Best development tank

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by the_macman, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. I'm looking for a great development tank. I already own three models (double-
    reel Paterson 4 and AP, and a 4-reel no brand one). The problem is they all
    leak at the lid. I need something super-tight, with a screw lid or something
    conceived in a way that it would not leak at all as I shake.

    I saw this Samigon steel tank on B&W. I just can't imagine how is it made. Is
    that a clip-on lid just like crappy Paterson? Is there any chance it would leak?
    What would be the mother of all development tanks? I don't mind the price.
  2. The leaking of Paterson tanks is not a problem for me. I simply accept it. I place a towel beneath the tank to absorb spillage. I have used metal tanks and hate them.
  3. Take a look a JOBO tanks, they have a very tight fitting lid, mine has had no problems with leaking.
  4. Yeah, I also have to grab it using a towel. Then it gets completely soaked of
    by the end of development. Having to use half a roll of paper towel per roll of
    film kinda puts is back 40 years or so. Not to mention that I mix 50ml more just
    in case it runs out enough to soak below the film level. BTW... Hydroquinone
    found in many developers is a suspected carcinogen and while I didn't take
    the time to go one by one, I suspect there is a whole bunch of them that you
    don't want to have on your skin. Of course, I could bother with gloves but then
    thanks to the solution the tank gets pretty slippery. I hope that there are some
    3-digit IQ engineers out there who conceived a tight tank.
  5. BOB: Interesting. How tight? Clip-on or screw? Is that folding plastic or rigid?
    Paterson 4 is also tight, it sounds tight and it clips tight... not in a homogenous
    way obviously :)
  6. Kindermann steel tank and Hewes Stainless reels will convert you to be faithful follower with journey to eternity and no looking back.

    Enjoy the Darkroom while you can.!:)

  7. Macman:

    My drippings are fairly minor.
  8. The Omega tanks have a lid with an O-ring. The lid is threaded and it screws on.
    Mine does not leak at all. The tanks are pretty nice.
    Almost as fast filling and pouring as the Paterson tanks.
    Regular Paterson reels and center-cores fit in the Omega/Beseler tank just fine.
    If you do shoot for a used Kindermann tank off of e*ay, and the
    lid/cover is stainless steel..
    I bought a 'Kindermann' tank with 4 matching reels. The cover and
    reels are Kindermann.. The tank itself is 'made in Japan'.
    Needless to say, they do not fit.
    The reels however, are pretty sweet so I wasn't too pi**ed.

    Just so you know what I'm talking about... Beseler Developing Tank
    Neither B&H nor Freestyle list it on their websites. My semi-local shop (Hunt's) carries these for about $14.
  9. There are some Spanish-made plastic tanks that are compatible with Paterson reels. Instead of the pop-on lid these have screw-on lids. They'll still leak a bit with inversion agitation but I prefer to use the twist paddle method with these tanks. No mess at all.

    Some folks claim twist paddle agitation is inferior to inversion agitation. Nonsense. I've used both, still use both and see absolutely no difference in my negatives.

    As I understand it the twist paddle agitation method is an option with Paterson tanks. Dunno. I have only one Paterson tank and it lacks the light baffle/funnel doodad so I've never had a chance to try this tank.

    It is possible to get a reasonably leak-proof fit between steel tanks and the inexpensive plastic lids. The trick is to match a well-fitted lid to a certain tank and keep 'em together.

    Steel tanks and steel lids are pretty much hopeless and always have been. I have a couple of those now and they're as leaky as I'd remembered from years ago. Good for stand development, tho'.
  10. Lex has said it all.I use a plastic tank with a screw on lid that has a twirling stick.I can invert or twirl.All the negs look the same.In fact,I find it easier to control agitation with the stick. Good Luck and Happy new Year
  11. A corrolary to the question:

    I have and effectively use my 2 reel patterson, but is there a similar, nay, identical tank that pours out chemicals faster? I have waits of up to a minute to completely clear developer and fixer out of the tank, which concerns be from a timing/consistency of results perspective....
  12. Dear Macman,

    I'm with Syed Shah. My Kindermans have stainless steel bodies and plastic lids. They simply do not leak. The two oldest are around 30 years now but I also have a couple of newer ones. Then use Hewes spirals -- nothing better.


