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philipus

Lab-box - the modern Rondinax - now selling

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A modern take on the Rondinax is now available for sale.

http://www.ars-imago.com/-c-1146.html

I think it's a terrific idea, if a rather pricey product. Still it won't be for me because I normally develop several films at once. That said, I'm very happy that products like this come to the market to make it easy for people to use film.

 

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I have the original 35 and 120 versions. Turning that dial for so many minutes is a bit tiresome and, like you, I tend to set everything up when I've 2 or more films to develop, and I do so in a waterbath to try to keep all the chemicals and tanks at the appropriate temperature. I like the loading method for each of the Rodinax tanks (though worry about potential for scratches for the 120 version) and I like the reduced chemical volume involved (bearing in mind there must be sufficient active ingredient present). Overall, I prefer the standard method using changing bag, reels and tanks. I can even fool myself I'm controlling highlights by varying agitation.

Pete

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Posted (edited)

I've been looking at the project with interest and making comparisons with the original Rondinax 35 / 120 as well as the Jobo 2400 - in a way I'm surprised that they went down the Rondinax route rather than the Jobo route, although copyright and similar might have been a problem.

Not sure what I think about the continuous agitation method used in the Rondinax / Lab-Box though

Edited by robert_parker

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I've certainly considered the Jobo with lift route. It seems perfect (disregarding price). It maintains everything at the right temperature, and chemicals are swapped in/out quickly which is my main bane with the manual method.

Pete

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I joined their Kickstarter and should have 35mm and 120 versions on the way soon. Mostly interested in young plastic that won't break, and willing to make a motorised set-up out of them. I'm absolutely sold on the continuous agitation of the original Rondinax 60, Rondinax 35 and the Rondix, but not a fan of tired fingers and wrists. I'm quite sure I can make a motorised base as I did for the old Agfa tanks.

and with adapter to convert to the Rondinax 60:

As for continuous agitation and development times - you'll get perfectly good results using the same times as for intermittent inversions in a Paterson or Nikor tank. You can also get away with a bit less time which reduces contrast, but at the end of the day, we play with contrast when we scan, when we print digitally, when we choose photo paper, or twiddle the knob on a VC head, or make those delicious decisions about split grade printing. Come on, all you have to do is pin a timer to your shirt while this does the work, then swap solutions and reset the timer and go off to do something else in the meantime! It's like owning a Jobo without the outlay.

I was probably destined to make this as easy as possible for myself. When I took up a camera again in 1990 after a ten year hiatus, one of the first things I did was to sneak into the X-ray department of my hospital one evening and run a 35mm film through the sheet film processor. It got some scratches, but it worked, and it didn't jam up the machine and bring down the department! That would have meant a red-faced interview with the administrator.

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Online retailers saying this will go on sale for non-Kickstarter folks after 8/1...I am definitely buying one!  I have fantasies of an elaborate dark room setup with every scrap of equipment I need for developing and printing, but considerations like money and a wife make this a much more realistic option for the amount of home developing I'm likely to do.

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