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02-10-2014, 05:21 PM   #1
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Developer tank w/one reel OK?

I recently picked up what looks to be a NOS stainless film developing tank. It has only one spool. Should I get a second metal spool to keep on top of the first? Or, can I get away with just one spool? I'm afraid of the spool rattling around more than is necessary which would cause bits of metal to flake off onto the film.

If I do need a second spool then are they all about the same size?

My Dad and I used to have a single spool Paterson system back in the 80s and 90s. I really miss it!

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02-10-2014, 05:36 PM   #2
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You want two reels as the normal agitation method is to invert the tank as if you were pouring it out and back again several times. One reel will slide around and cause too much agitation.
02-10-2014, 05:43 PM   #3
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I would get a second reel. I don't develop my film until I have two rolls to do just to make it more economical because of the cost of chemicals. I suppose you could come up with a spacer (just a thought).
02-10-2014, 07:15 PM   #4
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I have used a single reel with a second reel as a spacer, but only for the special case of development with high dilutions of HC-110. The extra volume is needed in order to insure that sufficient developer is present to take the reaction to completion.

I would invest in a single reel tank to use when you are only wanting to process one roll of 35mm film at a time.

http://www.freestylephoto.biz/91801-Arista-Stainless-Steel-Tank-8-oz.-with-PVC-Top

A cheap second reel costs about $8, but my strong preference is for the extremely excellent Hewes reel:

http://www.freestylephoto.biz/140135-Hewes-Pro-Stainless-Steel-Reel-35mm-Reel

Expensive, but well, worth the money.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 02-10-2014 at 07:25 PM.
02-19-2014, 07:46 AM   #5
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You need a second reel. If you use only one reel it can move to the upper part of the tank and get stuck there when inverting the tank. Then the film will be out of the developer. IT HAPPENDS.
02-19-2014, 08:07 AM   #6
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A second reel isn't *strictly* necessary. Even if you do keep the reel at the bottom, when you agitate the film will come completely out if you use one roll's worth of developer.

When I did single rolls, I would do one reel and D76 1:3, but filled the tank (500ml vs 250). That way the film would not repeatedly enter and exit the developer. You can slow your inversions down a bit to compensate, too.
02-20-2014, 01:18 PM   #7
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I would concur that a second reel is not reely ( <-- pun intended ) necessary as long as you do not agitate with a full inversion because the film can (and will) work itself loose at the end of the spool and ride between the reel and the tank. If you adjust your agitation style, however (e.g., swirl the tank, etc.) you should be okay. That said, if it were me I would get another decent stainless reel to help stabilize this reel in the tank.

I would agree with SteveBrot that you could simply invest in a one-reel tank. However, if you ever want to stand develop OR if you ever want to process 120 film, you will need the two reel tank anyhow.


Last edited by tlong423; 02-20-2014 at 01:19 PM. Reason: typo
02-20-2014, 01:27 PM   #8
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I'd recommend against the swirling method. I haven't had problems with film coming loose and rubbing inverting. I do half as many inversions, but take the same amount of time I would if I were doing a full tank.

I have had streaking with the swirling method with 135-36, but not with 120. With swirling, if you're not careful you'l just trap exhausted developer in the spiral and move it back and forth through the roll. I got sections of streaking and underdeveloped negatives.
02-21-2014, 04:34 PM   #9
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I found a second reel on eBay for $0.99 + $4 S&H. It looks sold except that someone removed the film clip in the center and cut the film hooks off.

Maybe I can bend in what little is left so the film can still have something to hook on to?

02-21-2014, 04:51 PM   #10
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A little cloth tape will do, too! Will make your life a lot easier. I had a bunch of Nikkor stuff that I used for a while, and the little clips are a massive pain.
02-21-2014, 06:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I found a second reel on eBay for $0.99 + $4 S&H. It looks sold except that someone removed the film clip in the center and cut the film hooks off.

Maybe I can bend in what little is left so the film can still have something to hook on to?
Ummm...not all reels have a center clip, particularly not if they are $0.99! Yours looks like most of the cheap ones I have owned. Still though, it will make an adequate spacer. Be sure to remember to double your fluid volumes.

Steve
02-21-2014, 06:19 PM   #12
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I never used the clips/hooks after a while. The spiral and the curve of the film is enough to keep it in place.
02-21-2014, 06:21 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
I had a bunch of Nikkor stuff that I used for a while, and the little clips are a massive pain.
I never used the clips on my Nikkors. It is just as easy to make a sharp bend and take care to not pull on the film. Even better is to get a Hewes. The Hewes reels use a heavier gauge material, have absolutely parallel sides, and the 35mm model has a fool-proof hook mechanism that engages the film sprockets. They are more money, but worth every penny in my opinion.


Steve
02-23-2014, 12:37 PM   #14
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If you often find yourself developing just one roll a single reel tank is a worthwhile investment.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 02-23-2014 at 07:04 PM.
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