  13. I use a Paterson tank, and I can't say I've ever had any problems with it leaking. The only time it leaks (very minor leaks) is when I'm washing film and it gets completely soaked. This isn't really a problem for me, since it's in the sink anyway.
  14. Don't trun it upside down and it won't leak.
    Agitate the film by using the wee twirly thing.
  15. Another trick with the sort of stainless steel tanks that have stainless steel lids is to cut a wide 'corset' from a motorcycle inner tube (ask at a bike shop) and seal the lid to the tank with that. Just wrap it round the outside like a big rubber band. A strip about an inch/25mm wide should do it. This and many other useful tricks (such as drying film diagonally) appear in my books...


  16. >>>> Don't trun it upside down and it won't leak. Agitate the film by using the
    wee twirly thing.

    That's definitely an inferior agitation method. I stand by inversion.
  17. >>>>> Just so you know what I'm talking about... Beseler Developing Tank

    That's exactly what I have. It's labeled AP, obviously a shared model. It does
    leak from the red lid.
  18. Macman, on what basis do you claim that twisting the reel is "definitely" inferior to inversion?
  19. Inversion is superior. By-products of development are heavier than the developer and tend to sink. Inversion redistributes these by-products evenly throughout the solution. Twisting does not.
  20. mr. macman, i'm somewhat surprised to hear that yours leaks.
    Perhaps self-sealing tape wrapped around the lid? *shrug*
  21. Hans, which byproducts of development do you refer to, and why would you want to redistribute them?
  23. Macman, thanks for the link. I read the thread, but found nothing in it that supports your conclusion. According to many experts, random rotary agitation is the best possible for contrast control and even development. When one rotates the the reel in the tank by the spindle key, that's exactly what occurs; random rotary agitation.
    Hans, Have you determined which development byproducts are heavier than the developer solution and should be redistributed? Just curious.
  24. Bromide is heavier than developer. That is why bromide streaking occurs in vertical stand development. Inversion is better for this reason: it redistributes the bromide evenly throughout the solution.
  25. The link of the thread I posted has KBr (potassium bromide) at the end. Is that
    a coincidence or a name given on purpose? :)
  26. Do you have the current super system 4 patterson tank or the older ones? I never had a leak with the current ones that wasn't my fault. I used to flip the tank over. No leaks. Dry hands.

    Likewise my Jobo tanks don't leak if I put the lid on right. They are designed to be used on thier sides so leaks would show up pretty quickly.
  27. Hans, the bromide settling problems associated with stand development have nothing to do with twist agitation. The reversal of rotation creates more than enough turbulence to avoid any settling or uneven development, and doesn't expose the film to air in the tank which is more likely to cause aerial oxidation and fogging.
  28. Jay:

    The velocity of agitation with twisting is also somewhat too high, and can cause excess development around the sprocket-holes. I have seen this myself on my own film.

    Inversion agitation is recommended by every authority I have consulted.
  29. Hans, the vigor of agitation can be easily controlled by the twist method, with the slightest attention to technique. I have never had the problem you describe in the thousands of rolls I've developed, so I must assume your agitation is much too vigorous. Who are the experts you've consulted? I would assume that the developers of the Patterson's tanks are experts, and the developers of the Jobo system, and Phil Davis, none of which recommend inversion agitation.
  30. Two points with Paterson tanks. Firstly, remember to 'snift' the tank when putting the lid on. That is, push down on the middle of the lid as your put it on to push some air out. This creates a slight vacuum which holds the lid on firmly. Secondly, when not in use, just rest the lid on top of the tank, don't push it on tight. This way the lid doesn't get stretched.
  31. Jay:

    Numerous books on developing recommend inversion over rotation.
  32. Jay. Tank manufacturers have little to say about agitation since they don't
    know what you'll use in there. Agfa, for inistance, recommends inversion with
    Rodinal. Possibly others.
  33. Jay, don't count on getting either the final word or an authoritative answer (other than his own authority) from "Hans." He often substitutes endless repetition/redundancy for evidence, will brook no opinion that differs slightly from his own and absolutely *must* always have the final word in every debate in every thread.

