Discussion in 'Black and White' started by d. arthur thomason, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. Hows it going everyone. I have a simple question that I am certain
    some of you can answer. Way back when I was in high school
    photojournalism class, we used the standard steel reel/tank combo
    for b&w film processing, Untill...someone found this needo strip of
    clear plastic stuff which looked not unlike film with rumpled sides
    to which we assigned the name lasagna and quickly began hiding from
    our instructor. This stuff was pretty cool, you just laid your film
    along it and rolled it and your film up into a neat spiral and
    bingo, no more pink spots on your developed film. Well as you can
    imagine our teacher wondered how we had become so good at this
    whole "It just takes practice" developing thing until one day she
    found HER lasagna and to our horror doomed us to reels once again.
    So in all of your 100,000 or so combined years of experience, can
    any of you tell me what this stuff is/was really called and where I
    can get some, or am I a Baffoon who never looks down the right isle.
    D. Arthur Thomason
  2. film apron. i don't think they are made any more; however, once in awhile they show up for auction.

    you might try a store that specialize in used equipment, they may have a tank and apron, as they came as a set.
  3. What you are talking about is what Kodak called a film apron. It came with the Kodacraft developing tank and was available in 35mm and 120/620 size. I first saw film developed this way in High School. The problem with the Kodacraft tank was that you couldn't invert it for agitation because it didn't have a cap. The aprons had to be rinsed thoroughly and were difficult to dry. I used to hang them to dry. This sometimes meant that you had to wait to develop another roll. When I was 14, the wait seemed long.

    Last year I tried to get my nine year old son to learn how to load a Paterson reel. I still don't think he has the hang of it. I saw apron and tank sets at Freestyle's website ( and ordered some. The tanks are kind of cheap looking but do have caps and can be inverted. The old Kodacraft tank came with a metal disc which had holes in it. If you were developing one roll of 35mm film you put the disk on top of the loaded apron in the tank. This kept the apron from coming undone. If you were developong two rolls you would use the spacer as a divider between the rolls. The aprons I got from Freestyle seem a little thinner than they way I remember the old Kodak ones to be. If you have a problem with stainless steel reels then I would recommend a Paterson tank over the apron method. The reason people abandon the Paterson reels is that they do not round off the corners of the leading edge of the film and after about half the roll is loaded (half of a 36 exp. roll) the reel jams. If you are careful about that and make sure that the reels are completely dry before you start, they work well. I mostly use stainless steel reels but the larger your fingers are, the harder it can be to load a SS reel.
  4. My Kodak tank with apron has a cap.

    Ron Mowrey
  5. I guess I just never saw a Kodacraft tank with a cap. For old time's sake I think I'l look for one on eBay.
  6. I saw some of those at a store that just closed in Mountain View, CA.

    They were brand new Kodak tanks with film aprons.

    You can probably find them in a store closing near you soon!
  7. We used these in the Beginner BW class to let the students learn the process steps and get printable negs. They were used in the 8 oz.SS tanks. After this first walk through, they had to use reels. It was claimed that development wasn't as good as reels. Freestyle has them called New arista e-z developing tanks 35 & 120
  8. i have used a lasagna reel for 120 and 35mm for a zillion years. I also have
    plastic and ss reels but for ease of use nothing beats lasagna. Lasagna
    aprons take as long to dry as a roll of film so it is good to have two film aprons
    if you are doing more than a roll at a time. I don't wash them too much, just a
    simple dunk after the final wash and then hang them up along with film.
    Remember! The lasagna apron can be used in any tank it will fit so if your
    Kodak tank has no top lid-cap, use another tank. But, it is also true that simple
    side to side and twirl agitation works fine as long as it is done consistently.
    No need to make religion out of this; you got something you use
    successfully? That is all you need. Stainless steel reels have become a
    religious totem. You like them? good. I think they are wigly and 780,000 times
    more time consuming than plastic reels and 1,400,0000, 0981 times more
    difficult than a lasagna apron. -- OK! Now, for all you guys with too much time
    on your hands: You know what is special about using TWO lasagna
    THE OTHER. Yeah! Really!
  9. Jerry, I can load 120 on a stainless reel in about three minutes -- one of which is consumed in unrolling the film and backing paper. It takes about one minute longer for 35 mm, because the film is twice as long, and it took me about twice that for 16 mm film today, because I'd never done 16 mm on a stainless reel before -- it's a bit different than on bigger reels.

    And if you're good with your hands, you can load two 35mm rolls back to back on a single stainless reel, though only some developers have enough punch to develop two rolls at a time. HC-110 Dilution B will do it, just, and D-76 or XTOL stock will (but should be used as one-shot in this application). It's also possible (though tricky) to load two 220 films back to back in the fine-spiral 220 stainless reels. Honestly, though, it's probably faster and much less prone to fingerprints and pressure marks from buckled film to use a larger tank and two reels...
  10. I happen to have one of those Kodak tanks with a 35mm apron and a 120 apron. All
    in good shape. Email me off list and I'll make you a good deal!
  11. Here one can still get 35mm version of Lasagna Reel
    Firstcall Developing Tank, Lasagna Reel

    Here are the names for the very same reel or tape

    Maccaroni reel
    Film apron
    Ruban Gaufré
    It is mainly used to develop Washi W-special film
    ortho and new panchromatic 100 iso.
    AND: one can mount film sandwiched with this tape/reel-no need for normal reel. Dont know yet if working with washi-special W-film which is hard to handle. pls check Washi-film-site and FB.
    check second part here:

    if you have problems loading film into reels do this:

    Try washing your reels with dish soap, rinsing them in warm water, patting the excess moisture, then leaving them on a towel to dry. I find that this keeps my reels in fine working order.
  12. You are aware this thread is 12 years old?
  13. The thread may be old but the product is still listed on the First Call website.
  14. But in 12 years nobody appears to have pointed out the disadvantages of an apron system; that it can impede agitation and trap large air bells. The same was true of 220 reels that tried to squeeze themselves into a 120 tank.

    Learning to load a standard spiral ain't that difficult (reelly)!
  15. Many years ago, I had an apron and tank for 116 film, but no reels for 116.

    But now I have tanks with 116 reels, and no aprons.

    Kodacraft tanks aren't so hard to find, but many don't have aprons.
  16. Sez you! o_O

    In my personal experience, I have to learn it all over again every time I do it. (but then, I am Swedish)

    I bought, but have not yet used, a Paterson Tank System 4 (LINK) which is supposed to be much easier to load compared to the Nikor steel reels.

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