paterson tank agitator piece which is more than sufficient. I don't suffer from foam and bubble formation in the developer either. I have tested (and read more often) to use wetting agent (not sure if it the same compound) as addition in the final wash to avoid dust built-up when drying the film by hanging afterwards - regular kitchen soap solution can be used here, too. I have never seen an effect in the latter and stopped adding it to the final wash. I found it was much more important how clean the room is and - since I do it in a bathroom - simply turning on the shower for a few minutes before hanging the film which will take out most of dust in the air. 

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Wetting agents are a really bad idea to use before development.

 

First, they foam far more than plain water, which can cause bubbles and permanent marks on the film. Second, by breaking the surface tension on the film, they can lead to other uneven streaking. And third, they contain accelerants - they will foul up the overall developing times and contrast.

 

Despite the name, wetting agents are designed for DRYING film evenly, not for wetting it evenly with developer.

 

One of the first things we learned in Sensitometry class was to wash off any remaining wetting agent from tanks and reels after processing, to prevent any chance of carry-over wetting agent fouling the developer in the next batch. With very hot water, since dried wetting agent has, as one photo chemist put it, "the clinging power of snot."

 

No developer is designed to have "a mixture of 5-chloro-2-methyl-2 H-isothiazol-3-one [EC No 247-500-7] and 2-methyl-2 H-isothiazol-3-one [EC No 220-239-6] (3:1)" randomly added to it, and perform as originally intended. Good Lord!

 

http://www.adox.de/MSDS/ADOFLO(GB).pdf

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Thanks Andy. I will put my wetting agent to the back of the cupboard. 

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Thanks Andy. I will put my wetting agent to the back of the cupboard. 

Wilson,

 

It's still useful in the final wash.

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Wilson,

 

It's still useful in the final wash.

 

Ian, 

 

I don't do that in my tank, as I think its volume is a bit small. I do that in a food mixing bowl, where I would continue to use wetting agent. 

 

Wilson

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