    In some regards he reminds me of the now-banned Mike Scarpitti. But surely nobody would stoop to circumventing a ban by resorting to a pseudonym?
  34. Macman, the manufacturers do have something to say by the design of their products. Agitation is a fairly simple concept; deliver fresh developer solution to the surface of the film in a controlled and repeatable manner. Problems with agitation are generally along the lines of too much or too little rather than twist/rotate/invert differences. Rodinal works just fine with twist agitation, by the way.
  35. See attached, from "Developing" by Jacobsen and Jacobsen.
  36. Hans, Developing, by Jacobson and Jacobson was published in 1940 and predates the manufacture of the Patterson tanks by decades. What the text refers to is rotating the steel spiral reels with a stirring rod, which is far inferior to the purposeful and fully tested design of the Patterson tanks.
  37. The text is the 18th edition, 1973. They certainly knew of Paterson tanks, which have been around for 50 years.
  38. I mentioned this a few days ago when talking to one of the technical experts at Ilford. They see no functional distinction whatsoever in inversion versus rotation -- or nitrogen burst. It seems to me to be a classic example of worrying about trivia. Hey guys, just get out and take pictures! I loved the quote on another thread, "My pictures way be bad but my negatives are pristine."


  39. Roger:

    Based on personal experience, I have my doubts about the evenness and consistency of spiral agitation. It is not beyond question that the Jacobsens were more qualified to answer this than Ilford.
  40. Dear Hans,

    Nor is it beyond question that the manufacturers are better qualified to answer than the Jacobsens, and I know who I'd back. You are personally unable to get good negatives via rotation-agitation. Others do not necessarily labour under this disability.

    Last night I checked all the books I listed in the 'good books' thread: Neblette, Coote, John & Field, Glafkides, etc. and a couple of others. The only one that specifically recommended inversion was Coote, while L.Andrew Mannheim (no ignoramus) mentioned inversion agitation and then stated clearly that 'The older method of agitation by means of a rod is probably the more satisfactory...'.

    Otherwise, the consensus was that brush agitation (for sensitometric work) and nitrogen burst (for general applications) were best, and that after that, pretty much anything (including 'a good shake', to quote one authority) would work.

    It is true that *absolutely consistent, unidirectional* rotation may produce bromide drag but a modest degree of 'twiddling' to and fro obviates this. Apart from Jacobsen and your own experience, just who ARE your much-vaunted authorities? Are they better informed and more credible than those listed above?


  41. Roger:

    The problems with spiral agitation:

    1. Velocity and direction. Inversion agitation with a twist distributes developer evenly and randomly across the film surface. Rotary does not. It sends the developer along the length of the film only.
    2. Difficult to control, because once the developer is set into motion in a circle, it may continue to move past the time desired. Back and forth? Maybe.
    3. Bromide sinks, as it is heavier than developer. This means that rotary agitation will not redistribute it randomly across the film surface.

    I have no qualms about recommending inversion. There are several reasons listed above that make it more consistent and cotrollable.
  42. Hans, it's incorrect that twist agitation only agitates in one direction. Paterson tanks and the Spanish variations are designed to cam the reels up and down as well.

    As Roger said, your experience with twist agitation may have been a disappointment. That doesn't speak for those of us who have used these tanks and twist agitation successfully many times.

    Dunno 'bout Jobo and other systems. Perhaps users of those systems can comment on how they are designed to agitate.
  43. Dear Hans,

    I have no qualms about recommending inversion agitation either. Indeed it is what I use with my stainless steel tanks. But if inversion not practicable (e.g. because of leaks) then I have equally few qualms about recommending twist agitation, which is NOT necessarily unidirectional (and even if it were, can be solved by a deliberately jerky movement); which just about everyone has found distributes the bromide perfectly adequately; and where the idea of the developer continuing to move for a significant length of time is pure nonsense because of the obstruction provided by the spiral.

    In short, your theoretical objections have little or no merit, and you have not been able to provide any authority other than your own and Jacobsen for your assertions. I counter with my own experience; that of numerous members of the forum; and the vast majority of authorities. I really don't think there is a great deal more to be said.


  44. Roger

    I believe it is more difficult to get consistent and even results with rotary agitation. Actually, more recommendations from expert sources affirm this. The odds favor inversion, to be sure. I have no more to say on the matter.
  45. The following is stated by Ilford at:

    "The following agitation is recommended for spiral
    tank processing with ILFORD chemicals. Invert the
    tank four times during the first 10 seconds. Repeat
    these four inversions during the first 10 seconds of
    each subsequent minute of development. At the
    end of each agitation sequence tap the tank firmly
    on the work bench to dislodge any air bubbles
    which may be trapped in the processing spiral.
    This method of agitation should also be used with
    the fixer."
  46. Dear Hans,

    Name your 'authorities' that specifically recommend against rotation agitation. That's all I'm asking.


