Basic "daylight" question

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by michael_harris|14, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. I'm so new that I haven't actually started processing at home yet, but in considering doing so, I've been trying to learn enough about the
    equipment to choose what I'd prefer. I think I lean towards a steel system over plastic, and the used Nikor sets are pretty cheap on eBay,
    but I don't quite see how they are light-proof. I see how the Paterson has a center tube, which blocks light through the top. Do the Nikor
    sets have anything similar? something else to do that job? Or are they not actually for daylight processing?

    I've learned a lot reading these forums before joining! Thanks for your help.

  2. The construction of the lid makes it light proof. The opening goes to a flat piece of plastic that prevents light from getting through. They are definitely for daylight processing (at least the one I have is!).
  3. As Allen mentioned, they are well-baffled for light but my paranoid habits have me doing the cap-off duties in a shadow or less than direct, bright light. No need chasing your variables more than need be... I keep some of 3M's very soft 33+ electrical tape handy and run a strip around the main lid to body seam as they invariably seep or leak a bit when doing your inversions/agitations... This keeps fingers or gloves from becoming contaminated as you progress through the next steps of processing.
    Even with the best planning and equipment, you'll have your moments. It's very gratifying when you get some success stories behind you. It's a bit like golf. That one great shot on the 12th hole is what you remember and what erases the frustrations of the rest of the round! Enjoy!
  4. Thanks for the quick replies! Allan, thanks for the clarification. Somehow that design possibility hadn't occurred to me.
    Makes perfect sense though. And Craig, it sounds like we suffer from the same sort of paranoia. I'm pretty sure Murphy
    was glaring at me the whole time, so I bet I use some of your techniques. (I'd already decided I'd do it in a darker location,
    even though not total blackout. Electrical tape is definitely going on the checklist!)
  5. There are two designs for lid baffles. With the older on, you tilt the tank a little, pour in one side of the top, and air comes out the other. With the later design, you don't tilt the tank, as the air escape part goes all the way around.
    With any design, there could be the possibility of light piping, where light follows down the liquid like it does in an optical fiber. I have never known this, but doing it in bright sunlight might not be the best idea. But with normal darkroom lighting, I have never heard of any problems, with either plastic tube or metal baffles.
    With all designs, a few drops usually leak out. I never worried about that.
  6. Having used Nikor tanks and reels for MANY rolls of film and in sizes from one reel tanks to eight reels tanks, I have never experienced a light leak.
    But I will add that if you have several tanks, it's not a bad idea to keep the tanks, lids, and tops together as originally purchased, especially the tops as the fit might not be exact from one top to the next. The result of mixing won't be a major problem, just a little more fluid leakage when you agitate.
  7. The Paterson tank works well for what it's worth. My tank with reel was less then $30.00 a BHPHoto. The press on cap was a bit tight at first. Now after many rolls it sometimes leaks a bit during inversions. Light leaking is not an issue. I will buy Paterson tanks again sometime if I need a new one.
    I have no experience with the steel reel's so I do not know which system is the easiest to use overall.
  8. The problems are rarely light leaks (never in my personal experience), but with such things as not actually getting enough developer in (it pays to measure out the amount needed to make sure the quantity is right). My tanks are all labeled so each lid goes back on the same can, bTW.
    The metal reels can be harder to load right, especially if they are a little dented away from true round. I bought some plastic reels to see if they were better, but haven't tried them yet.
  9. Once you learn to load the metal spirals, it will be like riding a bike, you'll never lose the touch. The 35mm 36-exposure reels are easily bent, and will drive you mad if bent.
    Plastic reels can get sticky and hard to load. Stainless steel remain predictable forever.
    The Nikor system is reliable, and uses the minimum amount of developer. The Paterson tanks use several ounces more of developer per roll of film.
  10. Once you learn to load the metal spirals, it will be like riding a bike​
    Well, maybe for some people. For me, it seems like everytime I have a pause in my processing activities, I do have to learn it all over again. :(
  11. AJG


    I've used Kinderman stainless steel tanks with plastic lids for 25+ years and they don't leak at all. I don't like their 35 mm reels but the Hewes or Nikor reels work fine in these tanks. Other (cheaper than Nikor) all stainless steel tanks that I have used tend to leak and the cheap Chinese plastic lids for stainless steel tanks also don't perform well in my experience. John is right about loading steel reels--I've taught hundreds of students over the last 15 years, and when they finally get it, they really get it.
  12. Hello everyone and welcome to the world of film Michael. Ton's of good input's here on the forum.
    Since 40+ years ago I have used Nikor stainless steel tanks, adopting the 450 ml tanks for either 35mm or 120 mm film. In the early 70's when they appeared on the market, I started using the larger Igloo type coolers for developing - tidy and accurate for holding chemistry temperatures. The occasional "dribble" from the tank(s) (if any) is taken care of with a folded paper towel over the top.
    In the Igloo the developer & fixer bottles are marked for the amount of liquid that just hits the body upper line. Place the reel in the tank when you measure this mark. The re-purposed drinks bottles hold enough liquids to process (2) 135-36 or (1) 120 roll of film. The pictures in the right block show the spacers I use to keep the reel off the tank bottom.
    Dive in & be fearless ! It will be a Long, Strange Trip in your life (GD music appreciated).
    Aloha, Bill

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