  47. Roger:
    Perhaps I could finish this off with a discussion of what is a 'recommended practice'. A recommended practice is one that produces the best results, consistently, with the least effort. This does not mean that other practices will not work, but rather that the recommended practice will work most often and with the greatest consistency for the greatest number of people. That is how I would describe inversion agitation. It is very easy to get consistently good results with inversion agitation. Anyone entering upon development for the first time who is given reasonably accurate descriptions of how to perform inversion agitation and who is capable of reading and following simple instructions should get good results the first time.

    That is less likely with rotary agitation. The velocities of developer movement against the film surface are harder to control. The developer moves parallel to the film surface: Exhausted developer is merely moved to the next frame. In inversion agitation, the developer moves more or less perpendicular to the film surface in a random pattern, distributing the by-products throughout the solution. This results in greater uniformity and evenness of development aacross the entire roll.

    Is it possible to get acceptable results using rotary action? I suppose so, but certainly not as consistently.

    Paterson suggests using inversion rather than the spindle, which they provide simply for those who do not wish to invert.
  48. Perhaps I could finish this off with a discussion of what is a 'recommended practice'.
    Perhaps first you could name those "authorities" who allegedly recommend against rotation ... as Roger has been asking you to do.
  49. I have already mentioned them. Here is another discussion, in 'Photographic Facts and Formulas', 1975.
  50. There is nothing in that document that specifically recommends against rotary or twist agitation, Hans.
  51. Lex and Roger:

    The discussion in both Jacobsen and PFF is sufficient to establish that development by-products sink, which mean logically that inversion is recommended, as what is at the bottom is redistributed when inversion is performed. As I said earlier, what is meant by 'recommended practice' does not exclude other possibilities, but provides greatest assurance of success. Jacobsen specifically mentions that rotary agitation 'is not fool-proof and may be not quite even'.

    This is all I care to say: inversion is recommended practice. If you can do as well with rotation, fine. I have no objections.
  52. Well, thank you. I'm glad you have no objections. What a relief.
  53. I suggest you all examine your bottle of orange juice at breakfast and perform some tests.. especially the ease at which a half bottle mixes over a full bottle (another commonly held belief that a tank should be full...) Not sure how to replicate a Paterson twirler though.

    Also, wouldn't you want development by-products to get away from your film so that new developer can do it's magic on the film... so if all those heavy by-products are sitting at the bottom of the tank and they don't get jiggle to the top again, they won't end up back on the film! logical eh? :)

    After reading too much of this 'you must invert' discussion on the 'net, I changed to inversion and it's the only time I've experienced development defects... I changed back to twirlling and have been getting 'perfect' negs since.

    Nicely conducted arguement though.. I'll give you all that!
  54. Dear Hans,

    "Inversion is recommended practice."

    Yes. By you. Not by any authorities save Jacobsen that you have come up with. Nor in any that I have read save Coote, and that is countered by Mannheim.

    You have a weakness for unsupported ex cathedra statements. The superb argument about the orange juice demonstrates the poverty of your arguments. There is absolutely no reason why the undisputed fact that development products are heavier than developer should support your argument that inversion is better.As long as you get them away from the surface of the film, it doesn't matter how you do it. It's that simple, even though you refuse to accept that your 'recommended practice' is your own personal prejudice and has no scientific basis.


  55. Roger:

    Inversion is recommended practice by every major film manufacturer and tank manufacturer. Where do you come up with this stuff?

    I do not care, object, or in any way concern myself with what others may wish to do. If others want to twirl, that is fine with me. Inversion remains 'recommended practice'.
  56. Nige:

    I do not understand your post. The purpose of inversion is to get a random movement of fresh developer across the surface of the film, and to redistribute the development by-products that tend to settle at the bottom of the tank because of gravity. Yes, the idea is to remove them from the surface of the film, but not too rapidly and not too violently. Actually, what you want is controlled agitation. It is simply easier to control inversion agitation than any other method. Rotary agitation merely shuffles development from one negative to the next, and is harder to control for that reason. It is not random movement, but circular, which may cause uneven development and excessive velocity through the sprocket holes. Yes, the tank should be nearly full. If you did not get correct development using inversion, you must have done something incorrectly. Tell me exactly what you did. Did you leave the tank half-full?
  57. Roger:

    "As long as you get them away from the surface of the film, it doesn't matter how you do it. It's that simple, even though you refuse to accept that your 'recommended practice' is your own personal prejudice and has no scientific basis."

    This is incorrect. Of course it matters, and this has been known since there have been developers. It is discussed in every major text on the issue. That is why an agitation pattern has always been specified. (ASA method: Sheet film on hangers is supposed to be lifted and drained first to one corner, then the other.) The flow-pattern of fresh developer to replace exhausted developer leaves its mark. That is why random motion is so important. Streaking and unevenness easily occur with non-random motion. Inversion with a twist sets up random motion. Rotary agitation does not as easily provide such random motion.

    You are entirely off-base here, Roger. There are dozens of references about agitation that recommend inversion for tanks. From Kodak to Ilford to Plymouth to Paterson, all recommend inversion.

    The sheet that came with Ethol UFG called 'agitated over agitation?' showed and explained exactly how to invert and rotate with a twist: the so-called 'Dobro' method.

  58. The following has been sent to Paterson in the UK:

    "Mr Parry:

    Could you please comment on the relative merits of inversion agitation versus spiral agitation using Paterson tanks? Which method gives the better results?

    I found nothing on the web site.

    Thank you."
  59. They both work fine for me, except with PMK, which seems to respond badly with twist agitation - perhaps those few experiences were anomalies, but that developer seems finicky in some ways.
  60. I am still awaiting a response from Paterson. Of course, closed metallic tanks can be used with inversion only.
  61. J. Raabe:

    Could you describe the problem you experienced with pyro? Was it uneven? Streaked?
  62. Dear Hans,

    Quote your authorities. That's all I ask. I did. Why won't you? Or: why can't you?

    Yes, it is slightly more difficult to avoid overly regular agitation with rotary movement, but few people apart from you seem to find it hard to work out how. Move jerkily; twiddle to and fro; raise and lower the spindle a tad. Any will do. All three together (entirely feasible with all the Paterson tanks I own) are overkill.

    I'll try calling Roger Parry tomorrow to see if he can answer your question faster. I know him fairly well.

    Meanwhile, kindly refrain from telling me that I am 'way off base' or that I don't know how little I know. I have politely assumed that you have the faintest idea what you are talking about -- and without being immodest, I'd suggest that you consider the possibility that you, too, may be 'way off base' or somewhat unaware of the limitations of your knowledge.


  63. Roger:

    You were indeed 'way off base' when you said "As long as you get them away from the surface of the film, it doesn't matter how you do it."

    It certainly DOES matter how you agitate, and you, I am sure, know this. Perhaps you had suffered a moment of intemperance.
  64. "Quote your authorities. That's all I ask. I did. Why won't you? Or: why can't you?"

    I no longer possess a copy of 'Agitated over Agitation' by Plymouth (Ethol) or the instructions for my Paterson tanks. They were long ago discarded, but I DO remember what they said. If you wish, I can write to Plymouth chemicals to see if I can get a copy of 'Agitated over Agitation?'. I have already written to Roger Parry.

    I provided quotes from Jacobsen and from PFF, which should provide sufficient authority to argue that inversion should be considered 'recommended practice', though as I have repeatedly said (and which you seem intent on ignoring) 'recommended practice' is NOT the only acceptable practice. If anyone wants to use rotary agitation, and finds the results acceptable, fine. I have no objection. But I will continue to instruct people that I teach on inversion.

    Did you note the exposition at:


    There was a greater variation in density for rotary than for inversion.

    Hans Beckert
  65. "Hans," your selective use of sources to make them say what you wish they said is bordering on insufferable arrogance. I'm advising you to reconsider your insistence on passing along incomplete and misleading information on this forum.

    1. You quote from Jacobsen without providing any supporting quotes to indicate whether they ever conducted any objective testing to prove *their* assertions about agitation. Without supporting evidence it appears you have simply found someone who happens to agree with your notions. This is not proof.

    2. You provide the PFF quote which, I remind you for the second time, nowhere addresses the topic of rotary agitation. It is therefore irrelevant to your argument because it provides no supporting evidence.

    3. The Ilford PDF does *not* recommend against rotary agitation in a Paterson or similar tank. It discusses the use of rotary *tube* processors without prejudice (something you would do well to emulate). It does not distinguish between stainless spiral tank/reel systems and plastic tank/reel systems, therefore your interpretation that the PDF recommends *only* inversion agitation, regardless of tank/reel type, is *your* assumption and, once again, not proof.

    4. You provided a link to a thread on the Cafe Ilfopro forum. Unless I'm missing something I fail to see the relevance of that discussion to this one. I see suggestions for resolving a streaking problem the questioner spoke of. There were discussions, without prejudice, regarding agitation in stainless tanks and, once again, rotary *tube* processors. If I missed some specific reference to Paterson type plastic tank/reel systems that is somehow relevant to your assertions please indicate where it can be found. Otherwise, it once again fails to prove your assertions.

    5. The PDF of the Professor Jones paper refers to Paterson type tank/reel systems without prejudice. It simply discusses them. In fact, he says they are "extremely convenient and well liked in the industry." And the paper *clearly* distinguishes between the Paterson tanks and what Professor Jones refers to as roller transport processors. It is the *latter* that he asserts may produce uneven development. Yet you choose to muddy the waters by melding bits and pieces of discussions about two entirely different types of processing systems. Frankly, this undermines any credibility you have in this discussion.

    You say that dozens of sources recommend inversion agitation for tanks. All you have provided so far are references that *discuss* inversion agitation and other methods of agitation. And where these sources address the issue at all, they emphasize the importance of adequate agitation and do not assert that using twist agitation with plastic tank systems will result in inadequate agitation. That is *your* interpretation.

    You say that you will continue to instruct your students to use inversion agitation. It's unfortunate that they are burdened with an instructor who deliberately omits and misrepresents information rather than presenting it without prejudice or *real* proof. Please refrain from repeating such disinformation with tiresome redundancy on this forum. If you absolutely cannot discipline yourself to provide proof along with your assertions at least have the courtesy to limit the number of ill-informed posts per thread.
  66. Dear Hans,

    Sorry, your reply will not do. You can't just say that there are lots of sources that recommend inversion, without being able to name them, and leave it at that. You have to put up or shut up. I have cited far more sources than you, and discussed the matter with both Ilford and Paterson. I see little advantage in bothering other film or tank manufacturers, as everyone seems to agree with the authorities I have quoted.

    You cling to Jacobsen, and now you have come up with the Ethol instructions. This is not 'All major film manufacturers and manufacturers of tanks.'

    I spoke to Roger Parry of Paterson this morning (Thursday) and he told me he had already replied to you with the information that he uses both forms of agitation (he is a keen amateur photographer as well as very senior in Paterson) and has never seen any real difference.

    Why on earth did you say that I must know that it matters how you get rid of developer products? The exact opposite is true. I know that it DOES NOT matter. Inversion, rotation, lifting and dropping, nitrogen burst, brush: except for sensitometry (where the consensus appears to be for brush) it does not matter at all. There is no 'recommended practice' despite your fantasies.

    Perhaps you should read some Pope, rather than try to remember what you have read elsewhere:

    A little learning is a dang'rous thing;

    Drink deep, or taste not the Pieran spring;

    There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,

    And drinking largely sobers us again.

    or possibly

    Such labour'd nothings, in so strange a style,

    Amaze th'unlearn'd, and make the learned smile.


  67. Roger and Lex:

    This has gotten entirely out of hand.

    1. Inversion agitation is 'recommended practice'. As I have repeatedly stated, that does not mean that it is the ONLY acceptable method. Why have you both ignored this?

    2. In any event, those using stainless steel tanks have no choice but to use inversion. So if one wants to learn a universal method, one that applies to any kind of tank, inversion is the one to learn.

    3. ALL developer instructions that I see specify how to invert (how many times, etc.) NONE that I know of provides instructions on how to use rotary agitation (Kodak suggests something else; see below). Not Ilford, not Kodak, not Paterson, not Ethol. Does that mean that rotary agitation is 'bad'? Of course not. It just means you are 'on your own'. It is therefore not 'ill-informed' when instructions by developer and film companies include references to inversion alone. Nor is it 'omitting and misrepresenting information'.

    Here is a typical example, instructions for Kodak T-Max developer:

    You will note that what they recommend for non-invertible tanks is as follows:

    "If you cannot invert the tank without spilling the developer, slide it back and forth in about a 10-inch arc for the same length of time."

    The qualifier here is "If you cannot invert the tank without spilling the developer..." That means that inversion is the preferred method. the implicit thought being that if you can invert the tank, to do so.

    4. Lex: Why should I have to prove what an accepted authority states? If the Jacobsens have said it, and I present that, why should I have to re-do or support their work? Is that not what an authority is used for? So that I do not have to do all the work myself? It is incumbent upon YOU to discredit the authority, not upon me to prove it correct. The burden of proof is yours, not mine.

    Nor is it 'selective' when EVERY write-up I have ever read about agitation (Ethol, Paterson tank instructions, Jacobsen, et al.) states that inversion is to be preferred (and as I have presented above, Kodak). That does not mean that contrary opinions do not exist, but that if so, they must be very secretive.

    The PFF quote (as well as Jacobsen) establishes that developer by-products SINK. This means, naturally, that inversion (coupled with rotation) is a good way to break up and redistribute these by-products randomly throughout the solution. This is an INFERENCE which follows from the fact that gravity affects these by-products and brings them down to the bottom of the tank. If they were not heavier, the case would be somewhat different. Inversion, which brings the bottom to the top, is the perfect antidote. Other antidotes may or may not be as effective. Why re-invent the wheel, when this method is known to produce the desired results?

    3. Roger: I think we misunderstand one another, and I blame myself for that. The PATTERN of agitation DOES INDEED matter, and surely you agree. That is why there was an ASA method of agitation specified for sheet film. The METHOD does not matter in itself, so long as the pattern desired is achieved. The goal is to produce EVEN, RANDOM motion of developer. That is what I was referring to. The terminology was the problem: I used 'method' when I should have said 'pattern'. The question is: Does the METHOD (inversion, rotation) produce the proper PATTERN? The evidence suggests the easiest method, the way most applicable to the widest variety of apparatus, with the greatest consistency and ease of learning, is inversion. I repeat: that DOES NOT mean that twisting is wrong or bad (though Kodak suggests something different, as I quoted above). I have repeatedly said this, and both of you have ignored me on this point.

  68. Roger:

    I received just now Roger parry's response, which was that he personally has used both methods and has seen no difference. That is NOT what the Paterson tank instructions say, however. I shall ask him to forward those to me.
  69. Dear Hans,

    I think I'll let you have the last word. I could agree here, disagree there, but there's no point. This thread has gone on long enough for anyone who cares about the subject to form their own conclusions.


  70. Roger:

    Thank you. As I said at the top, 'This has gotten entirely out of hand.' Anyone who wishes to use rotary agitation may do so with my blessings. It is simply that he must do so 'on his own', as very little information is provided to guide him, whereas much more is available as far as inversion is concerned. That was my whole point in a nutshell.

    Here is a typical example, from Ilford:

    'Fit the sealing cap and turn the tank upside down
    four times during the first 10 seconds and again
    for 10 seconds (that is, four inversions) at the start
    of every further minute to agitate the developer.
    Each time you invert the tank tap it on the bench to
    dislodge any air bubbles which may have formed
    on the film.'

    So, Ilford does not provide help to you if you want to use rotary agitation. You are on your own. Does that mean that they recommend that you NOT use rotary? No, it means that they do not discuss it. They discuss the 'recommended practice'. It is a subtle point, to be sure, to say something is 'recommended' is not the same thing as saying there are no good alternatives.

  71. From Ethol:

    "Agitation: For 35mm and 120 roll films, tanks are preferred that can
    be inverted during agitation. Immediately after immersing films, agitate for the first 15 seconds; thereafter, agitate for 5 seconds at the end of each 30 second interval. Our method is 3 gentle inversions
    while rotating counter clockwise during each 5 second interval, followed by putting the tank down with a gentle tap at the end of each
    5 second interval to dislodge any air bubbles. If a multiple reel tank
    is used to develop just one roll of film, insert empty reels to fill the tank in order to avoid too violent agitation."
  72. enough already...geez, go shoot some film or get some fresh air.
  73. Ah, yes, with the temperature at well below freezing.....
  74. Thank goodness, "Hans" finally has found one, single, isolated reference for one, single, isolated developer that specifically recommends inversion agitation over the alternatives. Not exactly a universal truth but perhaps enough to satisfy his obsession with the issue.
  75. Lex:

    You are being facetious, I hope....
  76. Thank goodness, "Hans" finally has found one, single, isolated reference for one, single, isolated developer that specifically recommends inversion agitation over the alternatives. Not exactly a universal truth but perhaps enough to satisfy his obsession with the issue.
    But Hans claimed that "numerous books" specifically recommended this procedure. here are all the others?
  77. Let's not reopen this issue. I'd rather acknowledge that opinions differ on the subject of tank/reel systems and agitation - all of which have been discussed at great length here - and move on.

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